Apprenticeship Service Engagement

Supporting users to access funding for backdated starts in AS


The ESFA funding rules state that where apprenticeships are to be funded using the apprenticeship service, funding must be agreed and in place before training starts. We are aware that some training providers have started apprentices training before this has been done and this means that funding cannot be claimed. In recognition of the transitional phase we are currently in, and of the need for employers to be able to claim the new incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice, we will now provide a time-limited solution which can be requested. This solution will allow reservations to be set-up or backdated to the beginning of the current funding year and will then allow training providers to access funding from that date. This process is only available for apprentices that have not already been funded using an ESFA contract in accordance with the funding rules.

If you want to request this solution please contact the apprenticeship support team on 08000 150 600, who will require evidence from you of agreement by the training provider and employer to the request. You can find the latest information about this and other important apprenticeship service updates on the Apprenticeship Service Support Centre, ESFA Communities and by following us on  @ESFAdigital on Twitter.


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Paul Taylor

This is a welcome update. It would be useful if the Agency continued to monitor this though as we may need this flexibility beyond April 21. The flexibility acknowledges the difficulties of bedding this in. However, March and April are not peak recruitment months - April has 2 months of Easter in - and from April all starts will need to go through the Apps Service with funds reserved for non-levy payers so the volume will ramp up from April onwards and most significantly in early Autumn 21

Permanently deleted user

Agree with Paul that the flexibility will be needed beyond April 2021.

We have the additional complication that many of our apprentices work at businesses that are temporarily closed or due to the pandemic. No one is contactable from the employer side to get the evidence.

Dee Vickers

Apprenticeship Service Engagement: we have the following situation with 10 employers who all had apprentice starts from 1-Aug-20. The employers have registered with the Apprenticeship Service, the apprentices actually started on 1-Sep but due to a lack of understanding on how the system worked, they reserved funding after the apprentices had started.

Hindsight being a wonderful thing, we realise that this should not have happened and have put processes in place to prevent this occurring. But, those employers who were in this position and who did not reserve funds have had their apprentices backdated, those who took the trouble to reserve funding, have not.

There is nothing in the funding guidelines, technical funding guide or provider support manual to suggest how we deal with these 10 employers. We can't stop and restart them (the Provider Support Manual states "You must not make any changes to the start or planned end dates after the funding qualifying period, except to correct errors"), there's no BIL, no change in learning aims, no change to TNP, no change to employer or training provider.

How do we solve this issue please? Clearly, the employers want their incentive payments!

Apprenticeship Service Engagement

Dee Vickers - please contact the apprenticeship support team on 08000 150 600 to discuss 

Richard Brooks

Apprenticeship Service Engagement We have a similar issue with over 20 Apprentices recorded late in our data because the employers had issues reserving funding for the time the apprentices started. This means our funding is profiled late, the employers incentive grants don't line up correctly with the 12 and 52 weeks the apprentices actually started. We were told by ESFA at the time that the only option was to change the dates in our ILR to match the months the employers finally managed to reserve funding in the DAS. Can you publish how these are now being resolved?