Procurement opportunity for 19-24 AEB funded traineeships

In its recent Plan for Jobs, UK Government indicated its desire to provide an additional £111 million investment to triple the number of traineeships available. In a recent update, GMLPF highlighted that the ESFA was planning a procurement opportunity to allow providers access funding to deliver 19 to 24 adult education budget (AEB) funded traineeships.

This week, ESFA published an update on this that members need to be aware of.

Providers will need to be able to start providing high-quality traineeships quickly through a ring-fenced contract for service. Details on how the ESFA will manage new traineeship opportunities for 16 – 18 year old will be published shortly. All opportunities to bid for the funding will be handled through the DfE’s e-sourcing portal. Organisations who do not already have an existing account must register one as this is the only method to access tendering documentation. You can register online.

The Plan for Jobs included a commitment to provide thousands of new traineeships to get young people aged 16 to 24 (up to 25 for those with an Education, Health and Care Plan) in England into work.

As well as an investment of £111m for 2020 to 2021, there are new flexibilities and opportunities which will strengthen traineeships and widen access to them for young people:

  • young people qualified up to Level 3 (rather than Level 2 previously) are now eligible for a traineeship
  • there is a more flexible work experience offer of minimum 70 hours, with multiple employers if needed
  • we want to see flexible content and qualifications that prepare trainees for progression to apprenticeships and jobs through a direct line of sight to the occupational standards
  • an increased AEB traineeship learning aim cost of £1500.
  • employers who offer new traineeship work placements will receive £1,000 per learner (up to ten learners) to support engagement and assist with costs such as the purchase of additional PPE for trainees
  • traineeships can now last up to 12 months, allowing twice as much time on a programme for those young people with particular needs who need it. We still expect traineeships to support young people into work as quickly as possible.
  • we want traineeships to move young people towards work or an apprenticeship more than ever before. 

Depending on the complexity of the Procurement Round we may run a webinar for members interested in tendering for Traineeship funding.

Traineeship funding boost for providers and employers

GMLPF members will no doubt have read about the recent statement from the Treasury announcing funding for an extra 30,000 traineeships from September. The story featured yesterday in FE News, on the BBC website and various other media outlets.

Financial incentive

The package includes a £1000 financial incentive for employers to offer a traineeship place and a 55% boost in provider payment for 19-24-year-olds on the programme. Also, unlike previously, the scheme will now be open to those with level 3 qualifications. The details of the proposal are to be released tomorrow as part of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s economic plan for recovery post-COVID.


Of course, GMLPF welcomes the announcement of Government investment in the skills sector as a method for tackling the inevitable increase in unemployment. We will be supporting members to understand how the additional funding can be accessed. However, we recognise also that there will be some legitimate concerns to raise and consider. These include:

  • The inevitable negative impact on 16-18-year-olds who are suitable for traineeships but do not attract the new employer incentive for 19 to 24-year-olds
  • We welcome the limits on payments per employer but need to know more about safeguards to ensure public money is spent appropriately and delivers strong social value and value for money
  • Traineeships are designed to lead to apprenticeships and employment; in the current economic climate, there is a real danger that these positions will not be available to trainees once they complete their placements.
  • Many are suggesting that funding would best be spent incentivising employers to engage with apprenticeships.
  • Traineeships are designed to lead to apprenticeships, but the scheme will now be open to those with level 3 qualifications.
  • Arguments that the focus on traineeships will impact on the take-up of T-Levels

We will be considering the implications in more depth following the full announcement tomorrow, in preparation for a consultation with members.

New Liverpool Traineeship centre for Learndirect

Learndirect Apprenticeships are proud to announce the opening of their new Traineeship centre located on Utting Court off Cook Street in Liverpool city centre.

The centre’s primary focus is to help young people aged between 16 and 24 who live in the Liverpool city region and who have not achieved a full level 3 qualification gain employment, an apprenticeship or progress onto further education. The centre opens this month with the first group of young people starting on programme in January 2017.

The young people will be enrolled on a comprehensive work preparation programme lasting a minimum of six weeks and a maximum of six months. This will include a high quality work experience placement with Maths and English skills development if the person has not yet achieved a grade A-C at GCSE. Classroom based sessions will help develop employability skills, and consider topics such as equality and diversity, nutrition on a budget, consumer rights and healthy living.

The young person will have their travel costs to the centre and to their work placement refunded. Learners aged 16-18 may also be entitled to a bursary payment of £30-£40 per week as well as an additional £2.41 per day for free school meal entitlement dependent upon eligibility. Learndirect Apprenticeships will provide support for any young parents under the age of 20, helping them apply for help with childcare costs through Care to Learn.

More People Mapping Out Careers with GMLPF

GMLPF’s online training directory Mapped Out, designed to help teenagers find out what training opportunities are available to them when leaving school, has notched up over 4000 searches over the past 3 months.

Visits to the GMLPF site are reaching 5000 per month with a third of them landing directly on the Mapped Out search page for information on the training options available to them . Membership Development Manager Joanne Rymer explains:

‘In recent months we’ve seen thousands of people visit us at for the first time.  The resource is the only one of its kind in the UK that brings together training opportunities for the region across different sectors and levels of qualification.  It’s a particularly useful tool for providers to engage with the difficult to reach audience of 16 to 18 year olds.’

On the portal teenagers can search for training ranging from Study Programmes to Higher Apprenticeships.

Visitors to the site choose which area of Merseyside they want search results for and can even drill down into the type of job they would like to do. Results are shown on a map alongside handy information such as which bus routes reach provider training centres.  Teenagers can submit an email enquiry via Mapped Out or use the provider contact details to telephone.

Dental nurse qualifications, hairdressing and sports-related training are among the most popular career opportunities that young people want more information on.

Any training organisations wishing to become a GMLPF member and list their courses on Mapped Out can email [email protected] for more details.

Track Record for Joint Learning & Virgin Trains

GMLPF member Joint Learning has an excellent track record of helping businesses to recruit and train apprentices who add real benefit and value to their employers.

Joint Learning Traineeship programme with Virgin trains

One of the trainees, Chris Billows, has been working in a customer service role for Virgin trains. He is a great example of what somebody can achieve through applying themselves to a course of vocational study. Having started as a trainee, Chris has now secured a full time job as an On Board Host. Chris says: ‘I started as a trainee at Manchester Piccadilly in the summer and just four months later have moved into a full time job as an On Board Host. I love the job and get great satisfaction from it. I have already gained certificates in first aid and fire marshalling. Signing up with Joint Learning really was the best thing I could have done.’

As Chris’s traineeship worked so well, Virgin went on to recruit for another apprenticeship position based at Liverpool Lime Street with training provided by Joint Learning. A further student who completed the Traineeship was invited to apply for an Apprenticeship with the company.

Joint Learning and Real Skills Training Partnership

At their training centre in the heart of Liverpool One, Joint Learning is running an effective Study Programme with progression to Traineeships, Apprenticeships and jobs with partner Real Skills who are the UK’s most innovative provider of Rail Training and Rail Recruitment to the UK rail industry.

In order to gain the valuable skills needed for employment in the rail industry, trainees attend on and off the job training, gaining qualifications in Transport and Operations Maintenance. Once progressed, young people work towards gaining their PTS – a certificate in personal track safety required by all rail workers.

There are more than 190,000 people employed in the rail industry across the UK; with many of them working on the 20,000 miles of track.

Joint Learning are pleased to be working in such a progressive industry supporting young people into sustainable careers in partnership with both Virgin Trains and Real Skills Training.

At A Glance: Government Statistical First Release 14th October

Provisional data for the full 2014/15 academic year shows:
(NB 2013/14 figures shown in brackets for comparison)

  • 872,300 (851,500) learners participated on an Apprenticeship
  • 492,700 (440,400) Apprenticeship starts. Of these there were 294,400 at intermediate level; 179,000 at advanced level and 19,300 at higher level. 124,400 Apprentices were aged under 19 and 368,300 aged 19 and over
  • 17,720 (16,530) Apprenticeship starts in Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens, Halton and Wirral
  • 245,300 Apprenticeship frameworks achieved. Of these there were 151,300 at intermediate level; 90,000 at advanced level and 4,000 at higher level.
  • 25.1% (27.1%) of Apprenticeship starts were aged under 19; 32.1% (36.1%) were aged 19 to 24; and 42.7% (36.7%) were aged 25+
  • 161,800 starts for which a payment was made through the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE 16 to 24) scheme between February 2012 and July 2015.
  • 53.1% (52.9%) Apprenticeship starts were female; 46.9% (47.1%) were male
  • 8.7% (8.7%) Apprenticeship starts had a learning difficulty/disability
  • 10.6% (10.2%) Apprenticeship starts were of a Black or Minority Ethnic background (including Mixed, Asian, Black and Other Ethnic Group learners)
  • 400 starts on Apprenticeships standards (previously known as Trailblazers)
  • 41,840 (40,080) workplaces in the North West employ apprentices
  • 19,200 (10,400) Traineeship starts, of which 11,600 (7000) were aged under 19 and 7,600 (3400) were aged 19 to 24
  • 73,300 (59,100) learners with a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan of which 68,800 (56,400) were participating at Level 3 and 4,600 (2700) at Level 4+.

Further details:

Statistical data sets – FE data library

Commitment pays off for Hattie

Hattie finds rewarding employment thanks to Traineeships and Apprenticeships training and support from GMLPF member, Fit UK.

22 year old Hattie O’Neill was keen to start a career in the fitness industry, and was referred to Fit UK. They placed her on a 16 week Traineeship in health and fitness which led to a level 2 qualification in fitness instruction, employability skills and job search qualifications, as well as functional skills in maths and English.

Work experience

As part of the Traineeship, Hattie undertook work experience in the health and fitness department at the Toxteth Fit Fire Hub. She really made the most of the opportunity, proving to be a valuable team member, popular with staff and gym members. This lead to the offer of a permanent job at the Hub which Hattie proudly accepted.


Whilst working, Hattie is continuing to develop her skills on an Advanced Apprenticeship in Personal Training with Fit UK.

Lisa Smith who is the Duty Manager and Youth Lead at the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub said

“From the start Hattie showed great potential and had a great rapport with our members. She is a very motivated young lady who inspires others to reach their full potential. Due to her commitment and popularity we were pleased to offer Hattie a permanent position facilitating sports activity at our centre. I am very proud to have Hattie join my team as I have no doubt that she will encourage others to follow in her footsteps”.

Fantastic opportunity

Hattie says: “I can’t thank FIT UK enough for putting their faith in me and giving me this fantastic opportunity. I am really enjoying the Advanced Apprenticeship and working at the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub. The staff are fantastic and it’s great to be part of the team.”

GMLPF members feature in Wirral schools mag

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

Platform for GMLPF members

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

Members featured

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

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

GMLPF sponsored section in Good2Go June 2015

GMLPF commissions summer radio campaign to support members

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

Training options

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

Raising awareness of GMLPF members

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

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

Exclusive member benefit

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

For more information on the Mapped Out directory or the Juice FM radio campaign contact [email protected]

Education Select Committee Report into Apprenticeships and Traineeships

I attended the FE Week Annual Apprenticeship Conference in London on Monday and Tuesday this week. The conference marked the beginning of National Apprenticeship Week and also served to launch the Education Select Committee Report – Apprentceships and traineeships for 16-19 year olds . I have summarised the key points of the report below. Please note, Section 6 of the report is dedicated to reform of apprenticeship funding.

  • The number of people undertaking apprenticeships has increased significantly during the current Parliament
  • The number of young people doing an apprenticeship of a year or more has increased from 46% to 97%.
  • Nonetheless participation by 16 to 19 year-olds remains low
  • The central challenge for the Government’s reform programme is to drive up the quality of provision while ensuring that more employers commit to providing apprenticeships for young people.
  • Apprenticeships that do not offer substantial training and do not have a positive impact on income for those who complete the apprenticeship should not receive Government funding. Level 2 apprenticeships which comply with these principles should be retained.
  • Better quality destination data is needed to allow young people to make comparisons between different apprenticeships and assess the likely impact on income.
  • Apprenticeships should not be seen as a second class option because of cultural preferences for academic routes.
  • Part of the solution lies with schools, which need to provide their pupils with good quality careers advice, including information on apprenticeships, as well as worthwhile experiences of the workplace.
  • There are insufficient incentives for schools to provide good quality advice and work experience to their pupils.
  • Report recommends Government urgently review the incentives for schools to provide effective careers advice and recognise that the mantra of “trusting schools” does not work when the interests of schools and young people are not aligned.
  • Report also recommends that Government look at reviving the Young Apprenticeship programme or develop a model that replicates its core academic and work-based components.
  • Report congratulates the Government on listening to employers and providers and abandoning its initial proposals for apprenticeship funding reform.
  • New proposals must be brought forward swiftly to minimise uncertainty over how apprenticeship funding will be managed.
  • As Trailblazer scheme comes to an end there is work to be done to ensure proper oversight and management of standards in the longer term.
  • Report recommends that the Government reviews, and come forward with proposals to strengthen, the involvement of SMEs in the Trailblazer scheme and set out its expectations about what will happen to apprenticeship standards following the conclusion of the Trailblazer scheme.
  • Traineeships are still in their infancy, and it is too early to tell whether or not they are effective in assisting young people who might otherwise end up not in education, employment or training to continue into employment or further learning.
  • The Government should provide greater clarity about the purpose of traineeships and what the success criteria for the programme are.

I encourage all members to download and read the full report. Please share any thoughts, concerns and general feedback. Your views will help inform my discussions with other Liverpool City Region stakeholders about the actions required to sustain and further develop the apprenticeship programme.

James Glendenning







Download: Education Select Committee Report – Apprentceships and traineeships for 16-19 year olds