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AELP Respond to ESFA Announcement on Apprenticeship Service Transition

The Education and Skills Funding Agency announced on 9 August that all employers would not be able to use the apprenticeship service to access apprenticeship funding from April 2019 as previously planned. 

To ensure a more gradual and stable transition, the Agency will instead extend current contracts for training providers delivering training for employers that do not pay the apprenticeship levy
for 12 months, from April 2019 to March 2020.

Responding to this announcement, AELP chief policy officer Simon Ashworth said:

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Traineeship Barriers
August 3, 2018

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) followed up its earlier work on Traineeships suggesting that there is still a long way to go and pointing to actions, including:

– A review of how growth requests are managed

– More public support and backing from Government

– More engagement and access to direct funding for Traineeship subcontractors

– Removal of some unhelpful ‘success measures’ 

–  Tackling the disjoint between the recognised and accepted aims of the programme and how provider performance is currently being measured

Download the Briefing Paper Here

AELP Launches New Code of Good Governance for Independent Training Providers

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is consulting on a new Code of Good Governance for Independent Training Providers who deliver publicly funded skills programmes on behalf of the government.

The draft Code sets out the key themes and principles which any provider in the sector will need to adopt in order to show that it is conducting its business in the best interest of its trainees, Training employers, key stakeholders and funders.

It adopts and builds on the Seven (Nolan) Principles of Public Life which provide an ethical framework for the personal behaviour of a provider’s board members and leadership.

These standards are:

  1. Selflessness
  2. Integrity
  3. Objectivity
  4. Accountability
  5. Openness
  6. Honesty
  7. Leadership

With support from the Further Education Trust for Leadership (FETL), the Code has been designed to apply to all independent training providers (ITPs), including limited companies, charities and not-for-profit organisations and AELP is strongly recommending that all of its ITP members adopt it. Read more

City & Guilds Report Employers Unprepared for T-Levels
May 31, 2018

Many employers feel they don’t have a good understanding of T-Levels, according to City & Guilds.

With two years to go until their introduction, just 17% of UK employers feel that they have a good understanding of T-Levels, with almost half (49%) rating their understanding as poor. Additionally, 54% of education providers rate their understanding as either middling or poor.

T-Levels were announced in the 2017 Spring Budget, with the aim to replace 15,000 technical qualifications with 15 vocational routes, including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, health, and science.

A key part of the T-Level programme is a mandatory 45-day work placement. Currently most employers (71%) and training providers (74%) offer work placements of one to two weeks for 16- to 19-year-olds. Only 8% of employers provide placements of the duration required for T-Levels, meaning a step change will be required to accommodate these placements in industry, the research stated.

In addition, there will need to be a significant increase in the number of work placement students employers take on, with an estimated 180,000 placements needed per year.

More encouragingly, most employers expressed support for this part of the new qualification, with almost three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed saying they are willing to play a greater role in helping students apply their learning in a workplace setting. However, both employers and training providers cited concerns around the implementation of the work placements.

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AELP Parlimentary Newsletter 24: May 2018





AELP Parliamentary Newsletter 24 – May 2018

AELP Guidance for Providers
May 11, 2018

This document has been produced by AELP as a guide to help providers and employers understand and work to the current ESFA funding rules on planning and delivering a minimum of 20% off-the-job training (OTJT).

Both the ESFA and DfE have seen this guidance and provided feedback during its development.


‘Huge’ Demand for Traineeships, Despite Fall in Numbers
January 25, 2018
After traineeships starts fell last year for the first time, the AELP says the government must take action now to save the programme.

That was the message from key figures in the training sector at a special event in Parliament on Tuesday, hosted by shadow further education and skills minister Gordon Marsden and the Association of Education and Learning Providers (AELP). 

The traineeship programme was launched in 2013 by the coalition government as a route into apprenticeships, education or employment – and to help youngsters become “job ready” by developing their soft skills.

Getting back on track

However, the programme has stalled recently, with traineeship starts falling last year for the first time. In 2016-17, there was a 15.7 percent drop in starts, from 24,100 in the previous year to 20,300. The biggest drop was among 19- to 24-year-olds, with a fall of 31.3 percent from 9,400 last year to 6,400.

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Scrap The £200,000 Non-Levy Tender Minimum, says AELP
August 3, 2017

A request to scrap the “controversial” £200,000 threshold in the new non-levy procurement process is going to be put forward by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers.

Mark Dawe, the association’s chief executive, described the minimum contract value for the tender, which was launched by the Education and Skills Funding Agency last week, as a “pro rata risk” during a webinar with members.

Under the rule, the ESFA has said that in all cases, the lowest contract value that will be awarded for the “initial contact period” is £200,000.

The agency will “not make an award to the potential provider” if this amount is not met. The agency said the rule has been introduced so that providers can “have greater confidence that bids and subsequent awards are set at a realistic level”.

But small providers are fearing they will not be able to meet the threshold and as such, Mr Dawe is calling for it to be scrapped.

“This is going to be our main area where we need to continue the conversation with the ESFA to ask is this really right,” he said.

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The Impacts of the Apprenticeship Levy: Findings from the Employer Survey
July 6, 2017

Research by the Warwick Institute for Employment Research commissioned by AELP – June 2017 saw 200 employers being interviewed.

A summary of the findings are:

Levy Awareness:

  • High levels of awareness –90% heard of levy
  • But not of how much employers will pay –25% don’t know
  • Expected payment not consistent with employment numbers

Short Term Impacts:

  • 46% employers plan to recruit same number
  • 35% plan to reduce, 17% plan to increase
  • Estimated net reduction in apprenticeship numbers of -17%
  • Levy will impact negatively on levy payers’ recruitment plans (-20% net effect)
  • Other factors little difference in the impact on levy and non-levy payers

Medium Term Impacts:

  • Most (52%) employers plan to maintain recruitment levels
  • Levy payers likely to increase recruitment (+18% net effect) driven by the need to spend the Levy
  • Concerns over SME recruitment (net effect -11%) and non-levy payers (net effect -14%)
  • Small changes by age (small net decrease 16-18, increase 19-24)
  • Small changes by Level (small net decrease Level 2, increase Level 3+)

Access the Full Report: AELP WarwickIER appren levy employer survey Final 230617

New AELP Research Shows that Apprenticeship Numbers are Likely to Fall
June 26, 2017

Providers will ‘go bust’ without additional government investment, warns the Association of Employment and Learning Providers


The number of apprenticeship starts is not only likely to grow much more slowly than expected, it is also actually likely to drop in the coming months, a new study by the Warwick Institute for Employment Research has suggested.

The research, commissioned by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), found that over a third of employers planned to reduce the number of apprenticeships starts between now and October, with just 17 percent anticipating an increase in the total during the period.

Half of the employers planned to reduce their overall number of apprentices, compared with a quarter anticipating an increase.

If these trends were replicated across the country, it would equate to “a net fall in apprentice numbers of 17 per cent”, according to the Institute, with the drop most pronounced among non-levy payers.

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