Nick Linford

  • Ofsted announces tougher approach to monitoring subcontracting

    Ofsted will increase its focus on management and quality in subcontracting, according to its most senior director for FE and skills. The letter is being sent out today by Paul Joyce, with new “sample based” monitoring visits on the horizon. “This letter is to inform you that Ofsted will be increasing its focus on the

    15.08 Feb. 6th, 2018 | News

  • Invest in Ofsted to guarantee apprenticeship quality

    This week the number of providers and employers able to directly tap into an annual £2.5 billion apprenticeship pot exceeded 2,000. Everyone and anyone is being given a piece of the funding action, from Cambridge University, to Greggs, to one-man-band sole traders. Regulating the quality of training in this proliferation of actors will be mission

    9.10 Feb. 2nd, 2018 | Opinion

  • Cambridge University and Greggs among 354 organisations added to register of apprenticeship training providers

    The government increased the size of the register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP) by 354 today, pushing the total to 2,187 organisations with direct access to funding and in scope for Ofsted inspection. The number of apprenticeship providers now in scope for Ofsted inspection, assuming the vast majority recruit level two and three apprentices, has now

    22.45 Jan. 31st, 2018 | News

  • What now for the levy reforms?

    Apprenticeship take-up since the introduction of the levy last May continues to slide, but whether this represents a longer-term problem is debatable. The CBI calls it “alarming”, which, given it represents employers, will be uncomfortable for the government. But if big employers are simply in the planning phase, as the skills minister suggests, the CBI

    21.26 Jan. 25th, 2018 | Opinion

  • BREAKING: Apprenticeship starts continue to fall sharply six months after introduction of the levy

    Total apprenticeship starts fell 41 percent for the six months since May when the levy was introduced, compared to the same period the previous year (see below). Provisional figures published by the DfE this morning report provisional starts for the first quarter of 2017, covering the months of August, September and October. This shows a

    9.35 Jan. 25th, 2018 | News

  • Carillion and the employer-provider problem

    The collapse of Carillion is a sombre reminder that apprentices must, by law, be employees. The government expects that when an apprentice loses their job, their college or training provider will support them to find work elsewhere to finish the course. In fact, the funding rules permit a “break in learning” for a limited period

    10.30 Jan. 19th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Chartered status: when will the government subsidies end?

    The Chartered Institution for Further Education, the brainchild of the former skills minister John Hayes, was first conceived back in 2012, to get high-achieving FE providers the royal seal of approval. But almost six years later – and more than two years after it first started accepting paying members – just eight providers have been

    11.00 Jan. 14th, 2018 | News

  • Why the sector needs Milton to stay at the helm of apprenticeship and skills

    Anne Milton MP has been the apprenticeship and skills minister for seven months, and will continue to be an education minister. Nadhim Zahawi MP, former apprenticeship adviser to the PM, joins the DfE as a minister, mostly likely for childcare. But as FE Week goes to press, two days after the junior minister reshuffle, the

    11.01 Jan. 12th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Reshuffle fun fact: Sixth minister for skills since 2010 needed if Milton moved

    The Prime Minister is expected to make a cabinet reshuffle tomorrow, and most of the attention in the education sector will be on whether the Secretary of State, Justine Greening, is replaced. But keep an eye on the minister for skills, Anne Milton, a former nurse and junior health minister, now tipped by some to replace

    21.58 Jan. 7th, 2018 | News

  • Top ten: FE Week most read news in 2017

    FE Week is known for investing in high quality investigative news and with three and a half million page views it’s been another record year. The news team has published 811 articles since January and here are the ten most read. ‘Shocked’ staff sent packing as huge apprenticeship training provider goes bust One of the

    8.23 Dec. 31st, 2017 | News

  • Non-levy tender: let's have an investigation and recount

    Nobody could have predicted that the ESFA would accidently award non-levy apprenticeship funding to a company that went bust months ago. Although the DfE is tight-lipped and presumably red-faced, there must surely be an independent investigation into how this slipped through the due diligence process. Conversely, that some high-quality colleges and training providers will see

    9.41 Dec. 15th, 2017 | Opinion