apprentices on mental health awareness training thanks to gmlpf lottery funded project

GMLPF Minds project gives LCR Apprentice Ambassadors the skills to champion mental health

The mental health of apprentices in the region received a boost through a GMLPF project funded by National Lottery players. 

Eleven employees from across the Liverpool City Region are set to become champions for good mental health at work thanks to their participation in a GMLPF Minds mental health training course.

The group of Apprentice Ambassadors is the first contingent to receive the training spearheaded by GMLPF and funded by The National Lottery Communities fund.  The new course welcomed its first delegates, all of whom are official Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Ambassadors. They are already mentors and role models to other employees and aspiring apprentices. The Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub manages the Ambassadors programme which sees role model apprentices and their employers raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships. The Hub runs a programme of support and development for Apprentice Ambassadors which includes participation in the GMLPF Minds Mental Health Awareness training.

Spotlight on wellbeing of apprentices and learners in LCR

The mental health awareness training took place in Liverpool city centre this week.  It’s part of the GMLPF Minds project that throws the spotlight on the mental health and wellbeing of apprentices and other learners in the Liverpool City Region.  It has equipped the attendees to return to the workplace as mental health champions. The training agenda answered questions including how to define mental health, the common challenges, triggers and causes and also the dos and don’ts around mental health. 

The course, designed and delivered by 3D Training, is highly interactive. Delivered in one day, the programme includes a variety of group exercises, activities, quizzes and case studies. It is hoped that further courses will run during 2019-20.

With the rate of apprentices and other learners experiencing mental health problems on a steep upward trajectory, GMLPF successfully applied to The National Lottery Communities Fund to conduct training and research. Nearly £10,000 was awarded which is being spent on research among members to uncover what urgent support is needed. This is complemented by training for GMLPF member staff and Apprentice Ambassadors.  The aim is that early intervention can stop apprentices and other learners falling through the net. 

CEO Ian Lomas presents apprentice Holly with completion certificate
GMLPF CEO presents one of the apprentices, Holly with her completion certificate for the GMLPF Minds mental health awareness programme

Ian Lomas, GMLPF Chief Executive says:

“People shouldn’t be denied successful careers because they get anxiety or depression.  Often these individuals are amongst the most diligent of employees.  We are driving for a cultural shift in attitudes towards mental health conditions. Raising awareness among the Apprentice Ambassadors is a small part of helping the tide change. Apprentices are the leaders of tomorrow, so there is no better way to help wipe out any lingering stigma attached to mental health.”

Support for provider staff

Ian adds:

“Whilst the education sector has been putting coordinated strategies into place for some time to help schools tackle mental health of pupils, the training sector tends to see learning providers left to deal with this challenge as individual organisations. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we can start to make inroads into tackle the specific challenges of mental health in the training sector.  As well as the mental health of learners, the GMLPF Minds project also focusses on that of provider staff who are taking the strain of this growing problem. We need to tackle the problem from all angles.”

GMLPF is very grateful to the National Lotteries Community Fund for their support without which we would not be in a position to make a positive change in this challenging area.

Full details of the research outcomes and training dates for apprenticeship providers will be released shortly. 

 

LCR Apprentice Ambassadors Get Their Heads Round Mental Health

Apprentices from across the Liverpool City Region are set to become champions for mental health in the workplace. 

In September 12 LCR apprentice ambassadors will attend a specifically designed course. They will be skilled up to raise awareness of mental health issues with their colleagues including other apprentices. GMLPF will pay for the course as part of their GMLPF Minds programme that has gathered pace thanks to a cash injection from the National Lottery Community Fund

The training will focus on how to spot mental health issues early. Through learning about the trigger factors that adversely affect young people it is hoped participants will be able to raise awareness of common mental health challenges and how to get help. To do this effectively, participants will be drilled on the dos and don’ts around mental health.  

 

Mental health champions

The ambassadors will also take a pro-active stance. A main focus of the training is to give them the confidence to champion mental health awareness in their places of employment. The interactive session is geared to define and promote understanding of the issues.

The one day course is the brainchild of 3D Training. Director, Gill Abbots, says: “There are a host of trigger factors in the modern world that impact the mental health of young people. From social media and gaming to finances and addiction, issues need to come to the surface early. This can be aided by banishing any stigmas about mental health in the workplace. It’s important to remember that pressure to complete an apprenticeship can also have an impact on mental health.”

 

Growth in mental health issues amongst apprentices

The course is part of the GMLPF Minds programme that throws the spotlight on the mental health and wellbeing of apprentices and other learners in the Liverpool City Region.  Ian Lomas, Chief Executive of GMLPF says:

“Our research reveals the rapid growth of mental health issues among apprentices and other learners. It also has a big impact on the employees of our member organisations.  There simply aren’t enough professionals qualified in mental health and it’s impossible to plug that gap quickly. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, we can offer this course as a small but significant step to promote awareness and help curtail any taboos. A realistic expectation is to reduce the likelihood of learners falling through the net.”

 

Apprentice involvement to encourage open discussion about mental health

Melanie Dodd, from the LCR Apprenticeship Hub that coordinates the apprentice ambassador network, says: “The challenges of mental health are growing at an alarming rate. It’s not something that can be ignored or swept under the carpet. Getting apprentices involved lays the groundwork for more acceptance and open discussion of mental health issues in the workplace.”

The Mental Health Foundation has published figures around mental health problems at work. More than one in every seven people experience problems in their job with more than ten percent of sick days attributable to mental health conditions. These concerns have led to GMLPF confirming that they will run additional training programmes for GMLPF members soon.

LCR launch regional apprenticeship portal

Finding and taking up one of a huge range of apprenticeships available across the Liverpool City Region is set to get much easier as the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has launched the UK’s first one-stop web portal for apprenticeships.

The portal – www.be-more.info – brings together apprenticeship opportunities from employers.  This means that the Combined Authority can provide prospective apprentices in the Liverpool City Region with exactly the local information they need.

The web portal, which is the first of its kind, not only offers opportunities, but also features guides on how to apply, how to get there, and even what specific travel benefits may be available as well as guides for parents assisting their children who may be pursuing apprenticeship opportunities.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“This is the first portal anywhere in the country bringing together such a wide range of information about apprenticeship opportunities and how to apply for them, and we have built it here, in the Liverpool City Region, specifically for our residents.

“In my election manifesto I promised to simplify the way people access apprenticeship opportunities through an easily accessible, online apprenticeship portal for the city region and I’m proud to have fulfilled that pledge.

“Visitors to the portal will be amazed at the type of apprenticeships we have in the city region, it’s not just the traditional trades, you can study at degree level and beyond in subjects ranging from Clinical Engineering to becoming a Paralegal. There is certainly much more on offer in terms of opportunities and qualifications than when I did a traditional bricklaying apprenticeship.”

In just a little more than a month (launched March 2019) there have been over 10,000 apprenticeship searches made on the site already! Top searches include engineering, IT, construction and digital marketing.

The new portal will also be a useful tool for employers in the Liverpool City Region to advertise their apprenticeship vacancies as it offers employers the opportunity to advertise vacancies on the site should they not have the infrastructure available to do so via the national solution.

The site also offers a fast growing library of City Region based apprentice case studies and experiences so visitors to the site can read about the diversity of the opportunities available as well as find out what life is really like as an apprentice.

Apprenticeship providers

Regional apprenticeship providers will find that the site provides a strong identity for City Region apprenticeships and an ideal backdrop for their own promotional activity. The website automatically lists the apprenticeship vacancies that they upload to the national Find An Apprenticeship portal. Providers are encouraged to help raise awareness of the Be More brand and website by engaging with the Be More team on social media, and identifying subjects for apprenticeship success stories.

To find out more information about apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region go to www.be-more.info

gmlpf members on level 2 mental health training

GMLPF shines spotlight on apprentice mental health in Liverpool City Region

It’s clear that the mental health of young people in the UK is causing increasing concern.  Almost 1 in 4 children and young people show evidence of ill health whilst 1 in 5 young adults have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Consequently we are seeing more schools prioritising student wellbeing. Indeed this is already an area of focus for Ofsted.

 

Mental health impacts on training delivery

However, there is little coordinated support from Government to support young people who leave school at 16 to enter apprenticeships and other work-based learning programmes. And arguably the stress these individuals face is higher as they get to grips with the transition from school to the workplce. Evidence suggests many learning providers feel swamped by the increasing incidences of mental ill health in their students. GMLPF members have told us this is having a direct impact on the delivery of their programmes

 

Mental Health First Aid

Research among GMLPF members reveals that at any time up to 30% of their apprentices and learners are suffering with their mental health. This can eat up an average of 40 staff hours each month. On average each provider faces more than eighty mental health incidents requiring intervention each year.

Our research showed that many learning providers wanted some sort of formal training in mental health awareness. So as a first step GMLPF linked with AT Skills and Active IQ to launch a Mental Health Awareness and First Aid training course which ran in January and February. 

 

Level 2 Award

The AT Skills delivered course runs over 2 days and awards a Level 2 qualification to successful participants. Asset Training, North West Training Council, Lite Ltd, St Helens Chamber and Halton Council all sent staff on the course.  Director of AT Skills Alan Reddin outlines what the objectives of the programme are:

“We have specifically designed the course to help training providers. They learn to boost awareness and understanding of mental health.  We equip staff to identify signs and symptoms, risk factors and treatments for the most common mental health problems.  Ending discrimination can only happen through knowledge.”

The delegates were also well drilled in mental health first aid and how to signpost individuals in need to sources of professional support. Harriet adds:

“Through discussion and group activities, we tailor the course for providers of apprenticeships and other training. They leave with a good grasp of the particular mental health issues experienced by apprentices and adult learners. We also spent time considering the mental health challenges encountered by learner-facing staff.”

 

Pinpointing Issues

During two days at GMLPF offices in Liverpool, the participants pinpointed real life scenarios.  A range of hot topics were debated. The staff particularly wanted to know about striking the right balance between making adjustments for learners’ mental health and encouraging them to challenge them by building resilience.

Pavlina Kiakides of GMLPF who completed the course explains some of the issues tackled during the two days’ training:

“There were lots of opportunities to explore different providers’ practices regarding the development of resilience in learners.  So for example, when a learner self declares a phobia of public transport what strategy should be adopted? Should the provider accept they can’t travel and find them a placement/apprenticeship close to home? Or focus on helping the student overcome the phobia? We also realised that the roles of different parties involved in delivery of training need clarifying. The responsibilities of employer and provider in supporting mental good health in apprentices must be agreed at the start to stop people falling through the net.”

 

Raising Awareness Across The Region

An emerging theme was that provider staff often need support; it is not just an issue for students.  

The course was a culmination of a project by GMLPF that set out to raise awareness of the issues. The groundwork for getting to this point was the extensive research conducted among our members. The introduction of the course is timely as mental health of apprentices and other young people has moved up the agenda of skills challenges facing the Liverpool City Region.

Research among members reveals students are affected by issues such as anxiety, stress and lack of self- belief. And 83% GMLPF members responded that mental health issues are on the increase.

And since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, it seems that employers may be inadvertently adding to apprentices’ stress levels. Because employers hold the funding themselves, they are taking a keener interest in seeing good levels of achievement. Further pressures come from all kinds of sources; students cite social media and lack of support at home.

 

The Future

Only ten places are available on each course. We will be announcing future dates soon and in the meantime the following is just some of the positive feedback we have had so far.

“The course covered a wide & varied subject matters discussed which will be useful for personal and professional application”

 “Great awareness of mental health first aid, signs and symptoms and discussions around apprenticeships”

 “The whole programme was excellent as it provided a robust range of information, skills and knowledge which I am able to put into practice and share with colleagues and learners”.

 “The programme was perfect, professional, highly informative and educational. An excellent programme which enabled me develop personally and professionally”.

LCR Apprenticeship Graduation 2019 Announced

3 Steps GMLPF members should now take

The Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Graduation 2019 will be taking place on 7 March 2019 during National Apprenticeship Week. Organised by The Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub, the event will take place at St George’s Hall in Liverpool.

This is a wonderful opportunity for apprentices to celebrate their achievements and have them marked in much the same way that university graduates do.

To ensure their apprenticeship completers are given the opportunity to participate in this celebration event, GMLPF members should follow these 3 steps:

 

Step 1: Identify which of your apprentices completed their programme during 2017/8

 This means apprentices resident in Liverpool City Region who completed their programme between 1st September 2017 and 31st July 2018.

 
Step 2: Contact these apprentices to inform them of the graduation event, and to encourage them to register quickly to avoid disappointment

 Apprentices must register by booking tickets through Eventbrite. The tickets are free. They may choose from two time slots on the day: 11.30 and 14.30. In addition, they can book tickets for up to 2 guests.

Tickets are free of charge and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. There are 150 tickets for each time slot. Apprentices must register themselves and their guests via Eventbrite by Friday 22 February 2019.

 
Step 3: Ask the apprentice to let you know if they have secured a place at the graduation

Knowing how many of your apprentices are participating in the graduation ceremony is useful for your own information including for PR purposes. Apprentices are allowed to bring up to 2 guests – this can include a representative from their learning provider if they wish. Please advise them that they need to book tickets for their guests when they are booking their own ticket.

Additional information:

  • Each ceremony lasts for approximately two and a half hours, including registration, refreshments and graduation
  • Dress code is smart
  • For any further queries, contact victoria.hawkins@prospects.co.uk

 

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

Statistical First Release: Apprenticeship Starts Aug-Oct 2017 (Qtr 1)

GMLPF has undertaken some initial analysis of the SFR Apprenticeship Starts data published on the 25th January 2018. It has not been possible yet to compare and contrast starts data for the period August to October 2017 with the corresponding period for 2016 for the Liverpool City Region.  However, it is clear that Apprenticeship starts are low relative to previous years.

Further analysis will be undertaken, for example timeframe comparisons and sectoral analysis, when data becomes available.

Several key messages emerge:

  • Nationally, Apprenticeship starts are significantly down year on year, continuing the trend identified in the previous quarter.
  • On current levels of starts it is highly unlikely that the Liverpool City Region will match the number of starts achieved in 2016/17. To achieve that level, some 15,180 individuals would need to start an Apprenticeship over the next three quarters. This equates to some 5,060 individuals each quarter or a 50% increase on current levels.
National Picture

The Government’s manifesto 3m Apprenticeship starts target would appear to be highly ambitious given the recent publication of starts data. Total Apprenticeship starts have fallen by 41% over the period May-October 2017 when compared to the corresponding period in 2016. This analysis continues to highlight the impact of Apprenticeship reforms.

LCR Picture

The table below illustrates the total number of (All Age) Apprenticeship starts by Local Authority area over the last 6 full delivery years.

LEA/LA/Region/England2011/122012/132013/142014/152015/162016/17
Full Year (Provisional)
Knowsley2,9102,5602,0102,1802,1402,160
Liverpool729061204600508051305310
Halton201016301420142014401430
Sefton384038602890310030903330
St Helens285023302080226023902280
Wirral487045103530385041304070
LCR23,770 21,010 16,530 17,890 18,320 18,580
North West893108418071670793108082079170
England515000504200434600494200503900485500

 

The table reveals that Apprenticeship starts were relatively stable over the period 2014/15 to 2016/17 with circa 18,000 Starts per annum.

An analysis of the Statistical First Release data for Apprenticeship starts (August-October) by Local Authority area and by age group and level of Apprenticeship reveals the following:

Statistical First Release Jan 18: Apprenticeship Starts by Age Aug-Oct 2017
Local Authority Area16-1819-2425+Total
Halton 1108090280
Knowsley 150100140390
Liverpool 290220360870
St Helens 190120130440
Sefton 230190190610
Wirral 300240280810
LCR Total 127095011903400
% 37.4%27.9%35.0%100%
      
Statistical First Release Jan 18: Apprenticeship Starts by Level Aug-Oct 2017
Local Authority AreaIntermediateAdvancedHigherTotal
Halton 11014030280
Knowsley 19016040390
Liverpool 400370100870
St Helens 18021050440
Sefton 27026070610
Wirral 340370100810
LCR Total 149015103903400
% 43.8%44.4%11.5%100%

 

What is apparent from the above tables is that:

  • Total starts in Quarter 1 (3400) equates to 18.3% of the total number of starts in the 2016/17 year. Given historical recruitment patterns (where recruitment of apprentices, in particular 16-18 is higher, in Quarter 1) this figures appears to be low and would require significant volumes of new starts for the City Region to achieve the level of starts in the previous year.
  • It would appear that, in contrast to the previous year, the number of 25 years olds and over has decreased significantly. In 2016/17, 47% of those starting an Apprenticeship were aged 25 and over in contrast to 35% currently. Starts by those aged 16-18 appear to have increased.
  • The profile of Apprenticeship starts by Level appears to confirm an emerging trend whereby the number of starts at Intermediate level are decreasing and there is an increasing shift towards advanced and higher level

New Alder MD brings wealth of expertise in housing and employment

Alder Training has appointed a new managing director.  Louise Harris, who started in post on 4th December, has a wealth of experience in housing and employment & skills.  As a director for the last 6 years, Louise has worked at national and regional levels in executive and non-executive roles.  In her most recent role she worked with local communities delivering regeneration projects specifically around helping people into work.  

Louise has also led regional strategic work as the chair of the National Housing Federation’s Worklessness Group, which involved housing associations across the North West. At a national level, Louise chaired the Professional Development Board for the Chartered Institute of Housing. 

“I’m delighted to be appointed as the new MD of Alder Training.  Making contact with colleagues in the sector is an important part of the role and I’m really looking forward to meeting and working with people and partners through GMLPF.”

Louise can be contacted on 07403087768 or louiseharris@aldertraining.co.uk

http://www.aldertraining.co.uk/

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.

 

First Veterinary Nurse to Win City & Guilds Medal of Excellence

An outstanding student who completed an Apprenticeship with GMLPF member Lite Ltd has become the first veterinary nurse ever to win the City and Guilds Medal of Excellence.

Emma Turner, completed a City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing as part of her Advanced Apprenticeship with Lite Ltd, a leading provider of small animal care professional training.  

Excellent results

City and Guilds Medals for Excellence recognises the achievements of learners, lecturers and trainers who have achieved great results by producing exceptional work – going above and beyond what is expected to achieve their goals.  It recognises not only excellent results but also those who show a true journey of progression throughout their qualification.

Emma was nominated following the successful and timely completion of her Advanced Apprenticeship.  She achieved outstanding results for each aspect of this very challenging qualification – showing exceptional skills in all areas. 

Role model

Lite director, Jackie Shopland-Reed points to the inspiration Emma will provide for others:

“Emma proved to be a conscientious, adaptable individual who is an excellent role model, not only for future students but also for the Veterinary Nursing profession as a whole.”

Emma was supported in the achievement of her qualification by Friarswood Veterinary Centre in Staffordshire, where she has since progressed to a Deputy Head Nurse position.