Changes to the Apprenticeship Funding System

As many of you may be aware, there have been some changes with regards to apprenticeship funding alongside the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy.

Apprenticeship Levy Paying Employers – If you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year, you must pay the apprenticeship levy from 6 April 2017. You can read guidance on how to pay the apprenticeship levy here.

You will report and pay your levy to HMRC through the PAYE process.

The levy will not affect the way you fund training for apprentices who started an apprenticeship programme before 1 May 2017. You’ll need to carry on funding training for these apprentices under the terms and conditions that were in place at the time the apprenticeship started.

Non-Levy Apprenticeship Employers – a new co-investment rate has been introduced on the 1st April 2019. Co-investment is when employers and government share the cost of training and assessing apprentices.

The chart shows more information below.

If you have any questions regarding the funding or would like a free consultation with Profile in order to better understand your options going forward and what the cost implications may be, please contact us on 01843 609 300 or email

10 Apprenticeships You Never Knew Existed

  1. Aerospace Engineer – Get your career off to a flying start by designing and maintaining aircraft or working on space vehicles and satellites.
  2. Bespoke Tailor –  This creative and skilled role at the heart of the iconic British garment industry could be your perfect fit.
  3. Cyber Intrusion Analyst – The chance to contribute to the crucial work of monitoring networks and detecting breaches in security.
  4. Digital Journalist – Get involved in the creation of fantastic, engaging content for TV, Radio and online.
  5. Equine Groom – Turn your equestrian hobby into a stable career in an industry that contributes billions to the British economy.
  6. Food Technologist – Have your cake and eat it too! Creativity and attention to detail will serve you well in the food industry.
  7. Fashion Studio Assistant – Passion for fashion? Help to capture the mood of the moment and contribute to the creation of a collection.
  8. Public Relations – Love to communicate? Use your influence in the exciting and challenging PR industry.
  9. Nuclear Scientist – Use your analytical skills to provide innovative solutions to the fast-expanding nuclear power industry.
  10. Video Game Quality Assurance – Use your Knowledge and zeal for gaming to test and fix computer games before they go live.

Continue reading 10 Apprenticeships You Never Knew Existed

Apprenticeship Levy Update

As you know from May 2017, there will be many changes to the way that Apprenticeships are funded. Below is a brief recap with links to more detailed information from the government website …

Levy Paying Employers
From 6th April 2017, all employers in the UK with a staff pay bill over £3m per year will be required to pay the newly introduced Apprenticeship Levy which is 0.5% of their pay bill. All employers have an allowance of £15,000 to offset against levy costs, so no levy will be paid on the first £3 million.

Example: a company has a wage cost of £4 million in a financial year, 0.5% levy is paid on £1 million giving £5000 to the levy fund, this will then be topped up by government by 20%, giving a total levy pot of £6000.
Employers with over 50 employees but under £3m pay bill
For employers with over 50 employees, but a staff pay bill of less than £3m per year, a co-investment of 10% of the cost of the apprenticeship will be required by the employer, with the government then fund the remaining 90% of the cost. This will be introduced from 1st May 2017.
For employers with less than 50 staff and less than £3m annual payroll
For 16-18 year Apprenticeships, no co-investment is required from the employer and there is a £1000 ‘employer’ incentive. For apprentices aged over 19, employer co-investment will be only 10% of the framework/standard value with no upper age limit.
Remember, all employers, levy and non-levy paying, receive a £1000 incentive for 16 -18 year olds. This is split into two payments triggered if the apprentice is still ‘in learning’ after 3 months and then again at 12 months. If a learner is 19-24 and has an educational health care plan, or is a care leaver, the employer is also entitled to incentives.
Please note: existing apprentices who start before 1st May 2017 will continue under the financial arrangements agreed at the outset of their apprenticeships and will not be affected by the Levy. If you have plans to recruit an apprentice before the 1st May, let the Business Development Team know before the 21st of April and we can arrange for the sign-up.
Standards & Frameworks
As well as the changes to the funding there are also major changes to the way Apprentice qualification are delivered. Where the framework changes to a standard, each standard will be allocated a specific level of funding to cover the total cost of the Apprenticeship, excluding functional skills which will have their own separate level of funding. Frameworks will continue for Apprentices, where there is not a standard available as yet. All Apprentices signed up to post after 1st May, will be subject to the ‘new funding regime’ whether they are on the ‘new standards’ or still on an existing framework.

Source: KEITS Newsletter Spring 2017

My First Month as a Digital Marketing Apprentice

Hi, I’m Lauren and I’m the new Digital Marketing Apprentice for Profile.

Throughout my first month here I have gained many new skills and experiences including going out and getting to speak to possible clients while getting to advertise different courses. I’m enjoying speaking to clients and having that interaction as it taught me how important personal relationships between companies and customers are. Creating and managing a company Instagram account and adopting my own filing system. I have very much enjoyed my first month and feel like I have been welcomed and accepted into the team very quickly.

This apprenticeship is all that I expected and more, I have already been given responsibility for my own projects such as compiling trackers and advertising courses online. I’ve also been able to complete my first unit of coursework as I’m currently working towards my Level 3 Diploma in Digital Marketing. I think I have progressed well and got to know my role within the company. I hope that I can carry on achieving within my role and progress steadily throughout my time here.

So far I’ve really been enjoying my apprenticeship with Profile and I hope to continue building upon my marketing experience and learning about all the different aspects of the way that a marketing department functions. It has been really interesting working in this environment and getting to see the way that the business works.

I think that it is really important that young people realise there are loads of different educational opportunities available to them leaving school. I decided to start my A levels in September and quickly realised that wasn’t the sort of learning style or environment for me. I had a look online at my options and quickly found an apprenticeship that appealed to me.

This experience has completely changed my view of education and opened up my mind to different paths to achieve my dream career. I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to complete my apprenticeship at Profile Development and Training and since then I haven’t looked back and I feel optimistic about my future.


Bullying & Harassment

In the previous edition we looked at the benefits of making workplaces equal and diverse places by creating a work environment that has different insights, perspectives and experiences, all combining to offer a wider range of ideas and skills.

So ‘job done’ right? No, not exactly. By law all organisations (and all staff within them) have to then treat each other with respect and dignity. So do they? Well, most do. But according to Acas, Bullying & Harassment in the workplace is on the rise.

So what is harassment? 

Harassment is “unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual”.


Harassment can be a one-off incident for example, if a colleague makes a racist comment, or it can be a series of incidents or bullying which takes place over time. It can happen at work, but also outside work at work-related trips or social events, such as staff parties or team days. It isn’t just face-to-face either, as anyone who uses social media knows, online ‘chat’ can be just as toxic.

Examples of harassment include:

  • Spreading malicious rumours
  • Unjustified criticism aimed at undermining you
  • Racist or homophobic comments, or jokes/pranks
  • Unjustified threats about your job
  • Physical violence
  • Humiliating behaviour

It doesn’t have to be linked directly to an obvious protected characteristic. In fact personal appearance, personality and body shape can also be used to harass and demean, as well as by association with someone from a protected group.

When ‘banter’ isn’t ‘banter’

Harassment is not always easy to define. A joke is a joke isn’t it? Well not if it offends, or is at the expense of someone else.

Donald Trump recently dismissed comments he had made about women as, ‘locker room banter’. Not only did this upset women, but also offend athletes and sports players who did not want to be associated with his derogatory comments – demonstrating nicely you can’t control who is offended, or how people feel. But things do change….Old TV sitcoms were full of racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments that, at the time, were ‘normal’. Now we are much more aware of the effect it has and is no longer acceptable.#

Why does it matter?

Often people are genuinely unaware of the affect their comments have or language and ‘joking’ is perceived as ‘normal’, but…..


Bullying and harassment can make someone feel anxious and humiliated. Stress, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem caused by harassment or bullying can lead to job insecurity, illness, absence from work, and even resignation. Not good for business at all.

Not only does it have a negative effect on the employee, but if serious enough, can result in legal action, damages and loss of reputation. Employers have a ‘duty of care’ to protect ALL employees, to act ‘fairly’ and follow policies and procedures if a complaint is made.

If you do feel you are being subjected to bullying or harassment let your assessor, manager, or work colleague know or you can seek advice elsewhere such as:

Citizens Advice Bureau

Acas helpline (0300 123 11 00)

Prevent – do you know what this means as an employer?

Prevent Explained

Prevent is a Government strategy about safeguarding people and communities from the threat of all types of extremism* and radicalisation*, including terrorism*. It is also about the promotion of British values.

Extremism and radicalisation might include violent Islamist groups, the extreme right wing and other causes.

At the heart of Prevent is safeguarding children and adults and providing early intervention to protect and divert people away from being drawn into terrorism.

Profile has a statutory duty to ‘prevent people  from being drawn into terrorism’. This is called the PREVENT DUTY, informing employers of apprentices helps us to do this.


Why do we need to be aware of prevent and extremism?

Prevent is not just about extremism, it is about promoting and teaching values such as tolerance and mutual respect. Profile will make sure any decisions with learners are appropriate and suitable.

Is extremism really a risk in our area?

Extremism takes many forms, including political, religious and misogynistic* extremism. Some of these may be a greater threat in some areas. Your local council and police will be able to advise if you have specific concerns or questions.

Prevent uses a range of measures to challenge extremism including:

  • Working with and supporting community groups and social enterprise projects who provide services and support to vulnerable people.
  • Working with faith groups and institutions to assist them in providing support and guidance to people who may be vulnerable.
  • Supporting local schools, local industry and partner agencies through engagement, advice and training.
  • Supporting people who are at risk of being drawn into terrorist or extremist activity through the Channel process.

What is Channel?

Channel is a programme that provides support to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism or extremism. The programme uses a multi-agency approach to protect vulnerable people by:

  • identifying individuals at risk.
  • assessing the nature and extent of the risk.
  • developing the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.

Fore more information, visit

What does this mean in practice and what are Profile doing?

Many of the things we already do at Profile help learners to be positive, happy members of society, which will contribute to Prevent. These include:

  • exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity
  • challenging prejudices and racist comments
  • developing critical thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity
  • promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
  • active promotion of British values

We will provide learners with information so they understand how to protect themselves from extremist views that go against British values that they may encounter, now or later in their lives. We use a range of methods to protect learners from the risk of radicalisation, such as filters on equipment that access the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material and by vetting visitors who come into our training centres to deliver sessions. All our delivery staff are subject to DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks.

What can you do as an employer?

  1. You have a responsibility to share any concerns regarding your staff and allow the appropriate personnel to explore what the best course of action might be.
  2. If  you are concerned that someone you know may be at risk of radicalisation, you can call the local police on 101 or call the confidential anti-terrorist hotline number 0800 789 321 3.
  3. Provide opportunities for employees to discuss their own concerns about extremism, events in the news and about British values.
  4. Be alert to any changes in your employee’s behaviour that, in your professional opinion, give you cause for concern. There are often no obvious signs, however the following information may help:


Change in behaviour and dress, allowing for trends in fashion, particularly in their late teens and early 20s.

Physical signs could indicate concerns relating to extremism such as tattoos that far right* organisation supporters will sometimes display.


There is no single way of identifying who is likely to be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. Factors that may have some bearing on someone becoming vulnerable include:

  • peer pressure
  • influence from other people via the internet
  • bullying
  • crime against them or their involvement in crime, e.g. race/hate crime, anti social behaviour
  • family tensions
  • lack of self-esteem or identity
  • personal or political grievances

Concerns which should always be passed on are:

  • evidence of sharing of extremist websites
  • evidence of homophobic, religion based or racist bullying

External Sources

The following websites may also be useful for further information: HM Government Prevent duty guidance: for England and Wales.

What is Prevent? Let’s Talk About It.

* Key Terms:

Extremism: vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of the law and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.

Radicalisation: the process by which a person comes to support extremism and terrorism.

Terrorism: a violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause.

Misogynistic: showing hatred, dislike, mistrust or mistreatment of women.

Far right: groups or individuals who plan or commit serious criminal activity motivated by a political or ideological viewpoint which includes all or some of the following extreme nationalism, racialism, fascism, neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism.

Profile Retain Matrix Standard

Profile Development and Training are pleased to announce that we have retained the Matrix for a further 3 years.

It is the unique quality standard for organisations to assess and measure their advice and support services, which ultimately supports individuals in their choice of career, learning, work and life goals.

With ‘Opening doors to a better future’ being our mission statement and the overall ethos of Profile being one of continuous improvement for the benefit of the learner, the employer and partner organisations; achieving and maintaining the Matrix Standard is very important to us and we were keen to undertake the assessment to be confident that Profile are providing the best possible support, advice and guidance to learners, employees and customers.

Here’s what Profile’s Managing Director, Andrea Webb, had to say about the process:

“I enjoyed going through the MATRIX assessment process, as I know we have a strong team and the service we provide is of an exceptionally high quality. The assessment process gave us the opportunity to prove this good quality and the acknowledgement of the continuous improvement we strive to maintain”

Profile went through the re-accreditation process during June 2016 and were assessed in 4 key areas; Leadership and Management, Resources, Service Delivery and Continuous Quality Improvement.

The Matrix assessor highlighted the following key strengths:

  • Clear commitment and enthusiasm from staff, learners, partners and employers.
  • Proactive and supportive with all partnerships
  • Excellent communication throughout the company.
  • All staff and learners feel involved.
  • Clear culture of continuous improvement and evolution within the company.
  • Strong links to partner organisations so learners received the best support.
  • Effective use of technology to support and improve our service.

The Directors of Profile Development and Training would like to thank all our staff, external partners, clients and learners helping our organisation achieve the Matrix Standard. And a massive thank you to all of the great comments from some of our learners, employers and partners throughout the process. Here’s a little of what they had to say about Profile:

Comments from service users:

“When I first started I thought I would feel really out of my depth. The support from Profile and the Handbook I was given really helped. Without this help I would not have got my job”

“I was amazed at how Profile support you personally, as an individual. We really struck up a good rapport”

“I really appreciate that I get to make my own choices and decisions, and never feel that I’m being told what I must do”

“Profile helps you to learn and complete a qualification despite the pressures of your home life. I will really miss them when I’ve completed my course”

“They help you chase your dreams!”

“With the support and encouragement from Profile you realise that you really can complete a qualification. They give you confidence and you learn that you really can do it”

Comments from partners:

“I wish that some of our other providers were as good as Profile. They focus on the learner more than anything else and are there to benefit the learner and not ‘line their own pockets’”

“Profile helped me find a number of really good learners who are helping me build my business. I would not be where I am today without Profile. I would probably still be a one-man band”

“We wish all our subcontractors completed as well as Profile do. We are able to trust them and to know that the learner is always at the core of what they do”

Comments from staff:

“When you are working remotely there is a danger of being unsupported. At Profile there is really good communication and you feel part of the team. Information and policies are clear so that we all know where we stand”

“We really work hard to build relationships with learners as well as co-workers. We work well together to support and help each other”

“Profile is a small organisation but very responsive and well-known in the community. We are a forward thinking cohesive team, with our own ideas being taken on board”

Thanks again one and all for your great comments!

NCFE CACHE Level 4 Advanced Practitioner

Our Level 4 Courses require learners to hold a full Level 3 Certificate in the relevant areas OR have relevant work experience.

We offer two courses at Level 4:

Both courses are delivered using combination of online resources and 1-2-1 tutor support.

Neither of these courses require an observation in post but you will need to be in an appropriate and relevant job role to undertake these qualifications. The cost of these courses (£811) can be fully funded by Advanced Learner Loans.

Each application will be considered on an individual basis. For more information, please complete the relevant contact form below.

NCFE CACHE Level 4 Certificate for the Early Years Advanced Practitioner

NCFE CACHE Level 4 Certificate for the Advanced Practitioner in Schools and Colleges

You’re hired! David Cameron makes Lord Sugar his ‘enterprise tsar’ to promote apprenticeships!

“Not enough of our young people know about apprenticeships and what they offer” says the successful business man and the star of the hit TV series The Apprentice.

Businessman Lord Sugar has been appointed by the Government to be its new enterprise tsar – championing apprenticeships and business start-ups as part of the drive to encourage more young people to start their own businesses and to consider apprenticeships and to support the governments commitment in creating 3 million apprenticeships

“I’m delighted to be taking on this challenge. I built successful businesses with the support of hundreds of talented young people who learned their skills on the job – exactly the kinds of skills you learn in an apprenticeship. But not enough of our young people know about apprenticeships and what they offer, and too few feel empowered to set up their own business.” – Lord Sugar says.

The Apprentice boss will be travelling the length and breadth of the country in a series of road shows to tell young people why apprenticeships are a great way for them to build new skills.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “We want every young person in Britain to get on and build a great life for themselves, whether it’s by starting an apprenticeship or setting up their own business. Lord Sugar has huge credibility among young people and I am delighted that he has agreed to help the government bang the drum for apprenticeships and enterprise.”

Our Governments response to our Save Our Early Years letter

Earlier this month we wrote to the Government in support of the #SaveOurEarlyYears campaign regarding the well warranted fears over future childcare provision, and to ask them to reverse their decision that will have a catastrophic effect on the childcare sector.

In 2014, the Government altered the requirements for those taking a Level 3 in childcare. Now, all Level 3 Early Years Educators (EYEs) must have at least a C grade in GCSE English and maths to count in the ratios – with alternatives such as Functional Skills no longer considered as an option.

So what are the effects of this policy?

First of all, the current policy is turning away a workforce. How are providers expected to meet the demand for childcare along with the additional 30 hour free entitlement when they are experiencing a shortage of staff members?

The Government’s current policy is at odds with the wider approach it has taken, both in Apprenticeships policy and in other sectors where Functional Skills are accepted. Without Functional Skills accepted as an alternative to GCSE English and maths for Early Years Educators to count in the ratios:

  • Childcare providers cannot recruit enough staff
  • Potential new recruits, who have all the skills, including good English and maths, to be excellent Early Years Educators, will be barred from the sector.
  • Parents childcare bills will rise as the cost to providers of employing highly qualified staff is passed on
  • The Government is limiting its own chances of hitting its target of achieving three million apprentices by 2020.

Here at Profile we also agree that English and maths are important – but the insistence on GCSE as the only accepted qualification for those wanting to work in my sector, without the consideration of equitable alternatives such as Functional Skills, is short-sighted and potentially disastrous and believe the English and Maths skills should be relative to their sector. We are sure that you do not need to understand Pythagoras Theorem or how to solve trigonometry when working with 0-5 year olds.

So what was the response?

“Dear Mrs Webb MA

I am writing on behalf of the Secretary of State to thank you for your email of 14 May about the qualification requirements for Level 3 Early Years Educator staff. I have noted the concerns you raised as part of the Save Our Early Years campaign.

We recognise that early years staff do an incredibly important job and want to make sure that those working with our youngest children have the specialist knowledge and skills they need to support early learning and development. Strong numeracy and literacy skills, amongst others, are essential for staff working with young children because a key part of their role is to help children learn how to communicate effectively and understand basic mathematical concepts.

In 2013 government introduced the Early Years Educator qualifications criteria to make sure that level 3 qualifications prepare learners for the role they may hold in a childcare setting. Individuals can gain Early Years Educator status either through a standalone qualification or via the apprenticeship route which will support them to achieve GCSEs. Staff working in level 3 roles can have a range of responsibilities, all of which require them to be highly skilled and well-qualified. Level 3 staff are likely to work directly with children, many will have additional responsibility as room leaders and some will lead and manage an entire childcare setting.

The requirement for level 3 staff to hold a GCSE maths and English at grade C or above was introduced to make sure that new entrants to the workforce have the numeracy and literacy skills they need to operate in a level 3 role. Government chose to require GCSEs because they cover a wider breadth of content than functional skills and because they are designed to support further study, which is important for career progression.

I note the concerns you have expressed about a reduction in the number of learners taking up level 3 early years qualifications. Our position on GSCEs is designed to develop a well-qualified and highly skilled early years workforce. The provider survey (2013) showed there was a substantial increase in the number of staff working in full day care providers between 2008 and 2013, with the number rising by 31 per cent, from 178,500 to 233,200. We also know from the provider survey that there were 13,500 apprentices employed in full-day care settings. That’s equivalent to 6% of all staff in full-day care settings.

We do not want to unintentionally undo the excellent progress that has been made over the past few years in which qualification levels have continued to rise. In 2013 an impressive 87% of the 233,200 staff working in full day care settings held at least a level 3 qualification. When early years employers expressed concerns about GCSEs as an entry requirement for level 3 early years courses, we listened and moved to an exit requirement. We continue to value the views of those who work in the sector and the views of parents and we will make sure that we consider all of the evidence available to us on such an important matter.

As part of the work to develop an early years workforce strategy, Minister Gyimah and policy officials have been talking to childcare employers and training organisations about early years qualifications, including the GCSE requirement. Officials have also been considering the available data on the take up of early years training routes. We want to understand the challenges that some childcare employers are telling us they are experiencing, and find ways to tackle these whilst ensuring a quality workforce remains.

We are considering the information that we have gathered on this matter.

Thank you for writing on this important matter.”

The effect it’s had so far?

We found it rather interesting that when they quoted the figures in their response that they only included up to 2013, when the policy was beginning to change. Below we have included figures of the number of apprenticeships within the Early Years setting from 2013 and the steady decline since the inclusion of these new government rules.

2012/2013 – 26,300

2013/2014 – 24,320

2014/2015 – 21,900

Our MD Mrs Andrea Webb has Functional Skills in Level 2 and a Masters Degree in Education and has taught in schools for nearly 16 years and even Andrea would be unable to work in a childcare setting.

How do you show your support?

To show your support for #SaveOurEarlyYears campaign:

  • Share this post by using any of the social media icons below
  • Visit their site and share it across social media site using the hashtag #SaveOurEarlyYears
  • Send a message to the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan that this policy needs to be amended.

If you are a childcare provider and you are looking for more information on apprenticeships, please contact us on 01843 609300 or email us at