Education and Skills Funding Agency

Moving funds in a digital wallet

Plugging the skills gap

Engineering and Construction organisations, amongst others, are having a hard time adapting to the technological advances of today. Both their supply chain and their own workforce are missing key skills required to benefit from the opportunities that these technologies provide.

The feature we designed strived to deliver a tactical outcome to help alleviate some of the risk associated with failing to plug the shortage in their supply chain.

A balancing act of needs

We developed a series of models for how a transfer of apprenticeship funds might work. We tested each with all our stakeholders. We had to navigate a path that would suffice our user personas, policy commitments, operational capacity all while being feasible to deliver. We used user story maps to visualise sometimes complex paradigms in order to articulate each model of transferring funds.

HTML Prototypes

We could quickly get realistic prototypes in front of users by going from lo-fi sketchs straight to HTML prototype. This was possible by developing a strong understanding of the GDS design patterns and utilising a fork of the GDS toolkit.

The prototypes used javascript and local storage and google sheet apis to create 'wizard of oz' style prototypes that felt like the real thing.

I talk about the benefit of using data in prototypes more in my article, Suspend your suspension of belief.

Features for outcomes


Borrowing the bank account convention we used account IDs to protect employers from unsolicited employer transfers.

Monthly transfer

Monthly transfers that tracked the apprenticeship created a just in time system that eliminated wasted transfers.

Data insight

By connecting an apprenticeship to the transfer Government can get insights into what apprenticeships are being funded in supply chains.

Hiding complexity

Policy and business requirments forced complex requirements onto the project. We did our best to design them out with step by step interfaces.

Forced dialogue

Sometimes it's good to talk. Our design meant employers had to talk together to arrange a transfer

State aid baked in

Our design helped users declare state aid for our service and others.

Built to be open

GDS believes in a digital open borders approach to building services. Prototypes are built and stored in public github repositories and exposed as functional demos on herokuapp or other hosting services. This project was built predominantly using the GDS prototype kit built within a node.js stack.

TYIT Ltd provides a full stack UX consultancy that designs accessible digital services. We've helped complex organisations like BEIS and DfE achieve digital transformation by running Lean and Agile discovery processes.

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