Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap General Election on the 8th June. One thing we do know is that Government will enter into a time of Purdah, so we know that there will be no new policy announcements between now and the 8th June.
So what is the sector response?
Julian Gravatt, Assistant Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC), said: "AoC will continue to work with the Government of the day to ensure that the important work of colleges is understood and recognised. Elections cause some delay in decision-making. Our priority in the next few weeks will be to resolve areas of uncertainty around apprenticeships and college restructuring.
“It is also unfortunate that the planned date (8 June) takes place in one of the busiest GCSE and A Level weeks, which may create some logistical problems in some constituencies. The last time an election happened in June was in 2001.
“We will work with the future Government, whatever form it takes, to promote, represent and support colleges’ best interests.”
Stephen Evans, Chief Executive at Learning and Work Institute, said:
“This General Election will be about the society and economy we want to build and the Brexit that takes us there. These are big questions that require a big debate.
“Strong Further Education and employment services must be central to a fair and prosperous Brexit Britain. This means focusing on world class technical education, high quality apprenticeships, and better support to help people find work. It also means providing better support for ordinary working families as growth in living standards grinds to a halt again.
“At the Learning and Work Institute we will judge political parties by their plans, and seek to ensure that this agenda is central to the debate ahead. This includes securing continued social investment post-Brexit. In the meantime, it is business as usual for everyone working hard to deliver services on the ground and make a success of reforms to apprenticeships and other services.”
Mark Dawe, Chief Executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), said:
“We believe that a pause in introducing the new subcontracting rules alongside the pause in the non-levy apprenticeship procurement does not involve a change in government policy and the ESFA can implement this by informing providers during the purdah period. Now is not the time to destabilize the provider supply base and good existing relationships between employers and providers. We also need confirmation as soon as possible for the providers on the register that the co-investment rules will apply from 1 May.”
“Previous subcontractors who are now on the new register as main providers now don’t have an allocation to deliver apprenticeships to non-levy paying SMEs after last week’s announcement. Therefore they should be allowed to continue to deliver as subcontractors under their current arrangements.”
Lindsay McCurdy, CEO of Apprenticeships 4 England commented: “App4England hopes that no matter the result of the General Election on June 8th, it does not involve a major overhaul with reviews, consultations to the sector once again. The Sector has been in a period of change and delays for too long.
“The ESFA need to inform Training Providers and Employer Providers what this means for the Apprenticeship Sector and all involved in the training of apprentices, without pausing or delaying the co-investment rules from which are meant to happen on the 1st May. We need a period of stability so the sector can do what it does best deliver apprenticeships.
“The General Election gives all involved in apprenticeships a opportunity to hear from all political parties their plans, and an opportunity to ensure that the apprenticeship agenda is central to the FE Apprenticeship Agenda is at the top of the list of all parties and is one that works for employers and organisations that deliver Apprenticeship Training to apprentices."
What do you think?