You may have seen the recent article in HSJ regarding NHS Trusts in Cornwall and their nursing apprenticeship programme. Unfortunately the article stated that the Trusts are using the Levy to pay salaries and this is incorrect.
The apprenticeship levy can not be used to pay salaries under any circumstances.
The Trusts involved have confirmed this and the correct scenarios is as follows:
Most of the apprentices mentioned in the article are actually Nursing Associates; all existing staff, and none of them are new entrants into the Trusts – all are on progression routes. The trusts are using existing vacancy establishment to help fund the backfill. All of the apprentices are either paid at Band 3, and a few at Band 4, and they are using the HEE funding from the TNA programme to supplement some of the learning.
The agency spend has been massively reduced by making operational changes, and this wasn’t budgeted for in the first place, so all they have done is reduce an overspend, not use this to pay for the salaries either. The partnership has been brokering a consistent approach across Trusts, but hasn’t subsidised any backfill.
Article published by HSJ – click here.