Improvements to the apprenticeship system

Government changes to make it easier for employers and apprentices to access opportunities.

20 July 2023

The government has announced a set of enhancements to the apprenticeship system. These improvements aim to simplify the process for employers to acquire apprenticeships and for learners, parents, and employers to discover suitable skill opportunities.

Employers need to know about upcoming improvements in the apprenticeship system, which include getting rid of unnecessary burdens when hiring apprentices:

  • From 17 July there will be a reduction in the number of steps that smaller employers need to make to register an account on the Apprenticeships Service.
  • Allowing expert providers to take on more of the administration from employers. Providers will be able to use their expert status as a marketing tool and mark of excellence. The pilot commences in autumn 2023 to be rolled out widely from August 2024.
  • In August 2024 employers will need to provide less documentation, to prove that their apprentice is legally employed.
  • From September 2023, once registered for funding, small employers can start their apprentice straight away, or even backdate by one month. Employers must wait for all paperwork to be completed, which can delay the apprentice getting started. 

Ensuring that apprenticeships continue to meet employers’ needs:

  • The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education will review content of the most-used standards so they reflect technological developments and up-to-date technical skills, which will be completed by the end of December 2023.

Helping learners and employers find the skills and opportunities that they need:

  • Launching a new single digital starting point to the skills system in autumn 2023 to showcase all the different skills offers available, making it easier for everyone to search for and compare learning or apprenticeship opportunities that suit them.
  • UCAS will pilot a service to match talent to employer vacancies from November 2023, plus young people in the pilot areas will benefit from enhanced support with making apprenticeship applications from February 2024. This is in addition to previously announced plans for UCAS to start displaying apprenticeship opportunities to students from autumn 2023, and to enable students to apply for apprenticeships via UCAS from autumn 2024.
  • Promoting apprenticeships and skills offers in Jobcentre Plus through providing work coaches with the knowledge and information to refer their customers to local apprenticeship and training opportunities, through a mix of events, communication and updated guidance.

Access our resources on apprenticeships: