The Department for Education has rejected calls to abolish the Institute for Apprenticeships.
In its response to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report Treating Students Fairly: the economics of post-school education, which was published in June, the government said it had given the IfA a clear remit.
The committee's report had said that the role of the Institute for Apprenticeships was “unclear” and the organisation “should be abolished”. Instead, it suggested, “the quality and outcomes of level 2 and 3 apprenticeships should be the responsibility of the new further education regulator; the quality and outcomes of level 4 and above apprenticeships should be the responsibility of the Office for Students".
In its response, published today, the DfE stated: "We do not need to abolish the Institute for Apprenticeships. The institute has made good progress during its first year of operation." It added that the IfA had “built up a network of over 100 industry leaders across 15 sectors to make up its route panels – ensuring each apprenticeship standard approved meets robust industry requirements”.
Faster and Better?
The remit of the IfA, led by Sir Gerry Berragan (pictured), includes setting quality criteria for the development of all apprenticeship standards and assessment plans; reviewing, rejecting or approving (and publishing) standards and assessment plans; and describing the occupation and the outcomes which a person will be expected to attain to successfully achieve the standard. Its job also included maintaining and publishing occupational maps in relation to the 15 occupational routes and ensuring all end-point assessments are quality assured.
The DfE response to the committee's recommendations added: “Over 300 standards are now ready for delivery to apprentices, with over 250 more in development. It has listened to employer feedback, launching its Faster and Better programme to simplify the standards development process. As a result, the number of apprenticeship standards approved for delivery has increased considerably in the first half of 2018, with 90 standards approved to date, the highest number of standards approved in any half-yearly period.”