New skills minister brings welcome news as apprenticeship reforms suffer slow start

The new skills minister, Anne Milton, has announced that the non-levy growth requests will be brought forward to July, at the AELP annual conference this morning.

Providers that made a business case following the non-levy allocations will also be notified next week regarding any additional funding.

Speaking of the paused tendering round, Ms Milton said it would be scrapped, and rerun in July.

Contracts and allocations for non-levy funding would run from January 2018 to April 2019 and the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers will not be open for new providers whilst the procurement is open between the end of July and the end of August this year.

Ms Milton added that the plan was for all employers to be on the digital Apprenticeship System by April 2019.

Mark Dawe, chief executive of AELP, responded by saying the announcements were “really welcome”.

This comes after what is believed to be a slow start to the launch of the apprenticeship funding reforms in May, as reported in FE Week.

Many hundreds of providers were left disappointed after the DfE paused the non-levy tender for allocations. Subsequently, providers with a history of holding apprenticeship contracts were allocated a limited amount of non-levy funding.

Talking about the paused non-levy tender, Ms Milton said: “For many of you this has been a bruising period. I am here to listen and learn and hop also to offer some clarity.”

Ms Milton was appointed a minister at the Department for Education following the general election.

Despite giving her first speech as a DfE minister today, the Department has yet to confirm her title or areas of responsibility.

FE Week is media partner for the conference.

More to follow…

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  1. Very Welcome news about Non Levy provision – it will be interesting to see what changes they make to the ITT process to protect existing long standing quality providers. All we need now is some clear direction on the AEB bid situation, with end of July being just around the corner????