The DfE has published today its annual FE Choices survey of employer satisfaction with the training offered by providers of all types. 99% of the employers surveyed are offering apprenticeships and the survey is the latest in a long line showing high satisfaction with the quality and flexibility of provision delivered by independent training providers.

The headline findings from the survey are:

  • Nearly nine in ten employers were either ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to recommend their training provider to another employer seeking similar training.
  • Four in five employers were highly satisfied with the overall quality of the training, giving a score of at least 8 out of 10.
  • Satisfaction with the quality of training has increased by two percentage points compared with last year when 78% gave a score of at least 8 out of 10.
  • Employers using private training providers were more likely to recommend their provider than those using general FE colleges, special and specialist colleges.

Responding to the survey findings, AELP CEO Mark Dawe said:

‘It is really frustrating to still hear people, including government officials ignoring their own evidence, referring to too many poor quality providers when for yet another year, independent training providers are scoring so highly in this survey. The CBI/Pearson annual survey carries the same high ratings too year after year and we mustn’t forget that Ofsted found that 82% of independent providers were good or outstanding last year, so in terms of numbers this poor quality thing is a complete myth. And now that it is the government which has decided who should be on the register of apprenticeship training providers, the theory is that there should not be any poor quality apprenticeship provision in future. However, we must remain vigilant and be ready to call out bad delivery when we see it.

‘Independent providers score highest for their flexibility and responsiveness to employer’s individual needs but this is an area where there is still room for some improvement. The skills minister has acknowledged employers’ calls for greater flexibility in the government’s approach to the new apprenticeship standards and this is an important matter that needs to be followed up quickly with the Institute for Apprenticeships.’

Link to FE Choices survey findings:

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