Paul Offord

  • Halfon pleads for nursing apprenticeships to be 'special case' with levy spending

    The education select committee chair has pleaded for nursing apprenticeships to be made a “special case” with flexibility over levy spending. But skills minister Anne Milton told him in a special session this morning – dedicated to investigating what is holding up their roll-out – that this could not be done. It comes after FE Week reported

    14.44 Jul. 17th, 2018 | News

  • Learndirect Apprenticeship staff and assets transferred to PeoplePlus for nominal fee

    The new owner of Learndirect’s apprenticeship division has transferred all assets, in a hastily arranged deal, to the company that had previously had an offer rejected, FE Week can reveal. It has been confirmed today that PeoplePlus Group Ltd, part of Staffline Group plc, has taken on the staff, customers and apprentices of Learndirect Apprenticeships Ltd (LDA)

    17.33 Jul. 16th, 2018 | News

  • Training for hundreds of glass industry apprentices branded 'inadequate'

    UPDATE: The government has confirmed that the Vocational College has now “ceased training”. “The DfE has appointed an administrator to support the transfer of learners and it is our priority to make sure that suitable high quality alternative provision can be found for all learners so they can continue with their learning with the minimum

    12.17 Jul. 16th, 2018 | News

  • Disappointment at lack of concrete pay offer, as AoC proposes package dependent on funding rise

    Disappointment has been expressed at the lack of a concrete offer following pay talks with the Association of Colleges, which is instead proposing a “substantial pay package” over two years dependent on government funding. The unions met with AoC bosses on Friday to discuss college pay, and were looking for a better pay offer than

    10.39 Jul. 16th, 2018 | News

  • DfE orders independent investigation into ESFA over 3aaa contract management

    An independent auditor has been called in to investigate the Education and Skills Funding Agency over their contract management of apprenticeships giant Aspire Achieve Advance (3aaa), FE Week can reveal. Alyson Gerner is carrying out the independent investigation on behalf of the Department for Education. She is finance director of DfE-owned LocatED, which is responsible for buying

    11.00 Jul. 13th, 2018 | News

  • Huge concern over surge in higher level management apprenticeships

    A surge in higher level management apprenticeship starts has raised grave concerns that employers are rebadging their training. Gordon Marsden, the shadow skills minister, called on the government to “urgently look deeper” at what is behind the rapidly expanding overall numbers of apprenticeships at level four and above, after seeing FE Week analysis of the latest Department

    9.46 Jul. 13th, 2018 | News

  • Did failed Greater Manchester UTC get ‘free pass’ despite warnings?

    The viability of the failed Greater Manchester university technical college was questioned by government officials even before it opened, but ministers still allowed the project to proceed, new documents have revealed. Correspondence seen by our sister paper Schools Week shows Department for Education bosses believed the state-of-the-art UTC, which cost £9 million to build, would

    22.21 Jul. 12th, 2018 | News

  • 'Preferred' Social Mobility Commission chair wants 'complete overhaul' of FE

    The government’s preferred candidate to chair the Social Mobility Commission has told MPs that the FE sector needs a “complete overhaul”, and reviewing vocational education would be one of her key priorities. Dame Martina Milburn appeared before the education select committee this morning. She made it clear that she is not impressed with the FE

    12.04 Jul. 11th, 2018 | News

  • Names of over 60 colleges involved in new careers hubs revealed

    The names of more than 60 FE colleges set to play key roles in new hubs, which the education secretary Damian Hinds has said will transform careers education across England, have been unveiled. But question marks have been raised over how viable it will be for the colleges to implement the required changes, as the

    0.01 Jul. 11th, 2018 | News

  • Careers and Enterprise Company agrees to publish board minutes

    The Careers and Enterprise Company has responded to savage criticism from MPs over secrecy by finally agreeing to publish its board minutes. Its chair Christine Hodgson and chief executive Claudia Harris were grilled in May over the CEC’s lack of transparency, during a bruising appearance before the Commons education select committee, where CEC was called an “over-bloated quango”. The

    8.00 Jul. 9th, 2018 | News

  • Ex-minister calls subcontracting fees 'scandalous', but DfE has 'no concerns'

    The government has for the first time concluded they have “no concerns” about subcontracting fees, despite more than 10 providers charging an average of over 30 per cent last year, FE Week can reveal. This is completely at odds with the view of the last skills minister Robert Halfon, who now chairs the education select

    9.39 Jul. 6th, 2018 | News