Skills for Security call for guaranteed funding for independent training providers

Thursday 26 March 2020 - BSIA COMMS

Press Information

Skills for Security call for guaranteed funding for independent training providers

Apprentice trainers to the fire and security sector, Skills for Security are calling on the Government for independent training providers’ funding to be protected during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The call comes on the back of Monday’s announcement of new guidance released by the Department for Education (DfE) which stated that policy “does not allow payment for services in advance of delivery”, which will mean that funding for apprenticeships cannot be made until the training has taken place.

Skills for Security, which operates under the British Security Industry Association, believe the omission of support from the DfE for apprenticeships and other skills training is a complete turnaround after the Secretary of State guaranteed funding support for mainstream further education provision. The latest guidance excludes any independent training providers who deliver adult education, apprenticeships and other forms of training, although colleges will continue to receive guaranteed funding even though they are technically independent providers.

In the current climate, there is concern that anyone providing this type of education is in danger of going out of business in the likelihood of a dramatic fall in attendance or the inability for apprentices to attend online training if their firm is providing key worker services and the demand on the apprentices’ time means there are unable to participate with the new online model.

Skills for Security are therefore calling for the Government to consider:

All independent training provider contracts should be paid on profile whatever the current performance and levy apprenticeships paid based on the prior six months delivery

If funding is maintained, providers will commit to not furlough staff relating to delivery thus saving the Treasury a significant amount of money.  

Guarantee the next month’s funding to allow time to sort through the details and how the model might work.

David Scott, Managing Director, Skills for Security, said: “We are incredibly concerned that this omission of financial support will have a dramatic effect on our business as a leading provider of fire and security apprenticeships in our sector. Although we have had a 90% remote access participation for this week’s training, the following week at present is less than 50% and, based on the Government’s statement this will have a serious effect on our finances.

“If providers cease trading or furlough substantial numbers of staff then apprentices, learners and employers who want to continue training will lose their provider and many of these learners will be left with no support.  If we are unable to guarantee funding there is every chance the industry will lose capacity and increase levels of unemployed and a low possibility of upskilling those in the workplace.”

The lack of support from the DfE is not only going to affect our current financial and operational performance, but the long term effects may mean we will not be able to reach our full potential in ensuring the fire and security industry has appropriate number of apprentices trained. Before this impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the security industry reported a skills shortage of 30,000 engineers needed to service customer requirements. Skills for Security significant expansion in its training resources and provision ensured we can meet the increase in demand for apprenticeship training nationally.”

ENDS

Press contact:  Katherine Ingram BSIA PR & Communications Officer

Mobile: 07764 968196 k.ingram@bsia.co.uk 

Editors Notes

Skills for Security offers training, specialist services, information, advice, and guidance to employers, employees and trainers in the private security sector. 

Like many sectors, the UK’s private security sector has a need to continually improve its skills in order to remain competitive and relevant in an ever-changing world. Our role is to help organisations to devise, plan, budget for, implement and measure skills-development programmes and apprenticeships. This can include helping them to use funds set aside by the Apprenticeship Levy to establish their own learning academy.

https://skillsforsecurity.org.uk/apprenticeships/

Skills for Security have witnessed significant growth since August, where apprenticeship numbers have risen from 119 to over 180 on our training program. This level of growth has been due to a mixture of increased employer engagement and improved delivery of high-quality learning and teaching. This growth seen in the previous 6 months has been forecasted to continue for the remainder of 2020, with over 40 employers reserving spots on program over the months of April and June with Skills for Security. Since the lockdown announcement, 50% of employers have paused this recruitment, cancelling reserved spots and intimated they themselves may not recover from this and therefore do not want to commit to the recruitment of an apprentice. 

The British Security Industry Association, as the voice of the professional security industry, represents multiple sectors of private security in the UK. Its members provide over 70% of the UK’s security products, services and they adhere to strict quality standards. For more information visit http://www.bsia.co.uk