ESFA Update further education: 24 November 2021 | #education | #technology | #training

1. Reminder: application deadline for the incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice

Do you work with employers who hired an apprentice between 1 April and 30 September 2021?

If so, they could be eligible for an incentive payment of £3,000 for each new apprentice. Employers need to apply by 30 November 2021 to claim the incentive.

Share these resources with employers to support their application:

  • how to apply video including a walk through of the steps to take within the Apprenticeship service.
  • how to apply guide including when to apply, steps to take before applying, how to apply and what happens after applying.
  • guidance page including eligibility, how the payment can be used and when payments are made.

How to video

2. Reminder: changes to payment history in Manage your education and skills funding

The old interface for viewing payment history in Manage your education and skills funding will no longer be available from Thursday 9 December.

To continue to see your payment history via the new interface, please ensure you have requested the role of Payments Viewer in IDAMS by Thursday 9 December.

If you miss this deadline, you will still be able to request the Payments Viewer role but you will not able to see your payment history until the request has been actioned.

3. Reminder: R04 individualised learner record (ILR) data return

The R04 ILR data return closes on Monday 6 December. It is important that you submit accurate and timely data.

We use your R04 data return in several ways, including:

  • calculating 16 to 19 growth for the 2021 to 2022 funding year (subject to affordability)
  • reconciling independent learning provider’s 16 to 19 ILR recorded delivery against funding allocations for 2021 to 2022 funding year
  • calculating 16 to 19 funding allocations for 2022 to 2023 funding year
  • calculating the carry over costs for procured non-levy apprenticeship contracts for the 2022 to 2023 financial year
  • supporting the calculation of 19+ funding allocations for the 2022 to 2023 funding year
  • measuring the performance of your adult education budget, 16 to 18 traineeship (for providers without 16 to 19 funding) and 19 to 24 traineeship contract values as set out in the adult education budget (AEB) funding rules 2021 to 2022

For further information on data submissions please refer to our ESFA – Online Documentation site and also our funding guidance for young people: ILR funding returns.

If you have any queries, please contact your territorial team lead or use the ESFA help centre.

4. Information: National Insurance Numbers and ILR submissions

We’re asking all employers who have applied for the incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice to review the information they have provided, to ensure their application is eligible.

Employers may get in touch with you to make sure you have the correct National Insurance Number for each of their apprentices and that you have included this in your ILR submissions.

5. Information: introducing a new recruitment API and decommissioning current APIs webinar

We’re working on improvements to the apprentice recruitment process for training providers and employers. You’ll soon be able to access new tools to create and display apprenticeship vacancies.

Invite a representative from your IT team to join us for a technical webinar on 8 December 2021 at 12 noon when we will be providing:

  • an overview of the current recruitment tools available
  • the plan to decommission current APIs
  • an overview of the new API functionality
  • next steps in recruitment improvements

The webinar is not designed to review your specific recruitment queries, we would encourage you to raise these through our helpdesk.

Registration for this webinar opens on our webinar registration page from 23 November 2021.

You can watch all Apprenticeship service webinar recordings on our YouTube channel.

6. Information: 2020 to 2021 final reconciliation statements

Thank you for submitting your 2020 to 2021 final funding claim.

Reconciliation statements will be available for you to view on Manage your education skills and funding by the end of November 2021. This will set out the final position for the 2020 to 2021 funding year and inform the funding that is required to repay (if applicable) or over delivery funding that we will pay.

We will be contacting providers who submitted a business case for adult education budget (AEB) on the next steps required depending upon the outcomes of the process.

Final Reconciliation Statements are published following submission of a final funding claim for the following funding streams:

  • ESFA AEB – adult skills and community learning – grant-funded
  • ESFA AEB – covid skills offer – grant funded
  • ESFA AEB – 19 to 24 traineeships – grant funded
  • ESFA AEB – adult skills learner support – paid-on-profile (AEB procured)
  • ESFA AEB – 19 to 24 traineeships learner support – paid on profile (procured)
  • advanced learner loans bursary (ALLB) – grant-funded

If you are required to repay funds back to us, we will schedule those repayments from December 2021.

7. Information: ESFA funded adult education budget performance management review 2021 to 2022

We will shortly be conducting a performance review for ESFA Funded adult education budget (AEB). All Providers will have the opportunity to request an exceptional case for growth 19 to 24 traineeships, ESFA national skills fund and 16 to 18 traineeships.

Grant providers with an AEB Contract can raise a first time request for 19 to 24 traineeships, an ESFA funded national skills fund allocation up to the value of £45,000, or top up a current value if below £45,000.

Contract for Services providers can request a top up increase to an existing 19 to 24 traineeships, ESFA funded national skills fund allocation and 16 to 18 traineeships if it is below £45,000. Contract for Services providers can also raise an exceptional request for exemptions from auto reduction.

The request form and further details can be found on the AEB performance management requests page on GOV.UK. The deadline for submission is 5pm on 7 December 2021.

If you have any queries about this process, please contact your territorial team lead.

8. Information: remember to order new devices via the get help with technology service

Back in October, the department announced the provision of a further 500,000 laptops and tablets, via the Get help with technology service, so that disadvantaged children and young people can access remote education and social care services. 

We have now invited all organisations with an allocation to order. We sent instructions about how to order to the email addresses provided in the Get help with technology service. If you have not received this, please check your junk and spam folders before contacting us.

If your preferred device types are in stock, you should order as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. 

You can now also apply for devices for children and young people who have joined your school or college under Operation Warm Welcome.

Up to 6,000 devices are available for children and young people in UK school years 3 to 13, brought to England under Operation Warm Welcome, via the Get help with technology service. 

If you need to order devices for these children and young people, please sign into the Get help with technology service and follow our Operation Warm Welcome guidance.

9. Information: National Skills Fund

As announced at Spending Review, the Government is investing £1.6 billion through the National Skills Fund in the next three years, on top of the £375 million investment in financial year 2021-2022. This includes extending the eligibility for Free Courses for Jobs (level 3) offer to more adults and further expanding Skills Bootcamps.

9.1 Free Courses for Jobs (referred to in existing funding rules as the Level 3 Adult offer)

The Free Courses for Jobs offer, which was launched in April 2021, gives eligible adults the chance to access their first Level 3 qualifications for free. In addition, from April next year any adult in England who is earning under the National Living Wage or is unemployed will also be able to access these qualifications for free, regardless of their prior qualification level.

We have also updated the list of free level 3 qualifications available under the Free Courses for Jobs offer. We have added 23 qualifications to the offer, as part of our commitment to keep the list under review and to receive suggestions for inclusion by awarding bodies, Mayoral Combined Authorities and the Greater London Authority. These qualifications met the published criteria for inclusion in the Free Courses for Jobs qualifications list.

4 qualifications that were previously included in the offer are no longer publicly funded or are no longer offered by the awarding organisations. These 4 qualifications will therefore be unavailable through the Free Courses for Jobs offer.

9.2 Skills Bootcamps

In September, we announced an investment of up to £17m to deliver new Skills Bootcamps to help up to 5,000 adults to train as HGV drivers.

We are pleased with the huge interest from providers and employers across the country in the recent procurement exercise to deliver these new Skills Bootcamps in HGV driving. We received many high-quality bids, and we will announce the successful suppliers in December. A full list of Skills Bootcamps is available on GOV.UK.

10. Information: have your say in the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education’s (IfATE) stakeholder survey 2021

IfATE’s short but sweet stakeholder survey for 2021 has launched.

Each year the Institute runs this survey to get feedback about our work. The insights from this survey help us to plan future projects and gives us an understanding of our customers views.

Our 2021 survey has now opened (from 1 November)! We have worked hard to make sure the results will provide lots of useful feedback to inform our future work – but also prioritised ensuring it is quick and easy to complete.

The survey is open until 11.59pm on 12 December and will take no more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

Thank you for supporting us with this. We wouldn’t be able to do our work without your help and insights.

If you have any questions about the survey or trouble completing it, please email for support.

Visit the IfATE website to access the survey.

11. Information: School and College security guidance

Following the two confirmed terrorist incidents in the past month, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) have increased the national threat level from ‘Substantial’ to ‘Severe’. Whilst it should be noted that there is no credible threat to the education sector, education settings may wish to review their security policies following these incidents.

The non-statutory School and College Security Guidance includes a range of helpful security guidance and advice covering a range of security risks to help settings review their security policies.

12. Information: join us for the National Apprenticeship Awards final

We are delighted to invite you to join the online live broadcast of the 18th National Apprenticeship Awards Final.
The awards will take place on Wednesday 1 December from 8pm and will run for 90 minutes.

We are thrilled to announce that, as in 2020, this year’s host will be BBC presenter Dan Walker.

Please register to watch the ceremony by Tuesday 30 November.

Once you have registered you will receive a confirmation email which will include the online joining instructions.

13. Information: National Apprenticeship Week theme ‘Build the Future’ announced for 2022

The theme of “Build the Future” continues for its second National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), which will take place between 7 and 13 February 2022.

The 15th annual week-long celebration will take place across England, encouraging individuals of any age to reach their career goals by building their skills and knowledge through an apprenticeship.

You can download a toolkit to support planning activity.

Read more about NAW2022.

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