From education to employment

ALP speaks out against GLH

Following the Government’s announced cuts last week, Graham Hoyle, chief executive of the Association of Learning Providers’ (ALP), has come up with his own “radical” spending efficiencies he feels should be introduced to protect frontline training.

Among the first of Mr Hoyle’s proposed cuts is the use of Guided Learning Hours (GLH) as a measure of quality and determinant of funding for work based learning programmes, such as Apprenticeships.

He argues that, whilst GLH provide a good guideline for classroom based learning, the rise in other teaching methods, such as work based learning, mean that they can no longer be used to judge across the board.

Speaking in ALP’s newsletter, Mr Hoyle said: “Over the years the increasingly flexible modes of learning – open learning, self learning, IT supported learning, etc. – have rendered the simplistic use of GLH increasingly difficult, and indeed irrelevant.”

Mr Hoyle believes that the learning providers that offer anything other than classroom based learning are wasting large amounts of money and time trying convert hours trainees spend “on the job” into their GLH equivalent.

He said: “We now have providers working in a bureaucratic nonsense whereby they have to meticulously estimate, count, record and be financially accountable for something which doesn’t in reality exist. This costs providers money and adds no value to the training event.”

“With providers now being expected to maintain quality despite ever more challenging unit price cuts, this is an overhead cost which must be removed.”

The BIS guidelines, which are set to come into effect from 6 April 2011, state that on the job learning can count towards GLH, of which there need to be 280 hours annually in an Apprenticeship.

Mr Hoyle is now calling on everyone involved in funding and providing work based learning to come together to find a “more appropriate” approach to assessing funding levels.

“We urgently need a much more output focused funding mechanism,” he said.

Richard Lang

(Pictured: Graham Hoyle)

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