Kate Danbury

How to deal with funding around re-engaging learners


We have a couple of learners who, despite repeated attempts for engagement from us as the training provider,  have not engaged in learning to date and while they are now on a BIL, some funding has been taken from the start of the apprenticeship. They have now decided, with a very clear plan from their employer, to come back onto programme/restart and the aim is that they will complete, given appropriate support. How should we manage their funding? Do we resume them onto programme and continue to take funds until they run out on the assumption that they will complete beyond planned end date, and will therefore continue to be active in learning beyond the last funding draw down dates? Is there anything we need to be aware of where draw down amounts are off kilter with actual learning hours - is it okay to continue and eventually catch up or do we need to do something different?

Also what should we do if they don't effectively complete after coming back onto programme?

Thank you and apologies if this is confusing, I just need to make sure that we have the right advice to act appropriately.



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Ben James

When you say they "have not engaged in learning to date" does this mean any learning at all? If so, you shouldn't have started them on the ILR and received funds because;

Learning start date

This is when learning, which is being funded by the apprenticeship budget, begins. It can include off-the-job training and English and maths. It does not include enrolment, initial assessment or induction. There must be evidence of learning on this start date. 

The actions you should take will depend on when all of this happened (i.e., their start date, their BIL date) so we'd need that information first before giving specific advice. 

As for the more generic question of whether you'd deliver past the PED, that's kind of at your discretion, but most providers would. It will be up to you to track progress and determine whether or not you feel that the learner is going to achieve, whether it's past the PED or not.

If it seems unlikely, you may consider withdrawing them after having discussed it with the employer and learner.

If you think they will achieve, but just a bit late, then I'd suggest it would seem counter-productive to withdraw them. Any money you might be "losing" by having them on programme despite not receiving any more on-programme payments would likely be outweighed by the 20% completion payment you'd receive once they'd finished/at least attempted EPA.