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Posted By Apprenticeships Directory on 19/08/2019

Apprenticeships support for smaller employers through LEPs/Intermediaries


Apprenticeships are a key feature of the Government's educational policy, with specific ambitions to improve quality and ensure all employers offering apprenticeships are onboarded onto the Apprenticeship Service - be they levy paying or otherwise. As part of the ESFA's approach, we are keen to reach smaller and non-levy paying employers and support them to access high-quality apprenticeships and the Apprenticeship Service. Intermediaries, including Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), have a significant role to play in helping Government achieve these goals through using their existing employer networks and understanding of local skills needs. Intermediaries are defined as those organisations that are Professional Bodies, Membership Organisations, LEPs and other organisations who we deem as having influence over employers. By working through them, a one-to-many approach can be achieved in engaging smaller employers - providing value for money while also maximising reach. The ESFA is looking for a delivery organisation who will provide support to LEPs and other intermediaries to facilitate their engagement with smaller and non-levy employers about apprenticeships. In particular we are looking for the following outcomes to be achieved for Intermediary organisations and LEPs: 

1. Overall: a) that they are supported and well-equipped to engage with smaller employers on apprenticeship delivery; b) that they are supported to deliver activity to encourage participation of their smaller employers in apprenticeships agenda and make them aware of the transition to using the Apprenticeship Service and are supported; c) that their networks of smaller employers are aware of the transition to using the Apprenticeship Service 

2. Onboarding: Intermediary organisations and LEPs, understand the requirement for smaller employers to go onto the Apprenticeship Service and disseminate relevant messages to their membership, and are supported to deliver activities with their employer membership which lead to: 

a) raised awareness about these requirements with their smaller employer membership/networks; 

b) improved understanding by smaller employers of the benefits of onboarding and what they will need to do; and c) solutions to help smaller employers to overcome potential barriers to onboarding. 

3. Volume/Quality: Intermediary organisations and LEPs disseminate relevant messages to their membership and are supported to deliver activities with their employer membership in their region/sector which lead to: 

a) increased growth in local apprenticeships being delivered by smaller employers; and 

b) improvements in quality (e.g. through ensuring apprenticeships meet government guidance and are delivered through new standards rather than frameworks).

About the buyer


Cheylesmore House
Quinton Road


Other information

Spend profile

Financial yearBudget


Types of organisation needed: The successful bidding organisation will need to be able to demonstrate that they are a not-for-profit (e.g. voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations), impartial organisation, with national reach across England and have: a) an understanding of skills agenda and apprenticeships and b) an understanding of LEPs, intermediaries and smaller employers. The ESFA does not require at this stage any tender response documentation to be submitted other than an registering an interest by email to entitled "INTERMEDIARY SUPPORT FOR APPRENTICESHIPS" and including; Contact name, Contact email, Organisation name. Please note this PIN is for information only and is not a call for competition. It is intended as an awareness, communication and information-gathering exercise offering an opportunity for potential providers to help understand commissioning intentions The Department reserves the right not to enter a formal procurement process and not award contract(s). Accordingly, the Authority will not be liable for any bid cost, expenditure, work or effort incurred by a supplier in acting on the basis of this Prior Information Notice. The competition will be run via the DfE eTendering Portal. We recommend any current providers of similar services, providers who may be interested in applying in the future, or other stakeholders who may have an interest in applying to register on the eTendering Portal. Suppliers can access this system at where the details of how to register and the terms of free registration are presented. All information included in this notice is indicative and subject to change. More information about apprenticeships and onboarding of smaller employers onto the Apprenticeships Service system can be found here and here

How to apply

Please apply directly to the buyer using the contact details provided, or follow the instructions given in the notice description or information section.

Location of contract

Any region

Value of contract

£1 - £515k

Published date

16 August 2019

Approach to market date

16 September 2019

Contract start date

07 October 2019

Contract end date

31 March 2020

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Contract is suitable for VCSEs?


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