The past week has seen a string of announcements from the Government in the further education sector, none more important than apprenticeship funding proposals released last Tuesday. The Minister u-turned on some of the more extreme funding cuts in the Department’s August proposals, but the devil is in the detail, and new proposals still leave many employers, providers and colleges significantly worse off.

The Government’s additional payment to employers for 16-18 year old’s seems likely to have little impact. The Government’s Equality Analysis for their proposals states that ‘employers expecting to pay the levy are broadly supportive of the £1000’ payment for 16-18 year olds. In reality, if you look at the figures, almost 60% of those surveyed were not satisfied. The analysis also suggest that the £1000 was ‘unlikely to act as a significant incentive’

These funding proposals also show a continued lack of focus on the crucial importance of the Service Sector. There is huge potential for high-quality apprenticeships in the service sector – to meet growing demands in social care, leisure and visitor services – but proposals show a free-fall in spending. Hospitality and Catering frameworks could still see funding cut by up to 45%.

The Government has the opportunity to use the new Institute for Apprenticeships to improve access to apprenticeships for those with disabilities, who, when given the opportunity, have a very high level of success rate. The Government’s Equality Analysis says the funding proposals ‘will have a broadly neutral impact on LDD learners’ which in the real world means the Government will have to do far more to support access.

The Government’s Equality Analysis also includes the aim ‘to achieve gender parity in the working population by 2030’ but we’d welcome more on information on me how the Government is going to link improvements in the gender balance with apprenticeships.

We are concerned with the capacity available to the Institute for Apprenticeships. Earlier this year we saw the Government formally close off their support for UKCES, this just the latest in a series of funding cuts to the Skills sector. Staffing levels at the Skills Funding Agency are down nearly 50% from 2011, leading on from the continuing and accelerating decline in staffing at the National Apprenticeship service.

And with so little time remaining before implementation, and with machinery of Government changes throwing up even more challenges, how much longer are we going to have to wait for an estimate of the resources and capacity of the new Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education?

Only last week Paul Warner, the policy Director at the AELP, claimed the Department was facing ‘capacity challenges’, with Ms Ryland, the head of the SFA’s technical and professional education, unsure of capacity and resources herself, stating they are still ‘taking stock of growth requests.’

For the last nine months we have been pressing the Government for more detail on the Levy, as we share the sectors concerns that in its current form it is not ready. The Government have been glacial in giving details to us and the sector on how in practice the Levy will work, and whilst there has finally been some progress last week, with just six months until it is fully operational, the time in which industry has to implement changes is extremely narrow. The CBI last week, following the new proposals, issued warning that “six months out from the new levy going live, and the EEF agreed “timing is now all important. With a shrinking window of opportunity to prepare for the levy.”

Whilst we welcome the reinstatement of disadvantaged and 16-18 year old uplifts, we still have serious concerns over how the actual process of moving further to implement all the other elements of the Levy by May 2017 which the Minister has again affirmed as the date to hit. Yet we know the concessions on the apprenticeship funding are only designed to ameliorate not abolish the loss of funding for disadvantaged groups, and there is no gameplan at present on show from the Government as to how they will be helped when the £60 million Government has budgeted for this transition year is exhausted. It looks like a rocky ride and rough justice rather than the smooth landing the new Skills Minister Robert Halfon is hoping to promote.

Gordon Marsden, Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Further Education and Skills

 

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Newsroom Activity

Jo Moriani added a new event 7 hours

PREPARING FOR THE NEW STYLE OFSTED VISITS THIS AUTUMN

Overview Ofsted has now announced in detail its plans for carrying out what it calls ‘interim visits’ in the autumn period up to the end of...

  • Thursday, 22 October 2020 10:00 AM
  • Online

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page