gmlpf members sitting at a table listening to trainer on mental health awareness course

GMLPF members complete Lottery-funded two day programme in mental health

GMLPF members completed the second day of a two-day training course in mental health awareness last week. The course equipped them with a formal level 2 qualification and the skills to champion and “triage” mental health issues with apprentices and other learners.

Eleven member organisations enrolled on the two-day training course, delivered by AT Skills. The initiative is part of the GMLPF Minds project that has received nearly £10,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund.

GMLPF’s successful bid for funds has so far enabled research into mental health in the Liverpool City Region skills sector as well as subsidising this mental health awareness training for providers. Also, the region’s apprentice ambassadors recently undertook mental health awareness training thanks to this Lottery-funded project.

Recognising the symptoms of poor mental health

Over the past year, GMLPF members have reported significant mental health issues among their students, and more recently, their staff. This course has helped providers to start tackling the problem. They are now able to recognise the symptoms of poor mental health promptly. Ian Lomas, chief executive of GMLPF, explains:

“More than eight in ten of our members have reported that the mental health of learners has an impact on programme delivery. Staff are spending a significant number of hours tackling the problem while learners are suffering. A similar number say problems are piling up and affecting the mental health of staff as well. The training aims to create a better and more productive learning environment for everybody.”

Boosting apprenticeship numbers

Those completing the course gain a Level 2 in Mental Health Awareness awarded by Active IQ. Ian adds:

“The strain on resources in the sector is reaching unprecedented levels. Mental health challenges are adding to this. We’re putting this National Lottery funding towards relieving the pressure and boosting the number of students who complete their apprenticeship or other training.”

The learning providers who attended last week’s course included Andrew Collinge, Halton Council, Liverpool Football College, Myerscough College, NTG Training, North West Community Services, North West Training Council, Onside Education, Rocket Training and The Engineering College.

Annette Swinnerton from North West Community Services told us:

“The course has provided me with time away from the workplace to stop and take stock of the issues. I’ll now return to my job with much more understanding and an objective approach. The training gave me new skills and I’ve more knowledge about signposting people for assistance. I want to use what I’ve learnt to help colleagues, apprentices, and other learners.”

The two-day course ran at The Maggie O’Neill Community Resource centre in Knowsley on Wednesday 17th and 23rd October. There is an additional course running during November, on the 13th and 20th. GMLPF members can book a discounted place through Eventbrite.

GMLPF training to tackle mental health crisis in LCR skills sector

GMLPF research amongst providers of apprenticeships and other training has revealed the scale of mental health problems in the skills sector across the Liverpool City Region.

The research was conducted with GMLPF members as part of the National Lottery Community Fund  GMLPF Minds project. The findings confirm that mental health challenges faced by learners are having an ongoing negative impact on the delivery of training including Apprenticeships.  The research shows that the problem has escalated and reveals also that mental ill-health amongst learning provider staff is also starting to become an issue.

More than 80 per cent of GMLPF members report that mental ill-health is having an impact on the delivery of training. The main issues cited as being experienced by learners are anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, substance abuse and self-harm. The worrying statistics also include evidence that absence and students dropping out is frequently linked to these mental health issues.

Ian Lomas, Chief Executive of GMLPF says:

“Young people are starting apprenticeships and other training with existing pressures that include poverty, stress and lack of resilience. National figures show the 16-24 age group is the most likely to experience stress or anxiety. Worryingly, learners are not seeking the help they need.  Dealing with the fall out has a knock-on effect for our members’ staff, increasing their own stress levels.”

The GMLPF Minds project has received nearly £10,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund. The money has been spent on understanding the local issues and a tranche of the award will go towards mental health awareness training for provider staff.

Ian adds:

“The funding has made it possible for us to introduce much-needed training for provider staff. Providers are being offered mental health awareness and first aid training at a greatly reduced rate.”

AT Skills are delivering the mental health awareness and first aid course at a modern training facility in Huyton.  The Maggie O’Neill Community Resource Centre in Knowsley will host the two-day course starting on Wednesday 16th October.

Alan Reddin from AT Skills told us:

“We first ran this course in January. The feedback was overwhelming and provider staff expressed how critical and useful the training is for the modern-day challenges they face. Participants gain a Level 2 Award.”

The course offers great value and will help tackle the daily challenges when participants return to the workplace.

The research findings suggest that one in every three of Liverpool City Region learners experiences mental health issues. Providers are spending more time on dealing with learners’ mental ill-health.  This places a drain on the resources of provider staff.

Attendees will gain an understanding of mental health and the main disorders they need to be aware of. Alongside this, they will have a good grasp of how to access support and advice. A cornerstone element of the training is about recognising and responding to the signs of mental ill-health.

Alan from AT Skills explains how attending the course will be effective when participants return to the workplace:

“The training will help providers to tackle mental health issues sooner and we expect this to improve learner success rates and reduce the strain on resources.”

Money from The National Lottery Community Fund will be used to subsidise the costs of training. GMLPF members can attend the two-day course for just £130.

Click here to book a place on the discounted training programme.

apprentices on mental health awareness training thanks to gmlpf lottery funded project

GMLPF Minds project gives LCR Apprentice Ambassadors the skills to champion mental health

The mental health of apprentices in the region received a boost through a GMLPF project funded by National Lottery players. 

Eleven employees from across the Liverpool City Region are set to become champions for good mental health at work thanks to their participation in a GMLPF Minds mental health training course.

The group of Apprentice Ambassadors is the first contingent to receive the training spearheaded by GMLPF and funded by The National Lottery Communities fund.  The new course welcomed its first delegates, all of whom are official Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Ambassadors. They are already mentors and role models to other employees and aspiring apprentices. The Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub manages the Ambassadors programme which sees role model apprentices and their employers raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships. The Hub runs a programme of support and development for Apprentice Ambassadors which includes participation in the GMLPF Minds Mental Health Awareness training.

Spotlight on wellbeing of apprentices and learners in LCR

The mental health awareness training took place in Liverpool city centre this week.  It’s part of the GMLPF Minds project that throws the spotlight on the mental health and wellbeing of apprentices and other learners in the Liverpool City Region.  It has equipped the attendees to return to the workplace as mental health champions. The training agenda answered questions including how to define mental health, the common challenges, triggers and causes and also the dos and don’ts around mental health. 

The course, designed and delivered by 3D Training, is highly interactive. Delivered in one day, the programme includes a variety of group exercises, activities, quizzes and case studies. It is hoped that further courses will run during 2019-20.

With the rate of apprentices and other learners experiencing mental health problems on a steep upward trajectory, GMLPF successfully applied to The National Lottery Communities Fund to conduct training and research. Nearly £10,000 was awarded which is being spent on research among members to uncover what urgent support is needed. This is complemented by training for GMLPF member staff and Apprentice Ambassadors.  The aim is that early intervention can stop apprentices and other learners falling through the net. 

CEO Ian Lomas presents apprentice Holly with completion certificate
GMLPF CEO presents one of the apprentices, Holly with her completion certificate for the GMLPF Minds mental health awareness programme

Ian Lomas, GMLPF Chief Executive says:

“People shouldn’t be denied successful careers because they get anxiety or depression.  Often these individuals are amongst the most diligent of employees.  We are driving for a cultural shift in attitudes towards mental health conditions. Raising awareness among the Apprentice Ambassadors is a small part of helping the tide change. Apprentices are the leaders of tomorrow, so there is no better way to help wipe out any lingering stigma attached to mental health.”

Support for provider staff

Ian adds:

“Whilst the education sector has been putting coordinated strategies into place for some time to help schools tackle mental health of pupils, the training sector tends to see learning providers left to deal with this challenge as individual organisations. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we can start to make inroads into tackle the specific challenges of mental health in the training sector.  As well as the mental health of learners, the GMLPF Minds project also focusses on that of provider staff who are taking the strain of this growing problem. We need to tackle the problem from all angles.”

GMLPF is very grateful to the National Lotteries Community Fund for their support without which we would not be in a position to make a positive change in this challenging area.

Full details of the research outcomes and training dates for apprenticeship providers will be released shortly. 

 

LCR Apprentice Ambassadors Get Their Heads Round Mental Health

Apprentices from across the Liverpool City Region are set to become champions for mental health in the workplace. 

In September 12 LCR apprentice ambassadors will attend a specifically designed course. They will be skilled up to raise awareness of mental health issues with their colleagues including other apprentices. GMLPF will pay for the course as part of their GMLPF Minds programme that has gathered pace thanks to a cash injection from the National Lottery Community Fund

The training will focus on how to spot mental health issues early. Through learning about the trigger factors that adversely affect young people it is hoped participants will be able to raise awareness of common mental health challenges and how to get help. To do this effectively, participants will be drilled on the dos and don’ts around mental health.  

 

Mental health champions

The ambassadors will also take a pro-active stance. A main focus of the training is to give them the confidence to champion mental health awareness in their places of employment. The interactive session is geared to define and promote understanding of the issues.

The one day course is the brainchild of 3D Training. Director, Gill Abbots, says: “There are a host of trigger factors in the modern world that impact the mental health of young people. From social media and gaming to finances and addiction, issues need to come to the surface early. This can be aided by banishing any stigmas about mental health in the workplace. It’s important to remember that pressure to complete an apprenticeship can also have an impact on mental health.”

 

Growth in mental health issues amongst apprentices

The course is part of the GMLPF Minds programme that throws the spotlight on the mental health and wellbeing of apprentices and other learners in the Liverpool City Region.  Ian Lomas, Chief Executive of GMLPF says:

“Our research reveals the rapid growth of mental health issues among apprentices and other learners. It also has a big impact on the employees of our member organisations.  There simply aren’t enough professionals qualified in mental health and it’s impossible to plug that gap quickly. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, we can offer this course as a small but significant step to promote awareness and help curtail any taboos. A realistic expectation is to reduce the likelihood of learners falling through the net.”

 

Apprentice involvement to encourage open discussion about mental health

Melanie Dodd, from the LCR Apprenticeship Hub that coordinates the apprentice ambassador network, says: “The challenges of mental health are growing at an alarming rate. It’s not something that can be ignored or swept under the carpet. Getting apprentices involved lays the groundwork for more acceptance and open discussion of mental health issues in the workplace.”

The Mental Health Foundation has published figures around mental health problems at work. More than one in every seven people experience problems in their job with more than ten percent of sick days attributable to mental health conditions. These concerns have led to GMLPF confirming that they will run additional training programmes for GMLPF members soon.

New vacancies with Training Strategies

Training Strategies have two vacancies for tutors – one for SIA Security, and one for Employability/Customer Service.

Key responsibilities for both posts include:

  • Provide effective and inclusive delivery of classroom based programmes.
  • Develop relationships to facilitate positive outcomes.
  • Contribute to the development of a high quality curriculum offer .
  • Meet targets relating to achievement and delivery.
  • Act as an ambassador in terms of skills, knowledge and professionalism.Take responsibility for Continuous Professional Development

Download further information on both posts:

SIA Security Tutor vacancy

Employability/Customer Service Tutor Vacancy

 

 

CEO Ian Lomas and Chair Debbie Tagoe display cheque showing Lottery Fund award

GMLPF awarded Lottery Funding to support mental health in LCR skills sector

The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded GMLPF £9,925 to fund vital research and training in mental health supporting organisations in the skills sector. Ian Lomas, Chief Executive of GMLPF and Debbie Tagoe, Chair  of GMLPF, welcome the investment made by the Community Fund as it will enable GMLPF to undertake more important work in the area of mental health. 

What Matters To People

The lottery fund prioritises projects that matter to people and to communities and gives money to ‘great projects or ideas that bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities’. GMLPF will use the award to widen its existing mental health project that supports providers of apprenticeships and other learning.

Original research carried out by GMLPF in 2018 revealed that member organisations are spending dozens of hours each month handling the mental health issues of learners. On average each of our members is facing a student mental health incident requiring intervention more than once a week. The initial tranche of research also threw the spotlight on the mental health of training provider staff. Ian explains:

“With three in every ten students presenting with a mental health challenge, it places an enormous strain on staffIndications are that their own mental health is being impacted which in turn has an effect on their ability to support students, creating a vicious circle. We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised the importance of our work in this area. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to explore this area in detail, improve our members’ understanding of mental health, pinpoint solutions and design training to enhance staff resilience and ability.’

Mapping Change

The first phase of the funds will be spent on follow up research with providers.  The project is designed to record the issues and map any changes since the original research last year.  It will build on the first set of findings around how mental ill-health is a barrier to participation in learning programmes and its impact on achievement levels.

Taking the form of an online questionnaire and face to face qualitative research, the findings will feed into a training programme for providers. AT Skills have already successfully delivered level 2 mental health first aid and awareness courses for GMLPF members. They will be further tailoring their programme in line with the research findings to ensure it meets providers’ changing needs.  For example, indications from the initial phase of the project show that the mental health of staff, as well as that of learners, is a growing issue. The course will reflect this and will be delivered over two days, with participants gaining a level 2 qualification.

Ambassadors Skilled Up To Help Peers

Another slice of the funding will be spent on skilling up Liverpool City Region Apprentice Ambassadors who will be trained in mental health awareness.  The ambassadors will complete a one day course delivered by 3D Training. This innovative programme sets out to help plug the gap in post-16 mental health support. Through the course, participants will gain an enhanced understanding of spotting mental health issues and signposting sufferers.  Siobhan Saunders of Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub explains:

“We don’t want apprentices falling through the net because of mental health issues. Training and understanding will result in young people getting the help they need to lead a happier life and complete their qualifications.  The ambassadors can help remove stigma and boost the number of their peers who receive essential support.” 

Resources

The award from the National Lottery Community Fund will also be used to develop an online suite of resources for both providers and learners. The choice of materials available will be in line with findings from the research carried out but are likely to include links to videos, further training resources, leaflets and case studies as well as signposts for further help and assistance.

 

Metro Mayor announces half-price rail travel for young apprentices in the Liverpool City Region

  • Move could save could save apprentices aged 19-24 up to £680 a year
  • Apprentice Travelcard, which already offers 50% off bus travel, one of the most generous such schemes in the UK 

Young people in apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region are being given access to half-price train travel, just in time for the start of the autumn term.

Announcing the delivery of another manifesto commitment, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said the move could save apprentices up to £680 a year on train travel and will help remove one of the main barriers to entry for young people looking to enter vocational training – access to affordable transport.

Since it was launched in November 2018, the Apprentice Travelcard has offered apprentices aged 19-24 access to half-price bus travel across Merseyside. The inclusion of rail travel now makes it one of the most generous transport discount schemes for apprentices in the country.

From September, Apprentice Travelcard holders will be able to purchase weekly and monthly Railpass season tickets at 50% discount from all Merseyrail and staffed Northern stations. Depending on the travel zones covered by the pass, the ticket allows unlimited travel across the Northern, Wirral and City lines  with all rail operators, including Merseyrail, Northern, Transpennine Express, London Northwestern and East Midlands Trains.

Holders of the Apprentice Travelcard must be enrolled participants on registered apprenticeship schemes. Application packs are available from training providers and at Merseytravel Travel Centres, further details are available at merseytravel.gov.uk/apprentice

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said:

“Apprenticeships are a vital pathway to skilled, well-paid jobs. But we know that the cost of travel has been acting as a major obstacle for young people when it comes to considering an apprenticeship route. It was the same for me in the late 70s – when half my wages went to my mum – and most of the other half went on travel from building site to building site.

We want to remove as many of these barriers as we can, so I’m delighted to announce that – building on the discounted bus travel we already offer – from September, apprentices aged 19-24 from across the Liverpool City Region will be able to travel on the Merseyrail network at half-price, potentially saving them hundreds of pounds a year.

Yet again – we’re showing how devolution and local decision making – can improve the lives of ordinary people. “

Councillor Liam Robinson, transport portfolio holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said: 

“Making travel by public transport easier and more affordable for young people has always been a priority for us. Already young people in the Liverpool City Region have access to great value rail fares, with Railpass tickets offering them unlimited travel across the Merseyrail network for less than £2.50 a day. To be able to extend the provision of reduced fares to those undertaking apprenticeships is fantastic, and will hopefully help to remove an obstacle to under-25s looking to enter work training.”

Suzanne Grant, Commercial Director at Merseyrail, said:

“We are pleased to be able to support young people in the City Region in obtaining qualifications and valuable work experience through this Railpass offer.

“Public transport is vital for many young people to get to and from their places of work or study, so I’m thrilled that we can do our part in making it accessible for all.

 “Apprentices can also use this pass for leisure purposes from the start to the end of service seven days a week – opening up plenty of opportunities to enjoy the Liverpool City Region.

 “This builds on our existing Young Person’s tickets offering passengers under 18 half price Railpass and Day Saver tickets.”

Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern said:

“We’re delighted to be able to support the next generation as they take their first steps in their new careers.

 “This discount scheme will significantly reduce costs for our customers from as far afield as Garswood, Newton-le-Willows and Hough Green, not only giving them more travel options, but also more money in their pockets.

 “Our partnership with Liverpool City Region underlines our commitment to giving our customers the best possible journey experience and this new offer complements the work we are doing to improve the rail network – with brand new and fully refurbished trains being rolled our across the region.”

 

GMLPF AGM

Many thanks to everyone who attended the GMLPF AGM this week. It was great to see so many of you there and to receive such positive feedback. Thanks also to our guest speakers, Beej Kaczmarscyk, and also Elaine Smith of LSIS.

Beej delivered a comprehensive presentation on the introduction of non-levy digital accounts, looking in particular at how providers can position themselves to maximise apprenticeship opportunities. Elaine delivered a very useful presentation on the importance of curriculum in the new EIF. In addition, GMLPF CEO Ian Lomas provided an overview of GMLPF’s programme of work for 18/19 which included an outline of our achievements in respect of the ASK contract, and an overview of GMLPF’s programme of work for 19/20 including the delivery of our recently awarded Lottery Community Fund project focussing on apprentice/learner mental health. Chair Debbie Tagoe delivered a presentation on the important key messages from the North West FES Reference Group Ofsted.

Download AGM slides

 

Outcome of Recent EIF Consultation Exercise

We are sharing a set of slides that Ofsted have provided on the recent consultation on the proposed EIF. Members should note that the consultation, Ofsted’s widest consultation to date, supported the broad thrust of Ofsted’s proposed EIF. There are, from reading the feedback, few material changes to the proposed structure and focus of the EIF.

Key messages from the feedback

  • Curriculum will be at the heart of the inspection process with less reliance on data. Inspectors will focus on curriculum design, coverage, relevance and delivery
  • There will be a new quality of education judgement and inspection handbooks have been updated. Interestingly a 1 year transition period has been introduced which will be reviewed at the end of the 12 month period
  • Ofsted have made amendments to the EIF to reflect that, specifically in relation to personal development and behaviour and attitudes, they will recognise providers working in challenging circumstances

(GMLPF will look to understand the practical implications of these changes on providers and provide more information)

  • It would appear that high needs or SEND learners and provision to support those groups will be graded separately rather than as a cross cutting theme
  • Ofsted proposed to introduce pre-inspection on site preparation to facilitate smoother inspections – this has been rejected
  • The timescale for re-inspection for those providers graded RI has been extended from 12-24 months to 12-30 months
  • Mental health is a recurring theme and Ofsted’s new EIF will look at the range of pastoral care that providers are offering in this area