Apprenticeships Reforms and Levy in Hertfordshire

Introduction to Apprenticeship Reforms

Apprenticeships are always changing and 2017 saw some major reforms. The changes mostly impacted on training providers as the previous Apprenticeship Frameworks were replaced with Apprenticeship standards. The reforms aim to simplify the system and put employers in charge of the design and assessment of the new Apprenticeships.

How funding is accessed also changed. It is now managed through an online Apprenticeship Service (AS) although initially it will be for larger employers only. It is anticipated AS will also be the mechanism for Apprenticeship certification alongside a one stop shop for other related services such as Apprenticeship vacancy matching. It was put in place in April 2017.

This may sound very daunting but don’t worry as the new apprenticeships have been designed by employers to better reflect the needs of business and give learners more routes into, and progression from, apprenticeships.

If you want to learn more about the new Apprenticeships call Skillmakers or sit yourself down with a cup of tea and read on.

The reforms can trace their origins back to the recommendations made by the 2012 Richard Review. In England apprenticeship standards and assessment methods started to be developed in 2013 by employers formed into groups known as Trailblazers. 

If you would like to get involved with the development of a new Apprenticeship standard then Guidance for groups of employers (trailblazers) on proposing and developing a new apprenticeship standard can be found here: 

The new standards introduced in 2017 are designed by employers and cover a single occupation.


They include:

  • End point assessment
  • A holistic element to end-point assessment
  • Grading where possible
  • Assessment that covers theoretical and practical elements
  • No formal requirement for qualifications
  • ‘Mastery mechanism’ – with a single approach to assessment against the standard
  • English and Maths – ambition for GCSEs although Functional Skills is still ‘appropriate’
  • Minimum 12 months duration
  • Minimum 20% off-the-job training
  • Use of technology in design, delivery and assessment.

The reform formed part of broader changes to the apprenticeships system.


These include

  • Changes to the funding rules, methodology, levy and voucher scheme
  • Creation of the Institute for Apprenticeships
  • Legislation to protect the term apprenticeship in the Enterprise Bill
  • Launch of the Apprenticeship Service (AS).