From 1st May the Welsh Ministers have adopted the role of Issuing Authority.
Following a consultation on the Issuing Authority role for the Welsh Apprenticeship Frameworks in Wales, all new and revised Welsh apprenticeship frameworks thereafter will be published by Welsh Government.
The consultation concluded that a new approach was welcomed and necessary to develop and deliver high quality apprenticeships in Wales. The Welsh Government undertaking this role would align with approaches across all the UK nations and provide Welsh Ministers with more control over the quality of apprenticeship frameworks providing a clear separation of roles between the Issuing Authority and framework developers.
Powers were taken in the Deregulation Act 2015 to allow the option for Welsh Ministers to issue apprenticeship frameworks in addition to the current powers to delegate another to do so. These powers have now come into effect, which enables Welsh Ministers to act as Issuing Authority in respect of apprenticeship sectors in Wales.
Our aim is to strengthen and implement new arrangements for the commissioning and developing of apprenticeship frameworks in Wales. To ensure high quality frameworks are available in a wide range of occupations that benefit the Welsh economy and apprentices. This involves reviewing the structure of apprenticeship frameworks to make them more accessible and informative to all relevant stakeholders. We intend to publish a three year timetable for framework review and development shortly, including criteria for new frameworks which are transparent, consistent and fit for purpose.
We are currently updating the Specification for Apprenticeship Standards (SASW), which will also come into effect later this year. This will incorporate new requirements to support apprentices with learning difficulties or learning impairments, removing essential skills barriers that may have prevented them accessing apprenticeships in the past, update the proxy qualifications and include a new section on degree apprenticeships. Further communication on this will be issued shortly with a link to the new document.
If you have any queries regarding this matter please contact us by email.