• Levy-lockout update: Employers lose access to £37 million from first 2 months

    Employers lost access to £26 million of their apprenticeship levy funds in June, the skills minister has revealed. The figure, revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question from Catherine McKinnell, the MP for Newcastle upon Tyne North, means that a “staggering” £37 million has been clawed back by government after the first two months

    16.27 Jul. 12th, 2019 | News

  • Government warns colleges as email ‘phishing’ scams inflict financial losses

    FE colleges and other “educational institutions” are being warned about new cyber-attacks which have already claimed some victims and resulted in financial losses. The latest Education and Skills Funding Agency update, published today, contains information about a “phishing” scam – where a fraudster disguises as a trustworthy source in an electronic communication to trick people

    13.25 Jun. 26th, 2019 | News

  • Apprenticeship register reapplication process branded a ‘farce’ by provider

    An Ofsted grade two provider has hit out at the government’s “farcical” process for reapplying to the register of apprenticeship training providers, after its bid was rejected on a technicality. According to the guidelines, providers can be exempt from filling out some parts of the application if they have received a short Ofsted inspection confirming

    12.00 Jun. 21st, 2019 | News

  • Four-letter verdict on colossal European Social Fund blunder

    In what one ESFA official is alleged to have called a “f*ck up of epic proportions”, all 80 training providers in receipt of around £300 million of European Social Funding are being investigated after funding claim “discrepancies” were discovered. As a result, contract compliance for the 2014 to 2020 ESF programme has been thrown into

    11.00 Jun. 7th, 2019 | News

  • Dozens made redundant as ‘good’ apprenticeship provider goes bust

    A training provider has gone bust after being “hit hard” by the government’s apprenticeship reforms, putting nearly 40 staff out of work. FNTC Training and Consulting Limited, a provider rated ‘good’ by Ofsted and based in Southampton, was forced to close after suffering from losses of over £200,000 last year and ongoing losses this year.

    13.11 Jun. 4th, 2019 | News

  • Statistics watchdog ‘content’ with DfE including unreliable data in achievement rate tables

    The country’s national statistics regulator has given the DfE achievement rate data a clean bill of health but called for greater transparency. FE Week reported last month the 2017/18 national achievement rate tables included a list of more than 30 apprenticeship providers with data the DfE had admitted was unreliable. The DfE said at the

    12.41 May. 24th, 2019 | News

  • Ofsted finds learners unaware they are on an apprenticeship programme

    An experienced commercial training provider has been heavily criticised by Ofsted after it found a “high proportion” of learners not knowing they are on an apprenticeship programme. Manatec Limited, which had 550 apprentices at the time of inspection and is based in Grimsby, received two ‘insufficient’ ratings in its first monitoring visit since it started

    15.54 May. 23rd, 2019 | News

  • Revealed: The 19 winners of the Liverpool City Region AEB tender

    The names of the 19 training providers that have won contracts with Liverpool City Region to deliver its devolved adult education budget (AEB) have been revealed. The combined authority will take control of an annual £50.35 million budget to deliver adult education from September. Up to 30 per cent – or £15.11 million – of

    17.51 May. 20th, 2019 | News

  • Despite the extra bureaucracy, ESFA right to require more data on every apprentice

    This week the ESFA announced that, from August, apprenticeship providers would need to report the planned off-the-job hours for all new starts. With bureaucracy a constant bugbear in FE, it is rare that a new field is added to the Individualised Learner Record (particularly a late change) but this is an attempt to address stinging

    9.30 May. 10th, 2019 | Opinion

  • National Apprenticeship Awards 2019 open for applications

    Entries to this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards are now open, where employers and individuals who champion apprenticeships will be honoured for the 16th year running. Apprentices and businesses from all sectors and industries, from agriculture to arts and science and maths, are invited to enter the awards by the May 25 deadline. The awards will

    15.15 Apr. 30th, 2019 | News

  • DfE slammed for refusal to investigate defunct Manchester UTC as paperwork fails to materialise

    Auditors were unable to properly scrutinise the finances of a failed University Technical College because important data was missing, but the government chose not to investigate this issue. Accounts for the Greater Manchester UTC for 2016-17, finally published last month and over a year late, reveal that auditors gave a rare “disclaimer of opinion” on

    11.00 Apr. 26th, 2019 | News