New Alder MD brings wealth of expertise in housing and employment

Alder Training has appointed a new managing director.  Louise Harris, who started in post on 4th December, has a wealth of experience in housing and employment & skills.  As a director for the last 6 years, Louise has worked at national and regional levels in executive and non-executive roles.  In her most recent role she worked with local communities delivering regeneration projects specifically around helping people into work.  

Louise has also led regional strategic work as the chair of the National Housing Federation’s Worklessness Group, which involved housing associations across the North West. At a national level, Louise chaired the Professional Development Board for the Chartered Institute of Housing. 

“I’m delighted to be appointed as the new MD of Alder Training.  Making contact with colleagues in the sector is an important part of the role and I’m really looking forward to meeting and working with people and partners through GMLPF.”

Louise can be contacted on 07403087768 or [email protected]

5 Reasons to Book an Apprenticeships Information Session for your School

Reason 1: Schools have a statutory obligation to advise pupils on Apprenticeships

As stated in the DfE’s statutory guidance for schools (January 2018), “schools must secure independent guidance that includes information on the full range of education and training options, including apprenticeships and vocational pathways.”

To fulfil this, schools must keep informed about the features, benefits, availability and processes for enrolling on Traineeships, Apprenticeships and Higher Apprenticeships. This ensures that the advice they give pupils is correct, relevant and up-to-date – information can change regularly, particularly in relation to which Apprenticeships are available.

Through the government’s Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools (ASK) programme, GMLPF offers information sessions to Liverpool City Region schools, helping them meet statutory duties regarding the provision of impartial IAG, specifically in relation to Apprenticeships and Traineeships. These sessions are tailored for years 10 and 11.

GMLPF’s Apprenticeship experts will come to your school to deliver your choice from our portfolio of school support services. Pick from group assemblies; practical hands-on sessions to help pupils sign up to the national Find An Apprenticeship service; providing information at schools careers events; parent information sessions; Apprenticeship Champion training for careers advisers and teachers.

Reason 2: High quality advice to help pupils make informed career choices

Because it’s a Government programme, the information provided through GMLPF’s ASK sessions is always correct and up-to-date. The individuals who deliver the sessions in schools are fully trained Apprenticeships experts who attend regular updates to keep up with changing information. They are subject to external quality inspections, ensuring top quality advice is provided to pupils, parents and teachers.

The ASK team also have in-depth knowledge of the local Apprenticeships landscape – what the growth industries are in Liverpool City Region, and which sectors are likely to see an increase in availability of Apprenticeships and long term careers for school leavers. They are also able to advise on Higher Apprenticeships for university level study, how Apprenticeships are funded, and any impact signing up to an Apprenticeship can have on family benefits.

Reason 3: It’s free!

Yes, the service is absolutely free to Liverpool City Region schools. We’ll come along and speak to pupils, show them how to search for and get notified of Apprenticeships vacancies in their industries of interest. We’ll speak to parents, train Apprenticeship Champions, set up shop at careers evenings, and dispense official information booklets and leaflets – all free of charge.

Reason 4: Feedback from schools shows they find the sessions invaluable

GMLPF has already delivered its ASK services to many schools across Liverpool City Region. Feedback from schools has been extremely positive. It shows they have found the information sessions and our other Apprenticeships support services an ideal way to provide pupils with the latest information about Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

Schools have also told us that booking an ASK sessions is a good way of demonstrating to Ofsted inspectors that they are properly addressing their statutory obligations, accessing good quality Apprenticeships information, advice and guidance for their pupils, enabling them to make informed decisions about their future.

Reason 5: Easy to book

Booking one of our ASK services couldn’t be easier – just email [email protected] or call 0151 707 8775 and ask for the Schools Support Team.


ESFA Non-Levy Procurement Results

Results of this recent tender exercise were published by the ESFA the week ending the 8th December. We understand that there may be a delay in the ESFA issuing contracts due to several organisations challenging their results.

Funding cut by a third

It is clear that the procurement exercise was over-subscribed at a national level. LCR based providers faced fierce competition, with most organisations having funding requests cut by a third or more it would seem.

Minimum contract value

We are aware that a small number of members have been unsuccessful in receiving a non-Levy funding allocation. Some of these submitted high quality proposals that met and exceeded the scoring criteria. However they have not been awarded an allocation because, following a pro rate reduction by the ESFA, their tender value fell below the £200,000 minimum contract value.

GMLPF survey results

GMLPF surveyed members on the outcomes of the procurement exercise. Despite submitting successful tenders, most members have received allocations significantly below what they anticipated. A number of key messages emerge from our survey, these are:

  • 75% of members who were successful in the tendering exercise believe that the reduced funding allocation will have a negative impact on their organisation
  • 56% indicated that there will be reduced Starts in contrast to only 13% suggesting that they will be able to increase Starts.
  • 44% indicated that there would be reduced provision ie they will cease to deliver certain learning programmes

GMLPF has been working with the LCR Employment and Skills team to raise awareness of the potential consequences of this procurement with the Metropolitan Mayor. There is a concern that the reduced allocations may impact negatively upon the capacity and capability of the local supplier base and their ability to address emerging skills issues.

GMLPF would also like to broker relationships between members who were unsuccessful or have reduced allocation, and those who might now be looking for potential delivery partners. If anybody is looking for delivery partners based in the Liverpool City Region then please contact Ian Lomas at GMLPF on [email protected] or 0151 707 8775

Check back to the GMLPF website for further updates

New GMLPF CEO pledges to speak for Apprenticeship providers at regional and national level

GMLPF is pleased to announce the appointment of Ian Lomas as Chief Executive Officer.

Ian brings with him over 25 years of experience in the education, training and skills sector. He moved to Merseyside in 1992 where he worked at Qualitec in St Helens for the NW Training and Enterpise Council (TEC) Network before moving to Merseyside TEC. In both these roles, he led on European Union funding and skills policy work.

Prior experience

In 2000, he joined a local consultancy practice, Community Concepts Ltd, where he was Development Director. Whilst at Community Concepts Ltd, Ian was the company’s lead on education, training and skills as well as enterprise and employment issues. During this time, Ian worked with a number of GMLPF members and key stakeholders across the Liverpool City Region including the LCR Employment and Skills Team. He recently developed the LCR Apprenticeship Hub strategy for the period 2015-2020.

Opportunities for members

Ian is looking forward to working with both GMLPF members and strategic partners in the region:

“I’m delighted to join GMLPF at what is both an exciting yet challenging time in the learning and skills landscape. There are many opportunities for GMLPF members in the City Region and I am committed to helping them continue to grow and develop. A key priority for me is to ensure GMLPF accurately captures and represents our members’ collective voice at regional and national level.

“I look forward also to collaborating with our local strategic partners in the Liverpool City Region and further afield in the North, ensuring that we maintain a strong focus on skills development , quality and growth and that our provision addresses the needs of learners and employers whilst delivering real impact.”

GMLPF Mission

Greater Merseyside Learning Providers Federation (GMLPF) is a membership organisation that champions and supports approximately 100 Liverpool City Region skills and education providers.

Our mission is to drive the prosperity of Liverpool City Region by building a foundation of skills for economic success. We do this by supporting the evolution of education and skills providers to meet local and national priorities, for the benefit of individuals, communities and businesses in the region.

We support our members, the education and skills providers of Liverpool City Region, by

• Providing a single voice that represents our members’ views and priorities
• Helping our members meet the changing skills needs of our region’s people, communities and businesses
• Helping our members adapt to shifts in the local and national skills funding landscape
• Raising awareness of our members’ services to employers, schools, young people and parents.
• Promote Apprenticeships as viable respectable career options at 16 and beyond
• Helping our members to flourish as organisations in their own right