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

ESFA to provide update at GMLPF Autumn Forum

GMLPF’s Autumn Forum takes place on 27th September and will consist of several invaluable information sessions for GMLPF’s members including:

  • Launch of the Education Training Foundation’s Side By Side resource
    EFT will presenting an overview of this free online modular resource on Prevent for use by learners
  • An update from Paul Johnson, Head of Provider Management at Education Skills Funding Agency
  • An update from the Liverpool City Region Employment and Skills team
  • Q&A session with new CEO of GMLPF, Ian Lomas
  • Overview of GMLPF’s new CRM system, designed to provide collective data about LCR learning providers’ impact and needs for use in GMLPF lobbying and negotiating activity conducted on behalf of members.

GMLPF Forums are held 4 times a year, exclusively for members. They are designed to be informative and to provide members with opportunities for direct dialogue with key local and national decision makers and funding bodies in the sector.

Find out more about becoming a GMLPF member

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.


Alder Hey trainees

GMLPF funds pioneering project to help younger people work in the NHS

Merseyside teenagers will be the first to obtain a new certificate in healthcare, qualifying them to work in a paediatric setting

Pioneering course set to attract young people into nursing, helping balance the ageing workforce of the NHS

A dozen unemployed young people have completed a four week work placement at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool as part of a longer training Key to Apprenticeships programme funded by Greater Merseyside Learning Providers Federation (GMLPF). When they graduate, the teenagers, all aged 16-18, will be the very first in the UK to hold a new qualification for providing health care support to children. There has been an unprecedented demand for future places on the course from young people, many of whom are recent school leavers.

Easing burden

The initiative was the brainchild of Gill Mason, principal of GMLPF member, Alt Valley Community Trust, which runs a ‘Communiversity’ in the Croxteth area of Liverpool. It was conceived as a way to encourage young people to work in the NHS. Almost a third of workers in the NHS are aged 50 plus and the average age of an NHS health worker is set to rise to 47 by 2031. The crisis is spurred on by the pressure of the working environment forcing many into early retirement. Getting younger people into careers in the NHS has been identified as a way to ease the burden.

Three times as many young people applied for the course than the number of places available. The successful applicants have been training for six months in total, including the work placement at Alder Hey. Successful completion means the teenagers will be the first in the UK to be awarded a certificate in Health Care Support in the Paediatric Setting from CACHE (Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education).

Targeting unemployed young people

The funding to complete the training was targeted to those in the NEET category (Not in Employment, Education or Training). Elliot Quine (pictured), from Croxteth, was the youngest person on the course at just 16 years of age; he was joined by other teenagers from across Merseyside.

When the teenagers graduate it is expected that they will go on to either full Apprenticeships at the hospital, further training such as nursing or another job within the NHS. Their progress will be monitored to assess the longer term impact and to inform plans to roll out an expansion across the UK.

Alt Valley Community Trust has joined forces with Alder Hey Children’s hospital in Liverpool to deliver the practical elements of the course; whilst in the classroom recruits have been skilled up in everything from English and Maths to personal confidence.

Unlocking potential

Gill Mason says: “We are using vocational education and training to unlock potential and give young people a valuable role in society. There are more than 300,000 support staff in the UK, assisting doctors, nurses and other health professionals in caring for the sick and injured. Until now there has been no specific training for those doing such a job with children”.

Unique standards

There are 24 children’s hospitals across the UK that could benefit directly from the qualification. Paula Davies, Learning and Professional Development Manager at Alder Hey says: ‘Alder Hey prides itself in the delivery of learning initiatives which support excellent care for our children, their families and carers. We developed this qualification at the trust because we know that care of children and young people in whatever setting they are in should be underpinned by unique performance standards. These unique standards have never existed until now. It is great to see that by widening participation for learners from Alt Valley within our work-based learning environments and through implementation of the new standards we have all made a significant impact on both their future aspirations and career choices.’


Each week Alt Valley is receiving dozens of enquiries from schools and students who want to know more and the next course is already over-subscribed. Mason adds: “The interest in this course means that we have seen an unprecedented number of enquiries. Potential future students – especially those who don’t want to stay on in full time education – see the qualification as an alternative to college or sixth form”.

James Glendenning, CEO of GMLPF that funded the initiative, says: “Overwhelmed hospitals have seen staffing requirements increase and budgets fall. Whilst many solutions are mooted, few see the light of day. This grass roots initiative is designed to give young people, who would otherwise have been unemployed, a taste of working in the NHS and a massive boost to their career prospects.”

Julie Hyde, Executive Director at CACHE added: “CACHE developed this qualification in partnership with Alder Hey specifically to prepare learners with the knowledge, understanding and skills to cover a broad spectrum of care responsibilities in a paediatric setting. It’s fantastic to see that Alt Valley Community Trust is receiving so much interest from young people aspiring to gain the CACHE Level 3 Award, Certificate and Diploma in Healthcare Support in the Paediatric Setting.”

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 [email protected]

Liverpool Echo covers GMLPF concerns over apprenticeship reforms

The views of James Glendenning, chief executive of GMLPF, on the Government’s proposed apprenticeships reform have been featured in the Liverpool Echo.

The article, written by city editor Marc Waddington, appeared on Friday 19th September, and outlines the potential threat to local apprentices posed by the Government’s plans. James Glendenning is quoted several times, explaining how local employers may well shy away from offering apprenticeship positions if they are expected to take on administrative and financial responsibilities.

James Glendenning’s conversations with the Liverpool Echo form part of a wider campaign which GMLPF has been driving forward for several months to draw attention to apprenticeship reforms. As well as working to keep local learning providers and employers informed of the proposed changes, James Glendenning has met to discuss concerns with several MPs, most recently Liam Byrne, opposition minister responsible for Apprenticeships.

Councillor Nick Small who is also actively raising awareness of the dangers of reforms is quoted in the Liverpool Echo article, highlighting the worse-case scenario which is that the number of apprentices on Merseyside will rapidly decline.




apprenticeships presentation

GMLPF sets up school support strategy group

GMLPF is setting up a schools support strategy group to formulate the best way of supporting schools who now have a statutory duty to provide their pupils with independent careers advice.

GMLPF members have been invited to join the group which will which consider the range of support services GMLPF and its members can offer. Examples of services available to schools include: industry talks, CV writing, careers evenings, taster sessions, mock interviews, Apprenticeships presentations, Apprenticeships Q&A sessions, parent workshops, and talks by ex-apprentices. In addition, many members are in a position to support schools in the development of alternative curriculum programmes.

Supporting schools is a priority for GMLPF. We have recently put significant resource into developing communications with schools and this is already generating a keen interest in the services we can offer in conjunction with our members. Recent and ongoing projects include:

  • Sponsorship of Educate Awards 2013 and 2014
  • Educate magazine
  • Good to Go magazine
  • Schools Expo 2014
  • Development of Mapped Out online

For further information on the Schools Strategy Support Group please contact [email protected]

For further information on free support services for schools available from GMLPF and its members, please email [email protected]


Mapped Out Online

GMLPF is currently developing an online version of the printed version of Mapped Out which is used extensively across the region. Mapped Out Online will be situated on the GMLPF website.

Mapped Out Online is being developed to provide a user-friendly search function for the public, careers advisors and schools careers teachers to identify available local provision for 16 to 18 year olds, including Apprenticeships, Traineeships and Study Programmes.

Key tool

As well as listing provision across Liverpool City Region, the online system will provide individual provider information including location, facilities and support offered. It is hoped that the system will become a key tool for helping inform young people, parents and advisors about options at 16. A comprehensive awareness raising campaign is planned once the system has been developed.

Member training

Work on Mapped Out Online has already commenced. We envisage that by late August/early September the system will be developed to the point that we can invite GMLPF members to upload their provision and information onto the system. We will be running short training sessions to help members undertake this.

GMLPF would like to thank Connexions for their input into the project so far. We will be continuing to consult with them to ensure that as far as possible the system supports advisors who are explaining options to young people.

If you require any further details, please contact Pavlina on 07779 102 139 or [email protected]


Ex-apprentice, James Glendenning has recently been appointed the new chief executive of Greater Merseyside Learning Providers Federation (GMLPF).

Apprenticeship success story

James exemplifies apprenticeships success: an ex-apprentice taking the helm at an organisation which champions apprenticeships and represents over 60 apprenticeships providers. 34-year-old James started his professional career as a 16 year old apprentice employed by Merseyside Training and Enterprise Council. After completing his apprenticeship in business administration, he climbed the ladder in the Learning and Skills Council, developing specialist knowledge in vocational training management.

Engaging young people

Before joining GMLPF, James worked for Liverpool City Council on the 16 to 19 Commissioning Team. There he acquired an invaluable understanding of the issues surrounding the engagement of the region’s young people, as well as in-depth experience of commissioning public funding and contract management at a senior level.

James is looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of his new post:

“The role GMLPF plays in the region’s learning and skills landscape has grown to significant proportions. I’m really looking forward to continuing the organisation’s sterling work, whilst identifying new ways to support our members and partners to provide high quality learning and skills training for the people and businesses of Liverpool City Region.”


One of the first tasks James is undertaking is a comprehensive consultation with its members and partners, inviting them to help shape GMLPF’s key strategic priorities for the short and long term.

“I’m very excited about our forthcoming consultation which promises to identify some very exciting opportunities. New Government policies and a challenging economy promise to keep the sector on its toes. The team at GMLPF is keen to consult with its members and partners to identify the most appropriate ways of working together to meet learning and skills needs in the region.”