Many of the colleges and training providers that failed to get on the apprenticeship provider register are red-faced.
Not just angry but embarrassed, given some simply failed to comprehensively answer the questions in the tender document.
The SFA is sticking to its guns, but I suspect a quick reapplication will result in this being a temporary setback.
A much bigger concern should be whether this new register contains only what the DfE press release described as “top-quality training providers”.
Robert Halfon, the apprenticeships minister, when unveiling the register, also said: “We are giving employers the confidence to do business with high-quality training providers.”
And we’ve since received press releases from jubilant firms claiming they have been given what they call “government trusted training provider status”.
But, to my surprise, it turns out companies with little or no trading history have successfully found their way onto the register.
These new firms probably wrote beautiful apprenticeship plans in their application, but in the real world employers get confidence from experience.
The SFA said they would set the entry bar high, but as exposed in the pages of FE Week, this has proven not to be the case.
So employers will still need to do their own due diligence when picking a provider, posing the question: why bother with a register at all?