Also discussed in depth was our criticism of the 20% off-the-job training requirement, which we believe should be reviewed and amended so that it doesn’t act as a barrier to firms wishing to use the Apprenticeship levy to up-skill existing staff.
Most encouraging though was the general sense of agreement upon the issues facing the FE sector, and the willingness and readiness of those present to consider innovative solutions and to push for change. As our Group Education and Skills Director, Lady Andrée Deane Barron, told delegates however, “the Further Education sector need to harmonise their messages to ensure we are heard by policy-makers”.
We certainly hope that our conference dinners were able to concentrate minds on the issues facing the sector and were the starting point of a collaborative effort to drive through the changes needed to ensure FE delivers for young people.
If you would like to read our Transforming Further Education calls to action yourself, they are available here.