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 [email protected]

Online Directory of 16 to 18 provision on Merseyside

GMLPF has developed a live online directory of Apprenticeships and other training opportunities available for young people aged 16 to 18 in the Merseyside area.

Training options

Mapped Out Online has been 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.

Tool for advisors

Mapped Out Online is a useful tool for individuals and organisations who advise and guide young people in their careers choices including schools, parents, careers advisors, youth centres and community organisations.

Researching options

James Glendenning, chief executive of GMLPF said

Mapped Out Online is one of the projects that GMLPF is investing in to help Merseyside’s young people start successful careers by developing their skills. Sometimes the first step in this important journey can be the most difficult – researching the options and just finding out exactly what courses and opportunities are out there. Mapped Out Online, which once launched will list courses from over 60 Merseyside training providers and colleges, will go some way to overcoming this first hurdle.”

Mapped Out Online directory is a web version of the printed fold-out poster of Apprenticeships provision which has been widely distributed across Merseyside for the last 3 years. GMLPF would like to thank Greater Merseyside Career Connect Partnership for their invaluable input during the consultation stages of Mapped Out Online.

Mapped Out Online is currently in test stages and will be formally launched in January. For further information please contact [email protected]

£200K Earmarked to Improve Skills in the Region

Greater Merseyside Learning Provider Federation (GMLPF) has now chosen the winning bids that will share the £200K Challenge Investment Fund announced in August 2014.

17 learning providers across the region will use the funds to improve the quality, effectiveness and accessibility of their training programmes. Examples of how money will be spent range from establishing a social media centre of excellence to an initiative dedicated to helping students with dyslexia.

James Glendenning, chief executive of GMLPF said:

“The GMLPF Challenge Investment Fund forms part of our drive to invest in the long term future of Merseyside, specifically in the development of its skills landscape. It’s also about supporting our members, the local learning providers who are committed to helping Merseyside’s young people build successful futures.

James added: “Priority has been given to proposals that are clearly innovative and will increase young people’s participation in training, including those with additional needs. We’ve also awarded funding to proposals that will clearly raise the quality of provision, and enrich the student experience.

Applications for the GMLPF Challenge Investment Fund were invited from GMLPF members in August 2014. Winning bids include:

Establishing a community cafe – ‘Wheatland Community Cafe’ – where students will cater for students and the local community to get real world experience of everything from cash handling to food preparation.
Winning bid by: The Vocational College, Bootle.

A social media centre of excellence – a hub in the local community working with young people, adults, employers and schools. The centre will be truly unique where learners will develop new skills, build confidence and gain a strong work ethic making them more desirable to employers
Winning bid by: Joint Learning

A programme dedicated to helping students with dyslexia. In collaboration with Dyslexia Foundation, the scheme will provide a free and reliable on-demand dyslexia screening service. Each person who takes the test will have an individual report including techniques to help them move to the next steps of a peer mentoring programme to develop literacy skills.
Winning bid: tpm, Liverpool.

A learner enrichment programme to fund ten students on a visit to Belgium so they can experience different cultures and approaches to learning. Students will stay in a youth hostel and complete a project on the First World War including a visit to the War Memorial Cemetery. The programme is delivered in partnership with the Belgian National Education Service. This approach is proven to help the young and disadvantaged in their outlook to life, work and employment.
Winning bid, Morthyng Vocational College, Birkenhead.

A pilot project to site a mobile unit in a school to break the cycle of 14-16 year olds falling into the so-called NEET group (not in employment, education or training). The hub will be open until 8pm in the evening and at weekends. As well as helping local young people into work and training, it also aims to develop entirely new ways of working with schools.
Winning Bid: Oakmere Community College, Walton.

Other winning bids include the development of a suite of digital resources for promotion and teaching of Barbering NVQs (Herbert of Liverpool), and a new Wirral training centre (Asset Training).

Prioritising student health & wellbeing

Students taking part in Key to Apprenticeship programmes run by GMLPF member, Mode are benefitting from new wellbeing aspects that have been added to their training courses.

Mode is piloting the initiative with students on both its Key to Apprenticeships programmes: Music and Hairdressing. The two-phase approach to improving students’ self-awareness includes firstly helping them to gain a better understanding of their own health and wellbeing, and then to help them develop increased mindfulness – a meditation technique that is increasingly popular and has shown to help young people manage stress.

Positive impact on achieving goals

Mode have always recognized the importance of promoting healthy lifestyle choices to young people. This project is laying the foundations that good physical and psychological wellbeing has a positive impact on achieving goals and ensuring success. At the end of the six-week programme, students progress to weekly mediation sessions to continue their wellbeing development.

Positive change in attitude

Debbie Tagoe, director at Mode, said: “It’s clear to me that the extra support we’re providing to our students by including these wellbeing modules is really worthwhile. When you look at statistics like Childline’s recent figures showing that they had 34,000 consultations with suicidal children last year, it’s obvious that any measures that we can take as training providers to maximise our students’ wellbeing can only be a good thing. Since the start of our pilot we have seen a positive change in attitude from our students – they are a lot more relaxed and want to participate in group activities more.”


Speaking about the pilot, student Tia Johnson, said: “The sessions with Saeed are awesome – I loved the mediation part the best, it made me feel much calmer and also think about how I can improve my wellbeing.”

Positive message

Creator of the programme, Saeed Olayiwola from SO Health, concludes: “Training providers have a captive young audience and this programme presents an ideal opportunity for them to support young people to lead a healthy lifestyle physically and psychologically. By being the first training provider to embrace this programme, Mode has sent a positive message to their young people that they are committed to their overall health and wellbeing and are making them feel more valued, as well as helping to support the national Government vision for a healthier nation.”

Apprentices on tall ship return successfully after sail

GMLPF sponsored apprentices successfully complete tall ship sail

Five apprentices sailed into the Albert Dock last Friday after being sponsored by GMLPF to participate in a week-long sail from Whitehaven to Liverpool on a tall ship. The apprentices were in good spirits, looking tanned and windswept after several days at sea. All seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed their experience.

The week-long voyage on the Class A tall ship, Pelican of London, formed part of the ApprenticeShip Cup regatta, hosted and managed by Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust (MAST). The regatta involved several tall ships, and provided the apprentices with the opportunity to stretch and develop in a challenging but safe environment.


The apprentices who successfully completed on the Pelican were Michael Gibbons (apprentice with Wirral Metropolitan College), Ellie Gardam and Lauren Monroe (apprentices with Lite Ltd), and Bradley Stead and Matt Watkinson (apprentices with Riverside College).


During the voyage, the apprentices were trained in all aspects of running a ship, including steering, setting sails, keeping watch, navigating and climbing the rigging. The Pelican sailed from Whitehaven to Liverpool via Belfast with a circuit of the Isle of Man.

The apprentices will receive the internationally recognised RYA Competent Crew qualification and other recognition for their participation.

Personal growth

James Glendenning, CEO of GMLPF said

“The Apprentice Ship Cup was a unique chance for local apprentices to apply the skills they have been developing on their apprenticeship in a new and challenging environment – skills like team work, communication and leadership.

“GMLPF is proud to have supported these five apprentices in this exciting venture. I have no doubt that completing the voyage will lead to significant personal growth, which will benefit both themselves as individuals, and their employers. I’d like to congratulate them all for their commitment and achievement.”