The Association of Colleges (AoC) has called for a phased implementation of apprenticeship reforms following delays to the opening of a new register of training providers.
The register, which will include all organisations approved to deliver apprenticeship training, was scheduled to be published on 3 October by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). However, the register has been delayed, the SFA has said, with a revised timetable set to be announced "shortly". The agency said this was because it was "making changes to the register proposals and approach" following feedback from providers.
In response, the AoC has today called for "a more phased implementation" of the "complex" apprenticeship funding and regulation reforms, ahead of the planned introduction of the levy next April.
'A tough call'
David Hughes (pictured), chief executive of the AoC, said: "The changes being proposed to apprenticeship funding and regulation are complex and risk undermining the high-quality provision already in place.
“If there is a delay in opening the register or confirming funding rates, we would like to see a more phased implementation. More than anything, colleges, providers and employers need certainty and confidence about the changes, with a timetable they can rely on to plan how they will continue to deliver apprenticeships.
“It is a tough call for the minister for apprentices and skills, Robert Halfon, but perhaps now a delay in implementing the new arrangements would be the most prudent."
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