Talk to anyone in the awarding industry and they will tell you that the only constant is change. The sector has already responded to government and a raft of regulatory reforms by developing innovative new ways of meeting evolving learner, skills and employer needs, across the UK.

Awarding bodies are making big investments in the apprenticeship reforms, by undertaking the lion’s share – over 65% – of end-point assessments against the new standards.

Over the past 5 years the number of vocational certificates issued by FAB members in England has declined by 2.2 million, to just over 5 million per annum. There was a 19% decrease in Level 2 qualifications and a 62% decrease in Level 1/Level 2 qualifications

We now know from various government commissioned reviews, that this decline in qualifications has had a negative impact on social mobility. It has fuelled the concern in some communities that the ‘skills ladder’ of opportunity is being kicked away.

The government’s post-16 Level 3 and below review of qualifications has the potential to make an already difficult situation for learners, far worse.

It is why the Federation comes together with the industry and our stakeholders every year to debate the latest policy and sector developments. Our theme this year is ‘diversity and choice in qualifications’, because we believe a dynamic and competitive qualifications marketplace is in the best interests of learners and the wider economy.

Please join us at FAB2019 and have your say!

FE Week are the Official Media Partner for FAB 2019. To find out more about the conference visit: https://awarding.org.uk/conferences/fab2019/

(Main image: Former skills minister, Rt Hon. Anne Milton MP, addressing the FAB conference 2018. )