The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is the leading trade association for vocational learning and employment providers in Britain. The majority of its 770 members are independent, private, not-for-profit and voluntary sector training and employment services organisations. Membership is open to any provider committed to quality provision and it includes over 40 FE colleges involved in work based learning. AELP members deliver over 70% of England’s 872,000 apprenticeships, and are also at the forefront of Work Programme, Traineeship and Study Programme delivery.
Smaller employers will need a streamlined digital service to access government funding for apprenticeships when they join the Apprenticeship Service (AS) which is currently operating for large levy-paying employers only.
There is plenty to write about this week. Today we are looking at end point assessment and the whole end to end delivery of apprenticeships and I have been meeting with various people connected with the IfA – so important that this organisation is a success. With the lines of responsibility shifting, and sometimes blurring, between delivery, assessment and training it is important AELP understand and ensure the best possible apprenticeships across the whole apprenticeship cycle.
Independent Learning Providers (ILPs) have one of the most interesting and challenging jobs in education. Teaching everything from yoga to degree-level apprenticeships, ILPs have to cater for a diverse and eclectic student base with a range of very different needs.
The latest monthly apprenticeship start numbers for March 2018 (23,900) have been published today showing a 52% fall in total starts in comparison with March last year. Starts for the year 2017-18 so far are down 28% on a year ago.
Following AELP CEO Mark Dawe’s communication to AELP members in this week’s Countdown, AELP has continued to lobby the government and ESFA on the non-levy apprenticeship allocations. Since the Countdown article appeared, many providers have emailed our Apprenticeships mailbox with details of their allocations. The emails make for shocking reading and Mark and Simon Ashworth have endeavoured to answer all of them. Cuts in allocations of around 80% are not uncommon (one or two even higher) and the range is typically between 50 and 80%. Some grade 1 and 2 providers have not been spared the carnage. Many members tell us that their allocations cover barely a month’s new starts and we have informed ministers and officials of the likely consequences.
Many AELP members are already contacting their ESFA account manager about their non-levy apprenticeship funding allocation for May-December 2017. If you are unhappy with how your allocation has been calculated, the ESFA is willing to consider your case, so you should contact your own account manager as soon as possible. In presenting your own calculations, you should make sure that your figures only cover starts because carry-in learners are being funded separately.