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House of Commons Short of Public Sector Apprenticeships Target

Former skills minister Robert Halfon called on the House to ‘set an example to our nation’ by hiring more apprenticesImage result for house of commons

The House of Commons has not yet hit the public-sector apprenticeship target, it has been revealed.

Public-sector bodies have a legal duty, established in the 2016 Enterprise Act, to “have regard” to the target of having at least 2.3 per cent of their workforce comprised of apprentices. Official guidance specifies that “public sector bodies with 250 or more staff in England have a target to employ an average of at least 2.3 per cent of their staff as new apprentice starts over the period of 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021”.

According to the Department for Education, the target has been calculated to ensure that the public sector delivers its “fair share” of the 3 million apprenticeship starts the government has committed to by 2020.

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A Guide to Apprenticeships – Update 21 March 2019

The updated ‘A Guide to Apprenticeships’ provides information on the opportunities, progression and benefits of doing an apprenticeship with case studies from real apprentices.

The Essential Guide to Apprenticeship Support – provides information for individuals who are considering applying for an apprenticeship, and current apprentices. The information may also be useful for parents, carers and other groups who offer advice and guidance. Read more

Hard Facts Employers Should Consider Before Recruiting Young People Who Are NEET

James Ashall, Chief Executive, Movement to Work provides an insight into how organisations like BAE Systems, BT, Marks and Spencer and the NHS haveMovement to Workbenefited from looking deeper into the labour market.

Movement to Work works with businesses and organisations that have the imagination to give young people who need more support a chance in the workplace through placements and other job opportunities.

Together we have provided over 80,000 placements, and over 50% of those completing them have gone onto employment or back into education.

But, of course, many businesses need more than imagination, they must justify all of their decisions to investors, staff and customers. And the good news is they can. Recruiting this way makes financial sense through lower recruitment costs, ensures a high level of loyalty among incoming staff and improves the morale of existing staff. Read more

8 Mistakes You Should Never Make in Your First Job

Asking people what their first job was can lead to some surprising answers

The founder of Amazon worked on the grill at McDonald’s and Steve Jobs had a summer job at HP where he met the co-founder of Apple. The bottom line is we all start somewhere, and how we conduct ourselves in our first jobs, can pave the way for a successful career.

Sophie Graham, Careers Adviser at the National Careers Service offers her top tips on things you should ~never~ do in a new job.

  1. Don’t have the wrong attitude

Read more

New National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers under the age of 25 are entitled to by law.Image result for wage packet

The government’s National Living Wage (NLW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers aged 25 and over are entitled to by law. The rate will depend on a worker’s age and if they are an apprentice.

HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) can take employers to court for not paying the NMW/NLW.

These rates are reviewed annually by the Low Pay Commission.

New Rates from 1st April 2019 Read more

Getting On the New (tougher) #RoATP

The new Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers has now been launched and providers currently on the Register will be invited to reapply before the year is out.

So, what do you need to think about before submitting your application? SDN Associates (and former ESFA Senior Managers) Karen Kelly and Anna Sutton give us their top 5 tips:

But first, what’s different about the new Register?

In short, it’s a more robust and stringent process. There are new questions and a greater emphasis of examples, so the ESFA can assess readiness to deliver.

The ESFA also want to see more evidence and detail – in particular, your policies, processes and procedures, such as an Employer Engagement process that wasn’t a requirement previously.

So, with that in mind, here are our top tips:

1. Make sure your application tells your story

The RoATP application is all about getting across how you will deliver excellent apprenticeship training for apprentices and businesses again and again. This means it’s important to articulate confidently why your apprenticeship service deserves to be on the Register. In the skills and education sector, we can often undersell ourselves – this application is not the place to be reserved, it’s your chance to shout about the great work you do, so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to deliver apprenticeships.

Having said that, it’s even more important to be sure your story is ready to be heard. By that we mean, don’t apply to the Register if you can’t meet all the criteria that is asked of you. Read the application thoroughly and use it to reflect on your practice and get your business up-to-speed before applying.

2. Collect examples of good practice

Throughout the application form you are asked for examples that demonstrate your good practice. This means it doesn’t matter if you’re re-applying to the Register or a complete newbie, you should be confident you have case studies that showcase your readiness before applying.

SDN has already supported several training providers through this process, and one of the first things we say to our clients is to read and understand what is required from the application before applying. It may be wise to spend the next three months collecting evidence and case studies before putting your first application attempt together.

3. The devil is in the detail

Throughout the application you are asked to submit various policies and procedures. It’s easy to go through these like a checklist… ‘Health & Safety policy? – Check!’, ‘Safeguarding policy? – Check!’, but do those documents tease out the information that the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is looking for?

This is especially significant to applicants completely new to apprenticeships. You may have been successfully delivering commercial training for decades and have an up-to-date Health & Safety policy, but it should specifically reference apprentices in your application so the ESFA is confident you can support this type of learner sufficiently.

4. Live your practice and policies

If you do not have specific policies that you need for the application, it can be tempting just to buy an off-the-shelf document from a consultant or a bid writer. Whilst working with a third party like SDN can be a huge help… please, please, please make sure you have direct input into what is written about your business.

If you submit policies and procedures in your application that sound great, but do not reflect the processes you have in place, this can come back to bite you. Yes, you may get on to the Register in the short-term, but if there are problems with one employer or one apprentice and you have not followed the procedures you laid out in your application – the ESFA is quite within their right to ask questions as to why.

Make sure your application reflects what is happening on the ground and isn’t a wish list. If you’re not delivering the way the application expects you to, get ready first.

5. Get external support if you’re unsure

Whether you currently deliver apprenticeships, or have aspirations to do so – getting on, or maintaining your status on the Register could be critical to the success of your future plans – so it’s worth investing in!

You get two attempts per year at submitting a RoATP application. This means you can have a go at applying and still not be ruled out, but it can be a stressful period for you and your staff if you don’t get through first time.

For those that prefer the reassurance of a critical friend, why not work with an external organisation to critique your application or even help assess your readiness and guide you through the process? This could be another training/employer provider or an industry expert’s RoATP application service.

Former ESFA Senior Managers, Karen Kelly and Anna Sutton, Associates, SDN

Primary Pupils to Learn About World of Work

The following article from BBC News was written by Education Reporter 

A workers’ army is being recruited to explain to primary pupils how lessons relate to their future careers.Emergency services visit classroom

The scheme aims to send up to 100,000 people, “from apprentices to chief executives”, into schools in England to talk about their jobs.

Primary Futures, developed by the head teachers’ union NAHT, has already run a series of pilots across England.

“It’s about raising and broadening horizons,” said Russell Hobby, the union’s general secretary.

“It is not about specific careers advice, or fixing on one path for the future at age 11. Read more

What Happens to Data Protection After a No-Deal Brexit?

The following article was written by Heather Burns – Tech Policy & Regulation SpecialistHeather Burns

With the prospect of a no-deal Brexit becoming likelier by the day, tech policy & regulation specialist Heather Burns explains how to prepare your data flows for a disorderly exit from the EU. 

As the 29th of March approaches faster than any of us are able to comprehend, businesses have been left with little choice but to prepare for a no-deal Brexit scenario. 80% of the UK’s businesses trade in services, and data flows are their fundamental product. Those flows, as with so many other areas of commerce, have been rendered collateral damage in a political game no-one voted to play.

Read more

The New Single Financial Guidance Body

The Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB)  https://singlefinancialguidancebody.org.uk/ creates one organisation from the three existing providers of government-sponsored financial guidance:Single Financial Guidance Body Logo

  • The Money Advice Service
  • The Pensions Advisory Service
  • Pension Wise

bringing together for the first time the provision of debt advice, money guidance and pensions guidance.

The SFGB is funded by levies on both the financial services industry and pension schemes. The new body is sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, but will also engage with HM Treasury, which is responsible for policy on financial capability and debt advice.

The following is a message from John Govett, (pictured right) Chief Executive of the Single Financial Guidance Body.

I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and the Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB).

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/876b00eec5e597f5575e5c4dc/images/28cdbb11-fa42-4baa-bb98-1c9fc3f8d538.jpgWe officially took control of our functions and statutory mandate from the 1st January 2019 – when we were also joined by our colleagues who were transferred to the SFGB – bringing together as one the Government’s money and pensions support services delivered by the Money Advice Service, Pension Wise and The Pensions Advisory Service.  

I am delighted to be leading this new organisation. I’m hoping that during 2019 we will simplify our name and make it more relevant to our customers, but for now, at least, we are the SFGB.

We are passionate about offering people easier access to the money and pensions information and guidance they need throughout their lifetimes. In short, we are here to help people make the most of their money and pensions.

Listening events (coming soon!) towards a joint new national strategy
We know that we aren’t alone in this quest, nor can we do this alone. This is why we will be looking to find new ways of working and collaborating with you, so that we can collectively find the best ways to help people make the most of their money and pensions. Lasting change both in our sector and in how people engage with their money and pensions is key, and something I know you are passionate about too.

That’s why we want to hear from you as we develop a national strategy together. We want to know what your vision is for the sector and for people in the UK and how we can work together to deliver that vision.

By doing this we can engage with key partners – including employers – both inside and outside of the sector to create a new, wider, impact for our joint customers.

We will shortly be launching a series of “listening events”, to be held throughout the UK and hosted either by me or our Chair, Sir Hector Sants. I will send you more information on how you can engage with these, or directly with us, very soon.

Redesigned RoATP to Open 12th Decmber 2018

The following article by Jude Burke was published by FE Week.

Almost a third of providers on the government’s register did not deliver any apprenticeships last year, FE Week analysis has revealed – the day before the redesignedRedesigned RoATP to open tomorrow despite no delivery from 1 in 3 approved providers register re-opens for applications.

There were 1,787 providers on the register of apprenticeship training providers in 2017, of whom 580 – or 32 per cent – had no starts by the end of 2017/18, based on year-end figures
 published by the Department for Education last week.

Of those, 506 were main providers, representing 32 per cent of the 1,587 on the register last year.

The proportion of employer providers not delivering was higher, at 37 per cent – or 74 out of 200.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency confirmed last month that the redesigned RoATP will reopen on December 12, and remain open indefinitely thereafter.

Under the new, stricter rules, first revealed by Keith Smith, the ESFA’s direct of apprenticeships (pictured above) in October, providers that go 12 months without any delivery are likely to be kicked off the register.

All providers will be asked to reapply, but Mr Smith said the agency would segment them into groups – with those deemed “high risk” being asked to re-apply first.

“We want to focus the re-application process on those providers that are potentially not delivering, and on those that we think will struggle to pass our new requirements,” he told the Association of Employment and Learning Providers autumn conference on October 30.

Other changes to the register include greater scrutiny of providers, who must have traded for at least 12 months and provide a full set of accounts before applying.

The DfE’s latest statistics include starts broken down by provider for the first time.

They reveal that colleges have been hit hardest by the move to levy funding, with a five percentage point drop in market share and a 35 per cent fall in starts – compared with a 24 per cent drop across the whole of the sector.


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