AELP lobbies on behalf of its members to represent their views. Our main purpose is to lobby for government funded skills and employment programmes that increase work force productivity and improve social mobility.

You can access the latest news about our work here.

AELP Members can also access a wide-range of additional sector updates including our weekly Countdown newsletter, The Insider bi-monthly digest, and a range of webinars. If you're interested in accessing this market-leading insight then please visit our Membership section.

All Media and PR enquiries should be directed to Aidan Relf, Director of Public Affairs at [email protected] or 07710 305182.

Countdown Issue 956

Date published: 16.01.2020

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Yesterday I got a short email in my inbox from the Tory party – I get them from all the parties before you ask, and I think they grabbed my email before the days of GDPR. As my parents will tell you, they still get letters for me at their house from all the parties as many years ago I joined all three parties for a year so that I could go to their conferences at member rates – I think that is against all the rules, but I didn’t know at the time! Anyway, it wasn’t a long email from the Tories

Countdown Issue 955

Date published: 09.01.2020

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New Year, New Challenges Happy New Year – here we go 2020!! It is a shame that my break got interrupted by blatant publicity grabbing fake news about fake apprenticeships, squeezing the pips out of a story once again. That wasn’t reality two years ago, let alone in 2020. Anyway, what has been quite encouraging is the backlash against the report and a tide of agreement that actually apprenticeships at all levels, and particularly level 2, have real value and we need more not less.

Countdown Issue 954

Date published: 18.12.2019

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So, the last Countdown before Christmas and a welcome break for many in the sector. My present to you is to keep this as short as possible!! Election Aftermath We now have an election result and a government with a strong majority and clear mandate. Not only were skills, apprenticeships, devolution and retraining at the heart of the manifesto, a significant number of those who voted for this government are those that expect the government to deliver on this agenda to enable them to have

Countdown Issue 953

Date published: 16.12.2019

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A comprehensive skills strategy You’ll probably be reading this just before or after the election results (I suppose that covers all possibilities!). Clearly there are some big issues outside skills but, whoever will be in office, there are some key messages to get across to the new government. AELP is preparing briefing papers on a range of these issues as well as support for members in approaching their new MPs. We will start pushing these messages in January 2020 and we are listening to

Countdown Issue 952

Date published: 04.12.2019

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As we are in the last couple of weeks of the pre-election period, as well as walking around with my postal vote in my pocket for days trying to find a post box, it feels as if there is a strange calm before the storm. That storm happens over Christmas and beyond. Some very clear messages needed from AELP once we know what the government is, the minister for skills (maybe) and the Secretary of State. There have been so many stories over the past week it has been really hard to decide what to

Countdown Issue 951

Date published: 28.11.2019

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We now have three out of three manifestos from the main parties. There has been a lot written about the commitments from all three parties to skills and further education. Along with a commitment to business and productivity and dealing with the consequences of Brexit, retraining and apprenticeships from level 2 to level 7 are top of the agenda. More money invested in skills and apprenticeships means more people will be trained and meet the skills needs of business and the economy as a whole.

Countdown Issue 950

Date published: 21.11.2019

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Subcontracting So, let’s tackle this full on from the start – Subcontracting. An excellent document has been produced by AELP members, setting out what good subcontracting is and particularly the expectations that should be placed on prime contractors, along with AELP’s longstanding call for a maximum fee. You can find AELP’s submission here. Understandably the press ran with a headline about AELP recognising the danger of an outright ban, if there is not more confidence in terms of quality

Countdown Issue 949

Date published: 14.11.2019

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Another train journey, another Countdown!! As the election heats up, we are starting to see draft manifestos appearing and skills are definitely a headline. Skills Policy Announcements So far, we have the Lib Dems and Labour. Skills wallets or skills accounts for adults seem to have gained a lot of traction. If we see the same sort of commitment from the Tories, then we have the foundation across all parties to talk about the best approach in terms of a “skills account”. It will need to

Countdown Issue 948

Date published: 07.11.2019

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And here we go. Into an election period. Firstly, it means officials suddenly disappear off the face of the earth along with the politicians (in terms of national policy) as purdah hits. No public appearances, no new announcements. It is how it is and there is nothing we can do about that. Thus, the delay in Ofsted annual report, the delay in any more significant ESFA announcements, IfATE announcements etc. etc. The Forgotten 50% I wrote a few weeks ago about the impression I had of the

Countdown Issue 947

Date published: 31.10.2019

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Sitting on the train back from Manchester – before you start all I can say is sorry, it was a long-delayed journey. What an amazing conference – great speakers, great audience and some really crunchy issues covered. Across all the speakers I think there was a message that they respected AELP and their members. They may not agree with everything we say, but at least we say it and we come up with solutions. Non-levy transition and levy transfer For many in the room, the most significant

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