During Wednesday morning’s session of the Education Committee, the Secretary of State for Education was asked by Labour MP Ian Mearns why didn’t the DfE immediately comply with the Cabinet Office Covid-19 guidance for paying government contractors and announce support for those providers with an Education and Skills Funding Agency apprenticeships contract. Gavin Williamson replied, “We always comply with Cabinet Office guidance and we always will do”.
The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), which represents independent training providers who train 7 out of every 10 apprentices in England, strongly disagrees with this response.
A copy of a letter sent by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers’ solicitors, VWW, to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills on Monday, 27 April can be found here. Prior to the letter being prepared, VWW instructed James Goudie QC of 11 KBW.
AELP looks forward to seeing the Government’s response and it will consider its position further.
The issue has been picked up by Labour’s shadow education secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, who has also written to the Secretary of State: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/coronavirus-fears-thousands-apprenticeships-could-21918445 .