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Epping Forest College are Ascending New Heights
Music plays from a piano in the reception of Epping Forest C...

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The Levy is here but will it deliver?
The moment we have been waiting for has arrived and the levy...

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How can women make work “work” for them?
The job, as a concept is vanishing. Long gone are the days o...

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TEACHING APPRENTICESHIPS? A QUESTION OF PERCEPTION
LOUISE DOYLE, a further education consultant and direct...

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Three skills-based solutions to boost UK's productivity
How to address the UK's 'Productivity Challenge' amongst G7 ...

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The 20%: Off-the-job learning is vexing apprentice employers
After what has felt like the longest lead-in time ever, the ...

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Lesson observation records: A plea to box makers and their tickers
When it comes to observation records, I have issues with che...

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Don’t allow this to be known as the...
Epping Forest College are Ascending New Heights
The Levy is here but will it deliver?...
How can women make work “work” for them?...
TEACHING APPRENTICESHIPS? A QUESTION OF PERCEPTION
Three skills-based solutions to boost UK's productivity
The 20%: Off-the-job learning is vexing apprentice employers...
Lesson observation records: A plea to box makers...

FE Voices

Government's 3 million Apprenticeships target under threat after devastating cuts to SMEs' apprenticeship funding

Apprenticeship training providers have reacted with unprecedented dismay to government cuts to the funding that helps support smaller businesses offering apprenticeships.   Areas of the country face becoming close to ‘apprenticeship deserts’ for young people over the...

FE News helping employers to understand the Apprenticeship Levy

Stewart Segal explains 3aaa Apprenticeships partnership with FE News and how FE News are helping UK employers to understand the Apprenticeship Levy by covering different views and facts that come with this Government reform. FE News also...

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Apprenticeship funding and performance management rules 2017 to 2018

Apr 28, 2017 / Sector News

The ESFA today (28 April) reissued the rules that will apply to all apprenticeship provision funded by the ESFA following the introduction of the apprenticeship levy. These documents set out the funding and performance management rules for employers, employer-providers and training providers delivering the new apprenticeship programme from 1 May 2017. The funding...

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FE Voices

Government's 3 million Apprenticeships …

Apr 28, 2017 / FE Voices

Apprenticeship training providers have reacted with unprecedented dismay to government cuts to the funding that helps support smaller businesses offering apprenticeships.   Areas of the country face becoming close to ‘apprenticeship deserts’ for young people over the next 7 months where there are few or no large levy paying employers to make...

All FE Video

Stewart Segal Explains The New Apprentic…

Apr 20, 2017 / FE Video

One of the key changes when the Government launched its changes to the Apprenticeship Programme, was introducing new Standards. Stewart Segal, 3aaa Apprenticeships Director of Strategy discusses how the new Standards are getting more employers involved in developing Apprenticeship Programmes. Stewart also talks about the main differences between the new Standards and...

Sector News

Apprenticeship funding and performance m…

Apr 28, 2017 / Sector News

The ESFA today (28 April) reissued the rules that will apply to all apprenticeship provision funded by the ESFA following the introduction of the apprenticeship levy. These documents set out the funding and performance management rules for employers, employer-providers and training providers delivering the new apprenticeship programme from 1 May 2017. The funding...

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Continuing the response to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the private sector would appear to be broadly in agreement with the opening of the education market to more competition.

The report highlights several issues of concern for employers and industry, mainly focussing on two areas; the quality of the provision and advice on offer (both in terms of absolute quality improvement and in terms of the degree of employer engagement on the part of FE), and the opening up of FE to ethos and practices of private sector competition. The report encouraged a great deal of comment from various quarters in FE, notably from the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), the Association of Colleges (AoC) and the Association of Learning Providers (ALP).

Notably, the report stresses that employers (according to their survey, which did not make use of the National Employer Skills Survey [NESS] results) were dissatisfied with the attitude of some FE colleges towards employer engagement. The report calls for the development and expansion of the Government's proposed policy of removing any failing colleges" management teams and opening the provision up to the private sector. The argument, it would seem, is that competition would drive up quality in FE provision.

Competition is Good?

Mentioned in the report is VT Education and Skills, and their Managing Director Simon Withey was kind enough to offer his thoughts on the CBI's report. He said: "This report endorses our view that the private sector has much to offer the rapidly evolving education market. Companies such as VT have considerable experience in supplying efficient and cost effective services to Government and we are already well versed in bringing best practice to areas such as developmental support for young people and adults through the provision of information/advice and support, vocational training and school support/consultancy services."

Mr. Withey also pointed out the value of allowing private business and the private sector to participate in education on an equal footing, saying: "We believe there is considerable potential to extend this experience to other areas of the education sector, for example on the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, where VT is already preferred bidder in the Borough of Greenwich. We are also actively working in partnership with several Further Education colleges addressing many areas covered on the CBI report."

The logic of opening the sector up to competition would seem to be based on sound foundations. However, the history of public sector responsibilities being opened up to private market competition is not replete with notable success stories. The sector is likely to have a number of concerns should the CBI's more aggressive advice be heeded by the DfES and Number 10.

Jethro Marsh

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