Date: 12th February 2018
The Apprenticeship Working Group has now written four assessment plans for the Government and each one has hit an obstacle on the way. This means progress has been slow over the last six to eight months.
There is a seemingly continuous change to what the Department for Education (DfE) wants included in the plan. One of the big changes has been the apprenticeships moving over to the DfE from the department for Business, Innovations and Skills (BIS). Not only has our sector adviser changed, but the programme has had three different ministers in charge.
The latest version of the plan has now been finalised and is with our Government advisor. The hope is that we can finally submit it for the approval panel prior before the end of February.
There are other complications too. The main one being the lack of cross boarder funding. Since the devolution of power to the Welsh and Scottish parliaments it means that apprentices based in either will not, at present, receive any funding (Due to lack of funds for such a small uptake of apprentices). This will not affect any existing apprentices already in the system.
With the assistance of Ann Turner (Principal of Myerscough College) and full backing of Warwick and Hereford & Ludlow colleges, I have written to Rt Hon Damian Hinds (current minister for Education) requesting that they look into this anomaly that our UK legislation throws up.
I will be attending the ATF days at Warwick and Hereford colleges to inform you all of where we are up to and some of the changes that will be coming in the new apprenticeship, Craig D’arcy will be doing the same at Myerscough college.
Cliff Barnes AWCF, Chairman of the Apprenticeship Working Group.