16 August 2018

In May 2018 the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) announced that it would be reviewing the funding bands for 31 standards, including the hair professional apprenticeship standards, at the request of the Department for Education.

In July 2018 the hair professional trailblazer steering group provided a comprehensive rationale, backed up by quotes from providers, recommending an increase to the funding band because of the additional costs required to deliver a qualification which is higher than the old level 2 framework apprenticeships plus a demanding end-point assessment.  

The rationale has been rejected by the IfA who have now formally confirmed the outcome of the funding review - a reduction of more than 20% from £9,000 to £7,000.  The changes still have to be confirmed by the Secretary of State, but as there is no further right of appeal this is expected to be a formality.  Once approval is confirmed there will be 2 months’ notice before the funding decreases take effect for new starters.

I am totally shocked by the decision to cut the funding bands

Wendy Cummins, Chair of the hair professional steering group and owner of Quiffys in Eastleigh said, “I am totally shocked by the decision to cut the funding bands. The Government’s aim was to have a flagship apprenticeship programme which cannot be achieved if there is insufficient funding.  The hair professional standards took two years for employers to develop, with constant policy changes which were both frustrating and time-consuming. Just as the industry is adopting the new style standards, this blow falls.”

Trevor Luker, AELP Sector Lead, Training Provider and Steering group member said “The hair professional standard was only approved for delivery in May 2017. We are only 13 months in to the new standard and the end point assessment (EPA) outcomes for learners are as yet untested. The hair professional standard was approved for 3 years and should be left as it is in terms of the structure / delivery costs until there is more empirical evidence to support a review, based on known costs and outcomes including First Time Pass Rates (FTP) for the EPA.”

 This will have a negative effect on hairdressing training and the industry for the future

Andrew Collinge, Andrew Collinge salon and training Academy said “Employers and training providers are only just getting to work with and adapt to the new standards and recent changes to apprenticeship funding, and now the funding regime will be changing yet again.  This will have a negative effect on hairdressing training and the industry for the future.” 

Hellen Ward, Richard Ward Salon and Metro Spa and Employer Champion for the hair professional trailblazer group said: “the hair professional standards are one of the most popular new style Trailblazer apprenticeships in terms of apprenticeship starts. We are dismayed that the encouraging take-up will be reversed due to funding changes beyond our control.”

 For more information on the Trailblazer Apprenticeships to date, visit the Institute for Apprentices website  https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org