Govt must maintain skills investment – AELP chief

Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) boss Mark Dawe has challenged ministers to use the chancellor’s spending review to step up their investment in skills programmes essential to give a post-Brexit Britain the workforce it needs to remain competitive.

Dawe was speaking to the AELP annual conference, and he pointed to examples where demand for training under government funded programmes isn’t being met in other key sectors when controls are being considered to cap migrant labour.

Indeed, Dawe said that the government would find it difficult to meet its 3 million apprenticeship target unless it acted now instead of relying on the future proceeds from the apprenticeship levy which will start in April next year.

 

‘Look at the whole picture’

“Ministers need to look at the whole picture for skills rather than the budgets of individual FE and skills programmes in isolation and the spending review offers a good opportunity to do this.

“On apprenticeships, we are waiting for the Skills Funding Agency to advise training providers when they might allow growth in their funding contracts during the current academic year.  Providers are also waiting to hear whether their adult learners are going to get a positive response to their loan applications following a halt in the application process.

As stepping stones to apprenticeships, the traineeships programme is subject to modest government investment even though ministers have acknowledged its importance in the government’s skills plan for technical and professional education.”