The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is urging the government to top-up the apprenticeship levy fund with £100m annually to support businesses offering apprenticeships to all ages and at all skill levels, reports FE Week. A CBI report makes the case based on recent doubts about the fund accruing enough levy money to support apprenticeships across the board. It says the government should open up levy funds to be used not only for apprenticeships but for other types of training, but that the existing levy-payers’ rate of 0.5% of their wage bills should remain and not be raised, countering hints from the Department for Education of a possible levy hike.
A total of £1.4bn is still needed to fully offset funding cuts to the FE sector since 2010, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), reports FE Week. In its annual update on education spending in England, the IFS says £1.1bn is needed for FE but this rises by £0.3bn to £1.4bn to “ensure spending on T-levels is additional to an unchanged level of spending per student”. This is all in addition to the £400m for FE already pledged by the government.
Colleges are being quizzed about how well prepared they are for a potential Brexit in a survey being circulated by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, reports FE Week. Questions asked include if they have told staff and students about arrangements for immigration from 2021 if the UK leaves the EU, informed students about how to check their eligibility for funding for this academic year and the next, and whether colleges have checked that their food suppliers are ready for the effects of a ‘no deal’ scenario on supplies and menus.
A full list of the regional winners of the National Apprenticeship Awards is available online.