Mark Dawe, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, stated ‘some providers have been critical of AELP’s position but we would argue that we have been entirely consistent given what we have been told publicly and privately in recent months. We have regularly said that the DfE and ESFA have been far too ambitious in trying to introduce too many funding, quality, standards and assessment reforms for apprenticeships at the same time.’
He continues, ‘our watchwords were ‘evolution, rather than revolution’ and MPs on the joint Business and Education select committee for skills clearly agreed with us in their sobering report a fortnight ago. The decision to run the ITT certainly fell foul of those watchwords and AELP said months ago that existing contracts should be extended at least until August of this year.’
In response to the frustration some providers had on this announcement, he added, “but the programme’s reputation will be better served by this rethink of the government’s approach.”
Apprenticeship providers refine the process
By providing stability to colleges and providers, this will allow more time to refine the procurement process. With apprentices and employers benefiting in a long-term solution that is also sustainable, irrespective of the size of business.
With current providers having built strong employer relationships over many years, apprenticeships are for many a key opportunity for student progression. Without a pause in the changes to subcontracting rules, the proposed way forward may be significant and inadvertently undermine the current high-quality provision in the marketplace.
This is a sensible decision and the correct recognition in light of the scale and complexity of change currently being experienced.
To view the full AELP article please see here.