Universities will recently have received an email from the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) inviting them to their Annual Universities Summit focused on Higher and Degree Apprenticeship and to take-up AELP membership.
AELP does provide useful services, some publically funded through the Education and Training Foundation. Indeed UVAC has partnered AELP in the delivery of some Apprenticeship support services through the Future Apprenticeships programme. UVAC is committed to supporting collaboration and partnership between HEIs, further education colleges and independent training providers and will continue to work with AELP on this basis.
Many of AELP’s past lobbying activities have not, however, been supportive of the university sector.
In particular AELP has:
- Campaigned for Ofsted, rather than HEFCE/QAA to have responsibility for Degree Apprenticeship
- Campaigned for the prioritisation of funding for level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeships and employers to be charged 40% for level 6 and 50% for 7 Apprenticeships (e.g. Degree Apprenticeship provision) for apprentices over the age of 19
- Argued that the focus of Apprenticeship, in terms of social mobility, should be on Intermediate level 2 Apprenticeship.
AELP, which has a membership of over 850 organisations, predominately represents and campaigns for Independent Training Providers. By increasing its university membership AELP may position itself as representing a wider range of providers and as a result gain more traction with their lobbying, some of which is not in the interests of the Higher Education sector. As AELP members universities could, of course, seek to influence AELP policies.
In contrast to AELP, UVAC is the not for profit organisation championing higher level vocational learning that is run by and for the benefit of the higher education sector with approaching 70 HEI members.
- Successfully campaigned for HEFCE/OfS/QAA to have quality assurance responsibility for Degree Apprenticeship
- Lobbied for appropriate funding for Degree Apprenticeships, greater use of the Integrated Degree Apprenticeship model and an Apprenticeship system that supports the engagement of HEIs (as well as other providers)
- Developed a Higher and Degree Apprenticeship support programme specifically focused on meeting the needs of higher education providers.
We would encourage universities who are not members of UVAC to consider UVAC membership and use the templates, webinars and related resources UVAC have specifically developed for the HE sector. We would also encourage participation in our lobbying activities to ensure employers and individual learners have access to the Higher and Degree Apprenticeship they need.
For more information on UVAC membership please contact Adrian Anderson [email protected]