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Covid19: Increasing Debt Advice Capacity 2020 (In England) – Grant Funding
The Money and Pensions Service is delighted to announce an open procurement process for an initial £4 million of funding in 2020/21 focussed on telephone and digital debt advice provision. 

This funding – for organisations not currently in receipt of MaPS mainstream debt advice funding – will be aimed at increasing the capacity of high-quality, free-to-customer debt advice by recruiting and training additional debt advisers in England. It follows, and is informed by, an early market engagement process run in July 2020.

All organisations that meet the eligibility criteria are invited to apply for the funding using the link below.
Find out more
Careers England Newsletter: Issue 154
August 28, 2020
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DfE Meeting:  National Careers Service

A meeting was held with National Careers Service prime contractors to discuss the risks and opportunities posed by the extra £32m of NCS funding to March 2022 announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs.

The meeting came about as a result of the concerns shared by the provider network, which focus on the capacity of providers to scale up resources and activity in a 100% payment-by-results contract and the mis-alignment of NCS customer priority groups, as defined  by ESFA, with the needs of NCS customers presenting for help as a consequence of the job losses brought about by the pandemic.

Following this meeting NCS provider views and recommendations were shared with Richard Simper, Deputy Director and Jane Hubbuck, Head of Careers Policy Unit at DfE, to highlight the risks to the success of NCS resulting from the points above, with a view to seeking a review of NCS priorities and the funding mechanism to enable providers to deliver on the pledges made by Government in July. The outcome of the meeting was an agreement by DfE to meet with ESFA to discuss the concerns and the set of proposed recommendations. It is anticipated that due to annual leave commitments, this may follow in September.
 
Response from Gavin Williamson to CDPG open letter promoting a careers guidance guarantee

The Career Development Policy Group (CDPG) received widespread and overwhelming support for the letter to the Secretary of State for Education as part of our campaign to raise the profile of careers guidance in the context of emergency measures needed to counter the worst economic effects of the Covid pandemic. The letter was widely distributed and is available on the Careers England website. A detailed response has recently been received from the office of Gavin Williamson; this is also available on the Careers England website. At the time of publishing this Newsletter, the CDPG is considering the Government’s response and how far this goes in addressing the gaps in current careers provision for young people and adults. Campaign activity is ongoing, and work is already under way in engaging key policy makers and influencers at national, regional and local levels to promote careers guidance for all. Updates will be available in future Newsletters and via Twitter and Linkedin in the interim period. Careers England members are invited to visit both social media platforms to keep abreast of developments and to share within member networks.
https://www.careersengland.org.uk/2020/08/13/campaign-for-a-careers-guidance-guarantee/
 
CEC Personal Guidance (PG) Steering Group

The latest steering group meeting provided an update on the progress being made across all the PG projects that are operating with the £2.48m of CEC funding devoted to this area of work in schools and colleges. The feedback demonstrates that CEC are ahead of each of their targets:

31,000 PG sessions delivered
124 Careers Advisers trained
179 schools and colleges engaged.

6 projects are due to end in September 2020 and a further 10 in March 2021, where extensions have been applied for and agreed. Amongst the early successes being reported are:

More blended models of delivery being created
Higher engagement of parents in the PG process, and
Development of new strategies to promote online engagement of young people.

Some of the challenges highlighted are:

More difficult to get students attend online sessions
Other priorities taking precedence in schools, leading to less engagement

A considerable focus was placed on quality systems, with a 5 point plan being devised to ensure an integrated and whole-school approach from Year 7, involving a range of school, college and education professionals prior to engagement a qualified Careers Adviser.

The ongoing work on researching the rate of Return on Investment (ROI) of personal guidance has led CEC to be very confident of the very positive way that personal (careers) guidance pays for itself. Evidence points both to positive returns for the Exchequer and the economic and social benefit for individuals. The ROI report is in the latter stages of production.


Youth Employment Group (YEG) Recommendations

With nearly 1 in 7 young people in the claimant count and LFS data showing a rise in young people not in full time education or employment to over 1 million, the highest it’s been since 2015, the YEG has published its recommendations, which are drawn from the work the Group and its working groups have undertaken over recent months. They build on the positive announcements in the government’s Plan for Jobs in order to create more opportunities for young people, help employers, provide the right information and advice, support self employment and build the evidence on ‘what works’, as well as set the objectives to monitor the government’s progress in supporting young people during the economic crisis and beyond.

Careers England has signed up in support of the recommendations, albeit there are only certain recommendations that are specifically related to our work. A communications strategy is being developed by YEG for a formal launch and sharing of the Recommendations at which point they will appear in the News section of the Careers England website.
 
Task group information

No updates to share from the Task Groups for this month.
News from across the sector

ASCL calls for independent inquiry into exam results fiasco 
https://schoolsweek.co.uk/ascl-calls-for-independent-inquiry-into-exam-results-fiasco/

Apprenticeship assessment oversight change was needed as Ofqual has the regulatory levers to enforce changes
https://feweek.co.uk/2020/08/06/apprenticeship-assessment-oversight-change-was-needed-as-ofqual-has-the-regulatory-levers-to-enforce-changes/

 How to Reboot Apprenticeships
https://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/core/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/CSJJ8393-Apprenticeships-200806-v2-final-web-version.pdf

Making career decisions: How influencers can help
https://myfuture.edu.au/docs/default-source/insights/making-career-decisions-how-influencers-can-help.pdf

A short history of employer engagement
https://www.educationandemployers.org/a-short-history-of-employer-engagement/

Funding to support employment and training in Wales
https://gov.wales/funding-support-employment-and-training-wales

AOC Blog Why careers guidance is more important than ever
https://www.aoc.co.uk/blog/why-careers-guidance-more-important-ever
Information, consultations and resources

Qdos Careers App- available now (free to all)
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1524921452
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hongwei.careersapp

National Careers Service resources
The Department for Education has developed two new papers on post-16 and post-18 options for young people.

A short history of employer engagement
https://www.educationandemployers.org/a-short-history-of-employer-engagement/

Apprenticeships Survey
71% of  Employer respondents estimated a decrease in apprenticeship recruitment.
https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/media/4410/covid-19_pulse_survey_june_2020_results.xlsx
 Conferences, events and training

Careers Summit 2021
Our Careers Summit was due to take place on 5th November. We have decided to postpone it to 16th March 2021 so that we can safely run a physical event, which allows for networking and better engagement of attendees, rather than opt for an online event. This decision was taken after consultation with the Board of Carers England. Further details will follow.

 Evolving Education and Careers – DMH Associates, 20th – 22nd October 2020 
This three-day virtual conference sponsored by the Edge Foundation will offer policymakers, practitioners, employers and researchers from around the globe the opportunity to come together and exchange ideas, learn from each other and transform education and careers policies and practices. Register here
ESFA Update: 26 August 2020

Latest information and actions from the Education and Skills Funding Agency for academies, schools, colleges, local authorities and further education providers.

Documents

ESFA Update further education: 26 August 2020

ESFA Update academies: 26 August 2020

ESFA Update local authorities: 26 August 2020

Details

Items for further education

InformationLetter from Eileen Milner to college corporation accounting officers
InformationESFA/HMRC debt and fraud data sharing pilot
InformationWave 4 T Level awarding organisation events
InformationMaking data collections via the Submit Learner Data portal
Information2019 to 2020 Year End for grant funded providers with Adult Education Budget delivery

Items for academies

InformationLetter to accounting officer at academy trusts

Items for local authorities

ActionTell us if your contact details have changed

Published 26 August 2020

Help Shape the Future of Funding for Apprenticeships

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (@IfATechEd) launches a consultation on refined plans for a more transparent funding band recommendation approach 

See the source image

A second public consultation is being launched today to gather views on how the Institute should recommend the maximum government funding contribution for apprenticeships.

We have also responded to our previous consultation on this topic, which took place between February and May this year.

Anna West, deputy director for apprenticeship funding and approvals, said:

“Our goal is to introduce a more transparent and evidence-based system. I would like to thank everyone for taking part in the first consultation. We have taken on board your feedback to further improve our approach.“The refined model now being consulted on would be based on independent evidence, but also offer flexibility to employers to provide further information to ensure they receive appropriate levels of funding. I would like to urge as many people as possible who care about the future of apprenticeships to take part.”

The funding band system as a whole supports employers, helping more to benefit from apprenticeship levy funding by delivering value for money in the programme. 

The Institute launched the project to develop a new approach in response to feedback that the existing system, based around employers gathering quotes for how much training costs and comparisons with existing standards and qualifications, was not transparent enough.

report by IFF Research into the actual costs of delivering apprenticeships was used to develop a more transparent model, drawing on average eligible delivery costs, which is now being consulted on.

The first consultation set out our core model and asked for views on addressing differences in costs.

We were pleased to receive over 200 consultation responses. The majority indicated that the proposed model was simpler to understand and strengthened transparency.

We used feedback from respondents to develop a single approach that provides trailblazers with an early estimate of the maximum government funding level their apprenticeship stands to receive based on an automated “rates-based” model.

If a trailblazer considers this inappropriate, they can provide information to allow us to make a bespoke estimate of likely eligible costs.

The consultation will run for 6 weeks, closing at midnight on 6 October 2020. A series of supportive virtual roadshow events will also take place during this period.

Delay to Start of KICKSTART Scheme

BY  AMY COLES

KICKSTART SCHEME

THOUSANDS of job hunters applying for the government’s flagship scheme to help young workers have been left in limbo as employers are told to pull ads.

In July Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the £2billion Kickstart scheme, aimed at getting hundreds of thousands of unemployed 16-24-year-olds into work.

Under the scheme the government will subsidise the wage costs for young people claiming Universal Credit who are hired by employers for six-month work placements.

Employers should have been able to apply for the scheme this month but now some have been told to stop advertising jobs until a start date is confirmed.

Some recruitment sites say they have removed adverts and slam the government for not giving employers a date for when they can apply, reports This is Money.

Charlie Johnson, CEO of graduate recruitment firm Brighter Box, told the Sun they’ve been inundated with requests from job applicants.

He said: “We wrote a quick overview of what we knew about the scheme for our website and were subsequently inundated with loads of requests for further information.

“I’ve spoken with several employers who are hoping to take advantage of the scheme – some of whom are looking to hire tens of sales people on a 25 hour per week basis (i.e. the amount that the government will be funding these positions).  

“But we haven’t run with any of the twenty or so requests we’ve had so far to advertise roles as companies are awaiting further news”

Kickstart was announced as part of an emergency package to try and limit the unemployment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Resolution Foundation has forecast the scheme will help find jobs for around 350,000 youngsters in that age group.

A DWP spokesperson said:

“It’s fantastic that so many employers, like Tesco, already want to sign up to our £2 billion Kickstart scheme, and we’ll be publishing further details on how they can shortly.

“Until then, we urge employers to be patient and to not start advertising roles they want to be covered by the scheme just yet – there’s no cap on Kickstart places available, so no-one will miss out.”

Dire forecasts from experts have predicted more than a million youngsters will be out of work this year.

Think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research said 410,000 18 to 24-year-olds were already jobless.

And it forecast 620,000 more would be out of work in the next six months.

Meanwhile, unemployment as a whole could treble to reach three million, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has predicted.

The predicted 1.03million total would be the highest since comparable records began in 1992.

The scheme will cover 100 per cent of the minimum wage for a maximum of 25 hours a week — with firms able to top up wages.

For example, young people between 21 and 24 years old on minimum wage currently earn £8.20 an hour, working out as £205 for 25 hours.

It comes as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned that the unemployment rate could reach 15 per cent if a second virus wave hits.

Roughly 9.3million workers in the UK have been furloughed due to the pandemic.

Opportunity: Shaw Trust Work and Health Programme: JETS – Central England and Home Counties
Work and Health Programme – Job Entry: Targeted Support (WHP JETS) – CPA 1 and CPA 5
 
Shaw Trust are currently undertaking a procurement activity to contract with additional supply chain partners to support the delivery DWP WHP JETS.  
 
Shaw Trust are seeking suitably qualified, locally embedded providers to deliver Employment Coaching to participants of the new programme.  The services on offer should be of high quality, available via digital and face to face means, cover traditional and innovative employability support, and be tailored to short term unemployed individuals.
 
The procurement is split into 11 geographical lots with a combined total contract value of £15.1m to be delivered between October 2020 and April 2022.  
 
This opportunity will also be procured through our Proactis portal, therefore you will need to register here to bid for this opportunity: https://supplierlive.
proactisp2p.com/Account/Registration/Register
  
 
The closing date for submissions is Wednesday 2nd September.
ViewPoint: Careers Advisers – Are We Ready for the New Normal?
August 26, 2020
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By Sarfraz Ahmed, Careers Advisors, Leicester College

Since March 2020, the vast majority of career services, and providers such as schools, colleges and universities transferred all their services to providing a service remotely.

© Sarfraz Ahmed, August 2020 - Member of the Careers Writers Association

For our own health and safety, the vast majority of us worked from home.

Through the combination use of:

  • Telephone Guidance
  • Video Chat
  • Live Streams
  • E-guidance
  • Social Media

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, all of us have had to rethink the way we work and engage with our customers, Although this has meant a shift in the way that we engage with our customers, it has been a positive in the sense that many of us have had to embrace technology such as using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, using Streamyard for Live Streams.

Personally, whilst in lockdown, I’ve had the opportunity to record my first podcast and been a guest on local radio in Leicester and nationally as well. Telephone guidance has been successful for providing advice especially to support Educational, Healthcare Plans (EHCP) reviews, and has allowed the College Careers Team to effectively support the work of Additional Support Managers to effectively provide progression for students from their current course.

Live streaming has taken Careers Advisers and placed them in front of a ‘live’ audience albeit through a variety of social media platforms. This has for many taken away from the traditional method of delivery and has taken them out of their comfort zones. Live streaming can be daunting, as not only are you seeing yourself on a screen for the first time, but your advice and the way that you give that advice is immortalised online, and available on a variety of platforms such as Facebook Live and YouTube. Live stream content can be readily accessed time and time again, locally, nationally and internationally, as with any careers activity, preparation and practise is essential something that is crucial for a success live stream.

Another activity that careers advisers have engaged in is blogging, whether its physically writing articles or ‘blogs’ or creating ‘video blogs’ or podcasts. I personally find these a fun way to engage with an audience, and often practitioners point of view will provide real life context that may support an academic piece of research. Lockdown and working from home has given rise to engaging in webinars, within a week I could be engaging in at least four or five webinars a week. These were provided by universities, colleges, careers publications and websites.

I particular found the webinars from Youth Employment UK, Career Pilot, Amazing Apprenticeships, DMH Associates and EMSI particular useful and informative. Engaging with other professionals can make you feel that you are part of wider collective, especially we are all in the ‘same boat’, and a lot of the issues and concerns we had were similar. Often these webinars led to further debate and discussion on sites such as LinkedIn, as shared our thoughts, articles and findings and collectively we supported each other online.

Now three months on, the ideas of going back to work in the office can appear to be a very daunting thought to say the least

Talking to career professionals there are many areas of concern. First and foremost safety and protection for both themselves and those that they serve, whether or the use of screens and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and hand sanitisers will be enough to adequate protection. Will social distancing be feasible within a careers setting such as in interview rooms and in offices where we provide 1:1 careers guidance, interview rooms will have to ventilated and not crowded and be able to provide adequate protection, this includes spaces such as classrooms and group work settings. Large assemblies and events will have to take account health and safety issues and in many cases will have to be re-thought.

There clearly needs to be a more flexible approach to working, as the last few months have shown that many career services can be run successfully remotely. This could include a more staggered return to the office allowing some staff to work from home, so that staff is not in the office at the same time, ensuring that social distancing guidelines are met.

In the past few months many of us have embraced technology, especially the use of Microsoft Teams to have meetings with colleagues, to contact students, to conduct video interviews, and deliver group work sessions online. This shift for many has been challenging and a huge learning curve as prior to the lockdown very few of us used Microsoft Teams or any other similar technology.

I feel a ‘blended approach’ is crucial for a safe return to going back to work, although working from home can still be maintained to a certain extent. Travelling to and from work and to other venues are also issues for many career advisers as safety could be also be an issue on public transport. For those working in schools, colleges and universities, there is still a concern of potential risk of having large number people gathered in one place and how this will be managed and maintained.

The recent upsurge of interest in career guidance as well as the government’s commitment has meant that the government will be looking to increase the number of advisers to help address issues of unemployment and misplacement as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As such we do not know how this will be tackled and indeed if there enough advisers to meet the demand, we will have to wait and see.

Many careers professionals have been concerned about the level of pay and its inconsistency across the board. Career advisers in schools and colleges are yet to be paid a wage that is reflects their level 6 minimum level of qualification, (equivalent to degree Level) and many have additional postgraduate qualifications and higher as well as the constant research and training necessary to keep up to date, especially in times of change, this has been evident in the recent pandemic crisis.

In recent times due a shift in policy which has led to a downsizing of services such as Connexions, meant many Careers Advisers have had to refocus and retrain and as such the profession has lost a lot of talented and dedicated advisers, through a barrage of pay cuts, redundancies and a loss of opportunity to progress in their own careers. Clearly these underlying issues will still need to be addressed if the is a demand for careers advisers in the future.

Why careers guidance is more important than ever

Interesting enough Sir John Holman’s recent blog entitled “Why careers guidance is more important than ever”, published on the Association of Colleges (AoC) website (10 July 2020), highlighting the need for good careers guidance, especially in the current climate.

He also emphasised that careers guidance needs to be a priority in schools and colleges, and that careers guidance needs to be taken seriously and that commitment needs to come from the top through Career Leads, ensuring that “careers is being embedded across the curriculum”.

He felt that “Colleges are critical for protecting those vulnerable students in their community who have most to lose as the jobs market goes through turbulent change. As job opportunities disappear, new ones will appear, and good career guidance can steer students towards them.

Recent governments guidelines in terms of the Gatsby Benchmarks (2014), and the Careers Strategy (2017), will still have to be adhered to, however Careers Services and Advisers may need to rethink the way there guidance is delivered in a post Covid world.

As careers resources may need to be adapted traditional guidance techniques for a new generation, using new technology to deliver to groups, and to perhaps adopt a more ‘blended’ approach, through the use of live streams, and uploading content onto readily accessible platforms such as Facebook Live and YouTube.

In preparing for the new normal, our services and our practises will need to be flexible and adapts to ensure that we operate in a safe environment that helps to meet the needs of our customers more than ever.

Employers Warned of Looming Deadline for EU Workers to Sort Visas

Employers have been warned that the deadline for EU workers to have made their UK visa applications is fast approaching.

The latest government advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents states that anybody who had a visa that expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 was able to request an extension if they were not able to return home because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, this can not be extended beyond the government’s most recent grace period of 31 August 2020 as travel restrictions are lifting globally. Those affected are therefore expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK where it is possible to do so or apply to regularise their stay in the UK.

The government said those intending to stay in the UK, including those whose leave expires before 31 August 2020, should apply for the necessary leave to remain.

For anybody whose visa or leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 August 2020, the government said there will be no future adverse immigration consequences if they did not make an application to regularise their stay during this period, however they must now do so by 31 August 2020 or make arrangements to leave the UK.

“There are some quite limited circumstances where people who are still intending to leave the UK but won’t have been able to get their affairs in order [by 31 August] can apply for exceptional assurances from the Home Office, but it’s currently unclear what that really means for them,” Charlie Fowler, senior associate at law firm Collyer Bristow, told HR Magazine.

Opportunity: Adult Education Budget (AEB) Expression of Interest for Greater London

Adult Education Budget (AEB) Expression of Interest for Greater London

Maximus UK are looking to expand the subcontractor delivery of devolved Adult Education Budget (AEB) provision for both of our contracts in London, currently being commissioned by the Greater London Authority (GLA). We are a prime provider for both lots as detailed below:

  • Lot 1 (Delivery location, East London only)  is AEB provision that will support unemployed and economically inactive Londoners into employment; and
  • Lot 2 (Delivery Location Pan London) is AEB provision which will support employed Londoners on low income levels to develop their skills to progress in work. 

We are looking to expand our offer further with organisations that have a strong track record in delivering successful and high quality adult skills programmes in the GLA, and are therefore seeking expressions of interest from organisations that currently offer training provision with the below sectors ONLY

  • Health and Social Care
  • Construction
  • Retail and Wholesale
  • Logistics  

Providers must have experience of delivering skills support to the identified ESF priority groups, with a strong focus on achieving skills and employment outcomes for individuals and employers. We are requiring the potential subcontractors to deliver both contracts LOT 1 (unemployed) and LOT 2 (Employed).

If you’re interested in partnering with us, please complete our Expression of Interest Form and email your completed form to es.supplychain@remploy.co.uk.

The deadline for returns of all EOIs is 5:00 p.m. Friday 4 September 2020.

Number of Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training Falls
August 24, 2020
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The number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) has fallen slightly year-on-year, according to new data.

Young people twice as likely as adults to volunteer - Third Force News

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there were an estimated 765,000 young people (aged 16 to 24 years) in the UK who were NEET in April to June 2020, a decrease of 28,000 compared with April to June 2019 and down by 6,000 compared with January to March 2020.

The percentage of all young people in the UK who were NEET in April to June 2020 was estimated at 11.1%, down by 0.3% year-on-year and by 0.1% compared with January to March 2020.

Of all young people in the UK who were NEET in April to June 2020, an estimated 39% were looking for, and available for, work and therefore classified as unemployed. The remainder were either not looking for work and/or not available for work and were classified as economically inactive.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady warned there is a danger that this progress could be reversed following the coronavirus pandemic if the government does not take the required action.

“Protecting jobs remains vital. Young people work in higher numbers in hard-hit sectors like arts, leisure and retail. We need the government to look at job retention support beyond October for businesses that can’t yet fully operate, but still have a viable future.

“For young people without work, the Kickstart programme will help. But there must be a role for unions in the scheme to make sure that the jobs on offer are good quality.

“And there needs to be an education and training guarantee for young people too, so they have the option to improve their skills either at college or through an apprenticeship.”

LinkedIn director Janine Chamberlin said young people are “perfectly placed to grab” new employment opportunities created by consumer demand.

“In the last month, LinkedIn data shows a surge in demand from companies looking to bolster customer service and support capabilities, with supermarkets, convenience stores and retailers in particular looking for customer service assistants and personal shoppers.

“To help young people land these jobs, we’ve made online learning courses available for free on communication and problem-solving skills, which are integral to these roles, as well as other essential skills at opportunity.linkedin.com.”

The British Psychological Society (BPS), meanwhile, has cautioned that failing to take action to provide psychological support for young people could have widespread, long-term implications for society, as the impact of the pandemic continues to affect learning, training and employment opportunities.

The BPS said urgent interventions are needed to support the mental health and wellbeing of young people, and it has published new expert psychological guidance to help professionals support them into further learning, training or jobs.

Janet Fraser, chair of the BPS’ Working Differently task group, which produced the guidance, said many young people will feel that the odds of achieving their goals are stacked against them due to the current situation.

“That’s why it’s so important that now, more than ever, we take positive action to empower young people, work with them to support their ambitions, show them a way forward and help them overcome the barriers they face.”