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Halfon Blasts Careers and Enterprise Company for their ‘Magic Money Tree’

The following news article by Billy Camden was published by FEWeek.

The chair of the education select committee has laid into the Careers and Enterprise Company for believing it has a “magic money tree” growing in its garden.

Robert Halfon (pictured) offered the heavy criticism during an event about the future of careers guidance in Parliament this morning.

It followed the organisation’s second hearing with MPs two weeks ago, in which it was the revealed the company spent more than £200,000 on two conferences using its own public money instead of private sponsorship.

The company had also told MPs earlier in the year that it has spent £900,000 on research, with another projected £200,000 a year to come.

Mr Halfon, who’s also a former skills minister, said today that this was an “obscene waste of money” and a “scandalous lack of oversight”Halfon blasts Careers and Enterprise Company for their 'magic money tree'

“My colleagues and I in the education select committee are deeply concerned by what we have learned in two recent hearings,” he said.

“I don’t doubt for a second that the company is passionate about its work, and that there are good people working there. But I’m worried they are not providing us with value for money.

“This body can be ludicrously wasteful. Last year it spent £200,000 of taxpayers in a time austerity on two conferences – money which should have gone to the front-line. One cost around £150,000 and the other was about £50,000 and held at KidZania! Salaries are too high – its CEO earns almost as much as the Prime Minister.

“And it has spent £900,000 on research, with another projected £200,000 a year to come.

“There is a lack of convincing data on its impact. And a lack of data on hard outcomes: like education and training decisions, or employment outcomes.”

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ViewPoint: By David Hughes – Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges
November 8, 2018
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By ignoring colleges, the Budget ignored the UK skills crisis Far from being a “People’s Budget”, the Chancellor failed to address the critical need amongst young people and employers for investment in colleges.

“The hard work of the British people is paying off. Austerity is coming to an end.” These were the words of the Chancellor as he introduced his Budget for “the strivers, the grafters and the carers”. I’ve even heard commentators talking about it as a “People’s Budget”. The problem, as always, is which people?

There are many other commentators who will pore over the tax and benefits announcements to declare how fair or otherwise the Budget was and who won and who lost. What I saw was a Budget that was more about politics and potholes than about the jobs, skills and life chances.

Any long-term view of our country will recognise just how important it will be to improve our education and skills investment as the weaknesses in our labour market become more exposed. Employers in private and public sectors have become reliant on skilled and semi-skilled people moving here to work, many from the EU. Nurses, teachers, engineers, construction workers, carers, shop workers – the list goes on and on. That reliance has hidden the misfit between our education and skills investment and the jobs that are available.

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DfE Announces £24m Youth Employment Initiative
October 8, 2018
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The government will invest £24m in improving education and career opportunities for young people in north east England, Education Secretary Damian Hinds has said.

The government wants to help more young people in the north east of England into education, employment or training. Announcing the Opportunity North East scheme at a school in Gateshead, Damian Hinds said children in the region need more support from education and business leaders, because it is listed bottom in England for a number of education measures.

Half of the money, £12m, will be used to help young people make better transitions from primary school to secondary school and onto higher education, including universities, degree apprenticeships and other technical education options.

The north east had the lowest number of 18-year-olds attending top universities in England in 2017. It also has one of the highest proportions of young people not in education, employment or training (Neet) aged over 11 years old.

The government will use the remaining £12m to improve the quality of teaching in the area, particularly in secondary schools that are performing worse than in other areas of England.

The funding is part of the £42m Teacher Development Premium, launched in December 2018, which sees teachers in underperforming schools receive up to £1,000 for extra training to encourage them to remain in their jobs.

The Opportunity North East scheme will also aim to stimulate job opportunities through local enterprise partnerships and local businesses.
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What Lies Ahead for Careers Guidance, With Funding Cuts
September 25, 2018
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The following article by Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH & Associates Ltd,, was published in FE News.

In late 2017, the Board of Careers Yorkshire and the Humber: National Careers Service commissioned dmh associates to undertake an economic review and analysis of the productivity and economic benefits of the service,Productivity and the Economic Benefits: National Careers Service – Careers Yorkshire and the HumberDr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH & Associates Ltd

The period under review focuses on data available from early 2015 – mid year 2017 and the primary focus is on face-to-face careers guidance for adults.

Three key questions that were asked:

  1. What level of fiscal return does the National Careers Service: Careers Yorkshire and the Humber make to HM Treasury?
  2. Is the National Careers Service priority target group, set by the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), linked to a payment by results, sufficient to meet regional/local needs?
  3. What lies ahead in Yorkshire and the Humber when it comes to the National Careers Service face-to-face careers guidance work with adults in the coming year(s)?
Level of fiscal return

For every £1 invested in the National Careers Service: Careers Yorkshire and the Humber £9 is returned in fiscal benefits to the Treasury and the wider economy. The service paid for itself in less than 2 months. This would imply the service has already paid for itself 4 times over halfway through this fiscal year. Read more

ViewPoint: New Approach to Funding Apprenticeships will Provide Better Value for Money
September 17, 2018
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A new approach to funding apprenticeships will provide better value for money so that people can benefit from the training opportunities on offer and progress in their careers, says Anne Milton writing in FE Week.

I have spoken a lot about the important changes we are making to improve the quality of apprenticeships in this country.

 One of the biggest changes has been to introduce apprenticeship standards – new, high-quality apprenticeships replacing the older “frameworks”. I’m really pleased that the number of people starting these apprenticeships has increased by almost 1,000 per cent in the last year. Of those starting apprenticeships only 2.5 per cent were on standards this time last year, and now it’s over 40 per cent.

Apprenticeship standards are designed by employers themselves. By putting employers in the driving seat, we make sure that apprentices receive the training they need and make sure people have the skills businesses are crying out for, so they can get on and grow their career.

Since its creation in April 2017, the Institute for Apprenticeships has been responsible for managing the development of these new apprenticeship standards. Their work includes advising me about the right funding level for each new standard that is approved.

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Funding for Debt Advice in the North West and London 2019-22
August 3, 2018
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The following has been published by The Money Advice Service.

We are delighted to announce that we have opened applications for debt advice funding in the North West of England and London for 2019-22, with up to £7.5 million in the first year available to potential partners from July 2019.

We are looking to fund organisations who will work in partnership to deliver high-quality free debt advice to over-indebted people, in line with our strategic approach to debt advice commissioning.

Funding is open to applications from all types of organisations, which may apply as a single applicant or as part of a wider consortium. The deadline for applications is 12:00 pm on Wednesday 31 October 2018.

Organisations wishing to apply should register on the MAS eSourcing portal in order to access information relating to our funding for debt advice, including application forms. This can be accessed here: mas.bravossolution.co.uk.

For general information on our commissioning approach in the North West and London please visit our website here.

£1million to Improve Life Skills for Young People in Doncaster
July 25, 2018
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A £1 million programme to improve access to sports, arts and culture for 5,000 disadvantaged young people across Doncaster has been launched today by Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

Young people from some of the most deprived parts of the town will have access to free extra-curricular activities and healthy meals over the summer holidays including competitive sport, cooking classes and outdoor pursuits. The programme will help broaden young people’s horizons, giving them the opportunity develop lifelong skills in leadership and teamwork, as well as helping build character, resilience and confidence so they can become successful adults.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds launched the programme of activities, funded through the Government’s Opportunity Area programme, during a visit to Bentley Youth Centre where he met with the first young people to benefit from the scheme this summer.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

The Opportunity Area programme is about broadening the horizons of young people from disadvantaged areas. I want every young person living in Doncaster to be able to access extra-curricular activities that build the resilience and character they need to fulfill their ambitions, whatever they are.

This investment will help young people in Doncaster learn the skills of leadership and teamwork that are so important later in life, giving them the boost in confidence they need to succeed in education or the world of work.

The funding includes £550,000 to pay for a programme of summer activities in 2018 and 2019, and a £450,000 fund for local voluntary and community groups to support young people in Doncaster develop additional skills through out-of-school activities from September. Read more

New Multi-Million Pound Deal To Boost Skills Across West Midlands
July 20, 2018
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EXTRACT PRODUCED BY DMH ASSOCIATEFROM https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-multi-million-pound-deal-to-boost-skills-across-west-midlands

Businesses, young people and adults across the West Midlands are set to benefit from a new skills deal, which could unlock up to £69million, the Education Secretary has announced today (18 July).

The skills deal agreed with the West Midlands Combined Authority will boost digital and technical skills, job opportunities and productivity across the region – supporting more young people and adults into work as well as upskilling and retraining local people of all ages.

The Government will co-fund the new skills deal, alongside employer funding and the West Midlands Combined Authority will invest £20million into this area as set out in their Skills Plan.

The new deal includes:

  • Creating hundreds of new apprenticeships at small and medium sized businesses in priority areas, including in construction, automotive and digital sectors – helping increasing job opportunities for all.
  • A multi-million investment in local colleges – ensuring they have access to the latest equipment and facilities to teach the skills the region and the country need, including digital, and construction.
  • Up to £5million to work with employers to develop a National Retraining Scheme (NRS) pilot to drive adult learning and retraining.
  • £1million to boost Edtech and the way it supports adult learners in the West Midlands.
  • £1million to improve careers advice for young people, including a new careers hub in the West Midlands.
  • Piloting an innovative online portal for businesses to share work experience opportunities with schools.

Some of this country’s most acute skills challenges are found within the West Midlands, which the skills deal will aim to address through the new funding and support for the West Midlands economy, driving local growth. This deal builds on the work already underway through the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy, which aims to boost productivity and earning power across the country. This includes investing in maths, digital and technical education to help generate well-paid, highly skilled jobs across the country. Read more

Multi-Million Pound Fund to Help Tackle the Disability Employment Launched
July 18, 2018
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A £4.2 million challenge fund to support people with mental health or musculoskeletal conditions to stay in work has been launched by the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, and the Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities, Jackie Doyle-Price.

The fund is the latest in a range of government measures that are part of a 10-year strategy which aims to see 1 million more disabled people in work by 2027.

The challenge fund, run by Rocket Science on behalf of the government, is aimed at testing new approaches to help people experiencing mental ill health or musculoskeletal issues to remain in employment.

They might be at risk of losing employment because of the effects of their condition, or may already be temporarily off work through ill health.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Sarah Newton, said:

We know there is a gap between disabled people who want to work and those who have the opportunity to do so.

With 78% of people acquiring their disability or health condition during their adult life, it’s crucial that we support disabled people who want to work to stay in or return to employment.

Read more

16 to 19 Funding for Advanced Maths Premium

The advanced maths premium is funding for additional students studying specified level 3 maths qualifications.

This guide has been updated today (4 Jul) covering:

Summary

The advanced maths premium is funding for additional students studying specified level 3 maths qualifications. It is paid at a rate of £600 per year per additional student for one or 2 years, depending on the type and size of qualification studied.

The premium will first be paid automatically in 16 to 19 funding allocations for the academic year 2019 to 2020. For this payment, the number of additional students will be measured between the average of academic years 2015 to 2016 and 2016 to 2017 and academic year 2018 to 2019. Read more

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