GMLPF consultation identifies key priorities

In December, GMLPF commissioned a consultation to gain an understanding of:

  • how GMLPF is perceived by its members, partners and stakeholders
  • whether its scope and remit is fully understood
  • member satisfaction levels
  • how GMLPF might evolve in the future

The consultation collated the views of GMLPF members, the Board of Directors, ex-members, funding bodies and other stakeholders.

Key findings from members

  • Membership is relatively static with small numbers of new members: 65% of members have been members for 8 years or more; 85% of members have been members for over 4 years
  • Main motivating factors for membership: access to information; access to support through key changes in the sector; networking with peers; sharing best practice; lobbying;
  • Stengths: strong purpose; supportive & knowledgeable staff; reasonable membership fee; good local profile; provides relevant training and support to members; facilitates networking; provision of information; professionalism
  • Weaknesses: some lack of clarity on role and activities of GMLPF; not sufficiently wide remit; effectiveness of GMLPF’s lobbying activity; 87% of members feel GMLPF could do more developmental work
  • Future direction: focus on core/existing activities ie lobbying, networking, provision of information, focus on quality. New areas suggested include: non-core funding opportunities; brokering relationships with new funders; greater focus on local issues; sharing resources; less Liverpool-centric; strengthen staff base; capacity building of members

Key findings from stakeholders

  • GMLPF/Stakeholder relationships: longstanding relations that have evolved since inception of GMLPF eg SFA, EFA & NAS; provides opportunity for commissioners to engage with providers through a single point of contact;¬† GMLPF seen as having longevity & stability
  • GMLPF seen as a quality organisation but with a narrow remit with a focus on supporting indpendent providers delivering specific programmes for young people
  • Outside inner circle of local authorities and key playes in the employment and skills sector, GMLPF doesn’t appear to have a strong brand or image
  • Confusion over the relationship between GMLPF and local networks
  • Maybe not as well structured or proactive in attracting new members as other bodies
  • Synonymous with NEET and Apprenticeships – not strategic enough?
  • Current role: role and activities not well defined enough – no clear mission
  • Seen more as representing the sector rather than agent of change
  • Emerging perceptual gap between what members feel GMLPF’s role is/should be and stakeholders’ views
  • Future role: become an influencer; GMLPF and members need to look beyond EFA and SFA provision; develop new roles; broaden membership base

The findings of the consultation were discussed at length by GMLPF’s Board of Directors and a list of key priorities for GMLPF have been drawn up.

Key priorities

  • Plan for sustainability
  • Maintain and build on core activities
  • Increase, expand and divesify membership base
  • Review membership fee and packages
  • Develop new, clearly defined portfolio of support services for members and stakeholders
  • Review existing structures eg local networks, Board representation etc
  • Demonstrate impact – collation of data and evidence
  • Develop consortia
  • Promoting value and quality of members’ offer but broadening this offer eg new programmes

Over the coming months, these key priorities will be developed into tightly defined action plans which will be implemented and reported against.