iCan event 7th March

GMLPF is raising awareness of a forthcoming event for organisations who help individuals realise their full potential. The event is being held on 7th March from 10am to 3pm at Central Library on William Brown Street L3 8EW.

The free event introduces iCan, a new and innovative development from Windmills as part of a portfolio of activities, resources and tools to help people achieve their full potential. Members may find this a useful addition to their own strategies for supporting learners.  

For further information contact admin@windmillsonline.co.uk Deadline for registration is 9am Wednesday 28th February. Lunch will be provided.

iCan Skills flyer A4

GMLPF response to LCR Apprenticeships Growth Plan

GMLPF would like to thank members for providing input into the development of the LCR Apprenticeship Growth Plan. Members have contributed through workshops and, more recently, a webinar held by GMLPF. Feedback was provided to the Combined Authority last week and a revised draft document is to be sent to the LCR Employment and Skills Board for consideration this week.

Read GMLPF response to LCR Draft Apprenticeship Growth Plan

GMLPF Winter Forum slides

Download the sliders from various speakers at the GMLPF Winter Forum on 23 January 2018

Ian Lomas CEO GMLPF: The Skills Landscape in 2018

Debbie Tagoe GMLPF Chair: Ofsted NWFES Group update 

Paul Johnson Head of Provider Management ESFA

Sue Lownsbrough Education & Training Foundation

Andrew Frith/Gill Ditchburn Careers Briefing/EA programme

FES Reference Group_December 17_Apprenticeships copy

FES Reference group – Dec 2017 – Update copy


GMLPF member is first provider to complete EPA for Housing Apprenticeships Standards

GMLPF member Sysco, has become the first training provider in the country to complete the End-Point Assessment (EPA) for the new Housing Apprenticeship Standards with learner Hannah Chambers, 24.


Hannah, (pictured left with Jackie Grannell, Sysco Training Advisor), has been working for Stockport Homes Group (SHG) for the last 16 months after being recruited by Sysco as part of the SHG Apprenticeship Scheme and was signed up to Sysco’s Housing / Property Management Assistant Trailblazer Housing Standard in August 2016. As the first End-Point Assessment to take place in England, the process has been a learning experience for both Sysco and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) who acted as both the awarding body and Independent Assessment Organisation. Hannah performed exceptionally well, supported by Sysco’s trainers, earning the highest grading available, distinction.

What employers are looking for

“Sysco worked with us on a pilot basis, helping us to overcome the challenge of setting up processes and procedures that not only reflect the standards but also the roles of employers and training providers in supporting apprentices,” said Dr Veronica Coatham of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH)

“Sysco are the first training provider to submit an apprentice through the gateway for assessment with CIH and we are grateful to Sysco and Stockport Homes for working with us on setting up the first professional conversation – Sysco’s managers have been very helpful in supporting us and prepared the apprentice very well. It is good to see that the new apprenticeships are delivering what employers and the sector are looking for.”

Recent reform

In Britain there are over 5 million homes owned by housing associations and local councils. Affordable housing needs people to manage the services customers need so the Government has recently reformed Housing Apprenticeships to enable housing professionals to provide these services. Issues such as the rise in homelessness and repossessions, Universal Credit, Government reductions in rent and housing shortages are having significant effects on the role of the Housing professional.

As a result, new housing qualifications have been developed to address the need for housing professionals to work with other public services to regenerate the communities in which people live. The new Housing Standards include qualifications and learnt skills, knowledge and experience that focus on these new challenges.

The completion of the first End-Point Assessment and the achievement of the first Housing Apprenticeship Standard marks the point where these new qualifications are being achieved by housing professionals and Housing Associations, addressing the new challenges originally identified by the trailblazer consultations.

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 louiseharris@aldertraining.co.uk


Impact of Apprenticeship Reforms: What GMLPF Members Say

Comparing figures for May to Sept 16 and May to Sept 17
Employer confusion over reforms
Employers not recruiting 16 to 18 year olds because they aren’t job ready
Complex in-company procurement processes
Lack of Government advertising to employers
20% off the job element putting employers off
Comparing figures for May to Sept 16 and May to Sept 17
Employers reluctant to co-invest
Employers confused over reforms
Employer attitude to Apprenticeships changing
20% off the job element putting employers off
Employers putting staff on other courses with alternative funding eg adult learning loans
Employers finding it difficult to identify who is responsible for their levy
Employers opting to treat levy as a tax rather than additionally investing in wages & training
Employer confusion over reforms
The adult social care industry has rejected the Apprenticeship Offer so recruitment has collapsed
Harder to offer training opportunities to 19+
Employers frustrated with reduced choice of providers due to public sector levy procurement
Some sectors object to 20% off the job element; others like hairdressing & construction don’t
Some employers making staff pay for
Educating employers, promoting incentives, stimulating demand
Streamlining apprentice enrolment process to reduce costs
Being flexible over 10% payment eg spreading payments
Widening provision offer to access bigger markets

Learning providers: are you GDPR ready?

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply from 25th May 2018. As a learning provider, if you are complying with the current Data Protection Act, then you will have the foundation for a good approach to meeting compliance for the additional aspects and enhancements which will apply under GDPR. It is vital that you ensure relevant staff in your organisation are aware of the changes in law and that the organisation is fully compliant with the new requirements.

Key GDPR facts

  • GDPR comes into force from 25th May 2018 – all businesses MUST be compliant by then
  • GDPR has some significant differences to Data Protection Act
  • Fines for non-compliance will be more severe than under DPA: up to 4% of turnover
  • Data breaches will have to be reported to officials within 72 hours
  • Individuals will have to “opt in” whenever data is collected – unlike now where they have to “opt out”, so privacy/data notices will have to be amended
  • Data processing operations will need to demonstrate a “privacy by design” approach – previously this was recommended as best practice, with GDPR it becomes mandatory

Some benefits to being GDPR compliant  

  • Demonstrates to learners, parents, employers, funders, Ofsted and regulatory bodies that your organisation takes data security seriously
  • Supports bidding for funds and tenders – it is extremely likely that demonstrable GDPR compliance will become a prerequisite of bidding for public funding.
  • Avoid potentially severe fines
  • Avoid damage to your reputation – it is likely that press will “name and shame”

Preparing for GDPR: Why book on a GMLPF Masterclass?

GMLPF are running GDPR masterclasses for learning providers on 24th October in association with the University of Salford. Here are some reasons why you should book on one of these workshops:

  • High quality – delivered in association with University of Salford
  • Professional trainer/expert in field – Darren Rose has been providing data handling consultancy and training for nearly a decade
  • Tailored for learning providers
  • Free ongoing follow-up GDPR compliance support for GMLPF members who attend the masterclass
  • Good value – between 200% and 500% cheaper than many GDPR courses on the market
  • Competitive advantage – the sooner you are GDPR compliant, the sooner you can promote this status to employers who will prefer to partner with compliant providers

Book now

GMLPF Masterclass: Helping Learning Providers Prepare for GDPR 24th October 9.30am to 12.15pm

GMLPF Masterclass: Helping Learning Providers Prepare for GDPR 24th October 1pm to 3.45pm


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Alder Training Joins Regenda Group

Alder Training Limited, with over 20 years’ experience in offering a range of high quality apprenticeships, has  become part of the growing Regenda Group.

The learning provider, which was founded in 1993, will retain its own branding and remit within the organisation but as part of the Regenda Group will benefit from greater supporter and wider growth opportunities. Alder’s long-term vision for sustainable regeneration in neighbourhoods, through improving the life chances of individuals, families and communities will also receive added impetus thanks to this recent development.

Shared values

Michael Birkett, CEO of the Regenda Group, said: “We are delighted that Alder Training Limited is joining the Regenda Group

“Both organisations share the same values and believe that access to high quality skills, training and employability support is key to developing people and communities, along with enhancing the economy of the region.

“As a forward thinking business, we are committed to delivering regeneration across the North West and have expanded our Group to be increasingly effective in improving our communities and the life chances of our residents.

“By bringing a successful regional training provider into the group, we can deliver these aims in new ways and tap into a wealth of specialist knowledge.

“We believe that the acquisition of Alder Training Limited demonstrates that our values underpin our growth strategy, and we are very excited about what the future holds.”

High quality

Bryan Riley, Managing Director of Alder Training, said: “We’re very excited to be joining the Regenda Group and ambitious for our future as a training provider supporting people and businesses across the region.

“The businesses and trainees that we currently work with can be even more confident about the high quality of service they will receive now and in the future.

“Apprenticeships, skills and high quality training are more important than ever, locally and regionally, and I’m convinced we can now make an even greater contribution in this new partnership.”

Liverpool based Alder specialises in apprenticeships and training qualifications in health and social care, dental nursing, childcare, customer services and business administration. The provider employs over 60 staff across its three training centres.

As part of the deal, the existing directors at Alder Training will remain within the business.

First Veterinary Nurse to Win City & Guilds Medal of Excellence

An outstanding student who completed an Apprenticeship with GMLPF member Lite Ltd has become the first veterinary nurse ever to win the City and Guilds Medal of Excellence.

Emma Turner, completed a City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing as part of her Advanced Apprenticeship with Lite Ltd, a leading provider of small animal care professional training.  

Excellent results

City and Guilds Medals for Excellence recognises the achievements of learners, lecturers and trainers who have achieved great results by producing exceptional work – going above and beyond what is expected to achieve their goals.  It recognises not only excellent results but also those who show a true journey of progression throughout their qualification.

Emma was nominated following the successful and timely completion of her Advanced Apprenticeship.  She achieved outstanding results for each aspect of this very challenging qualification – showing exceptional skills in all areas. 

Role model

Lite director, Jackie Shopland-Reed points to the inspiration Emma will provide for others:

“Emma proved to be a conscientious, adaptable individual who is an excellent role model, not only for future students but also for the Veterinary Nursing profession as a whole.”

Emma was supported in the achievement of her qualification by Friarswood Veterinary Centre in Staffordshire, where she has since progressed to a Deputy Head Nurse position.

Fit UK launch programme to help organisations in sports & leisure tackle mental health

GMLPF member Fit UK have developed a comprehensive new 3 hour CPD programme in Mental Health Awareness for the Physical Activity and Sport Sector. The programme is delivered in partnership with Everton In The Community. It is endorsed by Active IQ who have recognised the importance of raising awareness of mental health issues in the active leisure sector.

Fit UK launched the programme last week at Goodison Park. It is an ideal vehicle for gyms, sports clubs, schools, charities and other organisations who have an involvement in sport to equip their employees with the skills needed to identify mental health issues and demonstrate how sports activities can help contribute towards mental well being.

Video: overview of Fit UK’s CPD programme in Mental Health Awareness

For further information on the programme please contact alan@fituk.info