Updated Apprenticeships funding policy

The Education and Skills Funding Agency have published an updated apprenticeships funding policy for 2018/19, which you can find here. This document updates the policy that has been in place since May 2017, explaining how apprenticeships funding will operate in England from August 2018.


The changes to the policy are minor and reflect areas where the ESFA committed to review their policy at the time they launched the Apprenticeship Levy. They have also made some small changes where there was evidence improvements could be made.  Their priority in updating the policy has been to provide stability for employers and providers, following the major reforms made to the funding policy in May 2017.

The changes in the policy are outlined below:

  • Following consideration of the current funding band structure, the ESFA are moving to a new 30 band structure for new starts from August 2018. This new structure will include more increments between bands, to provide greater clarity around the appropriate funding level for apprenticeships. The ESFA will move existing frameworks and standards into the new band structure at the same level, to ensure that there is no change in the funding available.
  • In recognition of the fact that many providers still deliver frameworks to 16-18 year olds, they are maintaining the transitional 20% uplift for a provider training a 16-18 year old apprentice on a framework.
  • The ESFA committed to reviewing their policy for supporting apprentices from disadvantaged areas. They are maintaining the payments they make to providers, to support the training of apprentices from the 27% most disadvantaged areas. They have also published research about the support these apprentices receive from employers and providers.
  • The ESFA are introducing a £1,000 bursary payment to support care leavers aged 16-24 starting an apprenticeship to ensure that care leavers get support in overcoming extra barriers to making the transition to the world of work.
  •  The 18/19 policy also includes information on the new capability for employers to transfer up to 10% of their funds to another employer to support an apprenticeship standard.

The ESFA will shortly publish new funding rules, reflecting the updated policy, which will apply to 2018/19.