Articles from Jim Carley

Sturgeon’s criticism of external #RoATP bid writers is wide of the mark

At last week’s AELP National Conference, Sheila Sturgeon, a Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of Education, warned providers against using external bid writers to apply for a place on RoATP.

Jim Carley's Employability update

Jim Carley, MD of Carley Consult gives us an Employability update. Jim stepped in for Employment Minister Pritti Patel (who was called into Westminster after the Brexit vote), to give an Employability update for the Association of Employment and Learning Providers annual conference. So we thought it would be great to catch up with Jim to share an update on Employability.

3aaa: Another wake up call for the ESFA and Ofsted?

There is a well-known proverb, which I am sure you know: “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

RoATP Consultation & Refresh: What Happens Next?

It’s been nine months since the most recent RoATP application window shut, and we’ve since been waiting with bated breath for news about how the register may re-open and be refreshed.

Is it Wrong to Give Learndirect Special Treatment?

Non-Levy Bidding: What did we Learn?

As Hurricane Irma has finally begun to subside, the storm of ESFA non-levy bidding has also dissipated, at least for now. Like the previous non-levy procurement, abandoned earlier in the year, this latest exercise has courted plenty of controversy. There has been widespread concern at the complexity of the process, the determination of contract caps, and the mountain of clarification queries. But is any of this really any surprise? The challenges in commissioning apprenticeships are arguably so inherent that it is probably impossible to design a competition which does justice to the job.

Could you pass as an Employability Tutor?

It would be an unthinkable to entrust the education of our children to anyone who is not appropriately qualified. There are exacting qualifications requirements to enter academic and vocational teaching. Whilst the Government's current FE workforce strategy encourages greater flexibility for institutions to determine the specific qualification warranted by each staff position, there is an underlying commitment to professionalism. This is reinforced in the form of a £27m grant from BIS which underpins the work of The Education & Training Foundation (ETF), defining professional standards.

UEAHRS – An Umbrella Agreement for a Rainy Day?

At long last, in the week ahead, it appears that the commissioning of DWP’s Work & Health Programme will finally get properly underway. The scheme has already been dogged by several false starts since its originally scheduled commissioning launch back in July. It has suffered from this years’ tumultuous political events, with three different Secretaries of State holding the reigns at DWP, and effectively an all new ministerial team under Damian Green installed in July. There are then the widely rumoured tales of disharmony between DWP, the co-commissioning authorities in London and Manchester, and the LGA. Uncertainty over funding, an ambiguous economic outlook, and the need for a contestable process which is beyond challenge, has all led to a variety of changes in direction, not least the abandonment of the original restricted competitive dialogue approach, in favour instead of commissioning via the impending Umbrella Agreement for Employment & Health Related Services (the UAEHRS – hardly an acronym that readily flows off the tongue).

Jobseeker classification and Work Programme Plus

Whilst DWP are keeping tight-lipped around the detail of the successor programme to the Work Programme until after November's Comprehensive Spending Review, a few hints around design parameters are starting to emerge. Notably, it seems likely that "Work Programme Plus" (as it is being referred to) will segment jobseekers by their characteristics, not by the benefits which they receive. This is perhaps unsurprising given roll-out of Universal Credit where all claimants are effectively on the same benefit. The approach recognises that some historic JSA claimants may have quite acute and complex employment barriers, whilst some ESA claimants may, despite a health related impairment, still be relatively job ready.

Area Reviews and minority subjects – a bit of a drama?

I participated in a panel at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) annual conference in Liverpool recently, providing what I hope was an impartial perspective on Area Reviews. My co-panellists were Eddie Playfair, Principal of Newham Sixth Form College, and Janet Clark, ATL’s Education Policy Advisor. For my part, I chose to revisit some of the themes on Area Reviews which I first posed in an FE News article last December and, in particular, the element of the process geared to take account of each locality’s educational and economic needs.

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