The ESFA should be applauded for taking swift and tough action against Talent Training.
I expect this story and the associated concerns will be a hot topic at the upcoming AELP conference, but to be clear there can be no grey areas over how levy money should be spent.
It must all be used for training and assessment of the apprentice it’s linked to, and any attempts to hive off cash through employer inducements has to be cracked down on.
The National Audit Office has already warned it is worried the reformed apprenticeship system is wide open to abuse.
Our investigation, which I’m extremely proud of, exposed one such attempt at foul play – involving a major independent provider that previously had a good relationship with the government.
Let’s hope that lessons are learned through the internal investigation Talent is now carrying out.
The government and the sector as a whole must be on our guard. The new apprenticeships system, which has benefitted from a huge amount of welcome publicity and support from ministers, will be fatally undermined if the NAO finds widespread malpractice in the coming months.