Apprenticeship Training Agency vs Apprenticeship Training Provider: What’s the difference?

Young Apprentice completes practical work - Apprenticeship Training Agency vs. Apprenticeship Training Provider

If you’re an employer looking for more information about apprenticeship training providers, you might have been confused to find two different training provider registers; the Apprenticeship Training Agency Register and the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers. In a period of significant change after the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, many employers are somewhat in the dark about the options available to them. But just what are the differences between these two registers of providers?

Apprenticeship Training Agencies

Firstly, the Register of Apprenticeship Training Agencies (ATA’s) lists agencies that specifically support employers who wish to take on an apprentice but can’t guarantee their security of employment

To be eligible to operate an apprenticeship training agency, organisations must be registered on the register of approved ATAs. An ATA serves as an employment agency for apprentices, outsourcing the training activity for the apprentices’ specific pathway (such as Digital Marketing, or Software Developer) to training providers.

The ATA model offers several benefits for the employer- including responsibility for the wages, tax, National Insurance, and administration of the apprentice. However, the intention is that ATA’s should only be used by organisations that can’t guarantee the security of employment for an apprentice for the duration of their apprenticeship, if they were to recruit them directly.

Often under this model apprentices will work for more than one employer across the course of their qualification, which can directly impact their quality of learning and work for their employer.

For most organisations, the ATA model won’t be the best suited, as it will give them less control over the specifics of their apprentice(s) and the training that constitutes the backbone of their qualification.

Apprenticeship training session - Apprenticeship Training Agency vs. Apprenticeship Training Provider

Apprenticeship Training Providers

The second, The Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RATP) is where you can find Just IT and a number of other providers. This register is split between both further education colleges, and independent training providers (such as Just IT).

This register is for both Levy and non-Levy paying companies, and provides a more rigorous standard of training and support.

The advantages of this model include supervision of the apprentice across their chosen pathway, confidence that the organisation has been vetted to a high standard and regular Ofsted inspections with publicly published results.

Unlike the ATA register, organisations that are listed on the RATP have been through an application process with the ESFA that considers due diligence, capability, quality and financial health to assess their ability to deliver high-quality apprenticeship training.

Recruiting an apprentice can seem like a complicated procedure, but in reality, the changes in legislation in the last year have made the process simpler.

Even without access to Levy funding, the government will currently still subsidise 90% of the cost of employing an apprentice for organisations with over 50 employees. For organisations with under 50 employees, the government recently allocated £650 million to cover 100% of the costs, with an additional £1000 incentive for choosing an apprentice aged between 16-18. For all other levy paying companies, see our guide on how to get started.

Here at Just IT we’ve paired over 2,000 learners with successful companies through apprenticeships. If you’d like to know more about the apprenticeship levy, sourcing an apprentice, or how to fill your skill gaps, give us a call on 020 7426 9835.

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