On 12 April, the Education and Skills Funding Agency announced a pause in the procurement exercise. Whilst this is deeply frustrating to providers who submitted tenders in good faith who were eagerly awaiting the outcome of the ITT, my view has always been that the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers was more important as it opens the door to delivery to both levy-paying employers and in the longer term delivery to non-levied employers once they start to use the online Apprenticeship Service to find an apprenticeship training provider.
The pause does, however raise many questions, not least in respect of subcontracting arrangements from 1 May. Moreover, hopefully the pause will hopefully help to expedite the transition of non-levied employers to the Apprenticeship Service, thereby negating the requirement for providers to have a contract with the ESFA. Given recent events, it is probably too much to hope, however, that this will be in place by 1 January, 2018.
Read the ESFA statement in full: Procurement for apprenticeship training in smaller employers.