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Employers and training providers join forces to call for immediate action to save the skills system

Sign our open letter to help us #SaveOurSkillsSystem

69 training providers, employers and sector bodies have joined The Association of Employment and Learning Providers’ (AELP) campaign to ‘Save Our Skills System’. Previously, AELP warned that the skills sector is under immense threat due to a perfect storm of rising costs, reduced Adult Education Budget (AEB) funding, the end of the traineeship programme and an apprenticeship system where funding bands have experienced real term cuts since their introduction in 2017.

The 69 providers, employers and sector bodies have signed an open letter to the Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP, calling for immediate action from the government to save the skills system or risk a situation where learners will see a drastically reduced choice in where and what they’re able to learn.

The letter warns that spiralling costs for providers combined with traineeships contracts and non-devolved adult education budget contracts ending at similar times, alongside an apprenticeship funding review system that takes far too long, has created a perfect storm. This means that training providers are on a financial cliff edge which will get worse without urgent action. This will have a massive impact on the supply side of skills, leaving learners with fewer opportunities and exacerbating skills gaps. Once high-quality established providers are lost, the reduction in capacity and expertise is very difficult and expensive to renew.

In the letter, the signatories have backed AELP’s calls for:

  • Immediate support for apprenticeship providers with an across-the-board uplift of 10% in funding for all apprenticeship standards; as well as raising the maximum government contribution above the current £27,000; and introducing a minimum government contribution of £5,000 per year across all apprenticeships.
  • A long-term plan to stabilise the skills sector, through a sustainable and integrated National Skills Strategy that identifies and properly funds the country’s skills needs.

The organisations that have signed the open letter include:

City and Guilds, Travis Perkins Plc, Youth Employment UK, National Open College Network (NOCN), HIT Training Ltd, Learning Curve Group, Mindful Education, Training Qualifications UK Ltd, Lifetime Training Group,  Intequal, Innovate Awarding Ltd, Access Training Ltd, Performance Through People, TTE Training Limited, Aspiration Training, Remit Group, First Rung, Kiwi Education, Yuzu Training, Apprentify, Paragon Skills, BOOM Training, Automotive Academy, City Gateway, Essex Provider Network, Juniper Training, Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust, IPS International Ltd, Runway Training, MBKB Group, Profile Development and Training Limited, Intec Business Colleges Ltd, Central YMCA, Sporting Futures Training UK Ltd, SPV Special Projects Limited, Peak Accountancy Training, Salutem Ltd, Kent Association of Training Providers, Hull Training Adult Education, Education Wise Group, Sporting Futures Training, Acacia Training,
KEITS Training Services Ltd, JACE Training, Institute of the Motor Industry, Reflections Training Academy, Juniper Training, Sport Structures, Access Training, Baltic Apprenticeships, System People Limited, North East Learning Providers, National Hairdressing Training Academy, B Skill Limited, The JGA Group, Corndel Ltd, Humberside Engineering Training Association Ltd, The AOL Awards, SBC Training, Yorkshire Learning Providers, Greater Birmingham & Solihul Training Providers Network and Director, Creative Alliance, Barnardo’s Employment, Training & Skills, Professional Training Solutions, Apprentice Team Ltd, MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd, Warwickshire Garage & Training Group Training Association Limited.

AELP are asking any other employers or organisations interested in signing the open letter or joining the Save Our Skills System campaign to get in touch with AELP’s Public Affairs Manager, Ciarán Roche ([email protected]).

Nichola Hay MBE, Chair of AELP, said:

“This is a real tough time for the skills sector. We are seeing regular examples of providers withdrawing from the apprenticeship market and existing training providers having to slash the range of programmes they offer as they no longer become affordable to deliver, leading to widespread redundancies – provider stability, security and market capacity are being severely impacted, and the government needs to intervene as part of its responsibilities for effective market stewardship.

“Ultimately, it is learners and employers who will lose out if this situation isn’t resolved. That’s why I’m delighted that 69 employers and training providers have joined our calls for immediate action from government to save our skills system.”


Sign our open letter to help us #SaveOurSkillsSystem

If you would like to sign our open letter please contact our Public Affairs Manager, Ciaran Roche, at [email protected]

Last published: 03/08/2023