#Coronavirus – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State @GillianKeegan for #Learning and Skills wrote to non-academic stakeholders about measures the government has put in place to deal with # Covid19 and includes links towards both towards new orientations – broader #FE operational orientation as well as more specific orientation of learning.
Letter from Gillian Keegan to non-academic stakeholders regarding the news #Coronavirus advice: @GillianKeegan The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Learning and Skills has written to non-university stakeholders about the measures the government… https://t.co/KFE6dY16Rd pic.twitter.com/m7Y4pixmTj
– FE News – The #FutureofEducation news channel (@FENews) March 23, 2020
Industry response to Gillian Keegan’s letter
Jill Whittaker, FCA, Managing Director of HIT Training Ltd, said:
“As non-university training providers, we recognize that we are independent businesses, choosing how we spend our income and how we distribute our surplus. This, inevitably and appropriately, puts us in a different position than colleges. FE where the relationship is above all In the current context, it is right that college funding is protected and that training providers are treated like other businesses.
“However, what independent training providers and FE colleges have in common is our common concern for our learners and I am concerned that the latest ESFA guidelines do not go far enough to reassure learning providers. of all kinds that they will be supported by appropriate funding when they do the right thing and continue to support apprentices in their learning – distance, through individual online learning, through webinars, tailor-made programs, assistance calls, etc. – whatever the circumstances.
“The endpoint assessment will also need to be changed temporarily, as workplace observations become impossible. The flexibilities available to GCSE and A certification organizations should be extended to endpoint assessment organizations. Trust them to do whatever it takes to make sure learners aren’t at a disadvantage Unprecedented times need unprecedented action.
“So, a plea at ESFA – if an apprentice wishes to continue his apprenticeship in these troubled times, let him do so. Continue their funding even if they are made redundant by their employer. Please don’t do anything to disadvantage these apprentices. Our country is going to need all the help we can get to get through this crisis, and in the end, the more qualified people we have to re-enter the workforce to support the recovery, the better. It’s in your ESFA donation, we’re doing the right thing, so should you.
“And another call to IfATE – if schools and sixth grade classes can find a way to trust teachers to assess a GCSE or A level grade, surely you can do the same with your highly regulated and expert assessment organizations.
“Trust us, and we’ll deliver for you.”
Association of Employment and Learning Providers CEO Mark Dawe said:
“The omission of any financial support from the DfE for apprenticeships and other vocational training runs completely against the assurance offered by the Secretary of State in the House of Commons last week. It remains for us to conclude that the government does not take seriously the continuation of apprenticeship training or any other form of vocational training during the pandemic or that it is very happy to chair the shutdown of many independent training providers ( ITP) over the next three months.
“How should suppliers implement the flexibilities proposed in today’s statement if they have significantly reduced revenues?” It is now a battle for survival. The majority of provider staff will be put on leave, which means that they will not be available to support the training of apprentices and other learners.
“Coming after Friday’s guaranteed financial support for the traditional FE offering, the DfE statement adds insult to injury. For example, he says that “Government policy does not allow payment for services prior to deliveryAnd yet that is precisely what she announced for colleges on Friday. ITPs providing adult education, internships and other forms of training were also offered zero assurance by today’s statement.
“Then, with regard to apprenticeships, the declaration goes further and defines the conditions for recovering the funding of independent training providers if the crisis means that apprenticeships cannot be completed. Since it is not their fault that they cannot access or assess apprentices, this is irrelevant.
“Unless the government urgently reconsiders its position which it has had two weeks to reflect on, we will likely see the start of the collapse of the training and assessment industry over the next week, at unless action is taken on funding, and employers who want the training and assessment to continue will have no place to go when this is over.
“Colleges only provide 25% of apprenticeship training. This means that they are not in a position to rush and fill in the gaps that will appear in key sectors and in many towns and rural areas of the country, including the Red Wall areas, if the ITPs, who are dispensing near of 7 out of 10 apprenticeships start to go bankrupt. The niche offer in sectors such as textiles will also suffer severely.
“Another important point about the quality of the offer is that almost all ITP have made the transition to the new learning standards, while less than 6 months after the executive stoppage, many colleges are slow to do so. change.
“So employers looking to get back on their feet after the pandemic is over will find that the learning they want will not be available to them. And soon, this other ready-made solution for the EU’s migrant workforce will not be there to fill the gaps either.
“What about this year’s baccalaureate graduates aged 16 or 18? What will be the opportunities for them if many apprenticeship training providers are no longer there?
“This is why any further delay on a financial support program for apprenticeships and ITPs is totally unacceptable.
“The AELP has requested an urgent meeting tonight with the Minister of Learning and Skills. We also hope that members of the Commons Education Committee will raise these issues with the minister when she appears before them on Wednesday.
Richard Marsh, director of learning at Kaplan, says we should protect apprentices during this #Coronavirus crisis:
“I’m afraid to say it’s very disappointing.
“There is actually no major change or relaxation in this ‘direction’.
“There is a lot of detail on how training providers will have to justify being paid for 4 weeks of training in March if a learner has only completed 3 weeks,” but nothing at all on major issues.
“It reads like a very defensive document – all about protecting existing rule sets – it’s not the political leadership we’re going to need to save a whole cohort of apprentices.
“After the bold moves on GCSEs and A-levels, it left the learnings like the poor cousin and an afterthought.
“There is nothing on:
- Functional skills test – which will prevent thousands of apprentices from completing. What is the use of introducing face-to-face monitoring requirements for this when we are asked to isolate ourselves!
- Outside the work rules – be flexed to adapt to changes in work models.
- Examinations and EPA all being conducted remotely or bypassed (why is this correct for A levels but not for apprentices?)
“If we’re not careful, the message for apprentices is that your courses aren’t worth saving. It can’t be what the government wants or means and they need to review this. Immediately.”
Anthony Impey, Chairman of the Learning and Skills Policy Unit, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“Never in living memory has a government had to act so quickly or on this scale. Our government has taken bold steps to intervene and support the economy over the past few days to ensure that the country has a chance to recover as quickly as possible after the devastating impact of the crisis.
“This must include guarantees for the higher education sector so that we have the skills infrastructure capable of meeting the demands of the post-crisis workforce, including a comprehensive apprenticeship system. .
“The government should provide much needed reassurance to independent training providers, many of whom are small businesses, who will be wiped out as a result. We are now risking a sector that will not be able to rebound when this crisis is over, which is bad for our economy and our young people.
Lindsay McCurdy, Founder of Apprenticeships4England, said:
“Gillian Keegan, Minister of Learning and Skills, Has Ditched the Apprenticeship Sector: The Sector Has Been Overthrown
“ITPs offer 7 out of 10 apprenticeships and many are now going out of business. Without financial support from DfE ITPs will not be able to survive, look at the ROATP register, many provide only a small amount of standards much at the lower end of the funding stream.
“Nothing in this communication on functional skills, off-the-job training or APE. This lack of support will also have repercussions on the support structures of the apprenticeship sector.
“When this ends, we will no longer be able to offer apprenticeships to employers, but especially to learners. It is time for the sector to come together or there will be no more learning sector.