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AoC College Leaders General Election 2024 Discussion Series: The apprenticeship levy

Venue: Online via Zoom

Date: 19 June 2024

Time: 4:30 PM - 5:45 PM

Fee: Free for AoC members - this is a member only event

This session will be an opportunity to discuss how to influence the reformation of the apprenticeship levy, so that the apprenticeship works for all and meets both national and local priorities.

In our Opportunity England policy paper on apprenticeships, we made the following recommendations:

  • The apprenticeship levy must be reformed and top-sliced to fund national and local priorities and ensure there is more focus on new job starters, young people and SMEs. (Short term)
  • Apprenticeships for 16 to 18-year-olds should be funded from study programme monies. (Short term)
  • Research must be conducted to assess the impact, effectiveness and affordability of the current end-point assessment (EPA) process, and due consideration should be given to colleges carrying out their own EPA. (Short term)
  • A modular approach to apprenticeships should be adopted to allow for skill updates and alignment with local needs, broader educational and economic goals, and integration with the Lifelong Learning Entitlement (LLE). (Medium term)
  • Apprenticeships need to be aligned and incentivised more closely to the nation’s economic needs and include employer representative bodies and other stakeholders in development and review. (Long term).

You can read the full paper here.

Please note, this event is strictly for AoC members only.

The Association of Colleges pre-election discussion series is a programme of webinars for senior college leaders to participate in during the election campaign period with the aim of prioritising influence and focus post-election in areas pertinent to the FE sector. Discussions will be prompted by the 100% Opportunity and Opportunity England policy papers, as well as relevant policy and research papers and will feed into a list of key asks to use in the post-election period and beyond.

The key areas of focus for the webinars are:

  1. Qualification reform (5 June)
  2. Lifelong learning, Higher Technical Qualifications and Technical Excellence colleges (12 June)
  3. The apprenticeship levy (19 June)
  4. Social partnerships as local skills improvement plans (24 June)
  5. Adult education and devolution (1 July)

AoC has been having discussions with the different political parties over recent months on each of these topics and there are decisions which will need to be taken by the next government in these areas. Therefore, there is opportunity to influence what happens next.

Each 75-minute session is standalone, and members can come to as many as they want. David Hughes, Chief Executive, AoC, will start each session with a short presentation on the theme subject to set out some of the evidence, ideas and key policy questions which we want to gather more views on.

There will be a final summative session on Thursday 4 July to finalise AoC recommendations for the sector as a whole to ensure that we can brief and influence governmental thinking at pace, with a clear set of priorities.

The summative session will also feed into the 2030 meeting which meets shortly after the election. Depending on the result of the election and the early signs from new ministers, that group will work with the strategy groups to prioritise further work, through task and finish groups, which we will endeavour to feed into new ministers, advisers and officials.