Keeping it brief

By: Andrew Gladstone-Heighton

Policy Leader

Thursday 20 July 2017

0 Comment

We’re starting to see the relevant ministers within the Department for Education settle into their respective briefs, with some of the fog of uncertainty around some reforms beginning to lift.

The now confirmed Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Anne Milton, stated at the recent AELP conference that she was here to ‘listen and learn’, and seemed to be in favour of a period of stability to allow the current reforms to be rolled out.

Milton has already shown her decisiveness (or perhaps her willingness to listen to civil servants) in scrapping the non-levy tendering process, opening up the growth requests and opening the non-levy tender, albeit in January 2018.

There was also some welcome acknowledgement of the high turnover of Minsters in post, as (at time of counting), there have been 4 in post in the past 5 years - we’ll see if the Minister will resist the temptation of her predecessors of indulging in more reforms to technical education.

For the time being, there is plenty to be getting on with. The recent drop in apprenticeship starts, the lack of signed off end-point assessments for standards currently being delivered and the widely expected decline in uptake among 16 to 18 year old learners must be among the many things in the Skills Minister’s in-tray.

In a recent FE Week interview with the Education Secretary Justine Greening, she set out challenges facing the implementation of the Post-16 Skill Plan. The chief of these is trying to get employers on board to offer work placements for up to 3 months of the T-Level program. Employers are, understandably, reticent to offer these opportunities, especially when they’re already being asked to upscale apprenticeship job roles. The department is already behind its own timescales in articulating the requirements of T-levels and, if employers are to get on board with this initiative, they need clarity as soon as possible.

No comments have been posted yet. Please feel free to comment first!

Post a Comment


Get notified when a new post is published.





At NCFE we’re continually looking at how we can improve the services we provide, so we’d love it if you could take a few minutes to tell us what you thought about your visit to our website.

We’ll use your feedback to directly inform our developments and help us be the best for you – if you leave your details, we also promise to let you know what we’ve done!