Further Education – Funding

UK Further Education funding is a strange culture.

The provider needs to understand they are a business, therefore, avoiding unnecessary risks by management teams. 

Retail in contrast

At the local takeaway , I noticed that cameras were directed at the customers and the staff. The owner sent a clear message “this business is monitored!”

An overt and sensible approach. We expect that level of scruntiny in that type of workplace. 

Further Education

However Further Education providers appear to accept much activity on trust. 

The average learner has a cash value.  

The provider asks staff and subcontractors to complete the learning package. Self assessment and form filling is a primary tool. 

The rest is taken on trust. This is unsustainable.

This is a recipe systemic abuse. The results speak loudly. Providers fail audits because the core evidence is missing.

Time to change

Prevention is the First Step

Prevention of systemic abuse by providers is the goal. However, a recent monitoring visit highlighted:

  1.  The failure to use technology
  2. Poor monitoring of staff
  3. Poor internal auditing systems
  4. Lack of fraud prevention tools

This demonstrated that the Directors failed to understand the importance prevention. The process of their product enables staff to take short cuts. 

As both and Assessor and Tutor it has always been clear to me that time was the enemy. They are pressured to get the learners through quickly. This creates issues.  

So the first duty of the FE provider is to prevent systemic abuse.

Funding Body Pressure

The College or small provider is also pressured by the funding body.  The funding system is skewed. It fails to treat the providers as businesses.

To eat the takeaway we must first pay for it.

To engage a training provider the funder uses instalments. In arrears. Payments include an outcome component paid much later.

This model lends itself to exploitation and corruption. 

The immediate answer alternative payment models. Use technology, direct learner linked transfers.

Offer a simple pay you learn system. 

Consequently it is the Funding body payment arrangements that create the systemic pressure. Use a prevention model to remedy the issue. 

The Conclusion

30 years in Adult education and things don’t change. Therefore, create at least two alternative strands of unrestricted income. 

FE providers are businesses. Therefore, the product demands protection. Additionally,directors must build the safety measures into day to day activities. 

Staff and the learners know the value of the product, consequently they expect you to protect it. 

Make learning count, therefore, appreciate quality of teaching. Remember that further education is a business.  

Services and Support

Therefore, we provide:

  • education funding services;
  • business support;
  • education compliance support; 
  • quality system development;
  • prevention tools;
  • Robust audit systems;
  • Create strong income streams; and 
  • Advice 

Contact the team for more information and of course bid writing support. 

Business Focus

Critically so much business focus is drifting to a nonsense that affects very few UK companies.

Whatever Happens – Politically, Economically or Socially there is a decision we must make.

A cruise ship that ran aground is seen off the west coast of Italy at Giglio island January 14, 2012. At least three people were killed and rescuers were looking for other victims on Saturday after Costa Concordia, a large Italian cruise ship, carrying more than 4,000 people ran aground overnight, took on water and tipped over. REUTERS/Remo Casilli (ITALY – Tags: DISASTER MARITIME TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) – RTR2W9G2

Passengers, Spectators or Entreprenuers?

Napolean describe Britain as a nation of shop-keepers. Today he would describe the residents as nervous shoppers.

Britain imports more than it exports to Europe. That allows for greater local growth in business.

The last 40 years has seen the redundancy of heavy manufacturing, the development of a service economy and a pool of talent in new sectors.

Therefore, the decision has to be do the businesses of Britain exploit the opportunity or become a victim of change.

Focus and Guts

A fool and his money are easily parted. Billions is paid out every year to develop competitive companies in other EU Member States. As a Business Consultant the first thing I would advise a company is stop subsidising your competitors.

Understand the marketplace. Learn to create locally and generate opportunities. An economy that relies on external stimulation is an economy that can collapse overnight.

Debt Economics

The economic principle of a debt fueled economy is dangerous because everyone owes everyone else and eventually someone has to be paid. Then the dominos begin to fall.

Debt inflates the economy. If individuals are prepared to borrow more to buy what they want the price can contiue to rise. When more save and fewer people buy immediately prices fall. Hence all the high street sales.

A simple principle. If all your personal debts were called in tomorrow apart from a mortgage on a property would you be solvent? How long would it take to pay off the debt at your current income?

Debt fuels pay rises, the media and advertisers say people deserve better but the reality is it can’t be afforded.

Policy Failure is no excuse

All government policy – economic and social is bound to fail someone. There are so many reasons for reaching that conclusion, however, the issue for individuals remains who do I want to be able to blame?

Governments are there to carry the blame for things that fail.

Health and Social Care is failing because UK residents don’t want to pay for it. Countries that don’t have the NHS don’t pay as much in tax but that is because they don’t have the welfare state.

People need to realise that the choices made on tax affect the collective welfare, but the priority today is self interest.

Conclusion

Watch the government, wait for an outcome you can’t control and play on as the ship sicks without trace.

Or do something, anything to bring energy into the business, focus on quality, design, innovation and creativity. Win business because it isn’t looking for you, therefore sell, trade, grow and develop.

Looking for innovative solutions – pick up the phone and call us or contact us. The longer businesses wait the more difficult the pathway.

For example have you decided where you can import alternative product from? or Better where can you export your products and services to?

Don’t be niave the marketplace isn’t waiting for you if you are doing nothing now. Let the CBI, FSB, IoDs and other bodies argue the politics its about time to get up and do something positive.

2019 Tender Writing

2019 the year of growth for small businesses.

Reshaping the trading arrangements for large international companies is going to be painful, especially for the Public Sector.

Challenge

The challenges include understanding the private sector, having been used to large multinationals controlled by EU Regulation. The new marketplace is an opportunity for local business owners to take back the contracts lost to EU based companies.

Winning business from a risk averse public sector requires strategic planning and development. Answer questions before the buyer realises what they should be asking.

Fear

The biggest fear is a skills drain, explain how your company is going to fill the gaps. Why your structure provides the openness and accountability required because you’re based in the local community.

2019 is a year of opportunity, more markets because the UK is a net importer therefore, the priority is replace the imported products and services. For example: retro fitting dual fuel (hybrid technology) reduces the need for improting vehicles. It costs less than buying new and offers the UK an innovation niche.

The application of technology is simple, cost of production lower than most engineering companies realise and the market is massive.

Politics doesn’t drive business interest or the marketplace unless business allow that to happen.

Options and Opportunities

Before investment and funding businesses need to have a clear plan, effective systems and baggage free market conditions. The Business Consultancy Network portal creates those bespoke solutions for companies looking forward to growth and expansion.

We focus on the needs of the small business, creating a competitive profile and developing simple win strategies that demonstrate the flexibility and cost effectiveness of the UK Small Business owners.

Contact us for early booking details and looking forward to seeing you there.

Exo-economics – the bigger picture

Exo-economics is the study of external pressures on the trading economics.

Development of the study of exo-economics is interesting. It focuses on the social, financial and political pressures that can be applied to a macro economy. However, the Internal and external pressures either stimulate enterprise or undermine it. 

Exo-economics – Manufacturing

The 20th century drift of manufacturing to South East Asia could be repeated by the faster developing nations in Africa and South America if only they weren’t fighting amongst themselves.

The key is a low economy, access to raw materials and 21st century infrastructure.

Fortunately for China, the USA and other manufacturing major players this current situation is going to extend for at least 50 years.

The impact on UK Manufacturing and EU companies is beginning to really bite. India is the service industry fast growth, China remains as the leader in manufacturing and we now need to look at where the science base is developing.

The global economy render many EU countries as the has beens.

Critical balance approach 

The Critical Balance point in any economy has to be linked with the spending power of the individual however it can include micro investment.

Arrest the trend of the globalisation of manufacturing in three ways:

  • Exclusivity
  • Quality
  • Innovation

At a micro economic level. “It may cost more but by spending my money on this I can see the added value” is a fantastic sound. Especially when a consumer is committed to buying.

Loyalty

Add loyalty to this group of three. Consequently this creates a mutual benefit.

Loyalty earns trust! Trust causes the consumer to spend! Spending keeps the business wheels turning.

Localism

National interests are fine but local interests are more important. Invest in local skills. Developing infrastructure and technology causes the economic growth. However buying imported materials stiffles growth leaving nothing.

Debt Free economics

The economy operating across Europe and USA is debt fuelled.

Governments work on the principle of manageable debt. Therefore,  consumers are encouraged to do the same.

If 80% of what I earn is paying off debt and the 20% remaining I live on then as earning falls or income ends the short term outcome is catastrophic.

Therefore, logical conclusion flip it around 80% living income and 20% variable levels of debt.

Better still, the debt free economy, spend what we have now.

Exo-economics – apply pressure from within

Therefore, look positively at the global market and take back the the local consumer.

Consequently, Change attitudes!

Adjust individual buying patterns!

Create positive economic foundations

Use clear strong language, dynamic marketing and be positive.

Conclude now that Economic Innovation requires person centred products.