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FE Soundbite 738 – Levy Reform, Good, Bad or too Late?

Alex, Holly and Gavin

Welcome to FE Soundbite Edition 738, March 23rd, 2024: Levy Reform, Good, Bad or too Late?

This is the weekly e-newsletter and e-journal by FE News: ISSN 2732-4095. We know life is busy, so here is a snapshot of the latest announcements and epic thought leadership articles, from sector influencers and cool thinkers across FE and Skills this week on FE News

Gavin’s Reflective Perspective

Levy Reform, Good, Bad or Too Late?

I thought we’d title Soundbite on the Levy Reform announcement from Monday… as first up… Get in… one thing we have needed for a really, really long time is more incentives to support SME’s and young people into Apprenticeships… it is a natural match made in heaven. .. also 50% of large employers levy pot being able to be utilised makes a lot of sense (rather than going back to Treasury… to be used for whatever, so potholes probably). So for me.. this is a massive great news…. Also… I think the sector thinks the same. I posted something on LinkedIn and I think I haven’t ever had so many views on a post (26,000 on one alone, another had 15,000).

As it isn’t news that Levy funds were going back to treasury (Richard Marsh first wrote about this back in Jan 2020.. so four years ago!).. and last week we had the ONS figures highlighting that youth inactivity is at its highest on record! So this seems pretty logical move… but why wait until now. This is all not ‘news’? So for me… this is great news and a MASSIVE WIN for the sector…. I mean I even wrote about this again in Soundbite last week, 20,000 more Apprenticeships – in SMEs and for young people – massive win!

Even Bigger changes on the horizon for the Levy?

..but what else can be done? Youth inactivity and SME’s… in one swoop, good skills. When it comes to the Levy… I think the language is interesting. Labour are calling for a Skills Levy… the current Conservative Government… if you actually looks at Rishi and Gillian Keegan’s quotes, they do not actually say the word Apprenticeship Levy. So are there even bigger changes in mind for the Levy?

However, putting this into perspective… this is potentially a £60M investment into Apprenticeships, but there was a very interesting report highlighting that education-related exports and transnational education (TNE) was £27.90 billion from £26.2 billion in 2020 … now that is a lot of money and makes this investment look like a drop in the ocean!

Also, happy Neurodiversity Celebration Week… We have had a really cool range of brilliant articles this week. Here is our tag page to see all of the latest.

Exclusive thought leadership

The FE News team’s top 3 this week

Firstly, ‘Latest reforms to American Apprenticeships signal new opportunities for British training providers’ By Tom Bewick, this article outlines how the planned expansion of registered apprenticeship in the USA could more fully open the door to independent training providers and universities from the UK.

Secondly, ‘End point assessments and the potential for more innovative use of technology’ By Stuart Edwards, Here he discusses the potential to use technology for assessment in apprenticeships and highlights features of the End Point Assessment model that may stifle innovation.

Thirdly, ‘Moving from industrialised education to personalised approaches reducing wastage’ By Amanda Kirby, Here she discusses transitioning to personalised education for neurodivergent learners reduces talent wastage and fosters inclusivity.

More great exclusive thought leadership

UCEA Report Reveals What It’s Like to Work in HE, By Kate Pritchard, Head of Consulting at People Insight

How to Manage Your Apprentices & Support Their Success, By Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer, FDM Group

How the new multi-channel marketer apprenticeship is equipping marketers of the future, By Maggie Jones, Director of Qualifications and Partnerships at the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

Past, Present and Future: The Impact of Technology on The Recruitment Market, By John Paul Caffery, CEO and Founder of RAMP.Global

Neurodiversity Leadership: Shaping UK Education Sector, By Nathan Whitbread, Founder, The Neurodivergent coach

Building lasting relationships between colleges and businesses through degree apprenticeships, By Adam Herbert, CEO and co-founder of Go Live Data

The skills of the future: Identifying and empowering Dyslexic Thinkers in FE, By By Kate Griggs founder and CEO of the global charity Made By Dyslexia

Thought leadership Voices

Why MPs need an ‘internship’ in Alternative Provision By Charlotte Barton, Managing Director of Progress Schools

The Advanced British Standard should go further and be bolder, says AoC

The Business Case for International Students By Karoli Hindriks, CEO and Co-founder of Jobbatical

We need to do more than provide additional funding to increase apprentice numbers By Kerry Linley, apprenticeships consultant and CEO of Rubitek

Five simple steps for supporting ADHD colleagues By Luise Ruddick, Policy Officer at Federation of Awarding Bodies

Why we must all play our part in celebrating the sector By David Gallagher, Chief Executive of NCFE

The Benefits of Hiring Neurodiverse Candidates By Rachel Willoughby, Director of Employment Support at The B2W Group

Future-Proofing FE Institutions Podcast Series – Episode 3: AI, Leadership, and the Future of Further Education by Richard Foster Fletcher, Executive Chair at MKAI

News from the FE Sector

As previously mentioned, we had the Prime Minister announce Apprenticeship Levy Reforms with £60M investment for young people and SME’s this week.

We also saw on Thursday the total revenue of education-related exports and transnational education (TNE) activity in 2021 went up by £27.90 billion from £26.2 billion in 2020.

It was also Neurodiversity Celebration Week, so make sure to check out the cool articles surrounding this.

In the know

Stay tuned next week as we have a bunch of cool thought leadership articles on the way, including a new series from The Education and Training Foundation (ETF)’s Vikki Smith and Ellisha Soanes.

By Gavin O’Meara, CEO and Founder of FE News and FE Careers

By Holly Wheaton, Platform Growth Manager, FE News

By Alex Anderson, Junior Digital Project Manager, FE News

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