Chancellor George Osborne and his Chief Secretary, David Laws, today began to set out their much anticipated plan in terms of how the new Government will make £6.2bn of savings in public spending. The plans are likely to receive a mixed reaction from employment and skills providers, with some provisions like the Future Jobs Fund being axed, whilst seemingly more funding being reallocated to support additional Apprenticeship places. DWP will be required to contribute a saving of £535 million. The Future Jobs Fund is the most notable and immediate casualty, potentially accounting for more than half of this saving. Whilst there is a commitment to honour Future Jobs Fund projects that have already been approved (including those approved immediately before the election), bids that have been submitted and are pending a decision will no longer be considered, and the Fund is now closed to new applications. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills faces sterner cuts of £836m, although this will include around £200m of “recycled efficiency savings”. £50m of this recycled investment will go into FE Colleges, and will be leveraged up to create a £150m fund to provide capital investment to those colleges most in need. The remaining £150m will fund 50,000 new Apprenticeship places, focused on SMEs. Those keen to take up these new Apprenticeships may include a potential 10,000 sixth form leavers who may be without a university place, as a result of a £200m cut in the universities budget. Aside from these direct cuts, much is being made of the indirect cuts that may result from a potential freeze on civil service recruitment. Whilst it is not suggested that there will be any direct job cuts, the real number of civil servants will inevitably go down where staff leavers are not replaced. The impacts may eventually be felt by providers, in terms of, for example, how responsively customer referrals are made to them by potentially stretched Jobcentre Plus frontline teams. Providers who have traditionally looked to the public sector for job outcomes may also find this more challenging.