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£3m For Digital Skills in Manchester
November 2, 2018
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The government has confirmed that £3 million will be invested to help strengthen digital skills in Greater Manchester and the surrounding areas.

The funding announced in the Budget will see the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) team up with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) for the pilot project.

Employers and training providers will identify which digital skills are in short supply in the local area and design a targeted approach that can help people prepare to move into digital roles.

Greater Manchester is one of the largest digital clusters in the UK with almost 8,000 digital businesses employing more than 80,0000 people.

Digital Minister Margot James said: Read more

FE Providers Benefit from Scheme to Boost Teaching Workforce
October 14, 2018
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Eighty new expert teachers to be recruited from industry into further education through the £5 million Taking Teaching Further programme.

Skills Minister Anne Milton announced on 12 October 2018 the first 37 providers to receive funding from the Taking Teaching Further (TTF) programme, which has been set up to help recruit the best and brightest candidates from industry into the post-16 and further education workforce and support an ongoing exchange between industry and FE.

The colleges and providers, in areas ranging from Cumbria and Northumberland to Kent and Norwich, will aim to recruit the country’s first 80 TTF teachers from specific sectors and encourage them to retrain to work in those institutions.

Alongside the support to train new teachers, 20 innovative projects are also being funded totalling over £900,000 to explore how industry and the further education sector can work together to make sure students gain the knowledge and skills businesses really need.

Taking Teaching Further was launched in June as a pilot programme to further boost the quality of the post-16 teaching workforce by bringing in more diverse experiences and skills.

Read more

DfE Announces £24m Youth Employment Initiative
October 8, 2018
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The government will invest £24m in improving education and career opportunities for young people in north east England, Education Secretary Damian Hinds has said.

The government wants to help more young people in the north east of England into education, employment or training. Announcing the Opportunity North East scheme at a school in Gateshead, Damian Hinds said children in the region need more support from education and business leaders, because it is listed bottom in England for a number of education measures.

Half of the money, £12m, will be used to help young people make better transitions from primary school to secondary school and onto higher education, including universities, degree apprenticeships and other technical education options.

The north east had the lowest number of 18-year-olds attending top universities in England in 2017. It also has one of the highest proportions of young people not in education, employment or training (Neet) aged over 11 years old.

The government will use the remaining £12m to improve the quality of teaching in the area, particularly in secondary schools that are performing worse than in other areas of England.

The funding is part of the £42m Teacher Development Premium, launched in December 2018, which sees teachers in underperforming schools receive up to £1,000 for extra training to encourage them to remain in their jobs.

The Opportunity North East scheme will also aim to stimulate job opportunities through local enterprise partnerships and local businesses.
Read more

Clients off to University? Then They May be Eligible for Additional Support
September 26, 2018
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Students all over the country are preparing to go off to university and it could be time to see if they are eligible for additional support in higher education.

Use the AbilityNet HE support checker

Getting a degree is a huge challenge for every student but some students face additional challenges and barriers. You could be eligible for extra help from your university and the UK Government’s Disabled Students’ Allowances.

Use the free HE Support Checker to find out if you could be eligible for extra support at university due to a health condition or impairment. This is entirely anonymous, and you do not have to supply any personal information.

What support could you get?

Read more

IMPORTANT: GEO Returners Fund EOI Deadline Extended
August 31, 2018
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There is a little over 2 weeks until the deadline to send your Expressions of Interest in the GEO Returners Fund.

The deadline is 14th September 2018, whilst the application window for full applications has been extended with a deadline for their return of 9th November 2018.

The fund is offering grants to projects which help people to return to work in the private sector. This is part of a commitment made by the Prime Minister in the 2017 Spring Budget to help people back into employment after a career break. The Government Equalities Office defines a ‘returner’ as a person who has been out of paid employment for at least a year to take on caring responsibilities and would like to return to paid work at a level commensurate with their skills and experience. Read more

Grants of up to £80,000 Available to Tackle Youth Loneliness
August 28, 2018
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The £2m youth-focused strand of the Building Connections Fund will be distributed by the Co-op Foundation.

Charities and community groups dealing with youth loneliness can now apply for grants of up to £80,000 from the strand of the Building Connections Fund run by the Co-op Foundation.

The Prime Minister announced the £11.5m Building Connections Fund aimed at reducing loneliness in June, with £9m of it due to be distributed by the Big Lottery Fund, and £0.5m going towards evaluation of the scheme.

The remaining £2m will be distributed by the Co-op Foundation and will specifically focus on loneliness among young people.

Projects will be eligible to apply for a share of the funding if they support young people in the 30 per cent of most-deprived areas in England, or if they benefit young people in any area who are carers, unemployed or precariously employed, experiencing bereavement, have a disability or long-term health condition or who have been in the care system. Read more

Funding for Debt Advice in the North West and London 2019-22
August 3, 2018
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The following has been published by The Money Advice Service.

We are delighted to announce that we have opened applications for debt advice funding in the North West of England and London for 2019-22, with up to £7.5 million in the first year available to potential partners from July 2019.

We are looking to fund organisations who will work in partnership to deliver high-quality free debt advice to over-indebted people, in line with our strategic approach to debt advice commissioning.

Funding is open to applications from all types of organisations, which may apply as a single applicant or as part of a wider consortium. The deadline for applications is 12:00 pm on Wednesday 31 October 2018.

Organisations wishing to apply should register on the MAS eSourcing portal in order to access information relating to our funding for debt advice, including application forms. This can be accessed here: mas.bravossolution.co.uk.

For general information on our commissioning approach in the North West and London please visit our website here.

Funding from EU Programmes Guaranteed Until the End of 2020
July 25, 2018
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UK organisations that secure funding through EU programmes, from now until the end of 2020, will be guaranteed by the UK government even in a no deal scenario HR Treasury has confirmed.

Businesses, universities and local organisations were assured (24 July 2018) that any funding they secure through EU programmes, from now until the end of 2020, will be guaranteed by the UK government placeholdereven in a no deal scenario.

The implementation period agreed in March would see the UK continue to participate in all EU programmes until the end of 2020 – providing certainty for British organisations and their European counterparts.

The guarantee announced today (24 July 2018) will reflect this by underwriting the UK’s full allocation for structural and investment fund projects, such as funding secured through the European Regional Development Fund, until the end of 2020.

In addition, the Treasury will also guarantee funding for UK organisations which successfully bid directly to the European Commission – through projects like Horizon 2020 – until the end of this EU budget period if no deal is agreed.

This will give potential applicants continued confidence to bid for funding whatever the outcome of the negotiations, and ensure that UK organisations continue to benefit from funding post-Exit. Read more

Multi-Million Pound Fund to Help Tackle the Disability Employment Launched
July 18, 2018
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A £4.2 million challenge fund to support people with mental health or musculoskeletal conditions to stay in work has been launched by the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, and the Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities, Jackie Doyle-Price.

The fund is the latest in a range of government measures that are part of a 10-year strategy which aims to see 1 million more disabled people in work by 2027.

The challenge fund, run by Rocket Science on behalf of the government, is aimed at testing new approaches to help people experiencing mental ill health or musculoskeletal issues to remain in employment.

They might be at risk of losing employment because of the effects of their condition, or may already be temporarily off work through ill health.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Sarah Newton, said:

We know there is a gap between disabled people who want to work and those who have the opportunity to do so.

With 78% of people acquiring their disability or health condition during their adult life, it’s crucial that we support disabled people who want to work to stay in or return to employment.

Read more

Digital Tools for Prospective Students: Apply for Funding
June 25, 2018
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The Department for Education has up to £125,000 to invest in a series of studies into ways of using data on graduate salary and employment to create digital tools that help prospective students make informed choices.

Organisations can apply for a share of £125,000 to investigate ideas for new digital tools that will help students make informed choices about where they study2 young students in library discussing university options.

Students often make uninformed decisions about what and where to study. The department wants to create a free, accessible and commercially sustainable digital tool for students that uses existing data about graduate employment and salaries.

Up to 5 studies could be funded in the first phase. The best ideas could share £300,000 to develop their ideas further in a second phase.

Proposals must include plans for user discussions or testing to ensure solutions meet students needs, and they must use graduate outcomes data.

The competition is run under SBRI (the Small Business Research Initiative), which helps the public and private sectors come together to solve challenges facing government.

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