BIS report traineeship success alongside announcement of cuts to adult education and training

25 March 2015

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has responded to concerns about further education funding by acknowledging to the BBC that ‘while total funding has been reduced, priority has been given to the areas where the most impact can be made – apprenticeships, traineeships and support with English and maths.’
The Association of Colleges (AoC) has today stated that adult education will not exist by 2020 if government cuts continue. Martin Doel (AoC’s Chief Executive) warns that that this could impact on the future prospects of millions of people as well as on the wider economy by reducing the number of skilled workers such as nurses and social care workers.
NIACE’s chief executive, David Hughes, has concurred with the AoC analysis, commenting that England is now facing ‘a skills crisis’.
BIS have announced that the ‘most important’ areas of adult education are being protected which includes a focus on apprenticeships and traineeships. BIS has recently published an evaluation of its traineeship scheme which suggested that the scheme was beneficial for many of the young trainees who took part in 2014.
The evaluation, which drew on research conducted with 1,590 trainees, reports that of those trainees who completed their six month traineeship, 79 per cent were satisfied with the scheme overall and 57 per cent felt that the scheme would improve their chances of finding paid work. Feedback from employers and providers suggested that participating trainees should have been offered financial incentives to take part in the scheme.
Whilst traineeships and apprenticeships are seen as being valuable by many policy makers, today’s statements by the AoC and NIACE suggest that maintaining a focus on BTec and NVQ qualifications is of equal importance for individuals and the workforce.
A recent Demos report from the Commission on Apprenticeships can be read here.