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Apprenticeship training in England is changing and the new Trailblazer qualifications are being developed further information can be found on these at  You can find further information on each of these new qualifications here.

The new Training Levy System

When the New Trailblazer Initiative is introduced it will be accompanied by the introduction of an Apprenticeship Levy bringing in Employer Owned Apprenticeship Training. The apprenticeship levy will come into effect in April 2017, at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill. A £15,000 allowance for employers will mean that the levy will only be paid on employers’ pay bills over £3 million.  Less than 2% of UK employers will pay the levy.  Appendix J details the Governments response to the Apprenticeship levey consultation which was published in November 2015.

Training to meet Legislative Requirements

The Craft Bakers Association have joined together cpl-elarning, they provide online courses in:- HACCP, COSHH, Health and Safety & Food Hygiene.  Further information can be found as Appendix K.

Other providers are available and the ones that are delivered by providers that have been approved by Improve can be found at


A Traineeship is an education and training programme with work experience that is focused on giving young people the skills and experience that employers are looking for. At its core are work preparation training, English and maths for those who need it, and a high quality work experience placement.  Traineeships can last up to six months and include:- Work preparation training English and maths support if required;   A work experience placement of a duration between six weeks to five months with an employer; In addition to these core requirements the training provider can add flexible additional content to meet the needs of your business and the local labour market.  Appendix L gives more information on this.  Appendix M gives details of how vacancies are placed and the information required regarding the job role.

The National Apprenticeship Service

The National Apprenticeship Service can assist employers find an apprentice.  The employer places the vacancy through an approved training provider and the provider can put the vacancy on the National; Apprenticeship Service website.  Further information is available here.

The role of Sector Skills Councils & National Skills Academy’s

Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) are employer-led organisations that cover specific industries in the United Kingdom. They have four key goals:-

  • to support employers in developing and managing apprenticeship standards
  • to reduce skills gaps and shortages and improve productivity
  • to boost the skills of their sector workforces
  • to improve learning supply

SSCs aim to achieve these goals by developing an understanding of the future skills needs in their industry, and contributing to the development of National Occupational Standards, the design and approval of apprenticeship frameworks and the New Apprenticeship Standards and creating Sector Qualification Strategies. There are currently nineteen SSCs, covering about 80 per cent of the British workforce.

The National Skills Academy (NSA) network was established by the Government to address the need for a world-class workforce with better skills than ever before; employer-led centres of excellence, delivering the skills required by each sector of the economy.

National Skills Academies work with Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) and other industry bodies to drive change and achieve priorities identified by employers for their sector. They act as a first point of contact for employers to quality-assured training provision. Licensed by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) through the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), Skills Academies work collaboratively to share best practice in their respective sectors. For further information please click on the links on this page. 

The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink can be found here

Apprenticeship Age Grants

The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16- to 24- year-olds (AGE 16 to 24) supports businesses that would not otherwise be in a position to do so, to recruit individuals aged 16 to 24 into employment through the apprenticeship programme.  It is a national programme but in some Local authority areas, for example Manchester the eligibility criteria may be different to those set out in the national programme.  There are criteria to meet but a grant of £1,500.00 can be paid to the employer for recruiting an apprentice with the required age group this can be increased in certain circumstances.  Appendix N is an Employer factsheet on the national programme of Apprenticeship Age Grants and Appendix O is additional information for locally manages programmes, this one is for employers in Manchester.