ERN for Levy Company

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Ruth CJ 11 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • jcunningham


    I’ve always used the place of training for the employer identifier but a discussion with a colleague has sown seeds of doubt in my mind. Her point is if we don’t use the parent company i.e. the one actually paying the levy, how can the ESFA systems match the funding back to the levy paying employer. I’ve looked through the guidance but it doesn’t say for sure not to use the parent company so now I’m a little worried that I have the wrong ERN against my levy apprentices.

    Can anyone tell me the answer?



    Martin West

    Hi John,
    The simple answer is the A/S does not use the ERN directly to match funding back to he levy paying employer, the primary match is carried out using the ULN and matching this back to the A/S account.


    Ruth CJ

    What Martin says.

    I’ve said it before, but the ERNs are often junk anyway, so don’t worry too much about it. They don’t use them for anything important. They can’t, because the data quality for the records is terrible.



    Yes, for levy funded learners the employer agreement ID is more significant than the old ERN.


    Richard Francis

    Does anyone else have issues trying to explain why we need the ERN to employers? None of the employers we work with know anything about it and I always have to go through this process of explaining what it is and why I need the number of employees and a contact name and number.

    It’s pointlessly time consuming. I just feel that the ESFA could at least explain to employers that they’d need to provide us with information to get the ERN, if they couldn’t provide the ERN directly to the employer.




    Yes, we do. The most frustrating thing has always been trying to get the ERN raised in the first place, as either EDRS don’t explain to employers who they are or what they’re calling about, or employers don’t listen/understand.

    Usual process is EDRS leave an answerphone message for employer because they’ve phoned during lunch (or school holidays when the employer is clearly a school, which has never struck me as the most sensible thing to be doing), employer never phones back because they’ve not got a clue who’s left the answerphone message, EDRS close our request to raise an ERN because they’ve received no response from the employer. Which then leads to the process having to start all over again.

    Used to lead to endless problems during the AGE grant days.


    Ruth CJ

    Spats – That process sounds so familiar! Also, the company that call them are called Blue Sheep, and I think companies think it’s a joke. We try and warn the employer that they’re going to call. The ILR Spec says it’s for “Labour market intelligence”, but I wouldn’t be confident to expand on what that meant.


    Richard Francis

    I think one employer I’ve worked with (out of approximately 20) knew what an ERN was when I first asked. The interesting thing is that about half of them say that they’ve never been asked for the information to obtain or create a ERN. Of those employers all of them have employed apprentices with different training providers before, so those apprentices must have needed an ERN, so how did the other training providers get it?

    The thing I don’t understand is why we can’t create ERNs. We have to create ULNs for all the apprentices, so why not ERNs?


    Ruth CJ

    Richard – Some ERNs are generated when Thompson Directories bulk upload data to the service. If it begins with a 9, it’s one that’s been verified by the employer. If it begins with a 1 or 2, it hasn’t, and was just the result of a big data import, so the data held against the ERN is most probably wrong. They tend to have trading names rather than actual company names.

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