This Week's News 08.12.17

We think that teaching and supporting apprentices is one of the most fulfilling jobs you could do. The buzz from knowing you have played an important part in helping young people believe in themselves, aspire to achieve and build a career, is simply fantastic. Being involved in apprenticeships inspires young people to shine, and businesses to improve and grow. We share your passion for high-quality training and we are here to offer advice, support and encouragement on this epic and satisfying journey.

Anne Milton finally Unveils Much-Delayed Careers Strategy

The long-overdue careers strategy includes £4 million to support every school and college to have a careers leader, and a further £5 million funding to develop 20 careers hubs, which will be led by the Careers and Enterprise Company. It explains that the National Careers Service will provide specialist advice for adults who need it most, including the long-term unemployed and those with additional needs, and will also have an updated "one-stop shop" website. "Without access to the best possible careers support, some people will miss out on the opportunities available," Ms Milton said. "They will continue to be held back if they don't have the right advice, at the right time to make informed decisions about their future, or may not have access to the broader experiences and role models to help them develop as people. "It matters to me that we give people from all backgrounds the best possible preparation to move into a job, or training that enables them whatever their background or wherever they live to have a fulfilling life." The £4 million is to ensure that every school and college has a dedicated careers leader in place by the start of the new academic year, who can give advice on the best training routes and up-to-date information on the jobs market and help young people make decisions about their future. Schools and colleges will also be "expected to publish details of their careers programme for young people and their parents" by September 2018.

Complaints Over Apprenticeship Payments System Breakdown

The government has been swamped with complaints about its malfunctioning apprenticeship payment systems, which are incorrectly demanding cash from levy-funded employers. Providers have been leaving anguished and irate messages on the Education and Skills Funding Agency's online FEConnect forum. An ESFA "known Issues" document dated November 28 lists nine apprenticeship funding-related problems with its software. It notes: "This issue has been raised with our technical team as a defect and they are working on a fix." Neither the DfE nor the ESFA were available to comment on the complaints or issues with the payment system.

What's the Difference Between an Employee and a Worker in the UK?

An employee is someone who works under an employment contract. A person may be an employee in employment law but have a different status for tax purposes. Employers must work out each worker's status in both employment law and tax law. All employees are workers, but an employee has extra employment rights and responsibilities that don't apply to workers who aren't employees. Some of these rights require a minimum length of continuous employment before an employee qualifies for them. An employment contract may state how long this qualification period is.

These rights include all of the rights workers have and:

A person is generally classed as a 'worker' if:

  • they have a contract or other arrangement to do work or services personally for a reward (the contract doesn't have to be written)
  • their reward is for money or a benefit in kind, for example the promise of a contract or future work
  • they only have a limited right to send someone else to do the work (subcontract)
  • they have to turn up for work even if they don't want to
  • their employer has to have work for them to do as long as the contract or arrangement lasts
  • they aren't doing the work as part of their own limited company in an arrangement where the 'employer' is actually a customer or client

Workers are entitled to certain employment rights, including:

  • getting the National Minimum Wage
  • protection against unlawful deductions from wages
  • the statutory minimum level of paid holiday
  • the statutory minimum length of rest breaks
  • to not work more than 48 hours on average per week or to opt out of this right if they choose
  • protection against unlawful discrimination
  • protection for 'whistleblowing' - reporting wrongdoing in the workplace
  • to not be treated less favourably if they work part-time

They may also be entitled to:

New Statutory Pay Rates for Maternity, Paternity, Shared Parental Leave, Adoption And Sickness

The Government has published the statutory rates for maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay and sick pay from April 2018. The current weekly rate of statutory maternity pay is £140.98, or 90 per cent of the employee's average weekly earnings if this figure is less than the statutory rate.

The rate of statutory maternity pay is rising to £145.18 from April 2018. The increase normally occurs on the first Sunday in April, which in 2018 is 1st April. Also on 1st April 2018, the rates of statutory paternity pay and statutory shared parental pay will go up from £140.98 to £145.18 (or 90 per cent of the employee's average weekly earnings if this figure is less than the statutory rate). The rate of statutory adoption pay will increase from £140.98 to £145.18. This means that, from 1st April 2018, statutory adoption pay is payable at 90 per cent of the employee's average weekly earnings for the first six weeks, with the remainder of the adoption pay period at the rate of £145.18, or 90 per cent of average weekly earnings if this is less than £145.18. The rates normally increase each April in line with the consumer price index (CPI). Work out an employee's statutory maternity pay calculator

Apprentice Wage to Increase in April 2018

The national minimum wage for apprentices will rise again in April, from £3.50 to £3.70 per hour. This will be the second raise in a year, after the wage went from £3.40 per hour to £3.50 seven months ago. It will now increase by a further 20 pence, after Philip Hammond accepted recommendations from the independent Low Pay Commission. This is a 5.7 per cent rate increase, above UK inflation which rose to three per cent in October, and is larger by proportion than all other minimum wage groups. See National Minimum Wage and Living Wage

Technical Education and Apprenticeships: Raising Awareness in Schools

From 2nd January 2018 all local-authority-maintained schools and academies must give education and training providers the opportunity to talk to pupils in years 8 to 13 about approved technical qualifications and apprenticeships. Read more

Apprenticeships Plummet Following Introduction of Levy

The number of people starting apprenticeships in England has fallen by 59% after the introduction of the apprenticeship levy earlier this year. According to figures from the Department for Education (DfE), 48,000 people began an apprenticeship in England in the final quarter of the academic year (May-July 2017). This is a 59.3 per cent fall compared to the same quarter in 2015-16, when 117,800 apprenticeship starts were recorded. On 6th April 2017, the Government introduced the apprenticeship levy with the intention of increasing the number of people in workplace training, "putting employers at the centre of the system". Employers with an annual pay bill of £3 million or more around 2 per cent of organisations have to pay a 0.5% tax, designed to raise more than £2.5 billion. The funding available for apprenticeships of non-levy paying employers, such as yourselves, is limited to what the 'big boys' don't spend and is left over.

Number of Applications for Advanced Learner Loans Between August and October 2017

Applications received 54,900 applications were received for the 2017/18 academic year, to October 2017 (compared to 66,000 this time last year for 2016/17), with 41,010 applications being received between August and October 2017 (compared to 49,570 for this period this time last year a decrease of 17.3 per cent).
Applications ready for payment 45,920 applications were ready for payment for courses starting in the 2017/18 academic year, to October 2017 (compared to 54,780 for this period this time last year).
Provision type Level 3 Diploma qualifications continue to receive the most applications, with 19,130 received between August and October 2017 (compared with 25,960 this time last year for 2016/17), and 25,020 received overall for the 2017/18 academic year (33,400 this time last year for 2016/17). Access to Higher Education qualifications also received a large amount of applications, with 16,520 being received to October 2017 (17,740 this time last year for 2016/17).
Applicant demographics From 2016/17 advanced learner loans were extended to those 19 and older (previously 24 and older). 14,020 applications have been received from the 19-23 age group for the 2017/18 academic year to October 2017 (compared to 16,100 this time last year for 2016/17). However, the 24-30-year-old age group continues to have the most applications with 15,650 (compared to 19,630 this time last year for 2016/17).

Please see our website https://www.its-ltd.net/private-training-and-learner-loans/

Team ITS warmly welcomes these learners who started their Apprenticeships this week

Ferne Barber Level 2 Hair Professional Apprenticeship Box Hairdressing, Basingstoke
Grace Harwood Level 2 Hair Professional Apprenticeship Box Hairdressing, Basingstoke

Congratulations to the following learners who completed their Apprenticeships this week

Emily Knight Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship Capella, Camberley
Olivia Gregory Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship Millie Jones, Haslemere
Chantelle Nickless Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship Perfection Hair Salon, Yateley


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