All courses from September next year will need to have an online component in order to attract Skills Funding Agency (SFA) cash, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock announced today.

The announcement forms part of the government’s response to recommendations from the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (Feltag),  in March. It called for a minimum of 10 per cent of all courses to be delivered online, among other things.

“During 2014 to 2015 we will work with a small number of awarding organisations, employers and providers to take forward ‘online-only trailblazers’, focused initially on vocational qualifications,” said Mr Hancock at the Spectator Skills Forum, at the Institute of Directors, in London.

“This will allow us to road-test the funding and audit implications of online delivery, and crucially, to understand how we move from a skills funding system based solely on ‘contract and contact’ to one which responds to progress, without compromising on quality.

“Alongside the online-only funding rate, from 2015 to 2016 the SFA will also introduce a business rule for the approval of funding: setting out a minimum online threshold for the delivery of course content. We will be announcing both the rate and threshold in the autumn.”

The Twitter hashtag #CareersLab is in use for event coverage. See edition 107 of FE Week (dated Monday, June 23) for more on the government’s response to Feltag.

Pictured, from left, is Skills Minister Matthew Hancock, National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday and event chair Andrew Neil.

Pic: Twitter account of Tony Moloney (@MoloneyEdu), head of education & Skills at National Grid, non-exec director National Skills Academy for Power, Engineering UK Business & Industry