Kirstie Donnelly MBE, CEO of City & Guilds Group

@CityandGuilds Industry Skills Board writes to @GavinWilliamson and @GillianKeegan @EducationGovUK 

The City & Guilds Industry Skills Board (ISB), last night (8 Apr) sent a letter to the Department for Education – calling attention to the vital importance of the Further Education sector to employers and the wider economy, and calling for more support, equality and clarity for this sector that’s currently at risk.

This letter was signed by Kirstie Donnelly MBE, CEO of City & Guilds Group, along with other members of the Industry Skills Board. The Industry Skills Board is a panel of employers – of various sizes and from a range of sectors – who provide The London Institute of City & Guilds with impartial advice and guidance on skills strategy.

Letter in full

City & Guilds of London Institute
1 Giltspur Street
London
EC1A 9DD

08 April 2020

Employers need the Further Education sector now more than ever

Dear Rt. Hon. Gavin Williamson MP and Gillian Keegan MP

In recent years, the business sector has worked hard, with partners from the Further Education sector and Government, to establish a thriving, high-quality apprenticeship system that helps to plug vital skills gaps and provides people from all generations with a valuable route into employment. After several years of hard work, we have finally, collectively, produced an employer-demand led system. However, this fledgling system is now at risk because of the pressures placed upon the supply chain by the COVID19 closures.

We understand that determining how to keep the country’s industries operational during the current situation hasn’t been easy. And that difficulty is further exacerbated in sectors with a complex structure such as Further Education, which is made up of a tapestry of interconnected state funded colleges, Independent Training Providers (ITPs), Awarding Organisations and End Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs).

What many may not realise is that 70% of apprenticeships are delivered by ITPs of apprenticeships are delivered by ITPs, and it’s these very organisations that are currently at risk, putting the Government’s apprenticeship strategy in jeopardy. Unlike schools and state-funded colleges, ITPs will not receive full funding to keep them afloat during this difficult time. This may cause many to go out of business and leave employers, like us, without access to a vital skills supply chain. Furthermore, unless the funding agreed for ITPs and FE colleges also flows throughout the whole value chain through to the assessment and awarding organisations, we may see wider structural collapse.

We need to emerge from the wartime-like conditions that we find ourselves in, ready for what comes next. This needs foresight and action today. The aftermath of lockdown and the current health emergency is going to result in a substantially different jobs landscape, with many left jobless and destitute. The skills system is part of the essential national infrastructure needed to equip people with the skills they need to enable the country to recover economically. Losing substantial parts of the skills system now will prolong the recovery.

Without increased support from the DfE that goes beyond the Treasury’s current measures for private businesses, the whole sector’s capacity to train high-quality apprentices may be badly damaged – just at the time we need it most.

If we fail apprenticeships now, we risk the whole skills system collapsing. Today, we as a collection of independent mixed-economy employers, who make up the Industry Skills Board (founded by The City & Guilds of London Institute), are calling on the Government to do three things, in order to save the future of the Further Education sector, for the sake of individuals, businesses and our economy. We commit to offer our own skills and experience as employers invested in the skills system to find practical ways of implementing these:

  • Support the whole sector: The FE, skills and apprenticeships ecosystem is incredibly complex, and needs all its parts working successfully in order to function effectively. We urge the Government to show its support for the entire sector, in the form of some additional level of underwriting of typical Apprenticeships/ITP funding rates between now and August. This would essentially provide a more stable cashflow situation for the next few months and be calculated based on known ESFA information, creating parity with schools, colleges and Adult Learning Providers. Of course, there would be caveats to this; any centre that accepted this offer should expect clawback if the business engagement fell short of the subsidy.
  • Enable and support innovation: Necessity is the mother of invention, and this crisis will inevitably give rise to change and innovation both in the FE sector and the wider working world. We need targeted funding and support to accelerate the adoption of innovative forms of outreach and engagement with learning. It might be in the form of matching funding investment or simply covering infrastructure upgrades in internet connectivity, mobile kits, or learning content acquisition/production. This should not be a short-term ‘quick fix’ during COVID19; all investment must be proven to lead to a sustained change in business behaviour and practice.
  • Clarity and equality: We need much more clarity around the support measures for the sector– and the employers that depend on it. We would ask for a targeted ‘Friday’ letter, similar to what has already been issued for schools and colleges, that calls out the support now being offered for the apprenticeship sector to help them to stabilise now and recover quickly when we emerge the other side so that we don’t see the mass exodus of skilled staff from the sector in the coming months.

Based on the above, we ask for these measures to be put in place now as a safety net which allows people and employers to retrain and reskill in order to help support the nation’s recovery efforts.

We need more support, equality and clarity for the sector. We need that support now, before it becomes too late.

Yours sincerely

The members of the City & Guilds Industry Skills Board

Kirstie Donnelly MBE – City & Guilds Group, Andy Smyth - Ah Ha! Consulting Limited, Warren Page – Xtrac, Karima Khandker – Heathrow, Lizzie Crowley – CIPD, Joanne Bradford – Marstons, Michael White – RBS, Mark Lavington – PGL, Anthony Impey – Optimity / Federation of Small Businesses, Mark Maudsley – GTL England, Dominic Gill - PPG

You may also be interested in these articles:

Advertisers

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Newsroom Activity

Which Will Be The First College? is now a featured video. 10 hours 15 minutes ago

Which Will Be The First College?

Stefan Drew of https://www.mediaset.co.uk/stefan-drew/ looks at the College of the Future .. # CollegeComm #CollegeoftheFuture Remember the first...

Stefan Drew shared a video in channel. 10 hours 21 minutes ago

Which Will Be The First College?

Stefan Drew of https://www.mediaset.co.uk/stefan-drew/ looks at the College of the Future .. # CollegeComm #CollegeoftheFuture Remember the first...

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page