What do John Lewis, the England hockey team and Barnet and Southgate College all have in common? They were among 1,708 organisations named as members of one of the most important clubs in education: the register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP).
More than 2,300 organisations applied to the RoATP, which means that around a quarter missed out on the chance to deliver apprenticeship provision, and will have to rely on subcontracting to stay in business or apply again once the register reopens. Of those that made the cut, 170 are employer providers (levy-paying businesses that will now be able to train their own staff), 235 are supporting providers (organisations that can only deliver training as subcontractors) and 1,303 are main providers.
So which lucky training providers were named on the register? According to the Association of Colleges (AoC), 210 out of 245 FE and specialist colleges have been included on the RoATP. Also on the register are 71 universities – eight from the Russell Group – as well as 24 hospitals, an airport (Heathrow) and the Royal Air Force.
Other household names on the register include Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, Land Rover, Thomas Cook, Kwik-Fit, BT, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and Barnardo’s.
But being named on the RoATP is merely clearing the first hurdle, according to David Hughes, chief executive of the AoC, who feels that successful providers are now "under some pressure" to agree contracts for apprentices starting after 1 May .
“The process for applying to be on the RoATP has been introduced under some pressure as part of the implementation of the levy," he said. "This leaves little time for the 210 successful colleges to agree contracts for apprentices starting after 1 May. We are concerned about the exclusion of some high-quality colleges from the register and we will follow up with the Skills Funding Agency and Department for Education as a matter of urgency."