An Accessible Apprenticeship is a flexible, bespoke programme designed for those with additional learning needs and disabilities.
What is an Accessible Apprenticeship?
An Accessible Apprenticeship is a flexible, bespoke programme designed for those with additional learning needs and disabilities
Almost all Apprenticeships can be made accessible and having additional needs shouldn’t restrict people’s employment opportunities
Under section 20 of the Equality Act 2010, it is the duty of education and training providers, as well as other related service providers to make reasonable adjustments for people with learning difficulties and disabilities.
What is a reasonable adjustment
A reasonable adjustment is a change made so that people with learning difficulties and disabilities are not placed at a disadvantaged compared to people without learning difficulties or disabilities.
Reasonable adjustments include things like:
- changing the recruitment process so a candidate can be considered for a job
- doing things another way, such as allowing someone with social anxiety disorder to have their own desk instead of hot-desking
- making physical changes to the workplace, like installing a ramp for a wheelchair user or an audio-visual fire alarm for a deaf person
- letting a disabled person work somewhere else, such as on the ground floor for a wheelchair user
- changing their equipment, for instance providing a special keyboard if they have arthritis
- allowing employees who become disabled to make a phased return to work, including flexible hours or part-time working
- offering employees training opportunities, recreation, and refreshment facilities
Reasonable adjustments should also be considered for the apprentice’s end point assessment. Further details on reasonable adjustments can be found in the Institute of Apprenticeships guidance where their reasonable adjustments matrix can also be downloaded. The matrix, based on the Higher Education Statistical Authority’s (HESA) disability grouping framework, can help End Point Assessment Organisations in making suitable and consistent judgements and provide an appropriate and manageable approach to supporting apprentices.
Funding for Providers
Learning Support Funding
Learning Support funding is funding that the apprenticeship providers can use to make reasonable adjustments to support an apprentice with learning difficulties and disabilities to enable them to complete their apprenticeship. This could also include any reasonable adjustment to allow the apprentice to complete the English and Maths requirements at the end-point assessment.
The funding is a fixed amount of £150 per month that can only be claimed by the provider for each month where reasonable adjustments are delivered, evidenced, and involve a monitory cost.
Employers and providers taking on apprentices aged 19 to 24 with an Education, Health and Care Plan each received a payment of £1,000, extending the financial support available for all 16 to 18 year olds.
Funding for Employers
As previously mentioned, Employers and providers taking on apprentices aged 19 to 24 with an Education, Health and Care Plan each receive a payment of £1,000.
Extra Support for small employers
For employers employing fewer than 50 people, if the apprentice is aged between 19 and 24 years old and has an EHC plan, the government will fund all of the apprenticeship training costs, up to the maximum value of the funding band for the apprenticeship as opposed to requiring the employer to pay 5% of this cost if the apprentice did not have an EHC plan.
Funding for individuals with Learning Difficulties or Disabilities
Access to Work Funding
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) provides Access to Work funding to contribute to support beyond reasonable adjustments for people with a disability, health condition or mental health condition that affects their ability to work.
Exceptions to the regular English and Maths minimum requirements, for people with special educational needs, learning difficulties or disabilities
For people with special educational needs, learning difficulties or disabilities, there are exceptions to the regular Level 2 English and Maths minimum requirements in order to apply for an Apprenticeship.
In most cases, passing Level 2 English and Maths will not be required and you can read more about the different exceptions that can be made in the following guidance:
As a provider, it is best to establish the exceptions to a young person on a case-by case basis. Once you have a young person and their needs in mind, consider the guidance, work with the young person and if necessary, their school or local authority case worker to establish and get evidence of their learning level. From this you will then be able to establish the exceptions that can be made for that young person so that they are able to do their apprenticeship. Although this may take time to establish, it is important to recognise our duty to ensure that young people with special educational needs, learning difficulties and disabilities aren’t placed at a disadvantage and their additional needs don’t restrict their employment opportunities.
Further resources for Providers, Employers and Learners regarding accessible Apprenticeships and that has been used to put together this guide can be found here:
- Apprenticeships and SEND | Worcestershire County Council
- Learning support funding for apprentices with learning difficulties and disabilities (publishing.service.gov.uk)
- Reasonable adjustments for workers with disabilities or health conditions - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- End-point Assessment Reasonable Adjustments Guidance / Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education
- Reasonable adjustment matrix (instituteforapprenticeships.org)
- Apprenticeship funding rules for main providers August 2022 to July 2023 (publishing.service.gov.uk) (Pg. 48 – 57)