National Insurance Number issues with job centres?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  LC 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • LC


    Has anyone else been experiencing issues with learners having delays in receiving their NI Numbers due to the job centres having huge backlogs due to COVID 19?

    Apparently the job centres have told one of our learners that it shouldn’t hold the apprenticeship up, but the learner errors on the 20/21 ILR data return due to missing NI Number.

    Feels a bit like we are going round in circles. I have contacted ESFA but not heard back yet, has anyone else tried the ESFA? Is there anything temporary we can do, or do we just have to wait?


    Ben Payne


    I have the same issue. I called the NI application number just to check and it’s true, completely limited provision due to Covid.

    I too have contacted the ESFA so will post if I hear back.



    Yes indeed, a big problem. We have in fact missed out on funding for a couple of learners that started in the 2019/20 contract year that due to not being able to get a NI no. were rejected from the ILR right up to P14 close.

    I think more people should raise this with the ESFA and perhaps the error could be amended to a warning at least temporarily. The delays being caused by the job centre issues however have been going on for months so temporary may mean for a long time.



    Ben Payne

    Hi Chris,

    I raised it with the Apprenticeship Support Service who have now escalated it to Apprenticeship Service Technical support team, I will keep you updated if I hear anything.



    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by  Ben Payne.


    Hi Ben,

    thank you for that. I have today also sent in an enquiry to the ESFA support desk so will see where that goes too. We have 23 apprentices currently affected by this.




    Hi Has this been resolved? I do not process ILRs directly but if not resolved there will be a growing number of EU citizen Apprentices completely unable to produce funding claims since a valid NIN is a required field for apprentices. Plus of course UK folk returning without NINs as well as many levels of visa holders. Impact currently low but some providers have policies of collecting NINs for all as part of ID checks.



    Hello all

    Yes, this was the response I received this morning:

    “The Specialist team have been in touch today to let us know the following:

    ‘Now that the R04 submissions period has opened, the national insurance number field error has been reduced to a warning.’

    This will allow you to add your apprentices to the ILR. Please ensure that the national insurance number is recorded once this is received and before the R14 closure to ensure that your data is correct at the hard closure date.”

    They will reverse this change once all of the issues have resolved though, so hopefully they don’t reverse it too soon! 🙂


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