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ViewPoint: How a Holistic Package of Support Can Improve Students’ Outcomes
February 20, 2019
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The following by TARA BLISS APPLETON Head of welfare and support, Saint Edmunds Society, Norwich was published by FEWEEK.

 

Building welfare support into post-16 provision is crucial to improving retention and achievements, says Tara Bliss-Appleton.

The Saint Edmunds Society has offered vocational training since 2012 to young people who have struggled in mainstream education, to help them to develop meaningful trade-specific skills that will open doors to further training and employment.

We soon realised, however, that skills training was not enough. Disengagement from mainstream education is often driven by personal circumstances such as permanent exclusion, bullying, family breakdown and sometimes substance misuse. Our students presented with a range of barriers to learning, including anxiety, low income, and limited literacy and numeracy skills.

Read more

Grant to Support Disabled People in the Workplace Increases to Almost £60,000
February 14, 2019
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Disabled employees will be able to benefit from almost £60,000 a year to assist them at work. Disabled employees will be able to benefit from almost £60,000 a year to assist them at work, the Minister for Disabled People Sarah Newton has announced in Parliament.Image result for The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton

From 1 April 2019 people will now be able to claim up to £59,200 annually to help pay for additional support that they may need in the workplace through the government’s Access to Work scheme. This can include workplace adaptations, assistive technology, transport and interpreters.

It comes after the government increased the cap by almost a third last year. Now, even more people will be able to benefit, especially those from the deaf community who can get BSL interpreters through the scheme. Read more

£3 billion of Apprenticeship Funding Remains Unspent
February 12, 2019
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New analysis from The Open University (6 Feb) suggests that UK businesses could be at risk of losing £3 billion in funding that could be used to increase skills and boost productivity.

Organisations have only drawn down 14 per cent of available funding from the apprenticeship levy – and from April the government will start to anything left over month by month, so The Open University is encouraging businesses to act now before they miss out on an opportunity to build skills they desperately need.

The data, secured by The Open University through a Freedom of Information Act request1, reveals that employers have earned back just £480 million of the total funding available since May 2017. So far, only one in five (19%) levy-paying employers have made apprenticeship commitments, with many reporting some kind of frustration with the scheme.

Additional market research undertaken by the University shows that the vast majority (94%) of employers are supportive of the apprenticeship levy in principle, but two in five (42%) would like to see changes to make the apprenticeship levy work more effectively for their organisation.   Read more

GEO Returners Fund: Market Engagement Event Round 3
February 11, 2019
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In 2018 the Government Equalities Office (GEO) launched 2 rounds of funding under the Returners Fund, jointly worth £1.5million, which aimed to support organisations working with returners.

LogoRegister your interest in a market engagement event being held on 21 February 2019 from 1.304pm in central London. There is no charge to attend this event, however, all attendees must register in advance.

Places are limited to one per organisation.

Register via Eventbrite Here

£38 Million T Level Capital Fund Launches
January 30, 2019
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The first further education providers to teach T Levels are set to benefit from a £38 million funding boost to help build new classrooms, refurbish buildings and upgrade their equipment in readiness to deliver the new qualifications from September 2020.

The T Level Capital Fund was announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget. It is designed to make sure young people taking the new technical courses have access to industry standard equipment and high quality facilities so they gain the skills and knowledge employers demand.

T Levels will be the technical equivalent to A Levels, combining classroom theory, practical learning and an industry placement. The first T Level courses in education, construction and digital will be taught by over 50 further education and post-16 providers from September 2020.

The T Level Capital Fund will be delivered in two parts. From today (Thursday 30 January), eligible further education providers are being invited to bid for funding to refurbish their existing buildings or to build new spaces. Funding for specialist equipment such as digital and audio visual kit, will be allocated to all providers in spring 2020.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minster, Anne Milton said:

T Levels are a once in a generation opportunity to transform technical education in this country. They will give young people the opportunity to gain the skills they need to get a great job, go on to do a higher level apprenticeship or further study.

It will be vital that they have access to the latest, high quality equipment and state-of the art facilities during their studies. The T Level Capital Fund will help those further education providers at the forefront of delivering these important reforms to be ready to teach T Levels from September 2020.

To support the further education sector to deliver the new T Level programmes, the government will provide an additional half a billion pounds every year once they are all fully rolled out.

The government is also investing £20 million to help prepare the sector for the introduction of T Levels. This includes the £5 million Taking Teaching Further programme, which aims to attract more industry experts to work in the sector, and the £8 million T Level Professional Development offer to help teachers and staff prepare for the roll-out of the new qualifications.

In December 2018, the government announced the next 7 T Levels to be taught from 2021 as: Health; Healthcare Science; Science; Onsite Construction; Building Services Engineering; Digital Support and Services; and Digital Business Services.

ViewPoint: Adventures in Career Development
January 14, 2019
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The following blog is by  Tristram Hooley.

Where are we now? Reflections on career guidance policy and practice at the start of 2019

Towards the end of 2018 it felt like a lot of people were getting a bit frustrated with the speed of progress on career guidance in England. The State of the Nation report tells us that things are improving, but that there is a long way to go and that at present the progress isn’t particularly quick. Partially as acareer-pop-artresult of this, and partially in response to long standing concerns and grievances, some people started sharpening their knives on the current careers policy settlement. Robert Halfon gave an important and highly critical speech setting out what he though was wrong and many in the careers sector piled in behind him. Things are not good enough they argued, there is a need for change, let’s pull down the current system and get it right this time.

I’m in total agreement that the current state of provision in careers is not good enough. I also agree that things need to change. Where I break with some of the critics of the current order is that I believe that within the current system there are the seeds of a genuinely great career guidance system.

I wanted to spend this blog post reviewing where we are and considering what is good and bad about the current system, before going on to propose some ways forwards. But first two caveats. (1) I’m just going to talk about the career guidance system that exists in the secondary education system. I have written numerous times that I believe we need a cradle to grave, lifelong career guidance system. At the moment, this isn’t on the cards and so I’m going to park this part of the discussion until another blog post. (2) I know that no one is really making policy about something like career guidance until after Brexit is resolved – but let’s just pretend for now that it is possible that we will get a government again at some point. Read more

Halfon Blasts Careers and Enterprise Company for their ‘Magic Money Tree’

The following news article by Billy Camden was published by FEWeek.

The chair of the education select committee has laid into the Careers and Enterprise Company for believing it has a “magic money tree” growing in its garden.

Robert Halfon (pictured) offered the heavy criticism during an event about the future of careers guidance in Parliament this morning.

It followed the organisation’s second hearing with MPs two weeks ago, in which it was the revealed the company spent more than £200,000 on two conferences using its own public money instead of private sponsorship.

The company had also told MPs earlier in the year that it has spent £900,000 on research, with another projected £200,000 a year to come.

Mr Halfon, who’s also a former skills minister, said today that this was an “obscene waste of money” and a “scandalous lack of oversight”Halfon blasts Careers and Enterprise Company for their 'magic money tree'

“My colleagues and I in the education select committee are deeply concerned by what we have learned in two recent hearings,” he said.

“I don’t doubt for a second that the company is passionate about its work, and that there are good people working there. But I’m worried they are not providing us with value for money.

“This body can be ludicrously wasteful. Last year it spent £200,000 of taxpayers in a time austerity on two conferences – money which should have gone to the front-line. One cost around £150,000 and the other was about £50,000 and held at KidZania! Salaries are too high – its CEO earns almost as much as the Prime Minister.

“And it has spent £900,000 on research, with another projected £200,000 a year to come.

“There is a lack of convincing data on its impact. And a lack of data on hard outcomes: like education and training decisions, or employment outcomes.”

Read more

ViewPoint: By David Hughes – Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges
November 8, 2018
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By ignoring colleges, the Budget ignored the UK skills crisis Far from being a “People’s Budget”, the Chancellor failed to address the critical need amongst young people and employers for investment in colleges.

“The hard work of the British people is paying off. Austerity is coming to an end.” These were the words of the Chancellor as he introduced his Budget for “the strivers, the grafters and the carers”. I’ve even heard commentators talking about it as a “People’s Budget”. The problem, as always, is which people?

There are many other commentators who will pore over the tax and benefits announcements to declare how fair or otherwise the Budget was and who won and who lost. What I saw was a Budget that was more about politics and potholes than about the jobs, skills and life chances.

Any long-term view of our country will recognise just how important it will be to improve our education and skills investment as the weaknesses in our labour market become more exposed. Employers in private and public sectors have become reliant on skilled and semi-skilled people moving here to work, many from the EU. Nurses, teachers, engineers, construction workers, carers, shop workers – the list goes on and on. That reliance has hidden the misfit between our education and skills investment and the jobs that are available.

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

What Lies Ahead for Careers Guidance, With Funding Cuts
September 25, 2018
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The following article by Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH & Associates Ltd,, was published in FE News.

In late 2017, the Board of Careers Yorkshire and the Humber: National Careers Service commissioned dmh associates to undertake an economic review and analysis of the productivity and economic benefits of the service,Productivity and the Economic Benefits: National Careers Service – Careers Yorkshire and the HumberDr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH & Associates Ltd

The period under review focuses on data available from early 2015 – mid year 2017 and the primary focus is on face-to-face careers guidance for adults.

Three key questions that were asked:

  1. What level of fiscal return does the National Careers Service: Careers Yorkshire and the Humber make to HM Treasury?
  2. Is the National Careers Service priority target group, set by the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), linked to a payment by results, sufficient to meet regional/local needs?
  3. What lies ahead in Yorkshire and the Humber when it comes to the National Careers Service face-to-face careers guidance work with adults in the coming year(s)?
Level of fiscal return

For every £1 invested in the National Careers Service: Careers Yorkshire and the Humber £9 is returned in fiscal benefits to the Treasury and the wider economy. The service paid for itself in less than 2 months. This would imply the service has already paid for itself 4 times over halfway through this fiscal year. Read more

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