With a no-deal Brexit looking increasingly likely, many organisations are asking what happens to the availability of funding for training or their ongoing funded programmes if it happens.
Today we have started consultations with the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) which will happen at least weekly so we can give you the latest information on which to base your decisions.
“Currently business as normal although discussions are ongoing”, is essentially the official line. At the moment there are no changes agreed although announcements “will be” coming as the date of 31st October gets closer. So what do we know and what’s likely:
Management and Leadership Apprenticeships funded by the Levy
Apprenticeships are the government’s flagship adult learning programme and are being delivered in many subject areas to over a million Apprentices in England currently.
It’s unlikely that anything will change overnight in terms of the Levy that’s being collected or to Apprenticeships that are underway. However with so much of the Levy that’s collected being unused and so effectively being returned to HMRC as a tax it’s speculated that a couple of things could be done. More could be collected and the pots could be withdrawn more quickly than the current two years. This would encourage usage more quickly or at least raise tax more quickly from employers.
Many employers are calling on the Apprenticeship Levy to become a more general ‘Training Levy’ although this is highly unlikely to be directly caused by a no-deal Brexit situation.
The Vision 2020 50% funding initiative
The Vision 2020 funding initiative is available to all employers in the UK and is funded from a number of sources including the EU. Although the initiative is due to run until June next year, it’s much more likely that it’ll be either dropped or reduced in the run up to, or on, 31st October.
Employers who have either booked and paid for training using the initiative, or have paid days of training on account using the initiative, will categorically not be affected.
There have previously been other similar funding programmes which have been pulled almost overnight by government decision (when the Growth Accelerator was pulled in 2016, final applications had until 11pm the following day to be submitted).
What action should you take?
If you have management development coming up we’d recommend you use them or risk losing them.
The Apprenticeship programme will change – it’s not hitting targets and it’s not been adopted as successfully as hoped by employers. It could be subject to political change in the medium term but is less likely to be effected overnight in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
If you’re looking at booking management training or qualifications using the Vision 2020 initiative, organising funding now is recommended. Once you’ve got funding organised your days can be held on account and be used at any time. The EU element of funding means this looks vulnerable.
For more information on any of the above please contact us 0800 619 1230