Doubts about traineeship numbers

The Skills Funding Agency has warned that colleges will deliver just over half of projected traineeships next year. Ofsted has described recruitment to the scheme as ‘disappointing’.

Keith Smith, executive director for funding and programmes at the Skills Funding Agency, told delegates at the AOC’s annual conference that “colleges have indicated they will deliver around 57% of projected 19 to 23 traineeship starts for 2013/14”, FE Week reports.

However, the figure was described as “not official” by the Agency: “The indicative figure is based on discussions we have had with providers on what they intend to deliver,” a spokesperson said. “The first official data on traineeships is expected to be available in the Statistical First Release in January 2014.”

Ofsted’s FE and skills director Matthew Coffey challenged colleges to increase the number of traineeships on offer. “The initial recruitment to traineeships is disappointing,” he said, “In making the impact of vocational training a priority for us, we will work to increase the quality of provision – but we expect providers to engage with employers to increase the number of places available.”  Ofsted was unable to back his claim that the scheme is ‘disappointing’ with figures, but conceded that they had not come across as many as expected during their inspections.

Are the figures for traineeship starts disappointing in your college? If so, how could they be improved?

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