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.” 

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. 

Free LSECT funding guide for every GMLPF member

GMLPF has purchased a copy of LSECT’s Complete Guide to Funding Apprenticeships 2016/17 edition for each of its members as an additional benefit of our 2017 membership package.

The guide, written by Nick Linford, includes all the latest information on apprenticeship levy reform; instructions on calculating the funding for frameworks and standards; and funding values for every framework pathway and standard.

GMLPF will be distributing the guides directly to its members, completely free of charge from next week.

GMLPF celebrates growth as it welcomes 100th member Carillion

Liverpool City Region membership organisation, Greater Merseyside Learning Providers’ Federation (GMLPF) has bolstered its membership services by welcoming its 100th member.

The local umbrella organisation for skills providers has welcomed international building and support services business, Carillion as a member.

Apprenticeships at Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Carillion employs more than 46,000 people and operates in the UK, Canada and Middle East. Its apprenticeship programme, which includes locations in Liverpool and Manchester, gives participants a great opportunity to start their career in the construction industry across a number of trades including bricklaying, carpentry & joinery, painting & decorating, operations, plastering and interior systems. In Liverpool, Carillion currently have many apprentices working on the development of the new Liverpool Royal University Hospital.

Member Benefits

Carillion will benefit from GMLPF’s membership services which includes providing a single voice that represents members’ views and priorities; helping them adapt to shifts in the local and national skills funding landscape; CPD workshops; raising awareness of members’ services to employers, schools and young people and ensuring members meet the changing skills needs of the region’s young people and businesses. Other benefits include peer forums, networking events, training and webinars.

Jan Pennington, regional operations manager at Carillion, says: “At Carillion, we have a strong ambition to deliver high quality apprenticeships to support the skills requirements of our business, and that of the wider sectors within which we operate. A strong apprenticeship system is key to encouraging economic growth and gives young people a skilled career path to follow. As a GMLPF member, we will continue to champion apprenticeships and work alongside GMLPF to meet shifts in both the local and national training and skills landscape.”

Skills for Economic Success

Membership is open to any organisation which delivers training, education, or employment services within the Liverpool City Region. GMLPF’s mission is to drive prosperity of Liverpool City Region by building a foundation of skills for economic success.

Now representing 100 members across the Liverpool City Region, the organisation is hosting a range of initiatives to promote the changing apprenticeship landscape – such as the upcoming reforms and apprenticeship levy – and is engaging with local employers to promote all aspects of further education, skills and apprenticeships.

Importance of Apprenticeships

Joanne Rymer, membership development manager, adds: “We’re delighted to hit this important milestone and welcome our 100th GMLPF member, especially with such a well-established and respected company like Carillion. They are the perfect example of a company which values and recognises the importance of apprentices, so we’re looking forward to working with them to promote apprenticeships, share best practice and engage more young people, schools and parents with the further education options out there.” 

Apprenticeships reform leaflets for members

GMLPF has produced 2 leaflets explaining Apprenticeship reforms to employers. The first outlines how the Apprenticeships levy affects large employers, and the second explains how the reforms affect SMEs.

The leaflets have been produced specifically for GMLPF members to use with their existing employers or new prospects.

Limited supply available – to order please email [email protected] or [email protected]




GMLPF launches live webinars explaining apprenticeship reforms

GMLPF launch new series of live webinars explaining apprenticeship reforms

Merseyside employers are being invited to sign up for a series of free webinars which will highlight the significant changes to the funding of apprenticeships.

Organised by the Greater Merseyside Learning Providers’ Federation (GMLPF), the online webinars will provide employers with the latest information on the proposed apprenticeship reforms and discuss how it will impact future apprenticeship recruitment.

As part of the government’s pledge to support three million apprenticeships by 2020, it has outlined radical changes to boost apprenticeships numbers and drive up quality in courses.

As part of this reform process, the government is changing the way apprenticeships are funded. Large employers with payrolls over £3 million will have to pay for apprenticeship training through a new ‘apprenticeship levy’ that they will have to contribute to.

Employers with payrolls of less than £3m will have to pay a cash contribution towards the cost of recruiting apprentices, regardless of the age of the apprentice.

The first webinar, Apprenticeships Reforms: The Basics, took place on Tuesday 4 October and was very well attended by both GMLPF members and employers. This was the first in a new series of monthly talks which will cover all aspects of the further education, skills and apprenticeship sectors. The webinars are free to join and are open to GMLPF members and non-members.

Gareth Jones, GMLPF’s apprenticeships strategy manager is leading the webinars which will provide employers and members with regular updates on the latest apprenticeship reform information released by Government.

With a career spanning more than 15 years in the skills sector, Gareth has a wealth of apprenticeship expertise which he will use to inform employers about the changing landscape of apprenticeship training and recruitment.

The webinars will include question and answer sesions, giving businesses the opportunity to voice any queries or concerns.

Gareth Jones, apprenticeships strategy manager at GMLPF, says: “With new challenges and changes to the further education sector and apprenticeships, our main focus is on supporting our members and other local businesses through these reforms and giving them as much information and resources as possible.

“The new webinar series will outline some of the crucial changes to post-16 education and training and highlight the reforms which are likely to affect the employment of apprentices across the region. We believe collaboration and guidance is essential to ensure the longevity and quality of apprenticeships is maintained.”

The next webinar focusses on the new Register of Apprenticeship Providers and takes place on Wednesday 2nd November at 10.30am. To register click on the link below. Places limited.


Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers: Who will be delivering Apprenticeships from May 2017?

A new register, Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) is to be introduced and current providers are being invited to submit their views via an online survey. The consultation is open until the 5th September and GMLPF will be collating a response on behalf of its members.

Government plans propose that all organisations wanting to deliver Apprenticeship training must apply and be approved on RoATP. This is a significant change as currently, those subcontracting providers delivering less than £100,000 do not need to apply to the SFA’s present register. This will not be the case with the new system and all providers regardless of prime/subcontract status need to apply.

NB There is no automatic transfer from the SFA’s current ROTO to the new RoATP.

As part of the application process, the SFA will run a procurement for delivery of Apprenticeship training to non-levied employers and award contracts to successful employers. This is highly unlikely to be an allocation as providers have been previously used to, instead it is more likely to be a facility to allow payment of Government contributions to employers and to allow providers the ability to market their provision to employers at a scale that fits with the application process.

Under the current system (ROTO) there are a number of organisations registered that do not deliver any Apprenticeship training themselves and instead act as managing agents, intermediary bodies, brokerage organisations, etc. These organisations will not be eligible to apply for RoATP as the Government wants all employers to have direct relationships with training providers.

The proposal is to ensure that any future subcontracting arrangements meet the needs of employers and therefore it will be limited to a provider bringing in expertise to support the delivery of an Apprenticeship for an employer. It is proposed that expectation is that the main provider should deliver significantly more than half of each apprentices training. Therefore fully subcontracted delivery models will be redundant.

There are 3 application categories:

  1. Main route
  2. Supporting Route
  3. Employer Provider Route
Main Route

It is expected the vast majority of applicants will come through this route and they will do so if they:

  • Wish to be eligible for selection by levied employers to deliver apprenticeship training
  • Want to participate in SFA procurement for delivery
  • Have capacity to deliver the majority of each framework they offer
  • Want to deliver parts of Apprenticeships under a subcontractor on the main RoATP register.
Supporting Route

The Government is seeking views as to whether to create an application route for those providers who want to support a main provider’s delivery to employers. Potentially this could be an entry route into Apprenticeship delivery at a later date.

Those applying and successful via this route would not have any direct relationship with employers and so would appear on DAS as a potential provider an employer could select.

Employer Provider Route

This route is for those employers who solely want to deliver training to their own staff.

All three proposed routes would be subject to the same applicant tests and all three must be passed to appear on the register. The tests are:

  • Due diligence
  • Financial health test
  • Quality, capacity and capability
Timeline for applications

RoATP should open for applications in October 2016. Once in a steady state, the proposal is that the register will reopen every three months. Every provider must reapply every 12 months should they stay on the register.

What does it mean for providers?

All providers regardless of the provision they deliver at the moment, their contract status with the SFA needs to look at the new information released on Friday.

Providers should look at the key documents within the framework and start looking at the new funding rates for the Apprenticeship frameworks/standards that they currently deliver. In most cases the funding for the newer standards is significantly higher than corresponding older frameworks. Cost of delivery may be higher reflecting the additional funding but it is important that moving to standard delivery is a high priority for all providers.

We will support providers throughout the process and will update as and when we know more or obtain more clarification

#ChangeLivesThrough Football

That’s the simple message from one of our newest members Street League. Through their award winning academy they use the power of football to get young people into work, education and training.

Already boasting more than ten academies in major cities across the UK, they have now opened another at Liverpool’s own Anfield ground.

16-24 year olds who are not in employment, education or training can apply for an 8 week academy programme, which run on various dates thought the year. The course features employability tips and sport skills.  Participants play football matches against teams from other organisations and will benefit from one to one careers advice.

Turning lives around

Street League has been operating in the UK for nearly 15 years and started out working with homeless people. Now their attention is focused on anybody who is unemployed and not in training, with the aim of turning lives around.

The charity has signed up with GMLPF at what is a busy time for them: a new MD, Allan Garrett, will be joining them before the end of the year. Allan’s remit is to expand the reach of Street League’s programmes, so it’s all great news for footie-mad Liverpool.

Street League programme participants have enjoyed visits from famous footballers and The Barclays Premier League Trophy! The academy’s results for getting young people in to work are fantastic. They are a great addition to GMLPF membership and provide more opportunities for sports-orientated young people of Merseyside.


GMLPF is helping its members target young people on the Wirral this month in Good2Go magazine which is being distributed to pupils in schools. The publication offers advice on careers, exams and education, as well as information on Apprenticeships, Traineeships and other vocational learning.

11 Members Featured

Lots of our members and their students and even former students feature in the GMLPF sponsored pages. A total of 11 GMLPF members were featured across 6 pages.

Alt Valley Community Trust’s pioneering project to help young people to work in the NHS received a full page opposite a Mode success story that tells the story of Sarah Noonan’s journey to becoming a business owner. The spotlight was also on Shannon Sample who started out as a volunteer with disabled young people, progressed to an apprenticeship and was then named Outstanding Learner of The Year at the Progress to Excellence Training and Education Awards.

More Good News

St Helens Chamber have a spot to explain how they found 25 young people employment in a single week. And Michael John Academy share their good news about success rates among hairdressing and barbering students. Readers will also see a story about the GMLPF-funded #YOLO programme which teaches the art of wellbeing.

Further features cover the successes of Liam at Liverpool Chamber Training; Mark at Knowsley Community College; Hattie at Fit UK; Adam at Progress Sports and tpm hairdressing student Patrick Wilson. There might even be a #GMLPFhero among them!

Get Involved

We are always looking out for news stories from our members so please keep them coming. Editorial and social media support is just one of the benefits our members enjoy. Get in touch with your stories today by emailing our PR team [email protected] or membership enquiries can be sent to [email protected].

Apprenticeship helps launch a promising sports coaching career for Adam

Adam Edwards recently completed 2 years’ training with GMLPF member, Progress Sports, and now has a promising career in sports coaching ahead of him. He combines working as PE teacher in a school with a job at Inspired Sports, passing on his knowledge and experience to pupils in a variety of schools.


Adam started training with Progress Sports in June 2013 on a 12-week pre-apprenticeship programme. Right away, Adam demonstrated the potential to be an excellent sports coach, also attending a weekly soccer school to develop his skills further.

After his pre-apprenticeship, Progress Sports arranged a trial period for Adam in Streatham School, Crosby. He impressed everyone so much with his professionalism and coaching ability that he was offered an Apprenticeship in Sports Coaching by the school. Employed by the school, he began working towards his level 2 qualification with training and support from Progress Sports. He achieved the qualification and completed his Apprenticeship within one year.

Adam then progressed onto an Advanced Apprenticeship in Sports Coaching and this summer he completed his level 3 qualification. Streatham School then offered him a job as a PE teacher at the school.