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13 December 2018
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Important changes to the delivery of Apprenticeships in England

Fraser Talbot is professional standards and education manager at BIFM
Fraser Talbot is professional standards and education manager at BIFM
9 June 2016 | Fraser Talbot

Apprenticeships are government-funded, work-based training programmes for people aged 16 and over.


They combine on the job training with nationally recognised qualifications and are a great way to build a skilled and motivated workforce. It can equip apprentices with the knowledge and skills for a successful career and can provide employers with an efficient and effective means of developing the skills for their workforce. BIFM qualifications at Levels 2, 3 , 4 and 5 are included within the existing FM Apprenticeship frameworks.

The government has set a target of three million apprenticeship starts in 2020. The Richard Review published in 2013 identified key areas in the existing Apprenticeship programme where improvements could be made. The government set out its planned reforms in The Future of Apprenticeships in England: Implementation Plan. The intention of the reforms is to have:

  • Employers driving the development of new standards;
  • A revised approach to assessment with where competence is demonstrated through a holistic end assessment;
  • A simplified system, with standards short and easy to understand; and
  • Employers having purchasing power to enable them to act as customers.

Employers working together to design the standards and assessment plans is a key feature of the new approach. It is intended to give employers a greater say in the knowledge and skills required that should lead to higher quality apprenticeships more relevant to industry. BIFM has worked collaboratively with industry for a number of years to develop and maintain our professional qualifications offering to ensure the FM industry has the skilled individuals it requires.

BIFM is working closely with employer groups to develop new standards for apprenticeships in FM that include Supervisor and Manager Levels and degree apprenticeships at Bachelors and Masters level. This will provide employers with opportunities to have apprenticeships at all levels from operations to strategic and senior management.

The way the government funds apprenticeships will change in April 2017. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy. The apprenticeship levy requires all employers operating in the UK with a wage bill over £3 million each year to make an investment in apprenticeships. Employers can then draw down funding to contribute to the investment of training of apprenticeships.

It is crucial that employers are engaged with the changes to apprenticeships. The changes that are implemented now will have an impact on your workforce in the future. For those employers who are contributing to the apprenticeship levy it is critical you know and can influence what you will get in return on your apprenticeship investment. The employer group developing the Apprenticeship for FM Supervisor has issued a consultation on the planned assessment for this standard. The consultation can be accessed via the BIFM website and employers are strongly encouraged to provide their feedback on the proposed plans.


Fraser Talbot,  Professional Standards & Education Manager at BIFM