Earlier this week, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) revealed that they were more than happy about the government's response to a recent consultation on traineeships.
The consultation resulted a number of proposed changes, all of which are in line with the recommendations made by the organisation, as well as a host of training providers. The suggested amendments included simplifying the funding for traineeships aimed at those aged over 19.
It was proposed that older trainees with a level two could join the programme, and that traineeships include self-employment as a positive outcome, while funding should be provided for non-accredited work preparation training and include a move to learning as a positive outcome for older participants.
AELP believes that the changes, which would provide increased flexibility, are very welcome and will allow traineeships to expand. However, as many of the amendments - with the exception of the adjustments that make older learners eligible - do not come into effect until 2015/16, so growth will still be restricted.
According to the organisation, the government's response has failed to address all issues identified by AELP, including clarification and flexibility in benefit payments, and the restriction on providers needing to have an Ofsted grade of one or two. AELP feels that the use of Ofsted grades is a blunt instrument in determining quality provision.
Stewart Segal, chief executive of AELP, believes that overall this is a positive response to the consultation, as many of the additional flexibilities will enable more providers to respond better to the needs of the young people enrolled in traineeship programmes.
He added: "We proposed more flexibility on eligibility, especially older trainees with a level two and also support the simplification of the funding system for 19-plus learners that will enable a more flexible approach to delivering vocational elements of the programme.
"We will need to discuss the detail of the implementation of these changes but we hope this will encourage the focus on traineeships as the main focus on getting young people into work."