Useful links and developments

This section aims to direct you to the most relevant sites to find out more about the latest policies and the emerging developments about apprenticeships.

The Department for Education (DfE) works with The Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) and The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to provide guidance and information on apprenticeships including:

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) brings together the existing responsibilities of the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA), creating a single funding agency accountable for funding education and training for children, young people and adults. In particular, it supports the government’s reform of apprenticeships and the ambition of more high quality apprenticeships through:

  • regulating the register of apprenticeship training providers and the register of end-point assessment organisations;
  • setting out the apprenticeship funding rules which apply to all levy-paying employers participating in the apprenticeship programme through a digital account on the apprenticeship service.

The Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) is responsible for ensuring high-quality apprenticeship standards and advising government on funding for each standard. The Institute remit has now been expanded to cover all technical education. The Institute for Apprenticeships will oversee the development and approval of the standards, qualifications and occupational maps for the 15 technical routes for T Levels and apprenticeships.

  • Apprenticeship standards – The standards show what an apprentice will be doing and the skills required of them, by job role. Standards and their assessment plan are developed by employer groups known as ‘trailblazers’.

For further guidance on the latest apprenticeship policies and updates, please visit the Government website.


Useful background reading

The Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning (CAVTL) provided recommendations for excellence in vocational teaching and learning when it was originally published in March 2013. The Foundation has taken forward the legacy of CAVTL and its key recommendations. The Development and Innovation in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) exhibition site brings together examples of innovative practice in the design and delivery of TVET using the experience and insights of over 40 employer-provider partnerships.

Report of the Independent Panel on Technical Education. The panel was chaired by Lord Sainsbury and the report advises ministers on actions to improve the quality of technical education in England.

Post-16 skills plan which sets out the government’s plan to support young people and adults to secure skilled employment and meet the needs of the economy.

English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision which sets out the government’s plan to increase the quality and quantity of apprenticeships in England, reaching three million starts in 2020.

The Richard Review written by Dough Richard in 2012 called on government to improve the quality of apprenticeships and make them more focused on the needs of employers.

House of Commons Briefing Paper (2015) written by Jeanne Delebarre giving an overview of the current apprenticeship system, policy developments and a link to useful sources.


Pre-vocational routes

Support with progression into apprenticeships – Traineeships

Traineeships are a key route for preparing young people to compete for, and succeed in, apprenticeships with providers taking a key role in co-ordinating delivery and working with employers to offer the work placement.

The Traineeship Staff Support Programme (TSSP) developed a suite of practitioner led resources to help with recruitment, teaching, in-work support, as well as support beyond the duration of the traineeship.

If you are currently delivering traineeships and would like help to increase and/or improve your delivery, you can access a range of resources on the Excellence Gateway including:

  • Improving the quality of teaching
  • Supporting staff to engage with employers
  • Robust initial assessment processes
  • Supporting learners from vulnerable and excluded groups and communities and those who have protected characteristics.