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Jill Whittaker from HIT Training discusses the challenges facing the sector

Jill Whittaker, managing director at HIT Training, discusses the challenges facing training providers and colleges in the current market at theApprenticeships 4 England conference.

Apprenticeships are the only game in town at the moment, according to Whittaker. She reflects on last year’s Ofsted Chief Inspector report on how Apprenticeship delivery was seen to be in a deteriorating position, although the results for specialist training providers show are improving. This means new entrant Apprenticeship providers are not properly prepared to deliver them, according to Whittaker.

She shares her concerns around the Apprenticeship Levy, saying warning the new 0.5% payroll tax for large employers could in effect slash large employers training budgets, running the risk of removing CPD and activity that enriches the workforce. Employers could also be tempted to make all training appear to look like Apprenticeship provision, she says.

There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment, and employers that want to work on their five year plans are struggling to understand how the Apprenticeship Levy will affect them and how Trailblazers will work.

Although independent training providers are used to be market driven and quickly adapting to the needs of the market, Whittaker is concerned for organisations that have high fixed costs such as colleges, which could struggle to adapt as quickly as the market requires.

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