DWP Touchbase: 11 December 2020
December 15, 2020
11 December 2020 Roundup of recent DWP announcements  
Update on the Lifetime Skills Guarantee 
As part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, from April 2021, adults without A-Levels or equivalent will be eligible to study for a free Level 3 qualification to help boost their job prospects and get ahead in work. There are almost 400 courses on offer including; construction, agriculture, digital and health and social care.   As an alternative, Skills Bootcamps offer flexible courses of just 12-16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. These are currently available in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, the Liverpool City Region, the Leeds City Region, Heart of the Southwest, and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. People who live in one of these areas, can find out more on their local authority website. In 2021, the Skills Bootcamps will expand into new regions with more course subjects on offer. Find out more    
Personal Independence Payment form change 
On 11 January the Personal Independence Payment change of circumstances form PIP2(UI) (How your disability affects you) will be replaced with a new form called the AR1UI (How your disability affects you). The new form aligns the change of circumstances process with the award review process, providing a consistent approach when customers report changes in their needs. Our aim is to reduce the time it takes for customers to complete the form, so we have made it shorter, requiring them to provide less information Customers should continue to return any outstanding PIP2(UI) forms as directed in their letter. Further Information can be found here.    
New scheme to support vulnerable people 
The Government is inviting local organisations to form partnerships and bid for a share of the funding to better support those who experience multiple disadvantages including homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues, domestic abuse, and contact with the criminal justice system. Find out more  
Advice on what the Brexit Transition will mean for benefits and State Pensions 
Check the living in guides for your host country for important information on benefits, pensions, passports, healthcare, driving licences and pets. They also give advice on how to register for the necessary residency status in each host country and how to register for updates on the Brexit transition. Please share this information via your channels.
News and Resources from Our Future Derby
December 10, 2020

Welcome to the latest newsletter from the Our Future Derby team. 

Thanks to the wonders of technology we have had a fantastic month delivering activities in schools joined virtually by volunteers from the world of work. 

We are continuing to deliver activities throughout December so if you have not yet re-scheduled your activities then please get in touch with

Ifza (ifzashakoor@bydesign-group.co.uk) or

Lauren (laurencroll@bydesign-group.co.uk).

Activities can be delivered in person or virtually! 

Click the button to read about the virtual events delivered at Becket Primary this month Case study >

Planning Meetings for Our Future Derby 2021

As previously announced, we are delighted that Our Future Derby will continue with a new programme running from January to July 2021.

Lauren and Ifza, our School Engagement Co-ordinators are contacting each school directly to plan activities from January that are tailored to your school’s needs.

These planning meetings will be taking place via Teams so look out for an e-mail

from us to book yours.

Bring Festive Cheer into your Classroom Virtually!

We know that this continues to be an incredibly challenging time for schools and having listened to teachers, we know that traditional festive activities may be looking very different this year. Teachers have asked us if Primary Futures could help bring some festive cheer into the classroom virtually, by taking a peek behind the scenes of some of the jobs and the work that goes into creating holiday magic.

We don’t know if Santa or the elves have to quarantine this year, but we do know how many jobs it takes to produce festive wrapping paper, who grows the Christmas tree for 10 Downing Street, who prepares the turkey for the Royal Family and who looks after people that may not have a warm meal at Christmas.

The ‘What’s My Line? Festive Special’ half-hour video for KS1 and KS2 will showcase some of the jobs that get seasonally busy this time of the year, helping to further inspire children’s career-relating learning – with a festive twist.

Register here to receive the video and accompanying learning resource before December, with an opportunity for pupils to enter our ‘festive jobs’ drawing competition.

The latest resource added to the Our Future Derby resources page is a reflective learning log that allows children to demonstrate and record their careers related learning and achievements. 

By using the learning log alongside all careers activities, every learner is encouraged and supported to set their sights high and broaden their ambitions.

Learners undertake a journey of reflection and take ownership of, and responsibility for, their own learning and personal development. A log of their reflections are recorded by the child to support their knowledge and understanding of the wide range of jobs they have learnt about and can aspire to.

By providing and recognising careers related learning experiences, children can use the learning log to independently self-assess and self-reflect on the key skills they are developing. 

There are 2 versions of the learning log, one for KS1 and one for KS2 pupils. Both learning logs are designed in such a way that the log grows with them, continually capturing learning and achievements in exciting ways to demonstrate and celebrate the skills and knowledge they are building whilst making the explicit link between what they learn at school and their future career success. 

Please follow the link below to the password protected page where all Our Future Derby schools can access the programme’s resources. Read more >

Please enter: OFDResources236 as the password.

STEM Courses with 2 whole-class kits delivered for free

Rolls Royce is supporting the development of STEM education in classrooms across Derbyshire by funding two teachers from your school to attend the funded online Primary Engineer Structures and Mechanisms with Basic Electrics course and kit to enable the delivery of the project.

Limited places available so reserve your place now. More information >

The Widening Access team at the University of Derby offers Year 5 and Year 6 classes the opportunity to visit the University on their Primary Explorers Days in May-June 2021. Pupils will have the chance to explore the facilities at the University, meet current students and take part exciting activities to introduce them to the range of courses available at university. These visits are free to any primary school. Click below to find out more and book your place: Book her

The Widening Access team have also created an interactive presentation to provide primary students with the opportunity to explore some of the facilities at the University using our virtual tours.

Download the presentation and access videos to help your students discover more about the courses on offer at university: Download here

Save the Dates! 

Throughout 2021, we will be delivering a series of CPD webinars to ensure teachers and senior leaders in schools are supported to embed careers related learning in the curriculum through the sharing of resources, case studies and best practise. These webinars will also provide schools with an opportunity to showcase their development and share their learning with other primary schools in Derby.

Please save these dates to your diaries and use these links to register: 

CPD Webinar: Digital Futures

Wednesday 27th January, 3.30pm – 4.20pm

Raise children’s aspirations through virtual employer encounters with volunteers working in IT and beyond Register

CPD Webinar: Step into the NHS

Thursday 25th February, 3.30pm – 4.20pm

Broaden horizons by showing the huge range of jobs helping people from the health and social care sector. Register

CPD Webinar: Building Futures

Tuesday 23rd March, 3.30pm – 4.20pm

Motivate children by linking STEM with construction jobs. Register

Webinar: Our Future Derby – Celebrating, Sharing and Exploring Career-Related Learning Success

Tuesday 9 February, 3:20pm – 4:50pm

As the first year (or so!) of the Our Future Derby project comes to an end we’d like to thank both schools and employers who have worked incredibly hard through challenging circumstances to provide primary school children in Derby with fantastic experiences of the world of work, helping to broaden horizons and raise aspirations to improve children’s life chances. As part of this we are hosting a virtual event to share experiences of the journey so far and feedback on the significant and positive findings from the impact assessment.

We want Derby to become a national example of best practice and this is a chance for teachers, employers and volunteers to come together to share and explore take-away learning for how we can strengthen and shape career-related learning now and in the future. Employers in Derby are also encouraged to attend and listen to volunteers talk about the benefits of employer encounters to inspire the future talent of Derby. Register

Careers England Newsletter: Issue 157

Careers England’s Chair and Executive Director to Meet Gillian Keegan, 3/12/2020

Careers England has been seeking a meeting with Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills since she assumed the portfolio. The meeting will raise a number of important issues, including: Investment in independent careers guidance from careers professionals for young people in schools and colleges; enabling the National Careers Service to meet the increased demands upon it by the rise in unemployment as a consequence of the pandemic, and how a joined-up Government approach to the Plan for Jobs can achieve more.

Union Learning Fund
Careers England has provided its support to the TUC in defence of the Union Learning Fund which has been notified by Government that it will have its funding withdrawn. Meetings have taken place with the TUC to extend our offer of  support. The petition can be accessed and signed in the following link:

Workforce for the Future- Skills Commission Inquiry
The Skills Commission is inviting submissions to a public call for evidence as part of its ongoing inquiry, the Workforce of the Future, The Inquiry focuses on careers education, information and guidance and is targeted at schools, colleges, universities, businesses, careers service providers and third sector organisations. Whilst the call indicates that not all questions need to be answered by all organisation, many of the questions are directly relevant to the work of Careers England members and therefore individual responses would help to ensure that our messages are represented in the evidence collected. The call also provides an opportunity to highlight important data, internal research and analysis and case studies.

The Careers England Board will be making a submission to the inquiry and encourages members and partner organisations to do likewise.
The closing date for submission is 18th December 2020, which can be accessed via the following link:


Careers England signs up as policy partner to Engineering UK in research into STEM engagement/ careers activity in schools – now and the future

Engineering UK are undertaking a survey of schools to gather evidence of engagement in STEM related career activity. The research will include case studies of good practice culminating in the production of a report that will focus on schools’ ability to deliver effective STEM careers activities/ engagement. It will seek to answer the following questions:

  1. How well are schools delivering against ambitions in relation to STEM as set out in the careers strategy for England?  Does their ability and resources to do so vary by characteristics of the school e.g. deprivation, % FSM, size?
  2. What needs to be changed or improved in how schools deliver careers information, advice and guidance to enable young people from all backgrounds to consider engineering as a potential career and understand the educational pathways to pursue this?
  3. Do schools have the resources and ability to provide effective STEM engagement and careers activities for young people, regardless of where they live, their gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background or disability?
  4. What are the long-term challenges for schools with respect to delivering STEM engagement and careers activities and what specific challenges or opportunities has the pandemic brought on?
  5. What can and should government do to support schools to provide STEM engagement and careers activities as part of their overall careers programme?

The survey will be conducted in the period December 2020 and January 2021, with a report published in February 2021.

Task group information

The Careers England Board is reviewing its Task Group activity. Consideration will be given to establishing new Task Groups focusing separately on NEET and on Digital Service Delivery.

The Career Development Institute
The Career Development Institute has launched the Career Development Awards 2021. There are eight awards given for excellence in personal achievement, best practice and research and technology. The Notes for Entrants 2021 and Entry Form for 2021 are on the website. 

Careers and Enterprise Company publishes its report on evidence of the Return on Investment of Personal Guidance


Education and Employers Research – Online research library marks its tenth anniversary
Free to access and searchable by keyword, it features summaries of a wide range of studies with abstracts and links to the full reports:


Nesta’s New Report: Mapping Career Causeways: Supporting workers at risk

Automation is changing the landscape of work, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This report provides guidance on how workers (in the UK, France and Italy) can transition out of at-risk occupations and into lower-risk roles. the report can be accessed here:

Quality in Careers Consortium – QiCS

Work is underway with Awarding Bodies on implementing the Board’s Guidelines on virtual assessments of schools and colleges working towards the Standard, the first-ever virtual relicensing panel for Career Connect was successfully completed.

A proposal for a “National Endorsement” of existing quality awards for careers education in primary schools was agreed by the Consortium Board and work will be undertaken to this end in liaison with Awarding bodies. Support received also from DfE and CEC.

Spending Review 2020
There were two big labour market priorities for the Chancellor in last week’s Spending Statement: How to get employment growing again next year, and how to help the unemployed to fill those jobs. It includes a the £3 billion commitment for a new ‘Restart’ programme for the long-term unemployed and a £300 million boost to help maintain funding levels as more 16-19 year olds stay on in education.  The government has also committed more of the National Skills Fund, and made some tweaks to apprenticeship rules particularly around unspent levy funds.
To find out more view Tony Wilson, Director of the Institute of Employment Studies, overview of the Spending Review and how it relates to employment and skills:

The Careers and Enterprise Company’s annual statement, previously titled A State of The Nation summary, has been published :

City and Guild Group-  Act Now Report or Risk Levelling Down
City and Guilds have co-authored this report with Emsi.

Ofsted News – Issue 94 – September 2020
October 1, 2020


COVID-19 updates
Ofsted: COVID-19 rolling update – This sets out our guidance and information relating to COVID-19 (coronavirus) for schools, early years, children’s social care and further education and skills providers. We are updating it regularly. If you need to see what we’ve added since you last checked it, you can select ‘history‘ on the page and this lists all the updates.

All Ofsted
Press release: Ofsted visits to schools and colleges to begin this month – Ofsted will be visiting schools and further education and skills providers this autumn term.
Press release: Ofsted support for area SEND arrangements this autumn term – Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will start carrying out visits to local areas from October.
Interim phase: area SEND – An operational note for Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) and CQC inspectors carrying out interim visits to local areas regarding their special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) arrangements from October 2020.
Complaints procedure – Updated to reflect changes to the ‘Complaints about Ofsted’ process.
Ofsted privacy notices – Updated the ‘How long we keep personal data’ section of the further education and skills, initial teacher education and schools privacy notices.
Ofsted pen portraits of HMIs – Updated HMI details for the South West region.

Press release: School governors and trustees say they are prepared for COVID impact – Ofsted and the National Governance Association (NGA) publish a study that shows that the business of school governance has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the report online.
Interim phase: maintained schools and academies – An operational note for inspectors carrying out interim visits to state-funded schools from 28 September 2020.
Interim phase: non-association independent schools – An operational note for inspectors carrying out inspections of non-association independent schools from 21 September 2020.
Inspectors talking to pupils on inspection – Guidance for inspectors on talking to pupils during school inspections.
Inspecting teaching of the protected characteristics in schools – Guidance for inspectors on inspecting teaching of the protected characteristics during school inspections.
Separation by sex: implications for inspections of mixed-sex/co-educational schools – Guidance for inspectors when they find separation by sex on an inspection.
Additional inspections of independent schools: handbook for inspectors – Updated for use from September 2020 to reflect Ofsted’s interim assurance phase and changes to post-inspection practice.
Inspecting non-association independent schools – Updated section ‘After the inspection’ with amended timescales and updated all leaflets on the page.
State-funded school inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 August 2020. Also published a one-off publication of inspection outcomes from 2015 to 2019. It shows outcomes of inspections up to the point of the introduction of the education inspection framework in September 2019. Most of the data has been published previously in various publications over the years, but it has been collated in to a single file to make it easier to use for further analysis.
Non-association independent schools inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 July 2020.

Children’s social care
Inspecting local authority children’s services from 2018 – In the section on ILACS focused visits during the restart of routine inspection, we added information about identifying areas for priority action and two items to the information requested.
Fostering and adoption agency datasets – Published data as at 31 March 2020.

Further education and skills
Interim phase: further education and skills providers – An operational note for HMIs carrying out interim visits and new provider monitoring visits to further education and skills providers from 28 September 2020.
Press release: Ofsted seeks to make oversight of subcontractors more comprehensive and transparent – Ofsted has published new research looking at subcontractors in the further education and skills sector. You can read the report online.
Ofsted’s education blog: ‘We’re not here to make life difficult’: our further education and skills visits – Paul Joyce, Ofsted’s Deputy Director for Further Education and Skills, discusses our further education and skills pilot visits.
Welfare and duty of care in Armed Forces initial training – Ofsted’s annual report 2019 to 2020 on the effectiveness of welfare and duty of care for recruits and trainees in Armed Forces initial training.
Inspecting initial training for the Armed Forces – Ofsted guidance for inspectors about how to inspect initial training for the Armed Forces relating to welfare and duty of care.
Further education and skills inspections and outcomes: management information from September 2019 to August 2020 – Uploaded inspection data as at 31 August 2020.

Early years and childcare
Report a serious childcare incident – Added information about reporting confirmed cases of COVID-19 and any related closures.
Childcare: reporting children’s accidents and injuries – Added the requirement to notify Ofsted of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in staff or children.
Education plans from September 2020 – Updated guide: Ofsted’s inspection of providers on the Childcare Register will resume from 16 September.
Carrying out Childcare Register inspections – Changes to the ‘After the inspection’ section to reflect new timescales.
Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – Updated consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare as at 31 August 2020.
Joiners and leavers in the childcare sector – Published data on joiners and leavers in the childcare sector in August 2020.

Plan for Jobs DWP Touchbase Special – 10 July 2020

Roundup of recent DWP announcements 

Plan for Jobs
The Chancellor has presented his ‘Plan for Jobs’ to outline how the government will boost job creation in the UK. During the Coronavirus pandemic DWP has provided a crucial safety net to record levels of claimants, ensuring our customers receive the support they need. We are now doubling the number of frontline Work Coaches to 27,000 by March 2021. These work coaches will support people looking for work including helping them pivot into new sectors and making sure they access any additional support they need including training and work experience. We have also announced a significant package of measures that builds on and bolsters the existing support offered by our jobcentres. In this special edition of Touchbase we’re highlighting key parts of the announcement. You can find out more on GOV.UK.  
New Kickstart Scheme to support young people in work
A £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will provide high quality, 6 month placements from Autumn this year. Funding available for each job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top up this wage.  The scheme will be focused on supporting young people who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment. Work Coaches will work with young people to ensure they access the best support package to meet their needs. Organisations across the private, public and voluntary sectors will be able to apply to create high quality roles to be funded through this scheme. 
Youth Offer
We will expand the Youth Offer to support 18 to 24 year olds, this will include a 13-week programme and once completed participants will be encouraged to take up work related training or an apprenticeship. Further support will be provided through the introduction of young people’s hubs where young people can access wider support. These will be co-located and co-delivered with our network of external partners. For those who need a bit more support, we will also expand the Youth Employability Coaches model. These coaches will focus on young people with more complex needs.  
Expanding the Work and Health Programme
The Work and Health Programme in England and Wales will be expanded to provide personalised light touch support for up to 6 months for those who have been unemployed for 3 months. Equivalent provision will also be put in place in Scotland. We will protect access to the Work and Health Programme for participants with disabilities and health conditions, and early access priority groups. We are also developing a new large-scale support offer, targeted at those who are out of work for longer periods and in need of support. 
£150 million to boost the Flexible Support Fund
This boost to the flexible support fund will allow jobcentres to put in place the right support for their community and to increase capacity of the Rapid Response Service that can be deployed for large local redundancies. The Flexible Support Fund allows us to provide funding directly to claimants and partners to target support locally and to address claimants’ specific barriers preventing them from returning to work or provide training. This can include purchasing support to meet one-off needs, for example funding travel to interview costs, equipment or clothing to start employment or paying for replacement adult or child care to enable someone to undertake training, attend interviews or start work. 
Sector-based work academies
We’re increasing participation in our sector-based work academies programme, aiming to support 40,000 jobseekers to get the right skills for the roles that are on offer. 
The sector-based work academy scheme offers training, work experience and a guaranteed job interview to those ready to start a job. We will establish bespoke opportunities, working with employers and training providers to support claimants to fill job vacancies and pivot into new careers. 
Other new measures announced
The Chancellor’s announcement included a number of other measures, including: Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan. A £111 million investment to triple the scale of traineeships in 2020-21 ensuring more young people have access to high quality training. Over a quarter of a million more young people to benefit from an extra £32 million investment in the National Careers Service. A Job Retention Bonus Scheme – a one-off £1,000 payment to employers for each furloughed employee that remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. You can read more about the Plan for Jobs 2020 on GOV.UK
Recommencement of debt recovery 
In March DWP temporarily paused the recovery of overpayments for three months. The change meant that customers saw an increase in the amount of money they received and allowed us to move a significant number of colleagues, to roles where they could support the payment of benefits to those people making new claims. The recommencement of both debt recovery action started on 6 July. Customers affected will be told of this change through letters or updates in their Universal Credit journals.  
Face to face assessment suspension to continue for health and disability benefits 
Face-to-face assessments suspended in March 2020 are to remain suspended, but kept under review following a consideration of the latest public health guidance. As measures are taken across the country to ease restrictions, some review and reassessment activity, which was put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak, will gradually resume. We will shortly be re-starting review and renewal activity in Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance, starting with those claims which were already underway when this activity was suspended. Please encourage your audiences and members not to delay making a claim if they believe they need support, or hesitate to update the department about a change of circumstances. All services remain open and telephone and paper based assessments are in place where appropriate. More information  
DWP improves complaints handling 
 DWP is improving the way it handles complaints and making it simpler. The change means we can prioritise the most urgent issues and those involving vulnerable claimants. For more information about the new process visit GOV.UK
DWP Touchbase: CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL – 3 July 2020
July 7, 2020

Roundup of recent DWP announcements 

Expanding our service offer in jobcentres We are working with local managers to start expanding our service offer in jobcentres to help get Britain back into work. Work Coaches are calling claimants – no one needs to contact us. We don’t want to sanction anyone. These are difficult, uncertain times for many people and we want to do everything we can to help them find work or increase hours, where that is possible for them. No sanction will be used until the claimant has an up-to-date Claimant Commitment in place. After that, a sanction will only be used where a claimant has not provided good reason for meeting the agreed requirements in the Claimant Commitment. Claimants who are shielding, have childcare responsibilities because of COVID restrictions, etc. will have their Claimant Commitment tailored to reflect their circumstances and will not be asked to do anything unreasonable. 
Wirecard service update Following the lifting of restrictions placed on accounts provided by Wirecard, customers will now be able to use their pre-payment cards again. This means that if you receive payments of any kind from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), into accounts held by companies associated with Wirecard, they will continue to be paid into these accounts as normal. Those customers who have been impacted can find more information here
EU Settlement Scheme
There is still one year to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Around 3.3 million have already been granted status and there is plenty of support available. EEA citizens and their family members are encouraged to apply now.  
Prime Minister announces New Deal for Britain
This week the Prime Minister announced a ‘New Deal’ which sets out the first steps in government plans to invest £5bn to accelerate infrastructure projects, fuelling jobs and economic recovery, that will benefit every corner of the country. 
Find out more   
Other government announcements
Detailed plans have been unveiled for all children and young people returning to full-time education from September. For the second phase of a major independent review into drug abuse, Dame Carol Black has launched a call for evidence and will engage with a wide range of stakeholders, hearing from service users and people with experience of drug addiction to build a detailed picture of treatment, recovery and prevention.  Transport will play a fundamental role in getting people back to work and restarting the country as sectors reopen. To help make sure journeys are safe the Department for Transport has published updated guidance for passengers and operators.  
DWP Touchbase: Edition 140
March 9, 2020

This edition of Touchbase includes information on:   

  • coronavirus 
  • Jobcentre Plus arrangements over Easter
  • changes to Universal Credit
  • support for domestic abuse
  • new services for Reducing Parental Conflict
  • a new Pension Credit campaign
  • an evaluation report for Automatic Enrolment
  • support for starting a business 

Access Touchbase HERE

Careers England Newsletter – October 2019: Issue 145
October 28, 2019

New website and email client
We are pleased to announce that our new website is now live. It provides a more user-friendly platform for pulling our resources together.  We will no longer be operating a log in section as the majority of our papers are public. We have also switched to Mailchimp to issue our member newsletter. If you have any questions or feedback about either the website or newsletter please get in touch.  

Gavin Williamson pledges support for technical education
The new secretary of state used the Conservative Party Conference to outline his support for apprenticeships, vocational and technical education; stating they were “just as important” as university. Williamson will establish a new skills and productivity board to provide strategic advice on skills and qualifications, and put £120 million into twenty new Institutes of Technology across the country. Read the speech in full.

Careers sector gears up for general election
Careers England is working with The CDI and The International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) to put together a manifesto for career development ahead of a potential general election. It is based on principles of quality and longevity and we will be asking for all stakeholders for support once finalised. Watch this space for more information.   

Task group information

Our position paper developed by the personal guidance task group is now available online on our website. Please share the paper with your networks.
Look out for our next position paper on employer and community engagement which is currently in development. 

News from across the sector

AELP calls for creation of adult traineeships – TES

Unlawful practices and buck passing over special needs – BBC

Apprenticeship restrictions mean hundreds of millions of pounds of NHS funding going to waste – UNISON

Eton and Harrow use their contacts to help state pupils with careers advice – inews

Adult retraining scheme rolled out to new regions – Gov.uk

Career ambitions ‘already limited by age seven’ – BBC 

T Level campaign launched by government – Gov.uk

OECD says employers need to tackle ‘ingrained assumptions’ about jobs – Education and Employers

Information, consultations and resources

UK Career Development Awards 2020
The CDI has announced categories for the 2020 UK Career Development Awards, which take place next March. There are four personal achievement awards, three best practice awards and two research & technology awards. The awards will be presented following a reception and dinner at the Hilton Hotel, Leeds. All information and notes to entrants can be viewed here. 

Career Development NOS
CLD Standards Council Scotland in partnership with II Aspire have been granted a contract from Skills Development Scotland to carry out a review of the Career Development National Occupational Standards (NOS) which were last reviewed in 2014. As these standards are applicable across the United Kingdom, the CLD Standards Council Scotland and II Aspire will be working with a range of national and local organisations from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

National Occupational Standards (NOS) specify the standards of performance individuals must achieve in the workplace, together with the knowledge and understanding required for roles, for most employment sectors including Career Development. Views are being sought on whether the current standards are fit for purpose or whether they require amending. The focus group will take place on 31st October in central London. Please email julie.carruth@iiaspire.co.uk for more information and to register your attendance.

Conferences, events and training

Annual Careers Summit – 12th Nov, London
The Careers Education & Guidance Summit, delivered in partnership with Westminster Briefing and Careers England, will bring together careers professionals from across the public and private sector to share key learnings and tackle the remaining obstacles as we move towards meeting the 2020 Careers Strategy goals. Book here.

CDI national conference 2019 – 2nd / 3rd Dec, Gateshead
Conference themes include the future of work, resilience and well-being, and digital skills for careers professionals. Book here.

Queen’s Speech: Workers’ Rights, Pensions and Immigration
October 16, 2019

Government announces commitment to the Good Work Plan, pensions dashboards framework and a new migration system, though it is unclear if any of the 26 bills will become law

The government will continue to commit to the proposals set out in the Good Work Plan, based on recommendations from RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor, it was announced in the Queen’s Speech yesterday (14 October).

“My government will take steps to make work fairer, introducing measures that will support those working hard,” the Queen said.

She added that this would ensure employment keeps pace with “modern ways of working” while improving productivity and giving workers access to “rights and protections”.

Briefing notes for the speech said that high UK employment suggests that the “flexible market is working”. However, critics of the gig economy have previously noted that while unemployment rates are low there is a lack of high-quality work across the job market.

On Twitter Taylor wrote: “There is a welcome political consensus around improving working lives. The genuine challenge is making that intention a reality in our complex and changing labour market.”

Julian Cox, head of employment at iLaw, said the announcement offers reassurance to those who are worried about workers’ rights post-Brexit. “With Brexit just around the corner there is a growing fear, whether founded or not, that future governments may undermine the rights of workers. But this commitment to the Good Work Plan seems to suggest otherwise,” he said.

Cox added that employers that use contractors should prepare for potential changes: “Based to some degree on the recommendations of the Taylor Review, this plan will seek to give some clarity to contingent workers engaged via the gig economy and agencies. This will have an impact on employers and those that engage the services of freelancers as well, so they should begin to prepare themselves for this in the near future, as and when the bill passes.”

Yesterday’s speech also outlined the pensions bill, which will create a legislative framework for pensions dashboards to enable people to access information on their pension pots in one place. As part of the bill the government said it would provide more options for employers to support employees, including saving collectively and sharing potential risks.

Pension regulators will also be given greater powers to sanction employers that do not take pension responsibilities seriously and that “recklessly risk” people’s pensions.

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, welcomed the news that “critical pensions changes are a post-Brexit priority” and encouraged all political parties to support the bill.

“While it remains to be seen if the speech or its constituent bills will be approved by parliament, we call on other parties to support the pensions bill as pensions dashboards and added protections for defined benefit scheme members should have cross-party support,” he said.

“The aspect of the pensions bill of greatest and widest importance is that concerning pensions dashboards. Millions of individuals have multiple pensions in which they’ve built up benefits over their working lives and pensions dashboards will for the first time allow them to see all of these, online, at the touch of a button. This offers a huge opportunity to help millions of individuals better engage with their retirement planning, understanding if they are on track for the retirement they aspire to and, if not, to take action accordingly.”

Cameron added that state pensions must be included in the dashboard. 

“For many their state pension is a significant proportion, so while the Queen’s Speech did not refer to this it is vital state pensions are also included in pensions dashboards from day one,” he said.

The speech also addressed plans for a new migration system which will impact businesses hiring individuals from outside the UK in the future.

The government said that it remains committed to ensuring EU citizens currently working and living in the UK have the right to remain. It had previously pledged to end freedom of movement, and the announcement of yesterday’s immigration bill is the first legislative step in making that happen.

The speech provided no further details as to what the new points-based immigration system will look like. But it has been reported that home secretary Priti Patel is considering introducing rules that would favour skilled migrants choosing to take up work in less affluent areas of the UK, including parts of the north of England or certain coastal areas.

The Queen’s Speech lays out the bills that the government will be introducing in the parliamentary session, before the Commons starts to debate its contents and moves to a vote to approve it. However, as the government lacks a parliamentary majority it is unclear if any of the 26 bills will become law.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said the programme, which includes four bills carried over from the last session, demonstrated Brexit is not the limit of the government’s ambitions.

“The people of this country don’t just want us to sort out Brexit,” he said. “This optimistic and ambitious Queen’s Speech sets us on a course to make all that happen, and more besides.”

But shadow home secretary Diane Abbott described the plans as an “uncosted wish list that the government has no intention and no means to deliver” and called it “nothing more than a pre-election party political broadcast”.

ESFA Reminds Providers it Will Take Action to Crack Down on Poor Sub-contracting Practice
October 3, 2019

ESFA Chief Executive writes to post-16 education and training providers to underline the strict sub-contractor rules

ESFA Chief Executive, Eileen Milner, has today (Thursday, 03 October 2019) written to education and training providers to remind them that the ESFA will take action where there is evidence any provider is not playing by its strict sub-contracted rules.

Under the rules, a sub-contractor can deliver education and training on behalf of a lead provider in receipt of ESFA funds. However, lead providers have a legal duty to make sure public funds are spent according to the ESFA’s sub-contracting rules, so that learners receive the best possible education or training. The majority of subcontracting is done well and in accordance with the rules.

In accepting ESFA or public funds, providers confirm they accept the terms and conditions of their funding agreement, and that they have a process in place to ensure that sub-contracted provision is delivered properly, securely and meets ESFA rules.

The letter builds on the action the ESFA has already taken this year to tighten its sub-contracting requirements.

This includes launching a review to improve subcontracting arrangements, more robust examination of data and information, holding individuals and organisations to full account, pursuing all avenues available and, where appropriate recovering public money.

Later this year, ESFA will also be seeking views from the sector to inform the ongoing review of sub-contracting.