The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has missed its deadline for confirming growth requests for 16 to 18 apprenticeships and traineeships, saying only they would be confirmed “as soon as we can”.

The SFA announced in August, in a document entitled ‘Operational Performance — management rules 2015 to 2016′, that it would clarify growth requests with providers by January 8.

It was part of streamlining measures to the process introduced by SFA chief executive Peter Lauener, which meant that for apprenticeships and traineeships there are now two, instead of the previous three, windows to request in-year growth.

But FE Week was alerted by a college source on Monday (January 11) that it had still not received confirmation, and the SFA declined to comment at the time on whether the same thing had happened with all providers.

However, the SFA told FE Week and confirmed in an Update message on its website: “We are not yet in a position to confirm support for your request. We apologise for this delay and will confirm the position as soon as we can.

It added: “Thank you to those colleges and training organisations that submitted a growth request for 16 to 18 apprenticeships and/or 16 to 18 traineeships. It was part of our performance-management point 1 in December 2015.”

“For further information, please contact your Central Delivery Service adviser,” it said.

The SFA declined to comment ahead of publication on why confirmation of the growth requests has been delayed.