To help employers with their apprenticeship delivery, RTITB can now conduct End Point Assessments (EPA) for Supply Chain Warehouse Operatives and LGV Drivers.
“RTITB are an apoved End Point Assessment Organisation for these important apprenticeship standards, helping to develop new talent for the transport and logistics industry,” says Laura Nelson, Managing Director of RTITB, the preferred regulatory body for workplace transport training. “We’ve worked with employers and training organisations for many years to ensure relevant, high quality assessment of workplace competence, so when our customers asked if we could conduct EPA for their apprentices, we were pleased to develop an EPA service for them.”
The End Point Assessment (EPA) ensures that the apprentice can do the job they have been trained to do and typically comes at the end of a 12-month programme of training and experience in the job role. Crucially, the EPA must be carried out by an independent organisation – the employer or training provider can’t carry out EPAs of their own apprentices.
“We are ready to work with employers who require an EPA centre for their apprenticeship candidates, and training providers who have contracts for employer’s apprenticeship programmes,” says Laura.
Since 2017, employers with a payroll over £3 million each year have paid the apprenticeship levy at a rate of 0.5% of their total pay bill. Paid to HMRC, the money is held in a 'digital fund' which can then be used to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment.
“The problem is, that many businesses with transport and logistics operations are yet to use their pot of money. If they don’t use it, they lose it,” asserts Laura.
The fund in a company’s Apprenticeship Service Account can only be spent on costs associated with the training and assessment of apprentices – and the EPA is an eligible cost. Short courses do not qualify under the scheme and the funds remain available for just 24 months from the date of payment. Last year, a report by the Open University estimated that most English employers had yet to start investing, with only 8% of their pot withdrawn at the time.
“Companies can use the apprenticeship levy to positively develop their business, nurture new talent, retain good staff and improve operations,” Laura continues. “Offering an EPA service carried out by our highly skilled and experienced assessors is one more way RTITB is able to support the industry’s current skills shortage and help build the future of logistics and transport operations.”
“We will start by offering EPAs for Supply Chain Warehouse Operatives (ST259) and LGV Drivers (ST0257),” Laura explains. “We plan to extend our EPA offer to cover other apprenticeship standards in the transport and logistics sector later in 2019. Employers who have apprentices working on other standards should contact us now so that we can be ready to conduct EPA as those apprentices complete their training.