Latest News

The Budget

20 11.18

The budget sets out the government’s vision for developing new skills needed for the UK’s long-term prosperity and an economy fit for the future. In light of this, many people are angry about both the wording and the sentiment of the one-off £400 million given to schools so they can “buy the little extras that they need". FE Colleges will not view this as an ‘end to austerity’ - real funding per pupil has been falling, and that the post-16 education has fared worse than any other area in the sector. Now, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, has warned in a letter that “the real-term cuts to FES funding are affecting the sustainability and quality of FES provision”.

A few relevant snippets:

  1. From April the government will make up to £450 million available to enable levy paying employers to transfer up to 25% of their funds to pay for apprenticeship training in their supply chains. Likewise, for the smaller firms their levy contributions will be halved from 10% to 5%, a provision of up to £240 million for smaller employers. 
  2. A consultation on the future of the apprenticeship levy will be launched to understand how providers are responding to the programme across the UK with a particular focus on strengthening the role of apprenticeships in the post 2020 skills and Brexit landscape
  3. £100 million has been allocated for the National Retraining Scheme (NRS)


Apprenticeships by industry characteristics data: The 5 things we learnt

New research on apprenticeships by industry characteristics has revealed which sector is the most popular, what is preferred by each gender and where in the country apprenticeship starts are lowest. The Department for Education has compiled statistics focusing on the five academic years between 2012/13 and 2016/17,


Monthly apprenticeships update: July starts down 43% on 2016
Apprenticeship starts for July are down 43 per cent on the same month in 2016 – but up 21 per cent on last year.

Ofqual launches consultation on regulating fully-funded digital skills training
Ofqual has launched a consultation into how best to regulate the government’s new digital skills qualifications, which will be provided for free to adults lacking in basic skills.


ESFA to launch new apprenticeship vacancy tool for employers
A new tool to let employers directly post apprenticeship vacancies is being launched by the Education and Skills Agency.