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Posted By Apprenticeships Directory on 21/02/2018 in Apprenticeship Sector News Stories

Apprenticeship funding bands set to change. Employers don't "feel able" to negotiate on price

Apprenticeship funding bands set to change. Employers don't

Apprenticeship funding band structure

The Department for Education is reviewing the effectiveness of the current funding band structure. When we moved to 15 funding bands, we expected to see employers and providers negotiating on price below the funding band upper limit. However, this hasn’t materialised across all of the market, with many employers telling us that they do not feel able to negotiate with providers. We are therefore considering changes to incentivise negotiation and drive better value for money.

This includes considering alternative funding band structures. Any new structure would apply to new starts from August 2018. The maximum funding band will remain at £27,000. We will confirm any changes in Spring 2018. If we do change the funding band structure, we will work with the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) to ensure that any new standards that are approved for delivery are allocated to both one of the 15 current funding bands and to a new, post-August funding band.

As part of their agreed responsibilities, we have also asked the IfA to review an initial batch of existing published standards and to identify where they should sit in a new funding band structure. All other existing standards will be reviewed as part of the IfA’s standard review process.

We welcome any views on these changes. Please email

Further information:

Apprenticeship funding from May 2017

Apprenticeship funding: how it will work


Apprenticeship standards: funding bands

ODS, 49.9KB

Apprenticeship frameworks: funding bands



The list of apprenticeship standards shows the funding bands for starts from 1 May 2017. It lists the apprenticeship standards that have an approved assessment plan and are ready for employers and training organisations to use.

The frameworks spreadsheet sets out the funding bands that will apply for existing apprenticeship frameworks from 12 February 2018.

Kate Culff AIEP

Kate Culff AIEPClient Partnership & Project Manager at People 1st | Training & Consultancy in Workforce Development | WorldHost

This does surprise me; at People 1st as the unbiased consultants in providing employer support through the levy our employer partners have told us some incredible stories of negotiation.  Providers throwing in 'knives' and 'whites' for chef apprentices for instance.  What this does highlight is the need for employers to become more educated in what they can demand from a provider; certainly ensuring that your own inhouse training is mapped into a standard will lower the overall cost, but it's only a negotiation you can make if you're well informed... happy to help anyone who needs steering! Linzi Johnston

Adele Catherine Oxberry FIH

Adele Catherine Oxberry FIHManaging Director at Umbrella Training and Employment Solutions Ltd & Elite Hospitality Assessment Professionals Ltd.

We do more than knives and whites and have completely bespoke approaches for all our business partners. We offer those plus bespoke delivery models, VLE plus academies and clubs that really enhance learner journey. BUT still we offer a completely negotiated price with all our partners that is under the band.

Adam Barnes

Adam BarnesCommercial Manager at Babington Group

Lots of clients have felt perfectly able to negotiate and many are seeing this as an opportunity to get exactly what they want from a training provider, once the training content and the whole package is agreed between the two parties that is a commercial agreement. Return on investment isn't always judged in monetary terms. Price is what you pay, value is what you get.

David Marsh

David MarshManaging Director - Knowledgepool (Part of Capita Plc)

This is a case of moving far too quickly. They have judged the “no negotiation” based on the learners that have started already - as we all know there has been a massive delay in most learners starting and that has partly been to do with all the procurement activity and negotiation that has been going on! So the programmes that have been negotiated haven’t had many starts! I think their main focus will be on the higher bands which have £3k differences and splitting these into smaller bands  to reduce the need for negotation- rather than changing the smaller ones. In this case it would be better to move back to funding rates and take out all the bureaucracy that the procurement and negotiation is bringing!

Ian Peacock- MBA

Ian Peacock- MBAManaging Director- Education Star Solutions (ESS)-07715 494066

Just another unexpected shot.... smile, duck, roll, reposition feet and come up ready for action. Anyone in this operating environment that has been around for sometime already has those skills.... those new to it need to develop them asap.

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