With the announcements in the past few days on the pause to the proposed tendering of contracts for non levy payers – sense does seem to have prevailed as discussed in our previous article.
Yesterday, the ESFA put out some further information about the basis on which contracts will be issued and clarification on the sub-contracting rules for providers. Clearly, this has had to be rushed through as Purda kicks in from 21st April 2017.
Peter Marples said ‘we wholly support the proposals regarding the extension of the contracts and indeed recommend this extension continues until at least 31st July 2018 to give sufficient time to introduce new proposals and effect an orderly transition. The proposals to revert back to the old sub-contracting rules we see as regrettable as the proposed changes in our view were intended to tighten control and improve quality over provision. With over £750m of Apprenticeship provision sub contracted – mainly by Colleges of Further Education, there is a need to improve control over provision and indeed reduce the overall quantum to a much more manageable level. In our opinion there is significant leakage through management fees of many £m’s which is not benefiting learners. We understand the reasons for delaying the introduction of the new rules, but we hope they are not watered down in the future and are introduced as intended. We look forward to playing a full part in the delivery of services to non levy payers. 3AAA remains the largest provider of Apprenticeships to non levy payers in the country’