Both the sector press and social media have begun reporting the apparent outcomes of the Institute for Apprenticeships’ review of the funding bands of 31 apprenticeship standards. AELP has also seen correspondence indicating that management, customer service and hair professional standards are facing significant cuts in their funding bands.

Commenting on this, AELP chief policy officer Simon Ashworth said:

We have two problems with this. The first is the continued lack of real transparency around how the IfA has arrived at these cuts and the second is the timing. On Management, we are told that unidentified ‘ineligible costs’ were not discounted originally and so the funding band should have been £8,000 instead of £27,000. But having accepted the representations of the employers on the trailblazers that this would have made provision unviable, the ‘right’ rate should now be £22,000. Without full transparency, this explanation of the £14,000 difference is as clear as mud.

The timing is very strange when the government is now saying quality is more important than quantity as the 3 million target starts to look like a broken manifesto commitment. If bands are reduced, then quality will also be damaged. Let’s see the proper costings and have a rational discussion on rescuing the falling starts while protecting quality.

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