National Apprenticeships Week 2018 #NAW2018

This year’s National Apprenticeship Week (NAW2018) runs from 5th to 9th March. The focus this year is on how Apprenticeships Work for individuals, employers, local communities and the wider economy. Themes include #WorksForMe – an opportunity for individuals, businesses, organisations and communities to share their own story about how Apprenticeships have worked for them. Another is #10kTalks – aiming to speak to 10,000 people during the week about the benefits of Apprenticeships. GMLPF is contributing to and supporting these themes, and highlighting what activities our members have planned

GMLPF activities include:

Employer presentations

GMLPF CEO Ian Lomas has been asked to speak to employers in Knowsley on 7th March, in conjunction with LCR Apprenticeship Hub, about the benefits of Apprenticeships and the additional benefits that relationships with Apprenticeships providers bring to your business. #10kTalks

The Big Assembly

GMLPF will be supporting the #BigAssembly, the UK’s biggest Careers & Apprenticeships online presentation. We’ll be encouraging involvement from Liverpool City Region schools who have participated in our ASK (Apprenticeships Support & Knowledge in schools) programme to date. We’ll be targeting them through e-bulletins, social media activity and blogs #10kTalks #Big Assembly 

ASK Project

GMLPF and partners are working with St Julie’s, St Francis of Assisi, Fazakerly and Litherland schools during Apprenticeship Week to deliver ASK activities; careers events, assemblies and FAA registrations as part of NAW2018. #10kTalks 

Become an Apprenticeship Champion

GMLPF is working with BL Training to deliver the ASK project. One of our objectives is to develop a network of Apprentice Champions.We’re inviting members to register  as an Apprentice Champion. It is free and all Apprentice Champions can access an array of valuable information on Apprenticeships. GMLPF is hoping Liverpool City Region will have the biggest local network of champions in the country so please take a few minutes out to register.

Apprenticeship Workshops for Members

In response to feedback from members that mental health is both a real issue for learners, and a training and development need for training organisations, GMLPF is establishing a member working group to ascertain the nature and scale of the issue, what needs members have and how GMLPF might take forward development activity on behalf of members. #10kTalks

On Thursday, GMLPF is holding an English and maths exchange workshop facilitated by the ETF to explore relevant issues, share good practice and establish what development needs members have.

GMLPF Member Activities

We are keen to promote activities planned by members as part of a wider calendar of activities. We already know of a number of planned events including:

  • TRS Training Ltd in partnership with The Road Haulage Association are speaking to employers across the country about using Apprenticeships as a vehicle for addressing the UK shortage in LGV Drivers #10kTalks
  • Mode Training launching Made@Mode initiative detailing businesses and students who have achieved success through Apprenticeships at Mode #WorksForMe

Please let pavlina@gmlpf.net know of any planned activities that we can promote via our own website and the LCR Apprenticeship Hub website.

The LCR Apprenticeship Hub has a number of activities planned for NAW 2018. These include employer  Apprenticeship briefings:

Monday 5th March 09:30 – 11:00 Liverpool & Sefton Chamber of Commerce      
Please email to book events@sthelenschamber.com

Tuesday 6th March 07.30 – 09.30 Halton Chamber of Commerce, Holiday Inn Runcorn 
Please email to book   apprenticeshiphub@halton.gov.uk

Tuesday 6th March 09:30 – 11:00 St Helens Chamber of Commerce       
Please email to book events@sthelenschamber.com                   

Wednesday 7th March 07.45 – 09:30 Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, Suites Hotel, Knowsley 
Please email to book apprenticeshiphub@halton.gov.uk

Thursday 8th March 08.00 – 09.30 Wirral Chamber, Wirral
Book here

 

Time To Talk Day 2018

Following on from discussions with members who attended our recent forum, we want to underline GMLPF’s commitment to collaborating with providers to address the growing issue of mental health and its impact on employment and skills in Liverpool City Region. As a start, we will be sharing what we feel are useful resources for members to consider using in the support of learners, staff and wider communities.

Tomorrow is Time To Talk Day 2018, established by Time To Change, the growing social movement changing how we all think and act about mental health. The Time To Change website provides a portfolio of downloadable resources and tips designed to end mental health discrimination.

We welcome any examples of mental health resources you use to support students or staff that could be shared with other GMLPF members. Please forward them to pavlina@gmlpf.net

In the near future, we plan to set up a working group focussing on the impact of mental health in the sector and develop an action plan. Any members interested in joining this group, please email ian@gmlpf.net

New Schools Statutory Guidance on Careers Advice Spells Out Access for Providers

Following the publication of the Government’s Careers Strategy in December 2017, the DfE have this month issued revised statutory guidance for schools regarding their duties relating to independent careers guidance. Of particular relevance to GMLPF members is the new legal duty for schools to provide access to providers of technical education and Apprenticeships.

Key points from the Careers Strategy and Statutory Guidance (Careers Guidance And Access for Education and Training Providers) of relevance to GMLPF members are as follows:

  • Gatsby Benchmarks
    The Careers Strategy and Statutory Guidance recommends that secondary schools and academies should adopt the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Benchmarks to develop/improve careers provision.
  • Benchmark 7
    States that by age 16 “every pupil should have had a meaningful encounter with providers of the full range of learning opportunities…… including Apprenticeship providers.”
  • Apprenticeships
    The Statutory Guidance states that “every school must ensure that there is an opportunity for a range of education and training providers to access all pupils in year 8 to year 13 for the purpose of informing them about approved technical education qualifications or Apprenticeships.”
  • Policy Statement
    Every school MUST publish a “policy statement setting out their arrangements for provider access and ensure that it is followed”. Schools must publish this on their website. The Guidance provides an example of a policy statement on provider access and this features a named contact that providers should contact to request access to pupils.
  • No exceptions
    Schools MUST make provider visits available to ALL pupils, and “should not do anything which might limit the ability of pupils to attend”. Examples of unacceptable behaviours are given as “restricting invitations to selected groups of pupils”.
  • ASK programme
    It is suggested that schools make use of locally available support, such as the ASK programme, which GMLPF is contracted to deliver to schools with the support of members.
  • Labour Market Information
    It is advised that schools should ensure that all pupils have made use of information about career paths and labour market information to inform their decisions. Here, it is obvious that information and data about Liverpool City Region Growth Sectors and associated opportunities will be particularly useful for local schools.
  • Addressing individual pupil needs
    In relation to careers advice, schools are advised to ensure that “young people from all backgrounds, gender and diversity groups, including those with special education needs and disabilities consider the widest possible range of careers.” They should also take particular care to identify those pupils who are at risk of non-participation post 16 and draw support to ensure transition into further education or training. Here, GMLPF members who have historical success in supporting these sectors of the community have a strong offer to make to schools.

Building on our experience of delivering Apprenticeships information sessions in schools as part of the ASK programme, GMLPF will be considering the scope of contributing to a coordinated support service for schools to help them deliver duties relating to provision of information about Apprenticeships and other vocational options.  

In the meantime, we strongly recommend that GMLPF members hoping to build relations with schools:

  • Familiarise themselves thoroughly with the Careers Strategy, Statutory Guidance and Gatsby Benchmarks
  • Familiarise themselves with LCR Growth Sector information and opportunities
  • From now on, review policy statements on schools’ websites to identify named contacts to arrange visits to increase likelihood of “speaking to the right person”
  • Consider tailoring approach to schools based on their duties as outlined in the revised statutory guidance, showing how as an Apprenticeship/vocational training provider you can help them meet their obligations

We would be interested to know your views on the revised guidance, especially suggestions for a coordinated approach for supporting schools. Please email pavlina@gmlpf.net

DfE Statutory Guidance and Access for Education and Training Providers Jan 2018 

 

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.

Distinction

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.

What Every School Pupil Should Know About Apprenticeships

Here’s a good resource and starting point for pupils exploring their options or careers teachers talking to students about careers choices at 16:  Five things every school pupil should know about Apprenticeships:

1. There are loads of opportunities! – More and more prestigious employers now employ apprentices straight from school

There are many Apprenticeship opportunities available whenever you choose to leave school – after your GCSEs or after your A-levels. This is because more and more employers realise that Apprenticeships are a great way for them to recruit new young talent. And so they create more vacancies for school leavers who are looking for Apprenticeships. The Apprenticeships vacancies they offer are paid positions with a structured programme of training. They’re a fantastic way to start a career in your chosen industry. In Liverpool City Region, there are many prestigious and well-established employers who recruit school leavers through Apprenticeships, for example Jaguar Land Rover, the NHS, Liverpool University, National Grid, Barbara Daley, the Crown Prosecution Service, Liverpool City Council, Dixons and many more.

2. Equal footing! – Apprenticeships are no longer the poor relation of A-levels or university

Once upon a time Apprenticeships were seen as the choice for pupils who weren’t cut out for an academic route. Schools tended to push their less able students towards this option. However, things have changed! Now, as Apprenticeships offer such a promising long term career, and great earning potential with some of the country’s best companies, more and more able students are choosing Apprenticeships over A-levels, and traditional university courses. What some people don’t realise is that Apprenticeships offer very good progression opportunities. Pupils who leave school after GCSEs can start on an Intermediate Apprenticeship, and then progress onto an Advanced Apprenticeship. If they want to continue, they can progress onto a Higher Apprenticeship which is equal to university level qualifications.

3. Earn and Learn! Apprenticeships offer the best of both worlds

Apprenticeships mean you can keep on learning after school but you’ll be earning a wage too! You’ll receive the minimum apprentice wage for your age but many employers pay much more. You’ll receive holiday pay too. It’s the best of both worlds. The qualifications you achieve are official and specific to the industry you have chosen to build a career in. Training is a mix of on-the-job skills practice and classroom learning. You’ll be supported by a training organisation throughout your programme of training, as well as your employer.

4. It’s not a walk in the park! – Apprenticeships aren’t necessarily the easy option

Some people wrongly think that Apprenticeships are an easy option. Not true! To achieve an Apprenticeship takes hard work. Not only that, because you are employed by a company, you are expected to turn up to work and training sessions on time, behave responsibly, and demonstrate that you are committed to achieving your qualifications. In return, you’ll be benefitting in many ways – earning a wage, getting qualified, picking up the skills required for work, and building your career.

5. Unbelievable choice! You can do an Apprenticeship in almost every industry

There are a wide range of Apprenticeships available, in pretty much every sector of employment. Here are some examples of Apprenticeships available in different industries:

Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Care: Equine; Forestry; Veterinary Nursing; and many more

Arts, Media, Publishing: Creative & Digital Media; Live Events & Promotion; Music Business; and many more

Business, Administration & Law: Accounting, Banking, Customer Service, Marketing, Sales; and many more

Construction: Electro-technical; Plumbing & Heating; Surveying; and many more

Engineering & Manufacturing: Engineering Construction; Domestic Heating; Driving Goods Vehicles; Gas Industry; Glass Industry; Marine Industry; Rail Industry; and many more

Health, Public Services & Care: Children & Young People’s Workforce; Emergency Fire Service Operations; Health & Social Care; Housing; Security Services; and many more

Information & Communication Technology; IT Application Specialist; IT, Software, Telecoms Specialists; and more

Leisure, Travel & Tourism: Instructing Exercise & Fitness; Leisure Operations; Playwork; Travel Services; and many more

Retail & Commercial Enterprise: Barbering; Beauty Therapy; Fashion & Textiles; Hairdressing; Property Services; Warehousing; and many more

 

We can come and do free presentations and workshops about Apprenticeships in your school. Careers teachers or pupils can find out more by emailing pavlina@gmlpf.net or calling the Schools Support Team on 0151 707 8775.

5 Reasons to Book an Apprenticeships Information Session for your School

Reason 1: Schools have a statutory obligation to advise pupils on Apprenticeships

As stated in the DfE’s statutory guidance for schools (January 2018), “schools must secure independent guidance that includes information on the full range of education and training options, including apprenticeships and vocational pathways.”

To fulfil this, schools must keep informed about the features, benefits, availability and processes for enrolling on Traineeships, Apprenticeships and Higher Apprenticeships. This ensures that the advice they give pupils is correct, relevant and up-to-date – information can change regularly, particularly in relation to which Apprenticeships are available.

Through the government’s Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools (ASK) programme, GMLPF offers information sessions to Liverpool City Region schools, helping them meet statutory duties regarding the provision of impartial IAG, specifically in relation to Apprenticeships and Traineeships. These sessions are tailored for years 10 and 11.

GMLPF’s Apprenticeship experts will come to your school to deliver your choice from our portfolio of school support services. Pick from group assemblies; practical hands-on sessions to help pupils sign up to the national Find An Apprenticeship service; providing information at schools careers events; parent information sessions; Apprenticeship Champion training for careers advisers and teachers.

Reason 2: High quality advice to help pupils make informed career choices

Because it’s a Government programme, the information provided through GMLPF’s ASK sessions is always correct and up-to-date. The individuals who deliver the sessions in schools are fully trained Apprenticeships experts who attend regular updates to keep up with changing information. They are subject to external quality inspections, ensuring top quality advice is provided to pupils, parents and teachers.

The ASK team also have in-depth knowledge of the local Apprenticeships landscape – what the growth industries are in Liverpool City Region, and which sectors are likely to see an increase in availability of Apprenticeships and long term careers for school leavers. They are also able to advise on Higher Apprenticeships for university level study, how Apprenticeships are funded, and any impact signing up to an Apprenticeship can have on family benefits.

Reason 3: It’s free!

Yes, the service is absolutely free to Liverpool City Region schools. We’ll come along and speak to pupils, show them how to search for and get notified of Apprenticeships vacancies in their industries of interest. We’ll speak to parents, train Apprenticeship Champions, set up shop at careers evenings, and dispense official information booklets and leaflets – all free of charge.

Reason 4: Feedback from schools shows they find the sessions invaluable

GMLPF has already delivered its ASK services to many schools across Liverpool City Region. Feedback from schools has been extremely positive. It shows they have found the information sessions and our other Apprenticeships support services an ideal way to provide pupils with the latest information about Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

Schools have also told us that booking an ASK sessions is a good way of demonstrating to Ofsted inspectors that they are properly addressing their statutory obligations, accessing good quality Apprenticeships information, advice and guidance for their pupils, enabling them to make informed decisions about their future.

Reason 5: Easy to book

Booking one of our ASK services couldn’t be easier – just email pavlina@gmlpf.net or call 0151 707 8775 and ask for the Schools Support Team.

 

ESFA Non-Levy Procurement Results

Results of this recent tender exercise were published by the ESFA the week ending the 8th December. We understand that there may be a delay in the ESFA issuing contracts due to several organisations challenging their results.

Funding cut by a third

It is clear that the procurement exercise was over-subscribed at a national level. LCR based providers faced fierce competition, with most organisations having funding requests cut by a third or more it would seem.

Minimum contract value

We are aware that a small number of members have been unsuccessful in receiving a non-Levy funding allocation. Some of these submitted high quality proposals that met and exceeded the scoring criteria. However they have not been awarded an allocation because, following a pro rate reduction by the ESFA, their tender value fell below the £200,000 minimum contract value.

GMLPF survey results

GMLPF surveyed members on the outcomes of the procurement exercise. Despite submitting successful tenders, most members have received allocations significantly below what they anticipated. A number of key messages emerge from our survey, these are:

  • 75% of members who were successful in the tendering exercise believe that the reduced funding allocation will have a negative impact on their organisation
  • 56% indicated that there will be reduced Starts in contrast to only 13% suggesting that they will be able to increase Starts.
  • 44% indicated that there would be reduced provision ie they will cease to deliver certain learning programmes

GMLPF has been working with the LCR Employment and Skills team to raise awareness of the potential consequences of this procurement with the Metropolitan Mayor. There is a concern that the reduced allocations may impact negatively upon the capacity and capability of the local supplier base and their ability to address emerging skills issues.

GMLPF would also like to broker relationships between members who were unsuccessful or have reduced allocation, and those who might now be looking for potential delivery partners. If anybody is looking for delivery partners based in the Liverpool City Region then please contact Ian Lomas at GMLPF on ian@gmlpf.net or 0151 707 8775

Check back to the GMLPF website for further updates

Results of ESFA Non-Levy Apprenticeships Procurement

Last week the ESFA notified applicants about the outcome of the recent procurement exercise for Apprenticeship training for non-levy paying employers. GMLPF is conducting a survey with its members to try to establish the impact of this procurement exercise.

At this early stage, we know the following

  • Nationally, it is clear that the ESFA has awarded learning providers a significantly reduced allocation, using a pro rate formula, than they originally asked for.
  • Regionally in the NW, it would appear that learning providers overall have been awarded funding that equates to approximately 61% and 54% of their 16-18 and 19+ bid values respectively. Some providers may have received more or less than this.
  • That in a number of case ESFA do not appear to have issued details of the scores which the applicant was awarded.
  • That mirroring the recent AEB procurement exercise, some providers have scored very highly and their tender passed the compliance checks and qualitative criteria yet, because their contract award resulted in a contract value of less than £200,000 for the Initial Contract Period , they have been unsuccessful.

Members have been sent a link to an online survey. Please complete the survey as this will provide GMLPF with a clear picture of the impact upon our members of the results that were published last week and assist us to more effectively represent you and lobby for change on your behalf. If you are a member and haven’t received a link please e-mail ian@gmlpf.net

Industrial Strategy: GMLPF welcomes further investment in UK technical education system

GMLPF welcomes Government plans laid out in their new Industrial Strategy which says there will be further investment in Britain’s technical education system.

After extensive consultation, the Government has published a new Industrial Strategy which sets out a vision for the UK as the world’s most innovative economy. It identifies four areas or Grand Challenges where Britain can lead the global technological revolution:

  • Artificial intelligence/big data
  • Clean growth
  • Ageing society
  • Future of mobility

The white paper commits to strengthening the five foundations of productivity: Innovation, People, Infrastructure, Places and the Business Environment

Education, training and skills

The focus on People shines a light on education, training and skills. The Government is committed to increasing investment in these areas with the aim of generating good jobs and greater earning power for all. Key policies here include:

  • establishing a world-class technical education system that incorporates Apprenticeships
  • investing an additional £406m in maths, digital & technological education to address shortage of STEM skills
  • creating a new National Retraining Scheme that supports people to re-skill, including £64m for digital & construction training
Drivers for growth

Ian Lomas, CEO at GMLPF, refers to the strategy’s promise to strengthen the country’s technical education system:

“For GMLPF and its members, to read the Government’s commitment to  investing in a world class technical education system to match our academic system is encouraging. This, and the investment in STEM will be important drivers of growth in Liverpool City Region.

“We will be working with our members to explore how we can align local programmes and provision to contribute to the Industrial Strategy’s goals.”

GMLPF will produce a precis of the Industrial Strategy for members which will provide an overview and highlight in particular its impact upon the areas of education, training and skills. 

Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain fit for the future

 

 

Non-Levy Apprenticeships Procurement – GMLPF Member Workshop 15/8/17

GMLPF is holding a workshop next week to help its members complete the new tender recently released by the ESFA for delivery of Apprenticeships to non-levy paying employers.

The ESFA’s procurement exercise follows on from a previous one which was cancelled. ESFA point to several critical differences in the new procurement:

  • new tender value caps and contract award limits to ensure greater confidence that awards are set at realistic levels
  • awards in line with current levels of geographical delivery in the 9 English regions
  • improved scoring criteria and evaluation methodology
  • the ability to grow above award values in year, subject to a number of conditions

The deadline for submission is 4th September 2017. ESFA expect this to be a “highly competitive exercise which will attract interest from a wide range of training providers”.

The GMLPF workshop is to be held on at 9.30am on Tuesday 15th August at Croxteth Hall and will be facilitated by Paul Blott of Eunoia Associates, recognised expert in Government procurement processes, and national learning and skills policy. The session includes:

  • A comprehensive overview of the tendering process
  • The importance of the scoring methodology
  • Consideration of key questions: What are ESFA looking for? What is your evidence base?
  • Bidding best practice – hints and tips

Paul will be available after the session to answer individual questions.

Don’t miss this invaluable opportunity to maximise your chances of success in this critical procurement exercise.

Book online now – places limited

This event is charged at £50 for GMLPF members and £100 for non-members.