£1.6 billion worth of bids made for non-levy procurement.

‘The total value of bids lodged through the now-paused procurement for apprenticeship provision allocations for non-levy-paying employers was around £1.6 billion, almost four times more than the sum available, FE Week has learned.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency announced on April 12, that the decision over funding allocations relating to this procurement had been be paused, to allow more time for the situation to be reviewed.

Providers had been bidding for a share of a funding pot worth up to £440 million. But FE Week has now learned that interest in this funding stream appeared to be much higher than the government had anticipated, with actual bids amounting to around £1.6 billion.

The ESFA said, when it announced the pause, that “this procurement was markedly oversubscribed, a sign of the significant level of interest from the training provider market in the apprenticeship reforms.”

“In response, ESFA intends to pause the current competition. This will allow us to review our approach to ensure that we achieve the right balance between stability of supply, and promoting competition and choice for employers.”

The ESFA confirmed at the time that it would extend existing contracts held by current providers, to help minimise resulting disruption.’ - FE Week


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