From education to employment

Flexible providers will ride out multiple FE challenges, says AELP


FE is beset with challenges but independent training providers are well placed to tackle them because of their record of being quick to adapt to change, according to a leading trade association.

Stewart Segal, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), said working closer with employers will also be key as he laid out an extensive of issues facing the sector.

Speaking at AELP’s ‘Making a Difference with Employers’ autumn conference today, he said: “Providers are meeting the current challenges from a position of strength.

“Nevertheless we have to work even more closely with employers. We have to put them at the centre of the programmes and balance their needs with the needs of the learners, while delivering quality services.”

Against a backdrop of various government reviews and consultations on skills and employment programmes, he set out a list of short and long-term challenges:




• introduction of Raising the Participation Age and change in careers guidance

• introduction of a new SFA funding system and matrix

• introduction of Study Programmes

• introduction of Traineeships

• 24+ Advanced Learning Loans

• Work Programme success rates and links with SFA Provision for the Unemployed programme and

• the new Ofsted Common Inspection Framework.


Medium and longer term


• reducing government investment in adult skills – possible extension of loans

• retaining flexibility in contracts

• improving the level playing field for independent providers

• localism agenda

• apprenticeship reform

• qualification reform

• Youth Contract and

• Work Programme 2 and Work Choice.

Natalie Thornhill

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