GMLPF launch app for young people

GMLPF puts training on the map with Mapped Out, a new app to help fix ‘broken’ careers advice

GMLPF has launched a new mobile app to connect school leavers and other young people to learning opportunities across the Liverpool City Region.

Mapped Out is the first app of its kind in the UK and builds on the success of GMLPF’s original web version. Primarily a tool for young people and school leavers, the app is also an invaluable service for schools, parents, community organisations and careers advisors.

Free to download on a compatible mobile device, the app gives users the opportunity to search for different training options (apprenticeships, traineeships, study programmes, NVQs) or find training courses based on location or industry. It covers all training opportunities across Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton.

GMLPF’s app directory will enable youngsters to search for training in their local area across more than 30 industries, which include some of the region’s key growth sectors: engineering, creative & digital as well as life science & health.

The app was launched at an exclusive breakfast briefing at Liverpool’s Crowne Plaza Hotel, with speakers including chief executive of GMLPF James Glendenning; Councillor Nick Small, Assistant Mayor of Liverpool and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment & Skills and Apprentice Ambassador Stefan Price.

Broken careers advice

Councillor Nick Small endorsed the initiative and on the day spoke of the long standing issue of ‘broken’ careers advice for young people.

He says: “Pioneering developments such as this app are at the heart of ensuring the future of the next generation through quality skills provision. Whilst the Apprenticeships sector is undergoing significant change, Mapped Out ensures young people have the means to keep updated about local training opportunities.

“GMLPF is to be praised for raising their game to help young people just starting out in their careers.”

Big difference

Stefan Price, 16, from Bootle, is a digital media apprentice with Ph.Creative in Liverpool. In his role as an Apprenticeships Ambassador, he helped launch the app and spoke of his struggle to find an apprenticeship locally with no guidance from his school.

He says: “Leaving school is a very daunting time, especially for any 16 year olds who do not want to stay on for sixth form. The app makes it easier to get career information and find local skills providers by area, level of training and even includes hundreds of job types to choose from. This wasn’t around when I left school and it would have made a big difference.”
GMLPF Chief Executive James Glendenning, adds: “It is crucial for young people to know what career options are available and where. With Government rules stating that everybody has to be in training or education until they are 18, there is still a lot of confusion about whether they have to stay on at school – but they don’t.

“The app offers practical help and advice to young people taking that first step onto the career ladder outside the school gates.”

The Mapped Out app is now available to download for free from Google Play or the Apple App Store. The web version can be accessed via www.gmlpf.net/mappedout

Apprenticeship Levy Latest

Gareth Jones, GMLPF’s Apprenticeship Strategy Manager, summarises the key updates from BIS on the Apprenticeship Levy. Gareth’s report highlights updates to the conditions that apply to Levy-paying employers and the introduction of conditions for non Levy-paying employers.

We strongly advise GMLPF members to start having conversations with their employers, if they haven’t already, regardless of whether they will be paying the Levy or not.

Levy- paying employers
  • The £15,000 Apprenticeship Levy Allowance will be operated on monthly basis (£1250 per month), with any unused allowance rolling over to the next month 
  • It’s is the employer’s responsibility to – calculate whether they have to pay the Levy – make arrangements to pay it alongside their PAYE bill every month
  • Levy-paying employers will be able to register for an online account with the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) from January 2017. 7. As expected, only Levy-paying employers will have access to DAS from April 2017. All other employers are expected to be using DAS by 2020.
  • Levy contributions will appear in online accounts a few days after payment is made to HMRC. So employers can expect to see their payments showing in their DAS accounts from late May 2017
  • The Government will provide a 10% top-up to an employer’s Levy contributions will be applied at the same time the employer’s money is credited into DAS accounts. For every £1 an employer pays into the Levy they will receive £1.10
  • Levy contributions will expire 18 months after the contribution was made. Originally it was assumed they would expire after 2 years
  • During the first year of operation, employers are only permitted to spend the Levy on their own staff.
  • Apprenticeships which start before April 2017 will be funded in line with current models i.e. Frameworks or Trailblazer Standard funding models
  • Employers don’t have to wait until they have enough funds in their DAS account to cover the full cost of an Apprenticeship before a member of staff starts training. Having enough funds to cover the skills provider’s charges for the first month’s training is sufficient.
  • Payments to skills providers will be made monthly via the DAS
  • Extra support will be available for employers who recruit 16-18 year olds (an incentive payment). This will be paid via their skills provider.
  • Apprentices with additional needs are eligible for extra support which is funded through direct payment to their skills provider. It is expected that the provider will be responsible for identifying the additional needs and arranging funding directly with Government.
  • Funding for English and Maths will be paid directly to the provider by the Government
For non Levy-paying employers
  • From April 2017, all non-levy paying employers will be required to “co-invest’ in training, i.e. agree a price with a provider and then pay towards the cost of the training
  • Employers will make a contribution to the cost of this training. The Government will pay the balance, up to the maximum amount of funding available for that Apprenticeship.
  • Employers will pay their contribution directly to the skills provider and will be able to spread payments over the life time of the Apprenticeship. The Government will pay the balance directly to the provider
  • Employers can only use approved skills providers for Apprenticeships training. There is not yet any definitive information about what an approved provider is, or the registration process.

Further information will be released in June, October and then finally in December 2016.

It’s worth noting that whilst the majority of GMLPF’s employers will not be subject to the Levy, the risk is that the introduction of co-investing means they might be put off taking on apprentices. But this scenario is counterbalanced by the view that there are few worthwhile alternatives for employers wanting to develop their workforce. And financial incentives may prove enough to keep these employers on board. The simple fact is that we don’t know how things will turn out. We can make predictions but the rules continue to be tweaked. All we can do is continue to keep up with the latest Government updates and scenario plan for potential outcomes.

Gareth Jones
GMLPF Apprenticeships Strategy Manager

For more information, please download the slides: Apprenticeship Levy Update

6 step process for improving attendance

Attendance is unarguably a persistent area for improvement across all Key To Apprenticeships (K2A) delivery but there are pockets of best practice that we can learn from. K2A provider, Young Person’s Opportunities Project (YPOP) has very good rates of attendance. Anastasia Johnson, director at YPOP shares the 6 features of their no-nonsense approach to tackling absence and punctuality:

 

  1. Three members of staff share responsibility for addressing morning attendance: the office manager, the pastoral care manager, and an administrative assistant.
  2. The administrative assistance visits every class at the centre by 9.15am each day to see which students are missing
  3. The office manager phones the off-site training centres to check if any students haven’t arrived by 9.15am
  4. The parents or carers of students who have not arrived are informed by phone
  5. If there is no response from the parent/carer, the pastoral care manager carries out a home visit
  6. Students who are absent without just good reason are sent a letter which informs them that they will lose their place if they do not improve. This letter is sent to their home address which gets the parents/carers on side.

These methods mimic procedures at school and may seem regimented but they produce the desired results for YPOP.

What works for you? If you’ve got tips for tackling absence, or want to share your thoughts on what works and what doesn’t, please comment below.

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 www.gmlpf.net/mappedout 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 joanne@gmlpf.net for more details.

#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.

young people demonstrating

Radicalisation Training in The Headlines

Once again in recent weeks radicalisation hits our headlines – this time with the NUS protesting loudly at the the Government’s stance on anti-radicalisation training for tutoring staff. Yusuf Hassan, the vice-president of student affairs for an umbrella group representing 130,000 Muslim students across the UK and Ireland was quoted in The Guardian as saying:

‘Terms such as radicalisation have not been defined or quantified. It is open to interpretation, leaving us in a difficult situation. It is not, nor should it be within the ability of a student or lecturer to report on extremism of people showing signs of it.’

It’s this kind of challenge that led to GMLPF running radicalisation workshops over the summer. The sessions were designed to help equip our providers and their tutors with the understanding to approach the radicalisation issue with balance and sensitivity.

Spectrum of New Challenges

Following an OFSTED report revealing that radicalisation was a key concern at some schools, the government introduced the ‘Prevent’ strategy and hailed it as as anti-radicalisation initiative. From July 1st the legislation placed an obligation on education and training institutions to extend the safeguarding of students in their care to include anti-radicalisation.

GMLPF’s members are aware that extreme groups often focus their efforts on recruiting the younger generation. But whilst the legal obligation presents new challenges, it doesn’t necessarily change the existing beliefs or attitudes of our members which fundamentally embrace and encourage social diversity.

What Our Members are Doing

Debbie Tagoe, GMLPF Chair and a Director at Mode Training sums up: ‘Of course training providers need to be on the look out for for potentially vulnerable individuals just as much as anybody pushing any kind of propaganda. But the challenge is to develop an approach and ethos which both promotes British values as stipulated by the government, and equally embraces diversity.’

Brian Quinn, operations director at tpm on Merseyside explains: ‘We recognise that early intervention and prevention rather than cure is the best – or perhaps the only – approach. We have always believed that a proactive approach, closely managing situations to ensure a positive outcome, reflects our sense of public duty. To this aim we joined forces with fellow training provider Mode to tackle the challenge of ‘Prevent’ head on through a series of workshops’.

Integrating ‘Prevent’

Moving forward tpm and Mode have action plans which include:

  • Focusing on critical thinking in pupils
  • Ensuring pupils are aware of bias and propaganda, especially online
  • Rewriting of policies and ensuring curriculum plans reflect the appropriate requirements
  • Look for practical ways to embrace diversity
  • Equipping staff with clear steps to take if they encounter a student at risk
  • Encourage a healthy approach to online citizenship and get students to take responsibility for the choices they make

James Glendenning, chief executive of GMLPF adds: ‘The implementation of the ‘Prevent’ strategy needs careful consideration so that acceptance of different faiths and beliefs is not compromised. We always recommend our members promote democracy, anti-extremism, individual liberty and mutual respect.’

Adult Skills Budget reduction

At the end of February, The Department for Business Innovation and Skills wrote to the Skills Funding Agency setting out their priorities, and available budget, for Adult FE and Skills delivery for 2015-16.

As we all know,  the principle feature of this is a reduction in the Adult Skills Budget. Whilst this came as no surprise, it is nonetheless a disappointment, presenting challenges to both the residents, and the education and skills providers of Liverpool City Region.

Increasing apprenticeship volumes and bringing the nation’s Maths and English levels up to standard are fundamental components of a successful skills strategy. However, relying on these aspects alone may inadvertently result in fewer adults between the ages of 19 and 24 being able to access the training necessary to make them employable.

Education and skills policy has been shown to have a relatively short shelf life. Over the past couple of years, we have seen increased frequency in departmental redesigns and alterations to funding models, principles and priorities.

For many years our region’s education and skills providers have demonstrated their proficiency at delivering government priorities and I have no doubt that that will continue to be the case.  What the sector really needs is a period of stability, allowing providers to forge long term plans to address the skills needs of Liverpool city region residents and its employers.

GMLPF will continue to work with AELP and NWPN to push for concerns around this reduction to be addressed. If you have any views or comments, please email me at james@gmlpf.net

James Glendenning

CEO GMLPF

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Adult FE and Skills delivery for 2015-16 :
Headline information

  • £250m (17%) reduction on 2014/15 – total national budget now down to just over £2bn
  • £770m included for adult apprenticeships .
  • Apprenticeship funding ringfenced
  • Non apprenticeship funding reduced by up to 24%
  • Apprenticeships, Traineeships and Maths and English delivery remain priorities
  • Focus on national colleges and industrial strategy.
  • Greater emphasis/tightening of sub-contracting

Helping Merseyside’s young people prepare for apprenticeships

GMLPF are encouraging young people aged 16 to 18 whose aim is to get an apprenticeship to consider enrolling on a Key to Apprenticeship (K2A) programme. GMLPF’s Key To Apprenticeship training programme is a vocational course that helps young people develop the skills, qualifications and experience employers are looking for when interviewing for apprenticeship positions.

Skills employers look for

Many young people who want an apprenticeship don’t have the minimum skills and qualifications that employers look for when they recruit apprentices. They may need to boost their Maths or English skills, or develop confidence and presentation skills, or gain some meaningful work experience. Key To Apprenticeships give young people a chance to develop the qualities they need, qualities that will improve their CV, and help them succeed at interview.

Marketing campaign

GMLPF have launched a 3 month K2A marketing campaign targeting 16 to 18 year olds who are currently not in any form of training, education or employment. The campaign includes:
• Bus panel advertising
• Press advertising
• Facebook competition; twitter
• SMS campaign
• Website re-launch
• Print

The aim of Key to Apprenticeships is to help young people access full Apprenticeships, enter employment or continue in further education.

Visit Key To Apprenticeships or email pavlina@gmlpf.net

GMLPF pledges funds for innovation to boost local skills

Greater Merseyside Learning Providers Federation (GMLPF) is currently reviewing innovative project ideas submitted by its members in response to the launch of the GMLPF Challenge Investment Fund. GMLPF launched the fund in August with the aim of enhancing training provision for young people in the Merseyside area to boost the region as a whole.

Applications for the GMLPF’s Challenge Investment Fund were invited from GMLPF members with two strands of funding available.   The Key to Apprenticeships (K2A) Investment Fund supports individual projects up to £25,000 and is exclusively for members who are currently contracted to GMLPF to deliver the K2A programme. The Member Investment Fund, with funds of up to £10,000 available, was open to all full GMLPF members.

Measurable benefits

Both strands of the funding focus on enhancing the training provision which is currently available to school leavers and other young people in the Merseyside region. GMLPF encouraged applicants to consider the gaps or hindrances in current provision and propose original solutions to deliver clear and measurable benefits to the learner, the training provider and Merseyside as a whole.

Examples of projects which might be tackled by Challenge Investment Fund include the launch of new provision in industry sectors that are economically significant to Merseyside, transport-related access issues, innovative marketing and engagement techniques, money management for learners and the improved use of technology.

Innovation

GMLPF chief executive, James Glendenning,said:

“The GMLPF Challenge Investment Fund forms part of our drive to invest in the long term future of our members in the Merseyside area, and also our commitment to support the development of our region’s young people. We’re particularly looking for bids which show the spirit of innovation and can really help us improve the quality and performance of training provision, so raising the level of skills in our region.”

The deadline for applications has now passed and GMLPF is now reviewing proposals. Successful applicants will be notified late October and a full list of projects published on the GMLPF website.

Liverpool apprentices qualify as finalists in leading national hair competition

Two apprentices who are in training with GMLPF member tpm have qualified as  North West finalists in the L’Oreal Colour Trophy competition.  Molly O’Callaghan and Corry Davies are both employed by Hooka Salons in Liverpool, working alongside many successful stylists who also completed apprenticeships with tpm

The brief for the competition was to create a female look that demonstrated a wearable, commercial, fashion-led high street colour and finish. Molly and Corry were selected as two of five regional finalists for the L’Oreal Young Colourist Award. Their skills will be further tested next week at the regional finals in Manchester, followed by the Northern finals in June if they get through. Prizes for the winner include memberships of the Professional Colour Academy 2014/15; a comprehensive one year development programme working with leading UK colourists; and a mentoring programme

Outstanding apprentice employer

No less than 7 of Molly and Corry’s colleagues have also made the North West finals in various award categories. Hooka Salons is an outstanding example of an apprenticeship employer. They have worked with tpm for many years, providing opportunities for young people to develop award-standard skills which are recognised by national competitions like L’Oreal’s. Salon owner and style director, Dion Padden, who is also a tpm graduate, comments:

“We are so proud to be the only salon that achieved 100 %; all our entries reaching the finals of this leading competition! This is testimony to how dedicated both Hooka and tpm are to the training and development of the staff and apprentices”.

Inspiration

Hair and barbering manager at tpm, Lesley Lavin said, “Hooka have every reason to celebrate – they are an inspiration to their staff, including their apprentices. A long-standing client of tpm, it’s a real pleasure to work with an organisation that has skills development as a high priority. We’re not surprised at their success in the heats of the Colour Trophy; we wish them every success in the finals”.