FE Voices

Mark Dawe, Chief Executive, Association of Employment and Learning Providers

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

An important step from @EducationGovUK but still far from a fair approach for all #apprentices 

Today’s (24 Apr) government Covid-related financial support package in respect of non-levy apprenticeships and the adult education budget has been welcomed by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers as a positive development from where we were a month ago.

Significant progress has been made in both the area of support and flexibilities being applied to the apprenticeship funding rules in order to respond to the unprecedented challenges which training providers, colleges and awarding organisations are facing.

However AELP has been left with no choice but to take legal advice on the omission of support for apprentices being trained at levy paying employers.   

This is an important step in the right direction but we’re not even halfway there if this is about protecting the livelihoods of existing apprentices and disadvantaged young people on traineeships and study programmes.

Today’s announcement, while welcome, does not offer financial support for independent training providers and colleges training over half of the 628,000 apprentices who were on an apprenticeship programme when the pandemic started.  This is because the Department for Education is claiming that the Cabinet Office supplier relief guidance doesn’t apply in respect of apprentices who are employed by organisations paying the apprenticeship levy. 

Our initial legal advice is that this claim is discriminatory against the apprentices outside the scope of today’s package and there are strong grounds for a challenge, but AELP shouldn’t have to be going down this route. The adversely affected apprentices are innocent parties in all this and it shouldn’t matter where they are doing their training if it means that their programmes can continue uninterrupted.  Similarly, levy paying employers shouldn’t be forced to change their chosen training provider in this critical period if the lack of support means that the provider gets into financial difficulty.

No bailouts required

The DfE should provide across-the-board support for all apprenticeships, traineeships and study programmes and we need to stress again that the department can do this without the need for any bailouts from the Treasury.  This is because the programme budgets for 2020-21 are already sitting in the department’s coffers waiting to be used in accordance with the Cabinet Office guidelines. 

Every apprentice and learner on a government funded education and skills programme should be entitled to the same support however the funding flows.  Therefore ministers should follow up today’s announcement quickly with a further package for levy funded apprenticeships and the other skills programmes.   

Why so long?

The DfE wasted no time in guaranteeing grant funding for further education courses in colleges and so AELP has to ask why it has taken a month for it to announce its intention to comply with the Cabinet Office guidance in respect of non-levy apprenticeships and adult education. 

While we don’t have an issue with the specific quality thresholds included in today’s package, the approach so far has reinforced the suspicions of AELP members that the DfE was originally seeking to use the pandemic as an excuse to reduce through a lack of financial support the number of independent training providers operating in the apprenticeship market.  This belief is related to the well-documented oversubscribed demands on the levy budget.

AELP has pointed out that adopting an approach of the survival of the fittest towards training providers wouldn’t necessarily result in the survival of the highest quality providers and that some important niche providers could also be lost.  We feel that today’s announcement has gone some way to addressing these concerns.

In the absence of any plausible explanation on why it has taken so long for the DfE to come up with a limited package of support after the publication of the Cabinet Office guidance, we hope that the House of Commons Education Committee will explore this in its Covid-19 impact inquiry.  Sadly a certain amount of trust has been lost between providers and the government, and lessons need to be learnt for the future.

AELP is very grateful to its members who wrote to so many MPs in England and in turn we express our thanks to the Parliamentarians of all parties who took up the issue with DfE ministers.

It is important to note that in addition to providing apprenticeships and adult education, independent training providers will be needed to support unemployed people back into work when the pandemic is over.

Mark Dawe, Chief Executive, Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

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