Breaking: Home Office replaces fast stream with contractors 😮
As the UK heats up, the early careers space gets even hotter… This week, I’ve got two red-hot updates on grad schemes and apprenticeships, so grab your sun cream and buckle up! 🔥
💥 BREAKING NEWS
Sparta Global awarded £4.5m contract to supply 45 grads to the Home Office
Following the controversial scrapping of the government's award-winning graduate programme, the Civil Service Fast Stream, Priti Patel’s Home Office have this week confirmed that they will replace their in-house graduate intake with off-payroll ‘emerging talent’ contractors.
Public sector procurement documents released this week reveal that the department has awarded a £4.5 million contract to recruit-train-deploy firm, Sparta Global. The supplier has previously been investigated by employment campaigner, Tanya de Grunwald, for locking its graduates into contracts that require them to pay 'exit fees' of up to £20,000 in order to resign.
The news comes a few weeks after we learned that government departments would be allowed to find alternative ways to source entry-level talent. Although the Treasury were slated to be the first department to recruit outside the programme, the Home Office appears to have already negotiated an agreement in advance with their long-term supplier, Sparta.
The full text of the contract indicates that the Home Office are using Sparta to replace their Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) talent programme. The new contractor roles will be outside of IR35 and will cover areas including software engineering, data analytics and project management. The move means that the department's graduates will no longer be civil servants or receive the associated benefits, such as the attractive civil service pension scheme.
What it means for you: The Home Office aren't the only ones outsourcing their entry-level schemes. The recruit-train-deploy sector is booming, with lots of new suppliers appearing to take advantage of business demands to reduce spending on often expensive early careers schemes. But is this the best way to hire and develop entry-level talent, or just the cheapest?
💸 NEW APPRENTICESHIP RULES
20% off-the-job training rule officially scrapped in new apprenticeship funding rules
The new funding rules for apprenticeships in England have finally been released by the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), ahead of their implementation next month. The 2022/23 rules are now confirmed, following the draft version released in May.
The headline change is the removal of the requirement for apprentices to spend 20% of their working hours on off-the-job training, often to referred to as 'OTJ time'. Under the new rules, OTJ time will no longer be linked to working hours, with all part-time and full-time apprentices required to undertake a fixed amount of 6 hours of training per week.
Other changes include the removal of the requirement to pass level 2 English and maths to complete level 2 apprenticeships, and the removal of the so-called '30-day rule'. From August 1st, training providers will no longer need to withdraw apprentices who have a break in employment greater than 30 days. Instead, apprentices will have up to 12 weeks to find new work with a different employer.
What it means for you: If you're an employer or a training provider, you should check out the new funding rules in full over on the Department for Education website and ensure you're ready for the changes that come into effect in less than two weeks' time.
📰 ACROSS THE WEB
‘How do we reallocate the skills of those all-too-often drawn to metropolitan areas, like London?’ As the Tory leadership contest continues, Norfolk MP Duncan Baker weighs in on the early career questions facing the next PM. - North Norfolk News
Together with Handshake, the Higher Education Policy Institute have this week released an interesting article on the challenges facing small and medium-sized enterprises trying to recruit graduates as big firms pay top dollar. - HEPI
And in other news, next week I’ll be hosting a private roundtable for business and HR leaders with my clients NCR and Verizon on how to create equitable routes into tech careers. Get in touch to request an invite. - Multiverse (Ad)
💭 THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
“I spent years being ashamed” - Lizzo, on her early career journey, in September’s edition of Elle magazine
🔥 HOT JOBS
Unique role: The student recruitment team at EY have a 12-month FTC available to manage hiring into their Sustainability practice - Apply
Nokia are hiring an early careers experience manager for the new and growing early careers team based in their Reading office - Apply
In Edinburgh, Diageo’s supply chain team are looking for a recruiter to lead their apprenticeship, internship and graduate programmes - Apply
Recruitment agency, Hays, are advertising an early careers engagement and diversity lead role for a commercial and investment bank client - Apply
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