Covid 19: Returning to Learning Practical Health & Safety Considerations

GMLPF Member Webinar: Tuesday 9th June 2.00pm to 3.30pm

In connection with returning to working or learning and being Covid-19 secure, GMLPF has engaged a specialist Health and Safety Consultancy, DTD Training who has a good background in the education sector to run a members’ webinar next week. Tudor Williams of DTD will be running the session.

The webinar will be of interest to owners and senior managers, Health and Safety and Safeguarding Leads who wish to ensure that their premises are safe for working and learning. The webinar will focus on the practical steps of ensuring Covid-19 security and will also involve the opportunity for members to ask questions and get advice. As with the recent Ofsted webinar if you have any questions in advance that you’d like answering please send them to [email protected]

To join this FREE webinar, please email [email protected] to request the link.

Mental Health First Aid Level 2 Award for GMLPF Members

Our members have told us the mental health of their apprentices and other learners is having an increasing impact on delivery of learning. Recent research undertaken by GMLPF with members suggests that:

  • at any point in time 30% of any provider’s learners are experiencing mental health issues
  • on average 40 staff hours a month at each provider are spent dealing with learners’ mental health issues
  • average of 7 incidences per provider per month of learners requiring support for mental health
Opportunity for GMLPF members

Many members say they don’t feel adequately equipped to support their students’ mental health. They indicated 4 key areas of support they would welcome:

  • structured training programme in mental health first aid and awareness
  • short awareness raising sessions
  • advice on referral agencies
  • access to specialist advice.

As a first step, in conjunction with FIT Uk and Active IQ, we are launching a Mental Health First Aid training course for GMLPF members. The course runs over 1.5 days and results in a Level 2 Award for participants. There are 10 places available on the course which will run in mid to late November. There may be further opportunities to take the course next year.

More about the course
  • 5 day certified programme
  • Course content includes: understanding and awareness of mental health; Common mental health disorders and issues; Helping reduce stigma and discrimination around mental health
  • Focus on mental health in the education and training sector
  • Recognised Level 2 Award
  • Programme accredited by Active IQ
  • Face to face tutor led programme
  • Students complete Learner Assessment Portfolio
  • Online or paper-based assessment
  • Delivered at GMLPF premises
  • Increase staff ability to recognise signs of mental health problems in learners
  • More understanding of best ways of supporting learners with mental health issues
  • Once qualified, staff can train apprentices and other learners to achieve the award
  • Once qualified, can be offered to apprentice employers as a commercial option
  • Accredited training demonstrates to Ofsted your commitment to learner wellbeing

The course costs £315 including VAT. This includes:

  • Awarding body registration and certification fees
  • Resources including course manual and e-learning materials
  • Tutor delivery and assessment (1.5 days)
  • Lunch and refreshments for 2 days

At this stage we are asking members to register their interest in participating in the course in November. If there is high demand, we will re-run the course in January.

Please indicate your interest in securing one of the 10 available places on the course by emailing [email protected]

Webinar: Improving Quality of Maths and English in Apprenticeships – 5 Reasons Not To Miss

The teaching of English and Maths is at the core of education in the UK. Despite this, many young people leave school without these fundamental skills, certainly not at the level employers expect. Providers of apprenticeships and other training programmes have a key role to play in improving the standard of Maths and English in school leavers and other individuals.


Pressure on Providers

Many learners start their journeys with skills providers worrying about the Maths and English components of apprenticeships, traineeships and study programmes. If they’ve had negative experiences at school, they can feel the subject matter is beyond them. This increases the pressure on our members to deliver these subjects in creative and fresh ways that ease anxiety and change learners’ attitudes. In addition, providers have to ensure that they teach these skills in ways that are relevant to industry sectors, whilst getting learners into the habit of revision if they’re sitting GCSEs. All these factors add up to a considerable challenge which we hope this webinar will help address.


5 reasons to sign up to our webinar

Here’s four reasons to sign up to our webinar on Improving The Quality of English and Maths in Apprenticeships:

  1. No decrease in flow of school leavers with poor English and Maths skills
    Investing time and resources into developing a well-tuned formula for teaching of English and Maths that delivers results will pay off in the long run. Liverpool City Region attainment levels for English and Maths is below average and there is unlikely to be a decrease in the flow of school leavers with poor skills in this area.
  2. Help increase competitiveness of Liverpool City Region and prosperity for all
    English and Maths achievement ranks highly in the LCR Skills Strategy and Skills Statement 2019/20. As a region, we need to raise standards of English and Maths to improve productivity, competitiveness, and economic success. With the City Region lagging behind others regions, The Combined Authority is commissioning a Skills For Growth Action plan for Maths and English to crystallise issues and pinpoint actions.
  3. Ofsted scrutinise English and Maths teaching
    All skills providers can expect to be scrutinised by Ofsted on effectiveness of teaching in these subjects, and this will also include looking at how leadership and management impacts on strategy and delivery. Ofsted report that providers still have some way to go to get this right. They say poorer performing providers are not ensuring that Maths and English topics relate to everyday life, the world of work and apprentices’ vocational areas. This is what they look for during inspections
  4. Learn from others
    Often, the best approach to developing successful strategies is to explore what others have done. Our webinar will look at different models for the delivery of English and Maths, gathered from provider case studies, and give you the opportunity to explore which might work for your organisation.
  5. Beej Kaczmarczyk hosting webinar
    An experienced consultant and trainer in the post-16 education and training sector, Beej has extensive experience as a senior manager in FE colleges, schools and the private sector. An acknowledged expert in education funding policy, leadership and management development, curriculum development and vocational education, he has delivered training previously for GMLPF members.
LCR providers leading the way

GMLPF CEO, Ian Lomas says:

“We want to support our members to raise the quality and effectiveness of English and Maths teaching. They are central to study programmes, traineeships and apprenticeships, so it’s important we explore and develop strategies and practices that ensure success. We want to help Liverpool City Region skills providers starting leading the way in innovation and effectiveness in this critical area.”

The webinar runs at 11am on Wednesday 24th October and costs £39 for GMLPF members and £79 for non-members. This competitively priced offer is a cost-effective way of developing essential skills in staff. The event is the first of a series that have been organised in partnership with Beej Kaczmarczyk of e-memoir who will steer the webinar by exploring different delivery models. You will also be provided with case study examples of best practice.

All providers who deliver apprenticeships to levy and non-levy paying employers will find the seminar useful. It will also be of interest to traineeship and study programme providers. You are encouraged to prepare some questions in advance of what promises to be a lively and engaging webinar. 

Sign up to webinar

Metro Mayor and Sefton Council leader with GMLPF Board

Skills providers are key drivers of economic success in Liverpool City Region says Metro Mayor and Council Leader

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and Cllr Ian Maher Leader of Sefton Council and LCR Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills both highlighted how the combined authority and regional skills providers can work together to tackle skills gaps in the city region, at an event last week.

The Metro Mayor and the Sefton Council Leader specifically recognised and gave due credence to the critical role of skills providers in the future prosperity of Liverpool City Region. They were both speaking at a special briefing event organised by Greater Merseyside Learning Providers Federation (GMLPF) for its members last week.

Andy Fawcett, executive director of Greater Manchester Provider Network was also a key speaker at the event at the Royal Liver Building held to focus attention on the role of the skills provider in delivering devolution.

Committed to working with skills providers

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Ensuring that our residents have the right skills to prosper in the 21st century economy is a key priority for the Combined Authority, and we are committed to working closely with skills providers to ensure that happens.”

Councillor Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “Devolution has given us greater powers around skills, not least through responsibility for the Adult Education Budget.  Whilst we are working within a local, regional and national market, it is really important that we have a strong and vibrant local provider base that is meeting local needs.”

Important step

Almost 100 skills provider representatives attended the event on Friday. The session was welcomed by all as an important step to ensuring employers and learners are supported in ways that help the local economy flourish.

GMLPF is a membership organization representing over 70 Apprenticeship and skills providers in Liverpool city region. Their mission is to drive the prosperity of Liverpool City Region by building a foundation of skills for economic success. They 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.

Partnership approach

Ian Lomas, chief executive of GMLPF said

“Friday’s event has further strengthened dialogue between decision makers within Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and skills providers, enabling a partnership approach to mapping priorities and opportunities for the delivery of skills following devolution.

“We are very grateful to the Metro Mayor and Cllr Maher for sharing their vision and committing to ongoing dialogue with our members, who are at the coal face of skills delivery in Liverpool City Region. We are also grateful to Andy Fawcett who shared the experience and perspective of providers in the Greater Manchester area.” 

G4S National Citizen Service EOI Closing Date 01 10 18

G4S Employment Support Services (ESS) is a Prime Contractor delivering regional contracts focused on disadvantaged and marginalised groups in the UK. We currently deliver the Work Programme and 5 ESF contracts across England for the Department for Work and Pensions and have recently finished delivering the last round of ESF Families Support Programme, Community Work Placements and the Supervised Jobsearch pilot.


NCS Programme

The NCS programme is a once-in-a lifetime experience delivered over 3-4 weeks in Summer and Autumn for young people aged 16-17 with four phases:
Phase 1: Adventure. Young people stay away from their local area and take on challenges in an outdoor environment, with a focus on developing confidence and team building

Phase 2: Discovery. Young people again stay away but closer to home, typically at a local university hall of residence, building independence (often cooking and budgeting for themselves), developing new skills and finding out more about their own talents and the needs of their local community

Phase 3: Social Action. Young people are back at home, but continue to work in their teams to give something back to their community by planning and delivering their own 30 hour social action project. Upon completion of the programme, each participant and their parents are invited to a graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievements and receive a certificate signed by the Prime Minister.

Phase 4: Extension. Ongoing opportunities to continue the NCS journey through further social action and volunteering, participation in regional and national Youth Boards, apprenticeship and job opportunities and more.

On this government-backed programme, participants build skills for work and life, while taking
on new challenges and adventures, making new friends, learning new skills and contributing to their community

The new procurement process has consolidated the 19 regions into 9 to align with existing government boundaries and support value for money. There are 6 lot areas being procured (the other 3 are being managed directly by NCS). The lot areas are:

• North West
• Yorkshire & Humber
• East Midlands
• West Midlands
• South East
• East Anglia

G4S are looking for partners to deliver and requirements may include:

• Manage recruitment of young people from obtaining expressions of interest and sales leads through sign-up through to turn-up via a robust retention plan
• Establish strong relationships with schools, colleges and non-school channels
• Manage the NCS programme from planning the programme activities and logistics for the phases, to the delivery of the NCS programme
• Hire, train and maintain recruitment and delivery workforce
• Manage safeguarding, health and safety and incident management

If you are interested in joining our supply chain, please follow the link below to our short Expression of Interest:

The deadline for submissions is 5pm Monday 1st October

Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions


Construction Hubs

Further to previous updates, GMLPF CEO Ian Lomas met with Phillip Jones of Wirral Met College to look at the idea of developing a collaborative LCR Expression of Interest to establish a Construction Skills Hub. At the current time, limited guidance has been published but it is expected that the call for Expressions of Interest will go out shortly.

UK Government anticipates the Construction Skills Hubs will be funded for a period of 15 or so months and can provide up to £1,000,000, in the form of capital and revenue funding, to support their development. It is anticipated that there will be some 20 Hubs across England. Each Hub will need to offer on-site training experience and, as such, it is important that any proposed Hub links into an existing or planned (in the short term) meaning that, practically, the Hub will need to be located in or alongside major schemes such as Wirral Waters, N. Liverpool Regeneration programme.  The Hub will offer work experience for people looking to enter the sector, sector based training pathways for those who are unemployed and the opportunity to retrain.

Once more detailed guidance is produced an EoI will be developed that need to be collaborative in nature and conversations will need to be had with the LEP and local construction employers to find a suitable site(s) to host the Hub. Some members have already contacted GMLPF for further information about the Construction Skills Programme. We will continue to update them and members on developments

NEET updates

GMLPF CEO, Ian Lomas, attended two meetings last week that explored the issue of NEET across the Liverpool City Region:

PASS Officers (14-19) LCR Network
This meeting provides a forum for GMLPF and PASS Officers to discuss issues that may support or inhibit actions to reduce NEET. A central theme of the discussions was the increasing move away from sub-contracting arrangements. This is increasingly leading to a consolidation of contracts in a small number of prime contract holders resulting in an increasing number of sub-contractors looking for other primes to host their provision. This is proving extremely difficult to achieve and there is the risk that there is insufficient provision, of the right type and in the right areas, to enable learners to be engaged and for partners across the LCR to reduce NEET. The fact that the LCR is failing to fill all Study Programme places and draw down funding in full is an indication that the mix of provision and the way it is contracted may need to be reviewed.

GMLPF has been working with ESFA and individual local authorities to review how some excellent sub-contracted provision might be retained locally to ensure that we don’t lose providers and provision and reduce learner choice.


Liverpool City Council NEET Strategy Workshop
GMLPF was invited to attend a small workshop with Liverpool City Council and representatives of LASH, Merseyside Youth Association and City of Liverpool College. Liverpool City Council is keen to develop a NEET Strategy that supports both the LCR Skills Strategy and LCC’s Inclusive Growth Strategy. This workshop will precede a wider programme of consultation on developing a NEET Strategy and looked at where LCC stands in terms of NEET Levels,  general principles for moving forward and working together. Ian will be contacting individual members who have Study Programme contracts to update them on this workshop.

Ofsted workshops a great success

In response to demand from members, GMLPF recently held two Ofsted workshops. The first, Ofsted for Beginners was designed for learning providers who are Ofsted novices including:

  • those who are new on register of training providers, either new to the industry or former sub-contractors
  • subcontractors subject to inspection due to relationship with prime
  • staff in providers who are new or know little about Ofsted even though the provider has experience

The workshop was delivered by Jackie Shopland-Reed, Ofsted inspector and owner/director of Apprenticeship provider Lite Ltd. It focussed on types of inspection, what to expect from each, structure and components, how to prepare and other key areas.

The second workshop, Ofsted for Experienced Providers, was delivered by Ofsted inspector, Kath Townsley,  in association with QLS, and targeted those providers who had knowledge and previous experience of the Ofsted process. The workshop looked at

  • Recent changes to the Further Education & Skills Inspection Handbook
  • Key areas providers are tripping up on in inspection
  • Emerging themes

There was also the opportunity for delegates to get individual feedback on their SARs.

Both workshops were extremely well received with all delegates rating them as very good or excellent. The knowledge and training ability of both trainers was rated as excellent.

Offering two workshops for different categories of provider is reflective of GMLPF’s current drive to tailor our member services to meet individual organisations’ needs.

GMLPF to launch Mental Health project

It is Mental Health Awareness Week and GMLPF continues to talk to members who feedback that they are working with increasing numbers of learners with mental health issues. Members also report the need for increased and targeted CPD in this area. As a result, GMLPF is looking to arrange a series of CPD events,both generic and targeted, to improve our members’ capacity and capability to support learners.

Place2Be ( has recently published a piece of research that argues for mental health services and support to be offered to primary school pupils and makes a case for the investment in this area. There are clear messages from this report and others recently that improved mental, as well as physical, health support and services has significant, long term benefits and can help learners remain in learning and achieve.

GMLPF convened a meeting recently with members to look at this theme and it is looking at taking forward a development project in this area.