New, improved changes to the apprenticeship service

We spoke to Michelle Rainbow, Skills Director at the North East LEP, about changes to the apprenticeship service that will give all employers access to its full benefits

Since it launched in 2016, more than 2.2 million people have signed up to use the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s apprenticeship service.

The award-winning online platform has helped over 17,000 levy-paying employers take control of their apprenticeships and make better decisions for their organisation.

The good is news all employers in England, whether they’re levy-paying or not, will soon have access to all the benefits of the apprenticeship service. The Education and Skills Funding Agency has decided to open it up so any employer, big or small, can choose how they want to manage their apprenticeships and make them work for their business.

Previously, non-levy paying businesses only had access to certain areas of the platform, for example, the find an apprenticeship service. Now they’ll be able to take full advantage of all the services on offer, including greater choice of quality training providers, more control over how they pay for that training, and how they access and recruit apprentices.

Following a trial period over the summer, a managed transition of non-levy paying businesses onto the full apprenticeship service will take place from early 2020. Additional funding has been available to support up to 5,000 new apprenticeship starts through the service every month from January – March 2020. All accredited training providers currently listed will have access to the funding, not just those with an existing procured non-levy contract.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency will also allow employers to continue accessing training via existing procured non-levy contracts throughout the transition process.

I hope all North East businesses take full advantage of this exciting change. Providing more apprenticeship opportunities will help improve skills across the North East, boosting the economy and creating more and better jobs.

To find out more visit or sign up to receive apprenticeship email alerts about the transition arrangements.