The Department for Education has unveiled the winners of a £32 million fund to sweeten providers in delivering flagship higher technical qualifications.
DfE data published today revealed that 63 organisations had secured a share of the Higher Technical Education Skills Injection Fund, which is to be used by providers to invest in equipment, resources and training for delivering the qualifications.
Those to have secured the cash include further education colleges, universities, training providers and institutes for technology, although the DfE data does not include how much each winner has been allocated.
In July last year, the department said that £22 million of the pot would be for capital costs, such as perpetual software licences, specialist equipment and refurbishing existing facilities, but not to be used for new build facilities.
The remaining £10 million of the fund is for resources, such as staff upskilling, learner recruitment events or curriculum planning.
FE Week has approached the DfE to clarify the allocations breakdown for each provider, but the department said it was unable to share that information at this stage.
The winnings bids have been announced on the same day the DfE released its response to the lifelong loan entitlement consultation (read full story here).
DfE guidance said the injection fund is intended “to support providers to create additional capacity to grow and deliver high quality level 4/5 provision and HTQs,” adding: “We want to ensure that the quality of higher technical education provision is sustainable and that courses and providers support learners to build up qualifications more easily at levels 4, 5 and 6 throughout their lives.”
The DfE guidance confirmed the fund can be used for providers in approved level 4 and 5 qualifications, as well as newly approved routes in digital, construction, and health and science coming in for September 2023 or January 2024.
An “early adopter” opportunity to apply for funding was also open to subject areas launching in September 2024 or January 2025: business and administration; education and childcare; engineering and manufacturing; legal, finance and accounting.
Organisations which have an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating or are not registered with the Office for Students could not secure any of the cash.
DfE guidance says that funding is capped at £5,000 per learner, although the final amounts are based on the number of successful applications.
However, as part of the application providers had to provide predicted learner numbers, and the DfE had warned that those who failed to hit 80 per cent of their anticipated numbers could be at risk of clawback.
The DfE guidance said it wants to make higher technical education “a more popular and prestigious choice that provides the skills employers need”.
The full list of winners is below.