The goverment’s determination not to open up any more lines of funding for our incredibly hard-pressed providers is a strategy that’s doomed to end in disaster, perhaps for many years to come, argues Phil Hatton
The government keeps telling us that it wants to achieve a target of three million apprenticeships, even though we all know that’s extremely ambitious. It’s heavily reliant on small businesses taking apprentices on for the first time, on convincing employers of the benefits to their businesses, and on young people receiving unbiased and independent advice.
Yet every time a minister steps in front of a camera, they stubbornly repeat and refuse to back down from this key numerical pledge.
Surprisingly, over the last few months major changes have been bearing down on us like an iceberg: a new funding agency, levy and non-levy employers, frameworks replaced by standards, end-point assessment and even the bonus of an Institute for Apprenticeships.
Sadly, the news that apprenticeship providers are facing up to a “horror story” of bankruptcy and failure suggests that our shiny new ESFA (no doubt following ministerial orders) is ignoring the blindingly obvious fact that the whole apprenticeships system will need extra funding if it is to have any realistic chance of being successful. The last thing our sector needs is strangulation; instead it needs a turbo-boosted oxygen mask.
Our sector needs a turbo-boosted oxygen mask
Helping colleges and providers gives me the chance to talk to a wide range of employers and learners, and I see many of the latter interested in but not necessarily well-informed about apprenticeships.
A large proportion of 18-year-olds stayed on at school to take A-levels, largely because there was no one independent to mention the other A-word, “apprenticeships”, when they were 16. These same youngsters are now panicking at the prospect of the recommended next step: uni. My prediction for late summer is that many will not want to take up their university places, and because of this funding debacle with apprenticeships, will instead either become NEETs or pick a career path they are not committed to.
I know from my own dealings that civil service advisers often lack the gumption to inform their seniors of the most likely outcome of an action, when this would seem to contradict their ideas. Well, this is not only a huge mistake now, but unless it is quickly changed, it will have an effect for many years to come. There was a time when ministers sounded out inspectorates about possible outcomes of policy decisions, as an independent source, but that time has gone.
Trust me, when they speak out about what is happening to providers, AELP is not just talking for its members but for the young people of Britain and their futures.
If providers have to cut staff literally to survive, they are unlikely to be able to get them all back when the penny finally drops with ministers. Providers are recruiting staff to deliver potential growth areas like higher apprenticeships in management and specialist IT, but the expected funding has been slashed without warning. So much for strategic planning.
The government needs to admit the introduction of the levy and standards apprenticeships has been poorly handled and rushed, to make it happen for May 1. Getting it right should have been far more important than hitting a target date.
The ESFA cannot leave this until after the election. We are in that crucial time of the year for recruitment to apprenticeships, and if the funding for places is not there, the impact on small businesses engagement will be harmful in both the short and the long term.The impact on literally hundreds of thousands of young people will be devastating to each individual whose parents have encouraged them to work hard.
This damage is an unmerited extra blow to the sector, which still has to deal with the negative impact of end-point assessment, which is not even available for some standards-based apprenticeships now starting, and for which the unregulated costs are likely to be a future front-page story just like HE fees were.
If the government is strong, as we are being told it is, it needs to admit and correct this funding mistake now.
A team of nine apprentices from Amber Taverns across the North East is celebrating the success of a special community event which helped to teach a group of young people with learning difficulties how to organise and run an event for family and friends.
FREE EVENT – Find out about new Higher Degree Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship Reforms
Looking for a training programme to develop the leaders and managers within your business?
Newcastle College is launching the new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship to regional employers. Ideal for existing staff or new recruits, the apprenticeship combines a BA (Hons) Business Management in Practice degree whilst also achieving Chartered Management status through the CMI.
This will be the first opportunity for local businesses to hear about the new degree apprenticeship available from the College and will feature speakers from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), who will explain the benefits of Chartered Manager status for those undertaking the apprenticeship.
Our consortium, led by Success North, has secured funding from the Education and Training Foundation for providers to undertake collaborative development to support Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA) in the North East and Cumbria. Skills Funding Agency funded providers are invited to apply for an OTLA collaborative development project worth up to £15K for the release of staff time, plus an additional package of support (worth up to £10K) to cover coaching/mentoring and dissemination costs.
Pic: Young Apprentice Ambassador, Shannon Jolly, at an ASK event for the North region.
North East training company wins major government contract (with pic)
A North East training company has beaten hundreds of tenderers to secure a six-figure government contract to increase apprenticeships.
BL Training, which has training centres in Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Darlington and Middlesbrough, is one of only three companies nationally selected to deliver the ASK Project, following a competitive tender process.
The initiative, commissioned by the National Apprenticeship Service and the Skills Funding Agency, aims to support the government’s target of achieving three million apprenticeship starts by 2020.
As lead provider for the North region which covers from the Scottish borders down to the Humber, the firm is offering a range of free “inspirational and engaging” apprenticeship and traineeship support to schools and colleges that have pupils ages 14-18.
Several other local training providers are also benefitting from the contract win after BL enlisted the support of members of professional body, North East Learning Providers, to help deliver the project in the North East – from Northumberland, down to the Tees Valley.
The ASK project involves working with teachers, careers advisers, parents and governors to ensure they meet their statutory duty of providing impartial information, advice and guidance (IAG) on education pathways and career options, particularly apprenticeships and traineeships.
The support includes providing group assemblies and information sessions, signing students up to find an apprenticeship, apprenticeship application workshops for students, apprenticeship champion training for careers advisers and teachers and parents evenings.
Gail Dalton-Ayres, Director at BL Training which is a member of the North East Learning Providers network, said:
“I originally put the bid in as my rational was that training provider networks like North East Learning Providers are best placed to offer schools up-to-date advice and guidance on traineeships and apprenticeships, including the reform changes and the increase in higher and degree apprenticeship routes, as this is what we do – day in, day out.
“It’s an excellent project and is free to schools. As well as providing young people with invaluable support about their next career steps, it also highlights the excellent work that regional training providers do in terms of giving school leavers progressive routes to employment and achieving degrees whilst earning a salary.”
BL Training specialises in developing customised training solutions for businesses throughout the North East. They provide training in customer service, team leading, leadership and management, business and administration, TAQAs (assessor and verifier awards), apprenticeship careers advice and guidance, retail, hairdressing and barbering.
Schools and colleges wanting further information or to sign-up to take part can go to www.amazingapprenticeships.com or contact Gail Dalton-Ayres at BL Training firstname.lastname@example.org.
North East Learning Providers (NELP) is a confederation of training providers which deliver work based learning.
Members include independent training providers, colleges, employers, local authorities and voluntary organisations that operate within Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, County Durham, Sunderland and South Tyneside. It aims to promote, represent and support its members and the training sector as a whole.
NELP works closely with the training sector’s funding bodies including the Skills Funding Agency and the National Apprenticeship Service. Its members deliver vocational training for hundreds of employers and thousands of learners throughout the North East region.
NELP is a not for profit organisation. For more information about NELP and how to join go to http://www.nelp.co.uk
The National Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony at The Grosvenor House Hotel, London. 20.01.17 Photographer Sam Pearce / www.square-image.co.uk
January 24th 2017
HAYS TRAVEL RECOGNISED AS TOP 100 APPRENTICESHIP EMPLOYER
HAYS Travel has been recognised in the prestigious Centrica Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list 2016.
The list is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.
The list was announced at the National Apprenticeship Awards which took place on 20 January at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
After a tough selection process the most exceptional apprenticeship employers from all of the National Apprenticeship Awards employer categories went forward to feature in the list, which showcases the breadth of employers who now offer apprenticeships.
Katie Woods-Ruddick, Hays Travel’s Head of HR and Training, said: “At Hays Travel we believe apprenticeships are vital to our business. Apprentices inject the organisation with energy, ideas, enthusiasm and interest. We, in turn, provide first-rate training and support, and end up with invaluable long-term team members.
“At Hays, we fully understand how valuable apprentices are to the business and therefore spend time, energy and money developing their skills. This pays off in high productivity, supporting our business success and growth.”
Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list 2016 demonstrates clearly the impact apprentices can have on an organisation. Apprentice employers are creating opportunities for individuals to gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed, up to degree level, while working and earning.
“These Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers are making a difference to the lives of their apprentices by investing in their future. In return, apprentices are helping employers to develop a skilled, qualified workforce to build a stronger economy.
“I hope the success of these Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers will mean more businesses across England aspire to follow their example and to find out for themselves how apprenticeships help to grow a skilled and highly qualified workforce.”
Hays Travel is the UK’s largest independent travel agency with over 37 years experience in providing good value, quality holidays alongside exceptional customer service. The company has 140 retail shops and employs more than a thousand people, with sales of over £800 million. It is recognised as one of the Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies to Work For in the UK.
Successful Trusts Fundraising course in Newcastle upon Tyne
On Wednesday 1st March 2017, from 9.30pm to 4pm, at Disability North, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, we are holding our SUCCESSFUL TRUSTS FUNDRAISING training course. It is facilitated by Gareth Edwards, who raises hundreds of thousands of pounds a year for his own and other causes from charitable trusts. Lunch is not included but you can bring your own and there are plenty of local places to eat. Tea and coffee and a full course handbook are included. . We have kept the price to £99 plus VAT.
This full-day course covers…
Researching target trusts and finding trusts that are not in other guides
How to discover and match funding criteria
Making applications to trusts and networking
Involvement of stakeholders
Outcomes, outputs and objectives
Improving your case for support and other elements of your written funding bids
Making every application come alive to a potential funder
Increasing your skills to get a positive response
Learning a range of creative techniques to use with every bid
Avoiding common mistakes
Making the most of your organisation and its needs
Firstly, a huge thank you to all our customers and learners who were all wonderful to work with in 2016 and we at Rove are delighted to go into this year with many more learners to support through their courses/qualifications and propel their careers! Once again we saw amazingly high rates of success from learners and dedication from our expert tutors. Well done to you all!
2017 promises to be full of challenges for many sectors and education is certainly full of changes, especially the new Apprenticeship Levy which will be upon us very soon.
Below just to remind you of some of the courses we run throughout the year.
Jump Into a Chartered Manangement Institute Qualification
Are you already a middle manager or aspiring to be a senior manager?
If you are looking for a course to challenge you and grow your knowledge and skills then we have 4 great options for you – wherever you are in your career right now!
Every quality professional’s career is different and the Chartered Quality Institutes new 3 level portfolio caters for those just starting in the quality arena, up to those involved in strategic planning and leadership. At the heart of the courses is the Competency framework so it couldn’t be easier to plan your development and fulfil your potential.
I am emailing to let you know we have a 10% discount for AELP Associate Members on exhibiting at the Spring Conference 2017. If you wish to book an exhibition stand with this discount, please reply to this email.