Following extensive consultation and stakeholder engagement over the last 18 months, the proposed new funding model is ready to be piloted from January 2022. The pilot will provide the Institute and Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) with a live testing environment to further understand the impact of the proposed new model and to enhance the results from previous rounds of impact testing. It remains a priority for the Institute that the new funding model will provide for value for money, transparency, and flexibility.
Second consultation and testing
Since the close of the second consultation on the proposed new funding model on 6 October 2020, the Institute conducted a further round of impact testing with volunteer organisations. Feedback received in response to both the second consultation and subsequent round of impact testing significantly helped the project team to further refine the approach, resolve outstanding operational challenges, and support the Institute’s work to model its impact.
Now that this testing work has been completed, we are now able to move to the next stage and pilot the new approach. Throughout the pilot phase in 2022, the Institute will be able to work with volunteer trailblazer groups to verify cost inputs and test the mechanics of the model, in a way that was not possible during impact testing.
The structure of the funding model remains unchanged and costs will continue to be categorised across training, assessment and administration, however further work has continued on particular design elements of these categories to take on board feedback received.
The pilot will launch on a voluntary, small-scale basis. Participating trailblazer groups will be invited to submit their training delivery information from 12 January. Funding band recommendations will not be made as part of cycle 39 but over a longer period in the first instance.
The pilot will initially focus on those apprenticeships unable to generate the number of quotes required by our current funding band allocation process, newly developed apprenticeships, and those apprenticeships with no or low starts.
Once the project team has tested a sufficient sample, the consultation response will be published and will include a summary of the pilot testing work.