ITS a hair thing - April 2021
Welcome to the April issue of ITS a hair thing!
Our Trainer/Assessors enjoyed returning to partner salons last month, with many of our apprentices accomplishing great success in completing training and assessments to propel their progress. No doubt you will all be busy this week preparing once more to reopen your salon doors to the public on April 12. As ever, we are committed to supporting employers, apprentices and in-salon assessors as we transition out of lockdown – and remain hopeful that this will be for the final time!
Dispensations for End Point Assessment confirmed by IfATE
IfaTE (Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education) have confirmed that apprentices who are at / approaching gateway can complete their apprenticeship without the EPA taking place*. As it stands, we are waiting for TQUK to publish what will be required in terms of evidence for completion, but it looks likely that in will be linked to the following:
- On programme evidence mapped to the EPA standard (it is likely this will be linked to the apprentice's e portfolio)
- Declaration from the employer stating that they agree the apprentice has met the required standard
- Professional discussion with the apprentice (to evidence knowledge requirements).
IfaTE have stated this dispensation will not be withdrawn before August 2021, so we are hopeful that those apprentices completing their on-programme element in the next few months will also be eligible for the dispensation. However, exact eligibility criteria is yet to be confirmed by the Awarding Organisations (the latest update from TQUK can be found below).
*Apprentices who complete their apprenticeship under dispensation will only be eligible for a pass grade. The full EPA is still available to achieve distinction.
Watch the Apprenticeship's Dispensations FAQs Video here: https://youtu.be/b17SYKmSDYg
TQUK Update: dispensations for EPA
Our EPA Awarding Organisation (TQUK) are steadily making progress towards announcing their requirements for EPA dispensations. You can find the latest announcement here. It is important to note all AO's are echoing the following statement:
"dispensations are in place purely to act as a safety net for where there is an exceptional circumstance that would prevent an Apprentice being able to undertake their EPA and therefore complete their Apprenticeship and is not an optional alternative".
Having checked the criteria, it is likely that ITS apprentices will be within the parameters of eligibility for the following reason:
- Difficulties in accessing appropriate venues (e.g. feasibility issues due to commercial difficulties)
TQUK have advised us that they intend to publish evidence requirements "in the next week or so". At this point, we will be in a position to start identifying apprentices in scope and liaise with apprentices and partner salons to collate the information required for each apprentice's evidence pack.
Level 2 Functional Skill upskill waiver
The ESFA have confirmed an extension to the level 2 Functional Skills upskill waiver. This has been extended until 31 July 2021. This means apprentices can now pass to gateway up until 31 July 2021 without attempting level 2 Functional Skills assessments.
As always, we will continue to support apprentices in developing their maths and English skills and facilitate Functional Skills assessments where apprentices elect to take them.
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES
FROM APRIL 1 2021
- National Living Wage (23+) has increased 2.2% from £8.72 to £8.91
- National Minimum Wage (21-22) has increased 2% from £8.20 to £8.36
- National Minimum Wage (18-20) has increased 1.7% from £6.45 to £6.56
- National Minimum Wage (under 18) has increased 1.5% from £4.55 to £4.62
- Apprentice Rate has increased 3.6% from £4.15 to £4.30
- Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they are both: Aged 19 or over and have completed the first year of their apprenticeship
Example: An apprentice aged 21 who has completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £8.36.
The Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices
The Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices (ReSSA), launched by the Department for Education, provides clear, accessible advice and guidance to apprentices following redundancy, while supporting their next steps. It will help redundant apprentices to identify new apprenticeship and employment opportunities, and, where they are eligible, complete their current apprenticeship.
The Department for Education are asking if you would be able to support redundant apprentices by sharing details of any apprenticeship vacancies you have. Apprentices that have been made redundant may already have the valuable skills and experience that your organisation needs. They are eager to continue their apprenticeship, put their learning into practice and can give organisations a quick return on investment.
The service will share your vacancy details with redundant apprentices through the new vacancy sharing service. Suitable candidates will receive regular emails asking them to contact you directly using the details you supply.
If you would like to recruit a redundant apprentice or offer new apprenticeship opportunities, please visit Hiring an apprentice who has been made redundant or call 0800 015 0600 to find out more. You can also watch our YouTube video for more information.
If you are aware of any apprentices who have been made redundant please encourage them to visit Facing redundancy during your apprenticeship or call 0800 015 0400 to speak to an adviser.
Hire a new apprentice incentive
As you will have seen, the incentive for hiring a new apprentice has increased to £3000 for new apprentices of any age with effect from 1st April 2021. To be eligible, the apprentice must be new and must have been employed after 1st April 2021. You must also have an account on the apprenticeship service to claim the incentive. Please note, claims for this scheme cannot be made until 1st June 2021.
Do you have an apprentice vacancy?
If you have a vacancy for a new apprentice and are looking to take advantage of the new incentive scheme, we are more than willing to help you! Send us a copy of your apprentice job vacancy (or tag us on social media) and we are happy to share on our social media. Please send your job adverts to ten/dtl-sti//ofni.
Do you have an apprenticeship service account?
Thank you to all the partner salons that have set up their apprenticeship service accounts and selected ITS as your training provider. If you don't yet have an account, we recommend that you set one up. If you plan to employ any new apprentices, you will only be able to access our services as your training provider by having an apprenticeship service account. The old way of us being contracted to deliver apprenticeships ended on 31st March 2021, so the apprenticeship service is the only option. We will of course ask you to set up an account when we receive an ITS application form from your new apprentice (if you don't already have an account) but you might like to get ahead of the game and save time at the application stage by setting one up now.
Instructions to set up your apprenticeship service account:
Click on this link and follow the onscreen instructions to set up your account (you will need some details about the business such as you PAYE scheme number).
There is a YouTube instructional video here if you might find it useful.
Once you have completed set up:
- Click on 'Your Training Providers' on your home screen .
- Select 'Add New Training Provider'.
- Search for us using "Inter Training Services Ltd" or our UKPRN: 10003354.
- Confirm we are the training provider that you would like to have the permission for adding apprentices.
- Click continue and select return to the Your Training Providers page.
- You should see that you added us and there will be an option that says, 'Set Permissions'. Click it.
- You will be prompted with a screen stating, 'Would you like to set permissions for this training provider to add apprentices' and underneath this message you with see a 'Yes' and a 'No' option. Select Yes.
- There will also be an option to give permission for the provider to have access to the 'Recruitment' section with a 'yes' or 'no' option. If you would like us to have this permission, select yes and then continue.
We should then receive a notification email from the apprenticeship service once this process is completed and we will be able to add apprentice details on your behalf once you have recruited and they have submitted the ITS application form.
Did you hire a new apprentice between 1st August 2020 and 31st March 2021?
MAKE SURE YOU CLAIM YOUR INCENTIVE!
The original incentive scheme came to an end on 31st March. If you employed and signed up a new apprentice between 1st August and 31st March, you have until 31st May to make your claim for the incentive. As we have previously advised, YOU are responsible for making the claim, we cannot do this for you, but we don't want you missing out!
If you have an apprentice on the apprenticeship service, that meet's the eligibility criteria, you need to make your claim on the apprenticeship service by the deadline of 31st May.
How to claim
- Login to your apprenticeship service account.
- Scroll to the "finance" section and click on it
- You should see "apply for the hire a new apprentice payment". Click on it.
- Follow the instructions on each page
Please note you will need the salon bank details to hand.
The ESFA have created a helpful step-by-step video on how to apply. Click here to watch the YouTube video. We recommend you watch this ahead of starting your claim.
We love to celebrate the achievements of learners and partner salons. Please let us know if you have something to share!
Congratulations! to the following apprentices who achieved their On Programme Tasks in March:
- Abigail Backhouse
- Phoebe Hunt
- Sophie Jennings
Welcome! to the following apprentices who joined programme in March:
- Shaana Dearlove
- Dulcie Wilson
- Lauren Coates
Apprentice of the month!
Another month of incredible talent! and once again, an extremely hard task to select this month's winner. Team ITS extends huge congratulations to Emma Freeman from The Colour House - Bagshot (Slide number 7) who has been voted Apprentice of the Month!
Have a great month!
Head of Provision
Inter Training Services Ltd
Mobile: 07875 303317
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