Working with Polino Training

If you are thinking of taking on an apprentice for the first time, or have taken on an apprentice previously and require some additional support and advice on the New Standard Apprenticeships contact us on

Polino Training is committed to working with the furniture manufacturing and allied industries to reduce skills gaps and shortages. Work is ongoing to increase the pool of new talent available to the industry and to provide training support for employers committed to Apprenticeships. By working together we can help your apprentice to successfully achieve their furniture trade apprenticeship and for you to develop a fully qualified and professional workforce.

As these changes are implemented, Polino will be happy to support you and assist you with any requirements the new changes will bring Overleaf is a table showing the new process and what you the employer will be responsible for and what we at Polino Training will be responsible for. However will we support you all the way through the apprenticeship from recruitment to completion.

Our office number is: 02085147284

Appendix 1 - Roles and Responsibilities

What will the employer do? What will Polino Training do?

  • Discuss with Polino Training the apprenticeship standards and select the most suitable apprenticeship to use.
  • Work with you to negotiate the right apprenticeship to meet your needs.
  • Advise you of the price associated with the apprenticeship delivery including where possible the cost of end-point assessment.
  • Advice you of the funding cap associated with the apprenticeship and work with you to agree a payment schedule.
  • Advise you on the potential employer incentives that you may be entitled to receive and support you in applying for these.
  • Select/confirm the provider(s) needed to deliver the apprenticeship training and end- point assessment for the apprenticeship.
  • Agree who will act as the ‘lead’ provider (where you are already working with Polino you may be happy to continue this arrangement).
  • Discuss the training requirements for the whole programme with you including on and off the job training.
  • Co-ordinate with other chosen providers, to ensure the successful delivery of the apprenticeship training and the end-point assessment.
  • Agree the vacancy details to be used to advertise the apprenticeship.
  • Interview suitable applicants.
  • Work with you and agree the details of the vacancy to be advertised.
  • Upload the vacancy details to the apprenticeship site to be advertised nationally.
  • coordinate the application, interview, initial assessment and vetting process to ensure the suitability of applicants
  • arrange interviews for all applicants who match the advertised role as closely as possible
  • Promote the vacancy with schools and other support agencies.
  • Choose the apprenticeship
  • Prepare delivery of the apprenticeship

Where Polino Training is acting as Lead Provider

  • Advertising the vacancy and choosing the apprentice
  • Select the applicant/s you want to take on as your apprentice/s.
  • Confirm learner eligibility
  • Support you in confirming learner eligibility required to access government funding
  • Assess and organise the provision of learning support including English and/or maths where appropriate.
  • Provide the necessary resource to ensure that support requirements are met throughout the programme.
  • Complete all the necessary paperwork/evidence to ensure compliance with apprentice standards, government audit and Ofsted requirements.
  • Work closely with you in order to check and confirm whether you are eligible for the small employer and the 16- to 18-year-old apprentice incentive payments.
  • Finalise a price, agree delivery and agree a payment schedule.
  • Sign a written agreement with Polino Training for the delivery of the training and the endpoint assessment based on the apprentice’s needs.
  • complete and sign an apprenticeship agreement with the apprentice
  • Agree and sign a commitment statement with the apprentice and Polino Training.
  • Finalise a price for the delivery of training and assessment, tailored to your individual apprentice’s needs and agree this in a payment schedule with you.
  • Confirm all the necessary details in a written agreement with you.
  • Complete the individual commitment statement annex and the apprenticeship agreement with you and your apprentice. Agree an individual learning plan for the apprentice
  • Make sure that there are suitable subcontracting and payment arrangements agreed with any the other providers, where necessary.
  • Support you in the paperwork required to claim incentive payments as appropriate. Agree a start date with you for delivery to commence
  • make arrangements to support the apprentice throughout their apprenticeship.
  • ensure that the apprentice is given appropriate time to attend the on and off the-job training required for the apprenticeship.
  • Commence co-investment payments to Polino Training as set out in the agreed payment schedule.
  • create the apprentice evidence pack, which acts as the provider evidence source for the apprenticeship.
  • Continue to ensure that all necessary paperwork and processes are in place to be complaint with the apprenticeship standard, government audit requirements and Ofsted quality standards.
  • Record all government information requirements onto a national system including co-investment payments received.
  • Confirm funding, eligibility and support requirements
  • Finalise apprenticeship delivery

Start the apprenticeship

  • Ensure your apprentice receives regular training as agreed in the written agreement and commitment statement.
  • Liaise with Polino if you have any issues with your apprentice.
  • Continue to make co-investment payments as set out in the agreed payment schedule.
  • Make claims for incentive payments as appropriate
  • Train the apprentice to the national standards in line with the agreed training plan.
  • Formatively assess apprentice to ensure they are on track to successfully achieve.
  • Undertake regular reviews with apprentice and employer to ensure everything is ok
  • Organise for apprentice to sit relevant occupational, health & safety and English or maths tests as required.
  • Notify employer of non-attendance
  • Continue to report cash contributions from you on the government database
  • Collect and validate employer incentive claim forms and transfer incentive payments from the government to you in a timely manner
  • Update the apprentice evidence pack, which acts as the provider evidence source for the apprenticeship.

Work with Polino to agree when you both believe the apprentice is ready for endpoint assessment

  • Liaise with Polino and endpoint assessment organisation throughout the process.
  • Organise and agree with the end-point assessment provider is required to carry out end-point assessment
  • Liaise with the employer
  • Be part of the end-point assessment process where required
  • Co-ordinate and work with the assessment organisation to confirm that the apprentice has completed the apprenticeship standard.
  • Complete an incentive claim form and submit this to Polino Training.
  • Consider how the apprentice might progress to the next level
  • Consider recruitment of further apprentices
  • Liaise with the assessment organisation to claim the completion certificate from the apprenticeship certification body.
  • Supports employer with the incentive claim form as required to receive the completion payment
  • Record achievement of the government database to ensure incentive payment is triggered.
  • Upon receipt, transfer the completion payment in full to you in a timely manner.
  • Liaise with you to discuss your next steps including progression pathways and recruitment.

Train the apprentices

  • End-point assessment
  • Complete the apprenticeship

Appendix 2 - Frequently Asked Questions

1. If I recruit an apprentice after May 2017, will I have to contribute toward the cost of the apprentice training & assessment?

YES, for levy paying employers, the funding will be paid via the levy account. Non levy employers will be required to pay a contribution (as a cash amount not ‘in kind’) in order that government funding can be released. However, the government has set out proposals for small employers with fewer than 50 employees to receive 100% government support when recruiting a 16-18 year old. This is still to be agreed.

2. Prior to May 2017, I have always received free training for 16-18 year olds, will I still receive free training?

In the majority of cases, it is likely that all employers will be required to pay a contribution irrespective of which provider delivers your training and the age of the apprentice. However, government has set out proposals for small employers with fewer than 50 employees to receive 100% government support when recruiting a 16-18 year old. This is still to be agreed.

3. Why does my apprenticeship have to include English and maths training and do I have to pay for this?

There’s concern that literacy and numeracy levels in England are falling behind those of other countries and as such the provision of English and maths is central to the Government’s recent reforms to post-16 education and training. By stepping up the English and maths requirements for all post-16 learners and reforming GCSEs, the Government hopes to equip workers with the vital literacy and numeracy skills needed for the 21st century. This should lead to benefits for:

  • the economy and society as a whole - for this country to be competitive and create wealth, we need a skilled workforce.
  • employers - if employees have the fundamental skills of English and maths, they will be able to apply these skills to new situations and challenges, leading to greater efficiency, productivity and competitiveness.
  • apprentices themselves - the attainment of a certain level in English and maths will provide a basis for developing their employability skills, help them learn, increase their confidence, enhance their career prospects and improve their opportunities in life.

4. Can I get support to help me access the new Digital Apprenticeship Service?

YES, the government are currently asking employers and providers to test the new system. Once the system is live you can get support from your training provider.

5. There are no qualifications built into the furniture manufacturing apprenticeship standard, can I include qualifications?

YES, although government funding is only available to support achievement of the apprenticeship standard. As the achievement of qualifications has not been built into the standard, employers will be expected to pay for these.

6. What is being done to help small employers take on apprentices?

The vast majority of employers will not be eligible to pay the levy and these employers will continue to receive government support through co-investment to help fund their apprentices. However, It is currently proposed that employers with fewer than 50 employees continue to receive 100% funding support for recruiting 16-18 year olds. This is expected to be confirmed in October 2016.

7. Can I use my levy funds to pay for staff CDP training?

It can only be used for training as part of a government approved apprenticeship framework or standard.

8. Can I use my levy funds to put existing staff through approved apprenticeships?

YES, but you do have to demonstrate that the apprenticeship is relevant to their role and that they will develop/learn new skills by undertaking the apprenticeship.

9. Are their age restrictions for the apprentice to be eligible under the new funding system?

NO, an employer can recruit an apprentice of any age starting at 16. However, if it is an existing employee then you do have to demonstrate the requirement for new skills e.g. new job role, changed role etc.

10. How will I know what new apprenticeship standards have been approved for delivery?

You can visit:-

11. What is the digital apprenticeship voucher?

This refers to the money in an employer’s digital account which can be used to purchase apprenticeship training.

12. If my payroll bill is less than £3m will I still have to pay 0.5% levy?

Every organisation will be expected to contribute to the cost of apprenticeship delivery. Larger business will pay through the levy. Smaller businesses will pay direct cash contributions to receive a digital voucher that will allow the employers chosen provider to draw down the funds.

13. Where will the end-point assessment take place for my apprentice?

This will vary according to the sector. In some sectors this may be at an assessment centre, in others, this may be negotiated between the end-point assessment organisation, the employer and training provider based upon the requirements of the assessment to be carried out.

Employers Handbook