I am fortunate to work with a large number of training providers and to have worked for Colleges and private training providers in a variety of roles and many sectors, more recently in my role as a Non- Executive Director, and Chairman. I have developed organisations to offer high-quality apprenticeship provision that is recognised by employers and by learners, this is through the satisfaction survey and ensuring accurate benchmarking / impact measurement. One of the mechanisms for promotion that I inform all providers to utilise is to ensure that the ‘find an apprenticeship provider’ is updated, and to ensure that when meeting with clients they use the results from FE Choices Annual Survey to inform part of their decision making.

FE Choices provides comparable information to help learners and employers make informed choices about education and training. It also acts as a process for parents when ensuring correct decisions for their child entering the world of further education / training. 

With this in-mind, any apprenticeship provider now has to be on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP), the register of apprenticeship training providers lists organisations eligible to receive government funding to train apprentices, this includes Supporting Providers and Employer Providers. 

The supporting provider route is for organisations who will enter into subcontracts with main providers and employer providers to deliver apprenticeship training, whereas the employer provider route is for employers that pay the apprenticeship levy who will directly deliver training to their own employees or those of connected companies and use the apprenticeship service to pay for apprenticeship training, providers that meet the employer provider requirement can also act as subcontractors.

There are currently 450 Supporting Providers and 173 Employer Providers on the RoATP, they are not shown on the Find an Apprenticeship Provider, which I believe is creating an unfair proposition within the apprenticeship provider market. These ‘Providers’ of apprenticeship provision that are on the RoATP which lists organisations eligible to receive government funding to train apprentices, do not have the capacity to ‘market’ themselves as Main Providers, thus creating what I believe to be an uneven playing field for learners, parents and employers to make a  valid & fair decision to selecting a service. 

Furthermore, it does not allow a public viewing for these providers to showcase their offer, which includes:

  • A narrative about themselves
  • The Apprenticeships they deliver
  • Annual survey results, and
  • Contact details.

These providers make up over 30% of the apprenticeship providers on the RoATP, which also leads to in my opinion creating an unfair external marketing environment (micro and macro), these micro and macro environments have a significant impact on the success of marketing activities for providers.

The Find an Apprenticeship Provider platform will enable Supporting Providers and Employer Providers to be able to market themselves more effectively, and the platform is a good source of doing it and is free to all providers. 

Given there seems to be an unfair picture of providers on the Find an Apprenticeship Provider service, I am suggesting that ALL providers on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers be they Main (as they are organisations eligible to receive government funding to train apprentices or subcontract (ergo in receipt of Public Funding)) but also supporting  and employer providers should be able be on the Find an Apprenticeship Provider service to allow for a fair, transparent and open service to all users. In short, promoting transparency in the use of public spending.

It will also allow for the 623 providers not on the ‘find an Apprenticeship Provider’ to market their offer to the wider public via an open Government portal, and as a final thought I am aware of where many Main Providers do not keep it up to date or use it properly either, to me now is a great time to refresh all platforms/portals to ensure all is up to date and keep them updated to remain ‘fresh’ for all to see. 

To conclude, I want to leave two questions as food for thought and for discussion on Promote-Ed’s forum

  • Why aren't Supporting & Employer Providers Approved by the ESFA to deliver Apprenticeship Training not given the same promotion as Main training providers?
  • Why can’t all apprenticeship Providers market themselves on an equal footing?

Patrick Tucker

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 1 hour 41 minutes ago

The pandemic has disproportionately impacted women in the workforce – it’s crucial that we empower female leaders i… https://t.co/aE8WrqALeC
View Original Tweet

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 12 hours 48 minutes ago

Remaining university students to return to campus no earlier than 17 May: All university students who have not yet… https://t.co/pFGiuM5RAr
View Original Tweet

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.


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.


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