young people demonstrating

Radicalisation Training in The Headlines

Once again in recent weeks radicalisation hits our headlines – this time with the NUS protesting loudly at the the Government’s stance on anti-radicalisation training for tutoring staff. Yusuf Hassan, the vice-president of student affairs for an umbrella group representing 130,000 Muslim students across the UK and Ireland was quoted in The Guardian as saying:

‘Terms such as radicalisation have not been defined or quantified. It is open to interpretation, leaving us in a difficult situation. It is not, nor should it be within the ability of a student or lecturer to report on extremism of people showing signs of it.’

It’s this kind of challenge that led to GMLPF running radicalisation workshops over the summer. The sessions were designed to help equip our providers and their tutors with the understanding to approach the radicalisation issue with balance and sensitivity.

Spectrum of New Challenges

Following an OFSTED report revealing that radicalisation was a key concern at some schools, the government introduced the ‘Prevent’ strategy and hailed it as as anti-radicalisation initiative. From July 1st the legislation placed an obligation on education and training institutions to extend the safeguarding of students in their care to include anti-radicalisation.

GMLPF’s members are aware that extreme groups often focus their efforts on recruiting the younger generation. But whilst the legal obligation presents new challenges, it doesn’t necessarily change the existing beliefs or attitudes of our members which fundamentally embrace and encourage social diversity.

What Our Members are Doing

Debbie Tagoe, GMLPF Chair and a Director at Mode Training sums up: ‘Of course training providers need to be on the look out for for potentially vulnerable individuals just as much as anybody pushing any kind of propaganda. But the challenge is to develop an approach and ethos which both promotes British values as stipulated by the government, and equally embraces diversity.’

Brian Quinn, operations director at tpm on Merseyside explains: ‘We recognise that early intervention and prevention rather than cure is the best – or perhaps the only – approach. We have always believed that a proactive approach, closely managing situations to ensure a positive outcome, reflects our sense of public duty. To this aim we joined forces with fellow training provider Mode to tackle the challenge of ‘Prevent’ head on through a series of workshops’.

Integrating ‘Prevent’

Moving forward tpm and Mode have action plans which include:

  • Focusing on critical thinking in pupils
  • Ensuring pupils are aware of bias and propaganda, especially online
  • Rewriting of policies and ensuring curriculum plans reflect the appropriate requirements
  • Look for practical ways to embrace diversity
  • Equipping staff with clear steps to take if they encounter a student at risk
  • Encourage a healthy approach to online citizenship and get students to take responsibility for the choices they make

James Glendenning, chief executive of GMLPF adds: ‘The implementation of the ‘Prevent’ strategy needs careful consideration so that acceptance of different faiths and beliefs is not compromised. We always recommend our members promote democracy, anti-extremism, individual liberty and mutual respect.’

Social media support for GMLPF members

GMLPF works hard to promote and raise awareness of its members, their courses and services. One of the main ways we do this is through our online directory of training, Mapped Out which all our members are listed on. As part of our drive to raise awareness of Mapped Out amongst school leavers, other young people, parents and schools, we are planning to put together a schedule of material designed for sharing for social media. By producing interesting, factual articles that are shareable on social media and branded up as Mapped Out, we can collectively increase our online “fame”, and generate enquiries for member courses.

Financial Facts success

A recent example of this was the article we posted on GMLPF social media channels during June 2015: ‘FINANCIAL FACTS – Ten things you need to know before your child leaves school this summer’. Several GMLPF members shared this post on their own channels. At the time of writing, the posts have reached nearly 5,000 people; with more than 250 viewers clicking through to read it in full and be presented to a link to Mapped Out.

We’d like to pen more articles like this for our members to post and share which will ultimately raise further awareness of Mapped Out.

Ideas

We’re keen to hear our members’ ideas for future features and articles for you to use on your own social media. We’ll research and write up the best suggestions and put them out on social media for you to share and benefit from. To help with ideas, here’s five examples of what makes good content on social media:

  • Something that is timely or hooks into the current news agenda
  • A list of interesting facts – giving succinct, accurate and free advice
  • Including a celebrity angle – an article last year about famous people who started out as apprentices went viral
  • A feature headed ‘We Asked Ten Apprentices & this is what they said’
    …. can you suggest what the question should be?
  • “How-to” guides aimed at businesses or young people. Do you have a good suggestion as to what would be useful for you and other members? eg How to succeed at your apprenticeship interview

Email your ideas to pavlina@gmlpf.net

 

GMLPF members feature in Wirral schools mag

GMLPF sponsors a regular section in Good2Go, an education, careers and training magazine that is distributed to young people through schools across the Wirral. The GMLPF-sponsored section focusses on vocational options at 16 including Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

Platform for GMLPF members

This sponsorship not only raises the profile of alternative options to staying on at school 6th form, it also provides a platform for exposure of GMLPF members’ courses amongst its primary target market – school leavers. GMLPF has been running this sponsorship for 2 years, with many members having been featured in the magazine in features and magazines. Members report that the sponsorship has resulted in more awareness of their courses, and has generated good leads for them.

Members featured

Good2Go is printed and distributed to schools three times a year. The most recent edition has just been printed and the GMLPF section features articles on members Mode, Riverside Learning and Education Centre, tpm and The Vocational College, as well as an interview with GMLPF CEO, James Glendenning.

This is just one of the activities GMLPF runs to support its members by raising the profile of their provision and services. Any GMLPF member who would like to be featured in the next edition of the magazine should contact pavlina@gmlpf.net

GMLPF sponsored section in Good2Go June 2015

Radicalisation workshops for GMLPF members

In response to our members’ requests for support in building the knowledge and skills they need in the critical and ever changing safeguarding arena, GMLPF is providing workshops addressing the prevention of radicalisation in learners. The workshops, which are for GMLPF members only, focus on raising awareness of the Government’s Prevent Strategy, published in 2011 as part of an overall counter terrorism strategy.

The Prevent Strategy has 3 specific objectives:

• Respond to ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face by those who promote it
• Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
• Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation

GMLPF has commissioned Nigel Lund to deliver the workshops. Nigel is the Department for Business Innovation and Skills’ North West Regional Coordinator for FE/HE.

The workshop focusses on the safeguarding individuals who may be susceptible to extremist messaging and preventing them from moving towards extremism and terrorism, and covers the following:

• Freedom of speech issues
• What makes someone susceptible/vulnerable to this messaging
• Behaviours of concern that individuals might display
• Rationale for early identification, support and if necessary, intervention
• Provision of support, advice and guidance to the individual

For further information about this GMLPF membership benefit, or to find out how to become a member, please contact Joanne Rymer on 0151 707 8775 or email joanne@gmlpf.net

GMLPF commissions summer radio campaign to support members

As part of its ongoing programme of support for its members, GMLPF have commissioned a summer advertising radio campaign on Juice FM. The campaign, which runs from the end of June, targets school leavers and other young people, encouraging them to make use of GMLPF’s online training directory, Mapped Out.

Training options

Mapped Out lists all GMLPF’s members, providing a live, searchable database of the training courses they offer. It is designed to help young people explore the training options available to them when they leave school, or if they drop out of college. These include Apprenticeships, Traineeships, Study Programmes and NVQs, searchable by industry sector. The directory provides useful information such as the location of training providers and colleges who provide the courses, transport routes, and details of additional support available including financial support.

Raising awareness of GMLPF members

The aim of the radio campaign is to raise awareness of the full range of options available to young people aged 16 to 18. In addition, the campaign supports GMLPF members by generating interest in their courses.

The radio campaign begins in the last week of June and runs until September with 3 adverts featuring Jon Briggs, the voice of iphone’s Siri. GMLPF members are encouraged to ensure that the information they have uploaded to the GMLPF Mapped Out directory is current in time for the start of the campaign at the end of June.

Exclusive member benefit

Inclusion in the Mapped Out online directory of training for 16 to 18 year olds is exclusively for GMLPF members, one of the numerous benefits of membership. To find out more about becoming a member please contact Jo Rymer, Membership Manager on 0151 707 8775 or email joanne@gmlpf.net

For more information on the Mapped Out directory or the Juice FM radio campaign contact pavlina@gmlpf.net

Audit Assurance for GMLPF Members

Mark Ashton-Blanksby Apprenticeship Funding
Mark Ashton-Blanksby

As part of GMLPF’s ongoing programme of support for our members, we’re currently rolling out Assurance Health Checks. This is a complementary service for GMLPF members.

By putting member files and funding records under the microscope, the aim is to identify any areas for improvement.  Included in the support is a detailed action plan to address any weaknesses that are found before the Skills Funding Agency Auditors arrive.  ICCA Education Training and Skills, the leading provider of advisory services to the Further Education Sector, has been appointed to run the exercise.

Planning and Preparation

Mark Ashton-Blanksby, a Senior Manager with ICCA says: ‘We will look to upskill staff in GMLPF’s member organisations, so that they understand what the auditors are looking for. The support provided will help them to them resolve many common errors that are known to give rise to funding adjustments. In our experience many audit failures have come as a result of poor preparation and not poor record keeping.’

Apprentiecship fundingReporting and Focus

Whilst individual reports and discussions with our members are confidential, once all the visits have taken place, ICCA will produce an overarching report.  The report will identify the common issues encountered; as well as helping members identity areas for improvement.  This project will also allow GMLPF to pinpoint further areas of training and support that will give the most benefit to our members.

Join us

GMLPF represents more than 60 training providers across Merseyside.  If you are a provider of Apprenticeships or other vocational training in the Merseyside area and are interested in becoming a GMLPF member, get in touch with Jo Rymer on 0151 707 8775 or email joanne@gmlpf.net