On the eve of the apprenticeship reforms being implemented the government might have expected the sector to be apprehensive, but excited.

Yet the ESFA clearly bit off more than it could chew when tendering for non-levy allocations.

The tender pause and subcontracting rule extension presented a welcome offer of stability until December.

Any pretence of stability is now in tatters, as providers receive allocations, which they claim force them to dump their subcontractors.

Nobody predicted this horror story about cuts to allocations, nor a failed 11th hour attempt at stability.

The government can choose to ignore providers going bust, as their MPs seek re-election.

But after 8 June the new government will have to cope with a lot of angry small employers being turned away by apprenticeship providers.

It’s one thing to put employers in the driving seat, but without fuel nobody is going anywhere.


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