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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.


Apprenticeship Pay Survey

It provides important information on training, hours and pay from current apprentices. The findings enable us to look at wage levels nationally, measure changes with previous years and monitor whether employers are adhering to the rules on fair pay. The research will help set pay policy and to make improvements in apprenticeship training.

IFF Research, an independent research organisation, will undertake the research on our behalf

The selected apprentices will receive a letter explaining the purpose of the research and who to contact if they have further questions. They are then interviewed by phone. Around 10,000 apprentices will take part in the phone interview which includes questions on: Read more

Proud to be Dyslexic

Matt Hancock talks to the Made By Dyslexia global summit about the challenges he has faced and the great benefits he has gained from being dyslexic.


My name’s Matt Hancock, I’m proud to be Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, a member of the Cabinet and of Made By DyslexiaThe Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP

And having not talked about it for almost the whole of my adult life, I’m proud to be here today at the Global Dyslexia Summit, saying to dyslexic people the world over: you can do it.

For years, dyslexia was seen as a problem. And sure, it brings its challenges.

For me, I find long words hard to spell, and dense writing hard to read. I get frustrated when people use long words when a short one will do.

But for me, for us, and for the world, let us say it loud and clear: dyslexia brings challenge ‒ your brain works in different ways, but with the right support, dyslexia brings big benefits too.

Dyslexia isn’t a disability, but a difference. It’s a distinction, not a drawback.

Read more

Careers Advice for Parents

Careers advice for parents is a website developed by Carolyn Parry, the CDI’s Careers Adviser/Coach of the Year in 2017 and Project Associate (Wales).

There is a wealth of useful free material addressed to parents (use the Topics and Blog menus) as well as the course for teenagers, which requires a paid subscription.

Visit the website HERE



Understanding Students’ Money Worries

To understand the financial pressures facing students the Money Advice Service partnered with the National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA)opens in new window to commission a unique survey of the UK student population.

This research, conducted with 5,118 full-time undergraduate students, examines the student experience of money at university or college.

Higher-education students and money

Our briefing note on the findings shows there are reasons to be positive:

  • Most students feel confident managing their money and pay attention to their finances. For example, three-quarters check their bank balance at least once a week.
  • Students are not afraid to ask for help or seek guidance when needed.

Read more

Truth About The Gig Economy: Our Younger Generation Will Demand a Flexible Future

The gig economy is rapidly growing as many companies employ this new business model and workers search not just for employment but for flexibility too.

Many are still left wondering what the gig economy entails and whether it’s a positive or a negative force for all those involved. Randstad has conducted research to see how the gig economy is affecting workers and businesses alike.  

Key Facts:

  •  44% of gig workers have a University degree
  • 28% of gig workers perform professional work such as accounting or providing legal advice
  • Just under two-thirds, (62%) of gig workers are using it to create an additional income, helping to support their lifestyle and requirements
  • 69% of gig workers are men and only a third (31%) are women

The gig economy can be defined by the prevalence of short-term contracts and/or freelance work rather than permanent employment. Workers can work ‘gigs’ and set their duration according to their own needs, an alternative to a 9-5, offering increased flexibility. Read more

Careers Advice Beyond #Resultsday2018 by Dr Deirdre Hughes

Many young people will be opening their exam results with some breathing a sense of relief or others taking a sharp intake of breath knowing their results fall short of expectations.

At this time of the year, schools, colleges and universitiesDr Deirdre Hughes OBE Chair, National Careers Council, England 2012 – 2014 and former Commissioner UKCES 2011 -2015work extremely hard to ensure good support systems are in place for those most in need. But what happens when the next academic year begins in September and young people’s course choice or career decisions remain unclear? Worried parents or carers need to know where their children can turn to for careers support during a period of uncertainty. At best the current state of play for young school leavers in England can be characterised (in post-August 2018) as a ‘do-it
yourself’ approach.

England has its own unique careers experiment for young people[1]. Firstly, schools and colleges have a statutory responsibility[2] for ensuring independent and impartial career guidance – without any direct funds received from government. During exams results time, many will rise to this challenge by supporting anxious students through careers information, advice and guidance offered by teachers and careers advisers. Secondly, SERCO delivers an all-age National Careers Service telephone helpline 0800 100 900 on behalf of the Education & Skills Funding Agency. This means young people (and adults) can access careers information and advice as they choose, when they choose. In addition, they can also combine the channels they prefer, for example, combining this and social media (SMS, Facebook, Twitter etc). They can do it from places and spaces convenient to them at a time that suits them best.

Sounds great – but adults over the age of 19 will be able to access face-to-face careers support at a local level, delivered by an Ofsted rated careers service provider. The National Careers Service website is currently being redeveloped, in line with the government’s Careers Strategy (December 2017) and this current bland site site is unlikely to inspire and motivate many teenagers into action (albeit this contains some excellent hidden gems in the form of careers information and self-assessment tools). The Careers and Enterprise Company with government funding of circa £60m (2015 – 2018) focuses on supporting strategy and evidence rather than directly delivering careers guidance to young people, particularly those most in need. Read more

1,000 Young People to be Trained as Democracy Ambassadors

During National Democracy Week, the Minister for the Constitution, Chloe Smith, will be unveiling a new programme aimed at inspiring school-age young people in full time education to engage with democracy from an earlier stage.

The Democracy Ambassador’s scheme has been launched to tackle an imbalance in democratic engagement between the UK’s older and younger generations.

Research revealed by the most recent Hansard Society Audit of Political Engagement indicates that 18 to 34 year olds are much less likely to feel confident in their knowledge of politics than those who are 35 and above.

Only 39% of 18-24 year olds and 35% of 25-34 year olds claim to know at least a ‘fair amount’ on the subject.

The Democracy Ambassadors programme, will see 1,000 13-16 year olds recruited across the UK to inform their peers about our country’s democratic processes and promote participation. It is intended to increase school-age young people’s confidence on the subject, ahead of reaching voting age at 18. People can apply to register to vote at 16, with registration a first, vital step on the path to full democratic engagement. The programme will complement activity aimed at the same age group delivered in schools.

The scheme will be delivered in partnership with Young Citizens and target those who are less likely to be registered to vote when able, including those from disadvantaged and marginalised backgrounds. It is being announced as we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the 1928 Equal Franchise Act this week, which gave women equal voting rights. Read more

Devolution of Adult Education Functions

Memorandum of understanding between DfE and combined authorities, for the transition period before adult education functions are devolved.

From the 2019 to 2020 academic year, some adult education functions of the Secretary of State will be transferred to specified combined authorities.

The 6 combined authorities are:

  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • Greater Manchester
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Tees Valley
  • West Midlands
  • West of England

Read more

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