Apprenticeship schemes which misuse taxpayers’ money is to be debated by leading figures in the FE sector on ‘5 Live Investigates’.

The programme, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live at 9pm this Sunday, includes interviews with a number of apprentices who have been left both out of pocket and without a qualification.

BBC Radio presenter Adrian Goldberg will be discussing case studies with Nick Linford, managing director of Lsect and managing editor of FE Week, John Hayes, minister for FE, and Adrian Bailey MP, chair of the BIS Select Committee, among others.

Mr Linford said “The potential for misuse of public funding is not a new problem to FE, but recent government policies make it increasingly likely. Unlimited subcontracting, fewer funding agency staff and the pressure to achieve growth targets increases the risks.

“So provider freedoms and flexibilities should not come at the expense of accountablity and quality.”

Mr Bailey told FE Week: “What we need is real apprenticeships, and an adequate level of funding to ensure that they are meaningful and effective.

“The government should concentrate less on numbers and more on appropriateness of the course and validity.”

The programme follows a review by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA) into the quality and duration of apprenticeships, as well as extensive courage by FE Week.

More on this at BBC News and go to the BBC 5 live page on Sunday at 9pm to listen in.

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