5 Key Ways GMLPF Supports Its Members

Greater Merseyside Learning Providers Federation (GMLPF) supports training providers who deliver apprenticeships, traineeships, study programmes, adult training and other skills programmes. The support we provide is varied and driven by demands of members and also by funding or strategy changes in the local and national skills landscape. Here are five of the many support services we provide our members:

  1. Lobbying

Anyone who has spent time working in the Government funded skills sector will be familiar with the rapid pace of change. GMLPF works to mitigate potential negative impact of changes by consulting with its members, collating their views and voicing their opinions and concerns with appropriate authorities so they can be considered and addressed. Recent consultations with members have focussed on Liverpool Reducing NEET Strategy, and Ofsted’s new inspection framework.

  1. Ofsted

Where appropriate, GMLPF is happy to provide input or meet with inspectors as part of members’ Ofsted inspections. This has proved useful in the past in particular to demonstrate evidence of participation in CPD and in raising quality of training. This service is usually taken by members who are undergoing a full inspection as opposed to a monitoring visit as inspectors’ time is limited.

  1. CPD

A primary focus for GMLPF is to provide CPD opportunities to its members that are relevant to their needs. These opportunities come in the form of free or subsidised workshops, training sessions or webinars. Recent topics have included Planning and Delivering 20% Off the Job Training; Mental Health Awareness & First Aid (resulting in Level 2 Award); Documentation & Processes for Submission of AEB Tenders; ROATP; Successful Ofsted Monitoring Visits; Reform of Functional Skills

  1. Brokering member partnerships

GMLPF is all about creating opportunities for its members to network and learn from each other. Occasionally, we help bring together members for a more defined working relationship. For example, we put one member who offers level 2 and 3 apprenticeships in touch with a provider offering relevant higher level management apprenticeships. Together they are approaching employers to offer a full progression route for apprenticeships in their industry sector with great success.

  1. Opportunities

GMLPF always has its radar on for opportunities for its members including commercial opportunities which are communicated via the weekly GMLPF Member newsletter. Recently, we invited an organisation contracted to deliver training services for the Ministry of Justice to speak to members about potential collaboration. They are looking for delivery partners and several GMLPF members are now considering this as an opportunity for growth.

 

Non levy allocations – Important!

GMLPF is aware that members have this week received correspondence from ESFA, which  identifies the value attached to their extended non levy allocations over the period April 19-March 2020.

It seems that these allocations may be subject to further change. However, GMLPF understands that the ESFA has indicated that the primary focus of the extension contracts should be upon carry in funding and supporting existing learners rather than supporting new starts.

This may have a significant impact upon members and the wider, local apprenticeship market. GMLPF is keen to understand what the impact of the new allocations are on your organisation so we can raise this issue with the Combined Authority locally and also with AELP. With this in mind, could GMLPF members with apprenticeship contracts who have been given extensions e-mail ian@gmlpf.net indicating:

  • If the value of the extension contract is broadly more, the same or less than the previous year
  • Whether, after factoring in carry in funding, there will be an impact on apprenticeship starts over the coming year ie up, down or broadly the same. It would be helpful to have some scale of change if the extension contract is resulting in significant change ie 25% increase, 50% decrease
  • What wider impact there might be on your organisation as a result of the extension contract

NAO Apprenticeships Report Highlights Areas for Improvement

The Department for Education has some way to go before it can demonstrate that the apprenticeships programme is achieving value for money, with numbers of apprenticeships below pre-reform levels, says the National Audit Office.

In its report published earlier this month, the NAO states that since introducing its reforms the Department has improved how it assesses the benefits of the programme. However, it has not set out clearly how it measures whether the programme is boosting economic productivity – the ultimate aim of the programme. It therefore has some way to go before it can demonstrate that resources are being used to best effect.

Many of the key headlines from the report echo opinions that GMLPF members have expressed over the last couple of years, including:

  • The average cost of training an apprentice on a standard is around double what was expected by ESFA. This is because employers are opting for greater numbers of higher value standards than was anticipated. This has resulted in fewer starts and increased pressure on the apprenticeship budget. It is highly likely that, without any significant growth in volumes spending on Apprenticeships could rise to £bn per year once frameworks are withdrawn
  • The 3m starts target is unlikely to be met. To meet this target the number of apprenticeship starts would need to double from the current baseline which is highly unlikely in the current market
  • The Government’s target for widening participation in apprenticeships lacks ambition ie raising participation for those who are SEND. We know participation is low for SEND in Liverpool City Region.
  • There has been a steep rise in the proportion of apprenticeships started under the new standards which employers generally consider as an improvement on frameworks
  • The introduction of standards and the levy has seen a significant change in the profile and make-up of the apprenticeship programme. There has been a pronounced shift away from lower level apprenticeships  to high cost, higher level apprenticeships. There is a sense that larger, corporate entities may be replacing their professional development or in-house training programmes with apprenticeship programmes.
  • The report highlights issues with quality including the fact that the ESFA has limited assurance that apprentices are spending 20% or more of their time in off the job training. Furthermore, approximately 25% of training providers in 2016/17 met the criteria for ESFA intervention because their achievement rates fell below national minimum standards.
  • The NAO has concerns about the long term sustainability of the programme

Read full report

Read summary report

 

Liverpool City Council NEET Reduction Strategy

LIverpool Provider Network facilitated a workshop last week to consider and discuss the recently published Liverpool City Council draft NEET Reduction Strategy; “Inspiring:Engaging:Progressing”

Following the workshop, GMLPF has produced a draft consultation response incorporating members’ views. Anybody wishing to add further comments can do by e-mailing ian@gmlpf.net by midday Wednesday 6th March.

Download LPN/GMLPF Response to draft LCC Inspiring Engaging Progressing Strategy

 

Commercial opportunity: Delivering Ministry of Justice Learning Programmes

GMLPF recently met with 3SC, an organisation who manages extensive government funded learning contracts.  It currently has learning contracts to support delivery of learning within prisons and ex-offenders who are in the process of being rehabilitated. It is currently looking for delivery partners to help deliver and expand its range of learning programmes

In 2017-18 alone it supported supply chain activity in excess of £6million. We have built supply chains and worked with more than 550 different delivery organisations across 16 programmes in the welfare to work/employment, young people, criminal justice, and disabilities’ arenas.

3SC is currently looking to expand our partnership base and have a number of pathways for organisations to start the process of collaboration with us. Current pathways are:

Prison Education Framework:

Under the prison education framework contracts 3SC are able to bid for a range of services within the below categories:

PEDPS.13 – Life skills

PEDPS.14 -Services to support individuals with Additional Learning Needs

PEDPS.16 – Resettlement Service

PEDPS.17 – Preparation for work, Information Advice and Guidance service

We would need specific partnerships for the delivery of these services and believe that the needs of people using these services – especially those who are hardest to reach – are best met by experienced, local, passionate and mission-driven organisations. 3SC sees potential opportunities for GMLPF members here.

Community Based Delivery:

3SC works in partnership with Interserve, Purple Futures and the Community Rehabilitation Companies of Merseyside, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Humberside, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire and Hampshire & Isle of Wight. This partnership presents opportunities for delivery of community based learning provision targeted at small groups to larger cohorts of service users who need additional support when released from custody and rehabilitating back in to, or moving to, our local areas.

The community based services can range from entry to employment, to mentoring and everything in-between, this is very much dependent on the national probation services requirements at local branch level, recent procurements include but are not limited to:

Accommodation Services – emergency and sustained

Mentoring – 1-1 support services

Life Skills Coaching

If GMLPF members would like to know more about these potential opportunities, 3SC will be hosting an event at the GMLPF offices in Liverpool on the 11th of March at 1pm. There will be limited spaces so just 1 person per organisation please. 3SC will provide an overview of the programmes it delivers, an introduction to 3SC as an organisation, an introduction to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and Prison Education Framework provision and will outline potential partnership opportunities. 3SC team members will be there to answer any questions

Book Now

 

 

Webinar: Planning and Delivering the 20% Off The Job Training in Apprenticeships 28.02.19

5 reasons to book on!

  1. Expert tips on involving employers in planning the 20%

    The webinar is delivered by Beej Kaczmarczyk, director of apprenticeships provider The Learning Curve who have recently been inspected by Ofsted. Inspectors were impressed with how they involve employers in planning and designing the 20% off-the-job element. Beej has some top tips to share about how to do this on the webinar.

  2. Clarification of what is and what isn’t allowed as part of the 20%

    There is still much confusion about what is allowed as part of the 20% off-the-job-training element of apprenticeships. Did you know that webinars that are relevant to the apprentice’s job role count? As do attending industry conferences? And time spent preparing for apprenticeship assignment work? As long as these take place during working hours. Bring your examples of activities that you are unsure about to the webinar and find out whether they are allowed.

  3. Cut through confusion and mis-information

    There is still confusion around how the 20% off the job training element is calculated and what the penalties are for providers who don’t meet the evidence requirements. Our webinar will clarify all this. Forewarned is forearmed – and Ofsted are clamping down so don’t miss this chance to have your questions answered by an expert.

  4. Peer best practice

    The webinar will give you a chance to share experiences and hear points of view from other learning providers in the region who have already registered to attend. GMLPF has come across some really innovative approaches to delivering the 20% amongst its members and sometimes the most effective way to success is through learning from peers.

  5. Clock up a free ticket

    If you’ve already attended 3 of our webinars, you can attend this one for FREE! Of if you haven’t, then booking onto this webinar will get you one step closer to a free ticket for one of our forthcoming webinars. Contact pavlina@gmlpf.net to find out how many you’ve attended and whether you’re entitled to a free ticket.

Book Now!

 

gmlpf members on level 2 mental health training

GMLPF shines spotlight on apprentice mental health in Liverpool City Region

It’s clear that the mental health of young people in the UK is causing increasing concern.  Almost 1 in 4 children and young people show evidence of ill health whilst 1 in 5 young adults have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Consequently we are seeing more schools prioritising student wellbeing. Indeed this is already an area of focus for Ofsted.

 

Mental health impacts on training delivery

However, there is little coordinated support from Government to support young people who leave school at 16 to enter apprenticeships and other work-based learning programmes. And arguably the stress these individuals face is higher as they get to grips with the transition from school to the workplce. Evidence suggests many learning providers feel swamped by the increasing incidences of mental ill health in their students. GMLPF members have told us this is having a direct impact on the delivery of their programmes

 

Mental Health First Aid

Research among GMLPF members reveals that at any time up to 30% of their apprentices and learners are suffering with their mental health. This can eat up an average of 40 staff hours each month. On average each provider faces more than eighty mental health incidents requiring intervention each year.

Our research showed that many learning providers wanted some sort of formal training in mental health awareness. So as a first step GMLPF linked with AT Skills and Active IQ to launch a Mental Health Awareness and First Aid training course which ran in January and February. 

 

Level 2 Award

The AT Skills delivered course runs over 2 days and awards a Level 2 qualification to successful participants. Asset Training, North West Training Council, Lite Ltd, St Helens Chamber and Halton Council all sent staff on the course.  Director of AT Skills Alan Reddin outlines what the objectives of the programme are:

“We have specifically designed the course to help training providers. They learn to boost awareness and understanding of mental health.  We equip staff to identify signs and symptoms, risk factors and treatments for the most common mental health problems.  Ending discrimination can only happen through knowledge.”

The delegates were also well drilled in mental health first aid and how to signpost individuals in need to sources of professional support. Harriet adds:

“Through discussion and group activities, we tailor the course for providers of apprenticeships and other training. They leave with a good grasp of the particular mental health issues experienced by apprentices and adult learners. We also spent time considering the mental health challenges encountered by learner-facing staff.”

 

Pinpointing Issues

During two days at GMLPF offices in Liverpool, the participants pinpointed real life scenarios.  A range of hot topics were debated. The staff particularly wanted to know about striking the right balance between making adjustments for learners’ mental health and encouraging them to challenge them by building resilience.

Pavlina Kiakides of GMLPF who completed the course explains some of the issues tackled during the two days’ training:

“There were lots of opportunities to explore different providers’ practices regarding the development of resilience in learners.  So for example, when a learner self declares a phobia of public transport what strategy should be adopted? Should the provider accept they can’t travel and find them a placement/apprenticeship close to home? Or focus on helping the student overcome the phobia? We also realised that the roles of different parties involved in delivery of training need clarifying. The responsibilities of employer and provider in supporting mental good health in apprentices must be agreed at the start to stop people falling through the net.”

 

Raising Awareness Across The Region

An emerging theme was that provider staff often need support; it is not just an issue for students.  

The course was a culmination of a project by GMLPF that set out to raise awareness of the issues. The groundwork for getting to this point was the extensive research conducted among our members. The introduction of the course is timely as mental health of apprentices and other young people has moved up the agenda of skills challenges facing the Liverpool City Region.

Research among members reveals students are affected by issues such as anxiety, stress and lack of self- belief. And 83% GMLPF members responded that mental health issues are on the increase.

And since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, it seems that employers may be inadvertently adding to apprentices’ stress levels. Because employers hold the funding themselves, they are taking a keener interest in seeing good levels of achievement. Further pressures come from all kinds of sources; students cite social media and lack of support at home.

 

The Future

Only ten places are available on each course. We will be announcing future dates soon and in the meantime the following is just some of the positive feedback we have had so far.

“The course covered a wide & varied subject matters discussed which will be useful for personal and professional application”

 “Great awareness of mental health first aid, signs and symptoms and discussions around apprenticeships”

 “The whole programme was excellent as it provided a robust range of information, skills and knowledge which I am able to put into practice and share with colleagues and learners”.

 “The programme was perfect, professional, highly informative and educational. An excellent programme which enabled me develop personally and professionally”.

Functional Skills Reform Update

Building on the Functional Skills Reform workshop we ran in December with NCFE CACHE, a number of useful mapping documents have been produced by CACHE that will be of use to both Tutors and Management Teams in providers. These mapping documents detail the key changes for each area of functional skills, details of what has changed level and what content is new in each area.

The links below take you to set of PDF resources which will be invaluable in preparing for the introduction of Functional Skills Reform in September 2019.

English

Entry Level 1
Entry Level 2
Entry Level 3
Level 1
Level 2

Maths

Entry Level 1
Entry Level 2
Entry Level 3
Level 1
Level 2