Government listen to concerns and pause all apprenticeship framework removals

Government listen to concerns and pause all apprenticeship framework removals

The government’s decision on the phasing out of the next wave of apprenticeship frameworks has again be postponed, this time until the autumn.

An update on the removal of apprenticeship frameworks was released today by the Department for Education which revealed the outcome of its long-awaited phasing out consultation would be delayed further.

It was originally meant to be published in May this year, but officials said today, given that “we are in a period of considerable change for the sector”, that to “maximise stability” the department has “now postponed the next wave of frameworks to be withdrawn until the autumn”.

The next wave to be phased out is “batch four” which includes frameworks in customer service management and business professional administration and were meant to be out by April 2018.

But today’s announcement said: “We will delay the original proposed withdrawal dates from April 2018 to a later date that will account for the postponement of the announcement, and will ensure we give a sufficient notice period to the sector.”

Association of Employment and Learning Providers boss Mark Dawe said he welcomed the news.

“AELP has been calling for a pause on the whole standards process, especially when there aren’t proper assessment arrangements in place for many standards to be rolled out in the right manner.  Therefore it’s entirely consistent to keep certain frameworks running until employers and the sector have confidence in their replacements.”

The government intends to phase all frameworks out, replacing them where appropriate with the new graded standards, by 2020 – three years later than the original planned phasing out date of 2017.

As of today there are 592 apprenticeship framework pathways still available and only 177 apprenticeship standards approved for delivery.

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of delays that Anne Milton (pictured above), the apprenticeships and skills minister, has put into action since coming into post in June.

Last week FE Week revealed that training providers had been told they will learn the results of their long delayed adult education budget bids in August, even though the Education and Skills Funding Agency claimed the announcement would be made “at the end of July”.

And earlier in July Ms Milton also announced that the non-levy funding tender would be rerun and the teaching of the first T-levels would be delayed by a year from 2019 to September 2020.

UPDATE: FE Week asked the DfE if it was still committed to phasing out all frameworks by 2020, to which the department said: “We remain committed to all starts being on standards by 2020.”