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Established in 2001, the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (GMLPN) is a network of over 100 members including, Independent Training Providers, FE Colleges, Community Voluntary Organisations, Universities, key suppliers, and other stakeholders. GMLPN work alongside key partners and Local Authorities to achieve an ever-closer alignment between the needs of employers, individuals, communities, and the suppliers of skills.

Lack of Focus on Skills

There was disappointingly little mention of Further Education and Skills in the Chancellor’s Budget announced on Wednesday 6th March.

GMLPN welcomes the Chancellor’s vision for a high skill economy, but there is little recognition of the crucial role that Training Providers play in developing the vocational skills that the workforce needs in order to make this vision a reality.

Training Providers are being affected by crucial issues such as staff recruitment and retention, low funding bands and inflation. The current system of apprenticeships is unsustainable and it is crucial that Government looks at different approaches to ensure the sector survives and thrives. GMLPN firmly believe that the current Apprenticeship Levy system must be transformed.

Apprenticeship Top-Ups

The Treasury recently announced £3k top-ups for 13 ‘growth sector’ apprenticeships largely covering construction and engineering. GMLPN welcome this top up, but we are concerned that other sectors are being left behind, such as Early Years and Health & Social Care which are becoming increasingly challenging for Training Providers to deliver sustainably.