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Renew Yourself: A Six-Step Plan for More Meaningful Work
April 6, 2020
A Book Review by Caitlin Williams

Hakala-Ausperk, C. (2017).  Renew Yourself: A Six-Step Plan for More Meaningful Work. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.  129 pages with a 3-page Renewal Plan template and information on accessing a pdf of the Plan online.
 Overview of Book

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Reforms to Subcontracting for Learners Over 16 and the Merlin Standard!
April 6, 2020

If you have read the article by Patrick Tucker in FENews published on the 3rd April regarding the ESFA’s consultation on subcontracting, you will have also read his views on Proposal 9: Introducing a Standard for Management of Subcontracting.

The references he makes in this section to the Merlin Standard are both out of date and incorrect.

The Standard was desgned to be relevant to DWP Prime Contractors and their Supply Chain Partners / Subcontractors. However, a high proportion of DWP Primes use Supply Chain Partners / Subcontractors to deliver a range of contracts and services and these have successfully been included within the Prime Contractors Merlin assessment.

For example, ESFA funded Apprenticeships, National Careers Service and Adult Education Budget, ESFA / ESF Skills Support for the Unemployed, Skills Support for the Workforce, the NCS Trust funded National Citizen Service, Big Lottery projects, Ministry of Justice, NHS and Local Authority funded programmes have all been included within Merlin assessments.

The Standard is built upon the following eight fundamental and integrated Principles:

If you want to find out more about the Merlin Standard and the benefits both Prime Contractors and their Supply Chain Partners have gained from the Prime being assessed against the Standard visit: https://merlinstandard.co.uk/benefits/

HMRC Publish Furlough and Training Guidance for Apprentices

The government has finally confirmed that apprentices can continue with funded training when employers use the job retention scheme, subject to being paid the apprenticeship minimum wage “for all the time they spend training”.

HMRC guidance published on 4th April (click here),  says: “Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst furloughed.

“However, you must pay your Apprentices at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage (AMW/NLW/NMW) as appropriate for all the time they spend training. This means you must cover any shortfall between the amount you can claim for their wages through this scheme and their appropriate minimum wage.

“Guidance is available for changes in apprenticeship learning arrangements because of COVID-19.” Click here