The government has released new guidance about how training providers can claim learning support funding for apprentices with learning difficulties and disabilities.
The guidance states that training providers are entitled to claim £150 per month for each month where reasonable adjustments are delivered, evidenced and result in a monetary cost.
These costs may be due to additional staff to support apprentices, extended or more frequent assessor visits, specialist equipment and enabling additional time on exams/tests.
Employers are required to provide reasonable adjustments in the workplace, and the government hopes this funding allocation will encourage more providers to take of people with learning difficulties and disabilities.
The government will assess on a case-by-case basis who is eligible for the funding
The funding will be provided on a case-by-case basis. However, it can only be claimed if the apprentice has either an existing or previously issued Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, a Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA).
If the apprentice does not have any of the above, the provider will need to conduct a thorough, evidence-based assessment which identifies that the apprentice has a learning difficulty or disability.
The employer and training provider must also reasonably expect that the apprentice is able to successfully achieve all other aspects of the apprenticeship requirements before its end.
Apprenticeships are “life-changing opportunities”, says Mencap
The funding comes following calls from disability charities to make apprenticeships more accessible to people with learning disabilities.
The learning disability charity Mencap describing apprenticeships as “life-changing opportunities” that enable people with learning disabilities to “learn, train, and earn a recognised qualification, while gaining practical work experience.”
Mark Capper, Head of Development in the Lifestyles and Work team at Mencap said: “People with a learning disability can work and want to work and with the right support they can also make fantastic employees. Many have proved their worth during the pandemic – with some working as keyworkers. Now is the time to?finally?remove barriers and support people with a learning disability through inclusive employment programmes?so they can?apply their dedication and?skills.”