The Department for Education (“DfE”) has recently confirmed that academy trusts are subject to the Public Sector Apprenticeship Targets Regulations 2017. This is largely a technical change, but the key point to note is that certain academy trusts are required to have the ‘target’ number of apprentices begin to work for it.
It was previously unclear whether these Regulations apply to academy trusts. The DfE confirmed to us in December 2017 that academy trusts with a headcount of 250 or more are within the scope of the Regulations. Therefore, the DfE has laid further Regulations before Parliament to put this into statute.
These new Regulations will apply from 31 March 2018 which means that an academy trust should check its ‘headcount’ number on 31 March each year (starting on 31 March 2018) and, if it has 250 or more, consider the target stated in the Regulations.
The target is to ensure that, over the period beginning with 1 April 2018 and ending with 31 March 2021, the number of apprentices which begin to work for the academy trust is equal to 2.3% of its headcount in England.
‘Headcount’ includes any person who works for an academy trust as an employee or worker, or under an apprenticeship. However, ‘headcount’ does not include someone who works under a zero hour contract or someone who works on behalf of a contractor.