From education to employment

Rivers of funding: The Skills Minister Nick Boles Speech at the AELP annual conference

We filmed the Skills Minister Nick Boles keynote address at the AELP annual conference. The Minister reassured the audience that pre-Brexit plans were still being rolled out and even more encouraging for the audience was a big section of his speech describing rivers of funding for Apprenticeships, Adult Education and Learner Loans.

The Minister explained due to the recent Brexit vote, there would be some delays in releasing the finer details on the Apprenticeship Levy, but wanted to re-assure the audience that Apprenticeships were very much a priority for the Government.

The Minister shares with the audience “There is a commitment of the Conservative Party and everyone in it and every wing of it, to Apprenticeships and investment in further Skills development is absolute. This is not an issue of division on the left or right of the party (Conservative Party), those who wanted to leave the EU and those who were in favour to remain. Boris Johnson is passionate about Apprenticeships and Skills development. So is Michael Gove, so is Theresa May. I think it is inconceivable that the Conservative Government that will be reformed after October will dilute in anyway it’s commitment to Apprenticeships and Skills development in general”.

He then goes onto share his views on the growth in Apprenticeships and that the pre-Brexit plans and agenda are still going to be rolled out as originally planned. He then explains that due to the Brexit vote they had planned to publicise further information on pricing and the specific Apprenticeship standards over the next couple of days, but there will now be a slight delay. The Minister confirmed “We still expect to get that info out well before the summer break (which is 15th July), so that people can respond to it, tell us where there are things that you feel we have got wrong. With a view to confirming those funding rates in the Autumn. The plan is one we intend to follow in every important respect, there will just be a minor delay to particular publication.” So with the Summer break / recess being planned for 15th July, we can expect more details on the Apprenticeship Levy and the Sainsbury review to be out in the next few days.

The Minister then re-assures the audience that Area Reviews, and the commitment to providing financial support for restructuring by colleges in the sector remains absolute.  The Skills Minister then shared some very re-assuring thoughts about ‘rivers of funding’: “This leads me onto the one central proposition I wanted to make to you in this room.  I understand there is a great deal of change going on in the World in which you operate and trade. Such change is a source of uncertainty and some times anxiety, but I do believe it is absolutely clear that there are some very, very fruitful rivers for you all to be fishing in. The river of Apprenticeship funding is a river that is going to grow. There is simply no question about that. There is going to be a great deal more money going into Apprenticeship training over the next few years than has been the case over the past few years. “The river of funding for Adult Education is secure. It was secured in the budget and is going to be devolved to local areas to commission outcome agreements from local colleges and other providers like yourselves. The extension of Advance loans to a greater range of students and course levels. That will continue and create again an expanded river of opportunity for you to operate in.”

Please click below to hear what the Skills Minister has to say:

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