Software and Leps in Spicer update

Skills Funding Agency (SFA) interim chief executive Barbara Spicer has written to contractors with an update on a range of sector issues, including funding software and local enterprise partnerships (Leps).

Ms Spicer said “final adjustments” were being made to the troubled new Funding Information System (Fis). And she thanked providers for their “patience” over the eight-month wait for reliable software.

Ms Spicer added she had written to local enterprise partnership (Lep) chairs offering guidance on long-term capital spending planning — as Leps will take over skills capital spending from the SFA from April next year.

She said: “I am pleased to say I received a very positive response. Shortly, I will write again to Lep chairs to set out in more detail the support the agency’s technical experts can provide.”

She said £432m had been allocated to 95 projects in 2013-14 and 2014-15 through the college capital investment fund, with a further £48m split between 114 colleges in need of refurbishment.

Ms Spicer also reflected on the SFA’s “slimmed down” management structure and said that “by the end of June we will have reduced our overall headcount by 30 per cent”.

It is understood a 30 per cent cut would mean the loss of around 360 jobs.