Coronavirus Update: AoC Alert (06.07.20)

Published: 14 Jul 2020

£111m announced for traineeships

The government announced an £111m package for traineeships overnight, giving firms in England £1,000 for each new traineeship place they offer. This pledge remains in direct alignment with our asks regarding an expanded and more flexible traineeship branded programme to provide a re or pre-employment offer. The announcement will make up part of the Chancellor’s post-coronavirus economic plan on Wednesday.

The press note last night also included reference to “expanding traineeships will be part of a wider package to support young people and to ensure they have the skills and training to go on to high quality, secure and fulfilling employment”. The nod to further announcements is encouraging ahead of Wednesday, Chief Executive David Hughes was on Radio 4’s Today Programme setting out what else is needed to support the wider skills agenda and colleges in the budget. You can listen back here at 6:42.

FE sector leaders' letter on safe opening for adult education

Today, we have sent a joint letter to the Education Secretary from AoC, AELP and HOLEX seeking the opening of colleges for adult learners immediately where it is safe for them to complete learning and assessments. Over the last few weeks, colleges have shown that they can successfully open to young students and are fully aware of the risks. So they are prepared to open to adults in a safe and controlled manner. We will update you with any response we receive and updates. In the meantime you can read the joint letter here.

Ofsted ‘visits’ to begin from September

Ofsted have announced a programme of visits to schools and colleges after the summer holidays to see how they are getting back up to speed, after being closed to most pupils and learners for so long. The visits will not be graded and will begin in September with a group of volunteer schools and colleges. A return to full education inspection is planned for January 2021. You can view the full release here. Tomorrow we are hosting a sector dialogue webinar alongside Ofsted to discuss the announcement in detail. You can register below.

AoC/Ofsted sector dialogue webinar - Tuesday 7 July, 9.30am

Supporting our REBUILD campaign ahead of the budget

Ahead of the Wednesdays’ budget announcement, we are asking members to share the following messaging on their social media feeds in support of our ‘REBUILD: A Skills Led Recovery’ campaign. Please use the following text alongside any of the social media graphics featured in our collection found here.

  • This recession is like nothing we’ve seen before, the recovery shouldn’t be either. To rebuild we need to concentrate on skills, skills, skills. We need a #skillsledrecovery.
  • It’s young people that suffer most during a recession and that damage often lasts a lifetime. It doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why we need a #skillsledrecovery.

You can also insert the following Twitter handles: @RishiSunak, @KemiBadenoch, @SteveBarclay @GavinWilliamson, @GillianKeegan or your local MP.

If you have any queries, please contact

Job retention scheme – government update

On 1 July the Government updated its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance, included in these documents:

This last document is particularly detailed, and Irwin Mitchell are in the process of drafting a summary/guidance briefing.

Newsroom Bootcamp - 14 and 22 July at 10:30am

We are all broadcasters now. It’s so important that we are all confident in communicating, leading and taking part in meetings remotely. Led by John Young, a TV journalist with more than 30 years’ experience at the BBC, this new AoC masterclass will teach you the art of delivering clear and succinct communication and is based on a real-time TV newsroom experience. Register here.

How colleges are transforming their EdTech strategy - Best practice and solutions to help you develop your online delivery: A webinar series funded by Ufi Trust.

On Wednesday, the seventh webinar in the edtech series will feature the National Cyber Security Centre focusing on keeping IT networks secure and British Council on how digitalisation can help internationalisation. You can register here.