The government has announced that it finally expect to issue notices of decisions to providers next week, on the long-delayed non-levy tendering process for funding apprenticeships with small employers.
The message on the Bravo tendering site has gone out to those waiting for results.
It says: “Further to the agency’s Bravo message on November 17, the [Education and Skills Funding] Agency can now confirm it anticipates issuing notices of decisions to award to potential providers during the week commencing Monday, December 4.
“The notice will inform potential providers of whether they have been awarded a contract in the apprenticeship non levy procurement or not. Potential providers should check their Bravo account for their notice from December 5.”
FE Week reported on November 17 that the process surrounding the second attempt at tending this had been ‘postponed’ again.
The ESFA told providers more time was needed to evaluate a ‘high volume’ of applications and was unable to say when the results of the £650m tender round would be known.
That message sent via the tendering website read: “The agency has been pleased to receive a high volume of tenders following a very positive response to the invitation to tender for this procurement, and is currently finalising the evaluation process.
“Potential providers will be contacted again shortly with further information on the new date for the issue of award notifications.”
The postponement did not come as a surprise, as the tender process was fraught with problems that led to providers submitting nearly 1,000 official clarification requests.