‘The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) will reduce funding rates for the level three ‘IT, Software Web and Telecom Professionals’ apprenticeship framework by around £2,000 from April 1.
The agency warned in its Update bulletin…that it would be reducing the funding values for the Level 3 competence qualification.
The rate for the competence qualification published by the SFA will fall from £8,673 to £6,650, a 23% reduction. For a fully-funded 16-18 year-old learner, this would equate to a fall from £9,299 to £7,131, a cut of £2,169.
The Update bulletin said that “this is part of our regular review of apprenticeship framework costs to ensure value for public funds.
“From 1 April 2016, we will reduce the funding values for new apprenticeship starts only; those already on programme will remain on their existing rates. We will change the competency aims (not knowledge, English or maths aims) for the published rate from £8,673 to £6,650, a 23% reduction.”
The SFA has not reduced apprenticeship framework rates since 2012/13, after a freeze was imposed during plans for switching to the new standards funding system.
But FE Week understands the rate for ‘IT, Software Web and Telecom Professionals’, which is one of the highest for all frameworks and includes a competency, knowledge and up to three functional skills qualifications, is now considered far too high by the SFA — particularly at level three.
Funding for a 16-18 year-old learner that completes at level 3, for example, currently exceeds £15,000 and can rise to over £18,000 if delivered in central London.’ – FE Week