Head of Education, Tina Rook said: "Some of you may  have heard the term ‘Trailblazers’ in the press or via Saks Apprenticeships and wondered what does this mean, will it apply to me?Well, Trailblazers is the name of the project given to the apprenticeship reforms. The current apprenticeship frameworks are being phased out and replaced with new, higher standards which have been designed to ensure learners are ‘job ready’.

"There have also been a number of changes to the way apprentices are funded;  16-18 year old’s will still be fully funded, and all employers will receive a payment of £500 once the learner has been signed up for six months, there will then be an additional payment of £500 once they have completed 12 months of the programme; (this does not include the induction period.

"Employers taking on an apprentice aged 19 or over, please be aware you will be required to pay a 10% cash contribution cost towards their training.
"So for example, if the training cost was £10, the employer would need to pay a £1 contribution to the training provider.

"Another major change to the framework includes a new ‘Trade Test’ style exam which all apprentices will have to undertake once they are ready to complete their qualification. This exam is designed to prove to an external examiner- that has had no previous contact with a learner- they have all the skills and knowledge needed to be a confident and successful employee.
"However the Beauty therapy standard  has not yet been approved, so it appears that the old frameworks will continue until further notice. However, the new funding mechanism above will still apply, so for learners over the age of 19 there will be a 10% training cost to the employer.

"Also advanced apprenticeships (the old NVQ level 3) will continue as the new one has yet to be fully finalised.

"While we appreciate that there are some big changes ahead we would like to assure both our learners and employers that we will continue to deliver first class training to all learners, we also have a dedicated team at Head Office ready to support and answer any questions you may have."

If you have any questions regarding Trailblazers, we would be happy to chat to you, call 01325 341629, or email info@sakseducation.co.uk
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