UVAC are preparing our response to the above consultation. We have, however, requested that the consultation is postponed by the IfATE for the following reasons:
- The Engagement of Public Sector Employers – it is critical that public sector employers, particularly the NHS, local authorities and police forces are engaged in this consultation and can respond regarding the impact of the methodologies proposed on Apprenticeships at all levels. Given the current pandemic, economic and social situation, responding to consultations is not something such employers will be able to do comprehensively, if at all. From our analysis, the proposed methodologies for determining funding bands is likely to have a massive detrimental impact on the ability of many providers to deliver some of the most important higher and Degree Apprenticeships our public sector depend upon, e.g. police constable, associate nurse, registered nurse, social worker. It is critically important that the consultation is thorough, inclusive and all interested parties are able to contribute.
- The Engagement of SMEs and Larger Private Sector Employers – as with public sector employers, SMEs and large private sector organisations need to be fully engaged in the consultation. Currently, responding to consultations is not a priority for employers of any size and sector. It is critical; however, that in the long-term employers will have the right Apprenticeships with the right funding bands to support their businesses grow.
- The Engagement of Providers – our members are focused on supporting students/apprentices and staff at this difficult time. While UVAC is working with HEIs to develop a response, for such a significant change in approach to determining Apprenticeship funding bands the IfATE needs to fully engage with the sector.
At the current time, conducting a consultation of this nature is very difficult if not impossible.