Looking forward, the role of all providers will become important in supporting economic recovery and social cohesion across the country as more and more people seek new forms of employment and young people in particular will be looking for support, guidance and opportunity.
Whilst the debate about the benefits of Kick Start v Traineeships v Apprenticeships or indeed the conflict between the various schemes will continue as more detail emerges of how they will operate, what is clear is that for all of these schemes to
be a success will require a VIBRANT skills provider base to include Colleges and Universities, Private Training Providers, Third Sector Providers and indeed Employer Providers.
The ESFA have already announced the much awaited changes to sub-contracting with the aim of significantly reducing the levels of sub-contracting and third party brokerage.
We have already seen a ban on sub-contracting for Adult Loans introduced some time ago and envisage new schemes will possibly extend restrictions on sub- contracting. Without that, it defeats the efforts that have gone into introducing new rules over sub-contracting.
So, we have two registers for Skill Providers, ROTO and RoATP, both of which are currently closed for new applications with ROTO having been closed for some years. For many new providers, the in ability for registration on ROTO places significant restrictions on their ability to be engaged with programmes such as Adult Loans, AEB, ESF and other programmes whilst exclusion from RoATP prevents any meaningful participation with Apprenticeship provision.
For Traineeships, only ‘procured lead providers’ can participate which has severely restricted the growth and indeed encouraged the demise of the programme and with the announcements that procured provision will disappear in early 2021 we have a level of confusion, frustration and demand for clarity from many providers.
Above all, the ESFA needs to move decisively to provide GUIDANCE and support to ensure that what does come is both fit for purpose and enables providers to respond to the opportunities presented with both likely short term and medium term Government interventions.
Our latest report submitted to Ministers analyses what could be done to support the education and training sector.
Access the full report using the link below