LCR Apprenticeship Hub Update – April 2019

GMLPF attended the LCR Apprenticeship Hub Board Meeting on 18 April.


Apprenticeship starts

Early indications point to a slight increase in apprenticeship starts in the region for first half of 2018/2019 compared with the same period last year. Whilst this is encouraging news, there are key factors that point to continuing challenges:

  • Growth is coming from 25+ age cohort; 16 to 18 apprenticeship starts have fallen in comparison to 17/18
  • Growth is seen in advanced and higher level programmes; starts at intermediate level continue to fall

LCR Hub  report

The Hub reported on the success of their apprenticeship awareness-raising programme across the region. Over 18 months, the highly productive Hub team have completed a herculean itinerary of communications and events which included planning and executing no less than 33 skills shows across the region, attended by 7000 individuals. They also delivered 14 events to launch the Skills For Growth Action Plans, and carried out 1131 targeted meetings to inform employers, schools, referral agencies, parents and others about apprenticeships.


Apprenticeship Graduation  

The report on the LCR Hub Apprenticeship Graduation held on 7 March was shared at the meeting. It provides an overview of the features and successes of the event held at St Georges Hall and opened by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram. Key achievements and points to note include:

  • Almost 300 attendees across 2 events
  • 103 apprentices graduated at the event
  • These apprentices were supported by 24 learning providers
  • Apprentices studied at a range of levels (L2 to L5)
  • Graduates were of all ages with the majority being between the ages of 17 and 25 (49%)

 

Apprenticeships – national news

Transfer of levy funds

As of the beginning of April, Levy paying employers can now transfer up to 25% of their annual levy funds to other organisations to use for apprenticeships training and assessment. Previously the transfer limit was 10%. Certain conditions apply.

Guidance on levy transfer

 

Decrease in co-investment rate for non-levy payers

From 1st April, non-levy paying employers will be required to make just a 5% contribution to training and assessment costs for their apprentices, with the Government covering 95% costs. Previously employers were required to make 10% contribution

 

Fire it Up Communications Toolkit

Some providers linked in with the national apprenticeship Fire It Up campaign during National Apprenticeship Week by adopting the modified apprenticeships logo and linking in with other aspects of the campaign. The Fire It Up campaign is ongoing and there are full branding guidelines available to download with links to logos.

Download branding guidelines

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!