From education to employment

Training providers are in need of clarity and guidance

Rachel Harrison, GPRS Recruitment

As specialist recruiters in the work-based learning and training sector, here at @GPRSrecruitment we are obviously keeping a close eye on the daily updates and changes within the broader education industry.

There’s no denying that it’s been a tough week for us all, from the announcements surrounding the closure of schools to the massive upheavals for training providers.

Chief Executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers Mark Dawes’ response is therefore very welcome, and I’m sure many of you in the sector were pleased to see the proposals he has put forward to government officials.

These include preparing for training periods being extended, and allowing a more flexible approach to off-the-job training.

Following the announcements earlier in the week that schools are closing after today, and GCSE and A level exams will not be going ahead in the summer, it’s important that similar questions are asked in the apprenticeship sector:

  • How will the coronavirus epidemic affect end point assessment?
  • Will learners’ timelines be affected?
  • How will training providers cope with a reduction in their monthly funding payments?

Fortunately for apprentices and those undertaking vocational qualifications, most training providers are continuing as normal with the majority of training staff able to deliver remotely, putting them in a slightly better position than their peers in academic education.

However, there are still lots of unknown factors, such as whether the gateway exercise can be carried out remotely and whether the functional skills assessment deadline can be moved – further issues which have been addressed in Mark Dawes’ proposal.

The disparity between the guidance and support offered so far to schools/colleges, and to private training providers, is representative of the wider problem faced by the training sector – academic institutions are often prioritised in terms of funding and promotion, leaving training providers feeling left behind. This is only being exacerbated at the moment, as many in the training sector have been left wondering what to tell their learners.

With the situation changing on a daily basis, all we can do is make sure we follow all updates, and hope that some of the proposed suggestions are implemented in order to give clarity to everyone in the sector, both training staff and learners.

We at GPRS will do all we can to keep everyone updated and to help everyone in the sector as much as possible, so that we can all come through this and help the sector thrive once again.

Rachel Harrison, GPRS Recruitment

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