Pocket Watch – What’s being lined up for skills training 2016/17

Phew, there’ve been a lot of announcements recently about apprenticeships and skills development.

The Prime Minister’s ‘this is a government that delivers speech,’ the new Apprenticeship 2020 Vision, the latest listing of area-based reviews and the Minister’s latest round-robin to colleges have all rattled off shopping lists of things to be completed over the coming months. A lot of this buzz of activity is obviously being driven by the 3m apprenticeship target but with the spending review now out of the way, the sense that Britain needs to tool up if the economic plan is to be delivered is clear. Whether it’s the Northern Powerhouse, the Midlands Engine or Local Growth plans generally, the case for a highly trained and skilled workforce is becoming more and more pronounced.

Here’s a checklist of what’s being lined up.

December 2015

  • Further announcement on funding at 16-19, Guidance Paper on Institutes of Technology, Government consultation on setting an apprenticeship recruitment target for larger (250+ employees) public bodies (the proposal is for 2.3% of their workforce).

2016

  • January. Government intending to issue further funding guidance, publish sector specific apprenticeship wage returns and launch its latest comms campaign around apprenticeships and work-based learning generally. Second wave of area-wide reviews to begin. National Careers Service to implement its new digital platform to help determine the suitability of young people for apprenticeships and work-based training. Apprenticeship Grant for Employers to be extended to summer 2017
  • February. DfE to issue guidance for Sixth Form Colleges seeking to convert to Academy status, area-based review guidance amended to incorporate increased apprenticeship delivery volumes, Government to launch an employer’s ‘Find an Apprentice’ service
  • March 14-18. National Apprenticeship Week
  • Spring. Announcement expected on the proposed new ‘clearer’ post-16 professional and technical pathways recommended by the Sainsbury group, Government to publish its careers strategy, Report due on the impact of the current FE workforce strategy and possible consultation on the provision of maintenance loans for learners at National Colleges and specialist providers
  • April. Introduction of the new National Living Wage
  • May. Applications open for 19+ Advanced Learner Loans at levels 3 and 4, 5 and 6
  • Summer. Further information due on the levy and public sector recruitment targets, new statutory requirement protecting the use of the term apprenticeship following the expected passage of the Enterprise Bill to be applied, publication of a listing of the Top 100 apprenticeship employers. Also new 16-19 performance measures to apply to learners completing 2-year courses
  • Sept. Traineeship provision extended to other approved providers, new minimum standards of performance threshold introduced for training providers, UCAS to include info and guidance on higher and degree apprenticeships.

2017

  • April. New Institute for Apprenticeships to be fully operational, introduction of a new Youth Obligation to ensure 18-21 yr olds on Universal Credit develop appropriate work skills
  • Autumn. Adoption of new 19+ outcome based success measures.

2018

  • January. Publication of 2017 performance tables with apprenticeship ‘results’ included as part of school 16-18 results
  • New Functional Skills qualifications to be available. 

Steve Besley
Head of Policy
policywatch@pearson.com

Policy Watches are intended to help colleagues keep up to date with national developments. Information is correct at the time of writing and is offered in good faith. No liability is accepted for decisions made on the basis of information given.