TIGA publishes Parliamentary activity update for the higher education sector

By October 16, 2020 Uncategorized

On 16 October 2020, TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, published an update on Parliamentary activity for the higher education sector.


Guidance for higher education providers during the transition period and after 1 January 2021
Department for Education
15 October 2020

Information to help higher education providers prepare for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

The guidance can be read in full here.


UK points-based immigration system: EU student information
Home Office
5 October 2020

 5 October 2020: Added document on applying to study in the UK from 1 January 2021.

The guidance can be read in full here.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel advice for educational settings
Department for Education
5 October 2020

 5 May 2020: Guidance updated to advise British nationals against all non-essential international travel for an indefinite period.




Qualifications in COVID-19 support packages
12 October 2020

The qualifications Education and Skills Funding Agency will fund to support economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak.


The Chancellor has agreed a package of measures to boost skills and support the labour market to recover from the COVID-19 outbreak. The package will:

  • support young people at added risk of unemployment and help them access training to boost their employability
  • sit alongside the guidance already issued for further education colleges


On 8 July 2020, the Chancellor announced exceptional funding as part of the wider COVID-19 skills recovery response. We are prioritising getting young people into work, an apprentice or other work-based training. Where these are not available, this is an offer of additional one-year courses in high value subjects to prevent students aged 18 and 19 from becoming NEET (not in employment, education or training).

We have also published information on the policy intent and key information on the proposed funding arrangements.

The guidance can be read in full here.


Funding model of Scottish universities sustainability: FOI release
Scottish Government
12 October 2020

OI reference: FOI/202000083493
Date received: 10 Sep 2020
Date responded: 8 Oct 2020

Information requested
Any Scottish Government analysis regarding the sustainability of the funding model of Scottish universities (including minutes of any relevant meetings, briefings produced that cover this subject, any letters of emails that cover this subject).

The date range for this request is 04 April 2020 to 04 September 2020.

Response: I enclose a copy of the information you requested.
FoI-202000083493 – Information released

2 page PDF


Written Answers: Apprenticeships

Apprentices: Greater London
Department for Education
5 October 2020 

Helen Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of a London Apprenticeship Service.

Gillian Keegan: Apprenticeships is a national programme which gives employers access to high quality skills provision throughout England to meet their current and future skills needs.

Individual employers already have direct control over their apprenticeships, and levy payers are able to use their funds as they choose, either to fund apprenticeships in their own business or in smaller businesses in their supply chain or local area. As my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister set out on 29 September, we will work with employers to improve the transfers process, making it easier for them to find smaller employers to receive transfer and make full use of their levy funds. In doing so we will build on successful regional pilot schemes, such as that in West Midlands Combined Authority.


Department for Education
5 October 2020

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of level (a) 2 and (b) 3 apprenticeships were completed by (i) Further Education colleges and (I) independent providers in each year since 2015.

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many Level 3 apprenticeships were (a) started and (b) completed in each year from 2010 to date.

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many Level 2 apprenticeships were (a) started and (b) completed in each year from 2010 to 2020.

Gillian Keegan: The number of level 2 and 3 apprenticeships started and achieved from the academic year 2009-10 to the third quarter of the academic year 2019-20 are published at the links below:



The number of apprenticeship level 2 and 3 achievements in further education colleges, and independent providers between 2014/15 and 2018/19 are published here:



Data from the above links regarding the proportion of level 2 and 3 apprenticeships achieved by further education (FE) colleges and independent providers is shown in the table below.


2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19
General FE and Tertiary College, level 2 33% 33% 34% 35% 34%
General FE and Tertiary College, level 3 33% 32% 32% 31% 34%
Private Sector Public Funded, level 2 58% 57% 56% 55% 52%
Private Sector Public Funded, level 3 59% 62% 61% 61% 57%



1) The data source is the Individualised Learner Record (ILR).

2) Completions of apprenticeships are published as ‘Achievements’.

3) Numbers are a count of the number of achievements at any point during the academic year. Learners achieving more than one apprenticeship will appear more than once.

4) Apprenticeship achievements include all funded and unfunded learners reported on the ILR.

5) Level 2 apprenticeships are published as ‘Intermediate Apprenticeship’, whilst level 3 apprenticeships are published as ‘Advanced Apprenticeship’.

6) Apprenticeship achievements statistics should not be used to measure percentage progress within a year. They are independent performance metrics. Typically, apprenticeships can take 2 years to complete.

7) Independent providers are published as ‘Private Sector Public Funded’. FE colleges are published as ‘General FE and Tertiary College’.

8) In order to be counted as a successful achievement, all elements of the framework must have been achieved.

9) 2019/20 full year provider level data will be published in November 2020.


Apprentices: Finance
Department for Education
12 October 2020

Karin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his Department’s ring-fenced annual apprenticeship budget was for the 2019-20 academic year; how much of that budget was spent on training and assessment; and whether there was an underspend in that academic year.

Gillian Keegan: The department’s ring-fenced apprenticeship budget is set to fund apprenticeships in England only. This budget is used to fund training for new apprenticeship starts in levy and non-levy paying employers and to cover the ongoing costs of apprentices already in training.

It is also used to cover the cost of end-point assessment and any additional payments made to employers and providers. This means that employers of all sizes, across England, can provide apprenticeship opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds.

In the 2020-21 financial year, funding available for investment in apprenticeships in England is almost £2.5 billion – double what was spent in 2010-11. Similarly, the ring-fenced apprenticeship budget for the 2019-20 financial year was almost £2.5 billion.

The total spend in the 2019-20 financial year, inclusive of spend on training and assessment, was £1.9 billion, leading to an underspend against the budget of approximately £600 million.

Details of actual spend against the apprenticeships budget are published in the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s annual report and accounts.

Department for Education
12 October 2020

Karin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department’s statistical data on apprenticeships and traineeships, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the change in the number of apprenticeships starts in all age groups at intermediate level between May 2019 and May 2020; and what steps his Department is taking to improve the take-up of apprenticeships at that level.

Karin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of intermediate level apprenticeship starts for young people under the age of 19 between May 2019 and May 2020; and what steps his Department is taking to increase support for apprentices under 19 at that level.

Gillian Keegan: Apprenticeship starts across all levels and across all ages have reduced between May 2019 and May 2020, by 58% overall. Starts at Intermediate level have reduced by 73% on average but the reduction has been more pronounced amongst the 16-18 year-old group at 80%, compared to 75% for 19-24 year-olds and 68% for those over the age of 25. The reduction is starts at advanced and higher levels is 61% and 21% respectively.

Data from March 2020 onwards includes the period affected by COVID-19 and the nationwide lockdown, therefore, extra care must be taken in comparing and interpreting data from this period to earlier months as the COVID-19 outbreak has affected provider behaviour in terms of the reporting of FE and apprenticeship learning during the affected period, and this could vary by provider.

This change in intermediate starts has largely occurred where apprenticeships were struggling to meet the minimum quality standards required by our reforms. We have replaced old-style frameworks, which apprentices and employers told us were not providing the skills they needed, with new employer-designed standards. All new apprentices now start on high-quality standards, following the withdrawal of frameworks in July.

Apprenticeship standards and frameworks are different products. It was previously possible to undertake a framework for the same job at different levels, but on standards there is just one level per occupation. The level of the standard refers to the level an apprentice reaches at the end of the apprenticeship once they are occupationally competent not at the beginning, and this is determined by employers.

Traineeships can help young people build the skills they need to undertake an apprenticeship or other job, and we are tripling the number of places in the 2020/21 academic year so that more young people have access to high-quality training.

Apprenticeships are more important than ever in helping people of all ages develop the skills they need and supporting our economic recovery. To encourage employers to offer new apprenticeship opportunities, to people of all ages and at all levels, we have introduced incentive payments. Employers are now able to claim £2,000 for every new apprentice they hire under the age of 25 between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021, and £1,500 for those 25 and over.

We are working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions to enable Kickstart placements to turn into apprenticeships where that is the right thing for the employer and the individual. Employers offering apprenticeships to young people on the placements will be able to claim the new incentive.

We want to expand apprenticeship opportunities and are exploring with employers how we can make apprenticeships work better in certain sectors, for example those with more flexible and short-term models of employment. We also want to ensure we grow the number of small and medium-sized enterprises offering apprenticeships and are continuing to work with smaller employers to give them the confidence and support to take on new apprentices.




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