Apprenticeship levy conference - Relationship with employers is King

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Carl Lomas express+ courier secretary, Janet Francis, First Group Passenger transport chair, Ange McGregor, Veolia, waste management chair and Jo North chair for skills and education. Carl Lomas express+ courier secretary, Janet Francis, First Group Passenger transport chair, Ange McGregor, Veolia, waste management chair and Jo North chair for skills and education.

Trailblazer employer group chairs teamed up for Lindsay McCurdy's national levy conference at Coventry. Much talk of deadlines and availability of end-point assessments.

Carl Lomas, ‘Express level 2 delivery operative still awaits final editorial clearance, the news may be any day.’

All-in logistics theme, passenger transport, waste management and education from Jo North.

The conference was driven by providers and delivered a wealth of information for employers; how to match employer size to provider size, scale up and work with the digital accounts from levy payments.

Providers talk employer engagement and importance of relationships.

With more than a quarter of levy payments paid into digital accounts, both employers and providers appear to be struggling to reconcile delivery short of Jan 2018; money is going into the bank, but delivery not really started.

A big signpost was the apprenticeship levy conference at Coventry hosted by Lindsay McCurdy, opened strongly by chair Tony Allen to a big audience. Much talk of the recent issues of national provider Learn Direct. How does an employer judge quality in the levy delivery sector ?

The real focus of the day was levy and the Trailblazers, a host of Trailblazer leads were in attendance including secretary to the Express and Courier Trailblazer group Carl Lomas.

Employers paying levy into digital accounts - it’s time to draw the money down and build quality into next-generation workforce; Express with L2 operative to L6 manager.

Judging the providers? FE compare a new measure launched by Lindsay to build trust with real reviews of providers.

Peter Marples was first up, group chief of Triple A, the largest privately-owned UK provider: top-down employer relationships, ability to scale up and no-one supporting micro levy employers lead the delivery for levy.

2017 news aug apprenticeship levy conference peter marples

Peter Marples, 3A provider boss talks employer relationship for successful levy at Coventry conference.

Peter spoke frankly about the platform from which providers who are delivering levy currently stand...

We are the largest private provider in the UK, we have 38 academies, local off-the-job training. UK, take a look at the USA, they are twenty five years behind us. In the UK there is a change in employer behaviour as levy payments take hold to digital accounts. We have put in 1.5 million of investment to levy delivery.

It’s about relationships; it's key to find the gatekeeper of the employer’s digital account. Training providers will go out of business, they will run out of cash building delivery income.

What will framework contracts mean? Unravelling what it means, getting team to build relationships, the employers have new expectations. FE100 companies expect service, their calls returned, attention to detail, an environment they are used to.

No-one is looking after Micro levy employers, a levy bill ten thousand to a hundred K, the middle market, at Three As we have built a specialist team for micro levy employers, it’s about relationships not transactions and it's long-term work for at least the next five enrolments.

At 3A we stopped selling months ago; it’s become about discussions. The majority of starts will be Jan 18.

Turning to tenders; it’s a lottery but they are about top-down relationships. Be aware every digital account is also a challenge to a provider's Ofsted score. Add this to the fact that different employers have different buying processes. The ability to scale up will be critical to a provider's levy market. Providers must aim at the top of the levy band and deliver quality and retention. A levy customer wants a single point of contact.

Q and A from a mixed employer/provider audience teased out more issues, ‘The right size employer for the right size provider.’ Will we see consolidation in the UK provider market ?, ‘No, there are already surprisingly few national providers.’ There were concerns about no qualifications in the Trailblazer standards. ‘Would standards be portable? If quals were in there it would use even more candidate time off the job.’

Last modified on Tuesday, 22 August 2017 19:09