Newsletter & Bids 22 2018

 In bids

Dear Members

This week’s newsletter bids, grants and funds come to you in conjunction with our New sponsors KPI DEVELOPMENT Limited going forward.  Exciting news on that next week with our newsletter going out to around 3,516 professionals in the industry.  This week we have a Bumper Edition of 60 pages of Information News, Bids Grants and Funds!

Full details can be downloaded from the link below:


First of all Customers are advised to lookout for a new bogus email scam, claiming to be from HMRC.  If you receive an email with a subject that reads “You have received new messages from HMRC”, that also has an attachment, please send it to and then delete it. HMRC will never ask for any personal or financial details over emails or text messages.  For more advice on scams, phishing and genuine HMRC contact, please visit G‌OV‌.U‌K and search ‘phishing’.

A Walsh Alison Walsh Head of Digital Support for Business and Agents


Procurement continues to challenge the public sector with the award of government contracts still focused on price. It feels like the best procurement solution is not really the objective: the one that is easiest to justify is. This mind-set will never create great contracting – it just keeps driving us towards one size fits all solutions.

Outsource to a Carillion or insource to the local direct labour organisation or in house team, the outcome is the same – a monopoly whether public or private. The opportunity for innovation is reduced and the chance to use diversity and local competition to drive up performance is lost.  There are many small organisations out there, particularly in the third sector, who deserve a chance to show how they can generate more positive social outcomes out of government contracts. However, they can’t make the cut – excluded because they do not meet financial hurdles irrespective of what they can deliver in relation to outcomes for the customer.  Public procurement needs a radical overhaul – we hope that our first Position Paper which we are launching today at the House of Commons will add to the momentum for change.

You can get a copy of the 3SC position paper The Crisis in Public Sector Contracting and How to Cure it by clicking on this link.


We have been asked by many to do the National Careers Services Organisations wishing to be subcontractors for National Careers Service delivery need to pass the Standard Selection Questionnaire (SSQ) Bravo solutions, deadline 22nd June 2018.  Even if you already have an agreement with a potential Prime Contractor, you still need to submit to this SSQ process. Now aligned to this is however separate is the PCDL Application and even if you had one you need to reapply.  Unless the organisation has good links to a NCS prime currently then I would suggest that new entrants might want to think about it in terms of logic of doing this.


A new round of funding will be available to support more collaborative partnerships between employers and local FE providers, through the ETF’s and the Association of College’s (AoC) Teach Too programme.  A group of employers and FE providers in Sussex are working collaboratively to develop a set of resources which deliver high quality training for learners across the area. Employers have identified the training needs of the current and future workforce and are working with local providers to map these to gaps in the curriculum. Practitioners and employers are then collaborating to deliver video training resources, which embed summative assessment throughout. The resources are used by provider staff with learners on the programme and in the workplace for staff development.

This collaborative partnership is devising solutions to local skills needs. One aspect of this has been to identify post-Brexit skills needs in the horticulture industry and then to devise a local strategy to upskill and retrain the workforce to meet these needs.  Case studies are available on the TVET exhibition site which looks at a variety of effective ways Teach Too is being delivered. For more information on how to apply, please email



Volunteers’ Week is a chance to say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. It takes place 1-7 June every year and is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity. To see more about this special week go to


Yes it is real a job is shown as Junior Happiness Associate Apprentice (business administration) WISER LIMITED  Working with their Happiness Associate means you’ll be involved in the daily management of the office – making sure that it’s all running smoothly & they maintain their mega atmosphere. It requires you to be proactive, organised and a general ‘fixer’ when things aren’t quite right. It’s a fast-paced environment they need somebody who will thrive!  This apprenticeship requires you to apply through the employer’s website.

Apply now Closing date: 23 Jun 2018

Apprenticeship summary Annual wage £21,000.00  Working week Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm. Total hours per week: 40.00

Apprenticeship duration 18 months with possible start date 26 Jun 2018

Date posted yesterday Apprenticeship level Advanced Level Apprenticeship

Reference number VAC001407155 Positions 1 available

Location: near Farringdon Station, London.

Duties will look like:

Manning their reception

Greeting clients and candidates

Diary management

General office maintenance and management

Organising post

Organising lunches, dinners, cars and transfers

Replenish snacks and keep the kitchen fully stocked

Join the plant committee and make sure they keep their plants alive

Planning client Christmas presents and other gifts throughout the year

Supporting with Wiser events and socials

Representing Wiser daily, inside and outside of the office.

Hours are 9 am to 6 pm, Mon-Fri.


Workforce Development Innovation Fund

The Workforce Development Innovation Fund (WDIF) is now open. It supports innovative projects which increase the skills and competence of staff. Its fundamental aim is to improve service quality and embed person centred values within the workforce.  Therefore, if you have an innovative workforce development project which is in development, being tested, improved or is looking to reach new audiences then this might be for you.

Applications for WDIF must look to address one of the advertised priorities, as outlined in the ‘What will be funded?’ section below, and deliver to Skills for Care tangible resources or products which have been tested as part of the project.

The deadline for applications is 1pm on Friday 22 June 2018.

There are lots of examples showing how others have used WDIF on Learn from Others.


City and Guilds tell us In this month’s construction News issue we have news on:

  1. NVQ Incremental changes
  2. The return of 6144 and 6146 short-courses
  3. Update on City & Guilds apprenticeship standards:
    1. Carpentry & Joinery
  4. Update on City & Guilds support materials
  5. Update on Scotland
  6. Network and support events
  7. Update on government reforms
    1. Trailblazer Apprenticeship standards – England
    2. T-Levels – England
    3. Qualifications Wales Sector Review – Wales

For further information please click on link.,5OG4Z,PTODSK,M3IO1,1


A publicly listed company is in talks to buy Learndirect Ltd, FE Week has learned.

PeoplePlus Group Limited, which is owned by Staffline and already trains tens of thousands of people each year, opened a dialogue with the nation’s biggest FE provider over a purchase last week.  Discussions are understood to be in the early stages and it is not yet known how much the deal will be worth if it goes ahead.

PeoplePlus is a business division of Staffline – an outsourced workforce provider – which recorded a huge turnover of £92.8 million in its most recent accounts.

It provides skills training, including apprenticeships and in prisons, claims to be the country’s largest provider of the work programme for the Department for Work and Pensions, and offers access to work programmes for disabled people.

The organisation is hoping to purchase Learndirect following a catastrophic year.

Its saga started with a legal battle with Ofsted when the provider unsuccessfully challenged its grade four report in the High Court.  The fallout saw the government single it out for special treatment by allowing it to see through the end of their current contracts – instead of ending them within the usual three-month termination period.

It was then subject to investigations from the National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee.  FE Week revealed in April that Learndirect appeared to be on the brink of collapse, after a fresh round of redundancies belied the fact that its efforts to generate new business have proved “impossible”.

PeoplePlus has five operating divisions: employment, skills, health & wellbeing, justice and independent services.  Staffline bought welfare-to-work provider A4e in 2015 in a £35.4m deal and gave the work to PeoplePlus.

For skills, PeoplePlus provide “first class pre-employment training, apprenticeships and traineeships”, according to its website. The provider was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in August 2017, and has Education and Skills Funding Agency contracts totaling over £13.5 million this year, with the majority (£10.6 million) coming from the adult education budget.



Another Ofsted early monitoring visit to an apprenticeship provider has resulted in a verdict of ‘insufficient progress’ in at least one area – but the Department for Education has refused to say whether it will take action.

The watchdog’s report into Mears Learning is the fourth of the 11 monitoring reports so far published to have found a provider is below-par in at least one area.

Leaders at Mears Learning, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the housing and social care provider Mears Group, were deemed not to be meeting all the requirements of successful apprenticeship provision.  It joins a rogue’s gallery of Key6 GroupMooreskills, and Apprentice Teamin failing to come up to scratch.

“We will always take action to protect apprentices if a training provider is not fit for purpose,” a spokesperson for the DfE said.  It is “assessing Ofsted’s findings” and will contact the provider to “set out any action we will be taking”.

FE Week exclusively reported last week that Ofsted will have the final say over apprenticeship quality, after the government was embarrassed on accountability at a select committee hearing earlier this month.

Skills minister Anne Milton, along with officials from the Education and Skills Funding Agency and Ofsted, admitted they weren’t quite sure who is responsible for policing apprenticeships.

They were responding to a series of questions about the ESFA’s decision to allow Key6 Group to continue to recruit apprentices just two months after Ofsted branded its provision “not fit for purpose”.  “I think the relationship between the ESFA and Ofsted over quality is quite difficult to define and I think we need to define that more clearly,” Ms Milton admitted.  Once it comes into effect, the change will give Ofsted the final word on quality: a monitoring visit resulting in an ‘insufficient progress’ verdict will see a provider booted off the register of apprenticeship training providers.  The visits to new apprenticeship providers are intended to sniff out “scandalous” attempts to waste public money.  So far 11 have been published – the majority for providers that aren’t actually new to apprenticeships.

More about this at


One of the fastest growing East of England training Companies Ginger Nut Training

We have an exciting opportunity for a specialist part time IT contract apprenticeship assessor to join the Ginger Nut Training team.  Part time salary is negotiable based on experience and circa £30K-£50K pro rata.

As demand for our services grows, this is your chance to join an award-winning company passionate about developing people. We work with a range of public and private sector clients across the UK to train both new and existing staff.

If you are hard-working and share our passion for IT apprenticeships, then we want to hear from you!  You will need to have the ability to develop and deliver the new IT apprenticeship standards: One of our initial roles will be for a tutor to take on around 7 learners in London across Infrastructure Technician Level 3, Software Developer Level 4 and Data Analysis  Level 4.  We may be able to top up with two or three learners around Manchester.  We follow a fully integrated blended learning approach.

In addition to the above qualifications we would ideally like the person we take on to be have some competence / knowledge of: Cyber Security Level 4 – Associate Project Manager Level 4 – Network Engineer Level 4 If you are interested please get in touch with or via phone at 0207 495 5110


Leadership and governing are on the agenda at the ETF-sponsored Reimagining Further Education conference, on 27 June 2018 at Birmingham City University.

At the Leadership Working Group, FE principals and CEOs will consider how we can ensure the central questions of teaching and learning become a primary driver in the meetings we lead and the decisions we make. How can we build a sector voice to engage with policy makers about leading organisations with excellent teaching and learning as their core purpose, with funding and policy approaches which reflect this? The discussions will be led by Ian Pryce, CEO Bedford College, and Azumah Dennis from the Open University.

The Governing Working Group (aimed at those in governance and leadership roles in FE Colleges, Sixth Form Colleges and other FE settings) will examine the AoC’s governance code with emphasis on the responsibility to ‘foster exceptional teaching and learning’. They will explore how the reality of governing alongside the concept of governance can be re-centred on this priority in the context of rapidly moving policy, including the introduction of an insolvency and administration regime. This will include reconceptualising the roles and contributions of learner and staff governors/trustees to enrich the thinking of all board members. These discussions will be led by Jill Westerman, CBE, Principal Northern College; and Colin Forrest, Governor of Shipley College and Northern College.

Buy a ticket now or find out more information on the conference website.


The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has issued details of a free webinar that may be of interest.

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has issued details of a free webinar that may be of interest. Whilst focusing on support available through the ETF offer, it could be quite informative, with access to a number of useful resources.

The Booking Close Date is tomorrow  04/06/2018, with the webinar taking place the following day on the 05/06/2018.

Introduction to ETF’s Apprenticeship Support offer

Future Apprenticeships

The aim of this free webinar is to provide an overview of the support available for apprenticeship providers and employers, making the transition from apprenticeship frameworks to the delivery of standards and preparing apprentices for end-point assessment.

This webinar is for providers who are planning to or are already delivering apprenticeship standards and for both End Point Assessment organisations and individuals who are thinking about becoming an End-Point Assessor.

Our offer is wide-ranging and supports organisations at all stages of the journey from brand new, never having delivered – to experienced organisations, and those wanting to introduce greater levels of innovation.

Training aim

The webinar will signpost you to the support available through the ETF offer to help your organisation to plan and develop the delivery of high-quality apprenticeships. Support available for both End Point Assessment organisations and for individuals who are thinking about becoming an End-Point Assessor will also be discussed.


You will have the opportunity to explore high quality resources ranging from:

  • a practical Apprenticeship Provider Toolkit, incorporating case studies that share effective practice
  • an Employer Engagement CPD Module and Toolkit designed specifically for provider frontline staff working to meet the apprenticeship training needs of business
  • some specialist resources to support positive mental health, equality, diversity and inclusion within apprenticeships
  • online modules and guides for apprenticeship practitioners and assessors looking to enhance their knowledge, understanding and new skills to be able to deliver standards or improve their maths and English delivery
  • an online self-assessment tool to enable people to self-assess against the skills, knowledge and experience needed by an End-Point Assessor and identify their CPD needs
  • Checklists and Mock End-Point Assessment resources that share effective practice in planning, testing and implementing end-point assessment delivery.

Length of the course

This is a one-hour webinar.

Entry Requirements

Technical requirements

  • a good internet connection
  • a set of headphones, in-earphones (like you would use for a mobile phone or tablet), or a mic-phones headset
  • the use of Chrome browser is preferred.

Access to the webinar will be through a registration page. You will receive a link in the joining instructions a week prior. If you cannot attend the webinar on the day, you will be able to view it on-demand after 48 hours via the same link.

Booking Close Date: 04/06/2018  SESSION 1 Date: 05/06/2018 12:00 – 13:00
Type: Webinar/Online


Skills for Care Recruiting for potential

If you’re part of a local, regional or national employment support initiative or model you might be interested in this funding opportunity. We’d like to trial longer term approaches to recruiting individuals with the right values from groups which are under-represented in the social care and health workforce or who face barriers into employment (such as males, young care leavers and/or those from looked after background and people with learning disabilities).

Applications will open mid-June.


Knife Crime Community Fund

The fund has been set up to support community projects which reduce knife crime and have a positive impact on young people at risk of carrying a knife and committing crime. The first round of the fund was launched in October 2017 and we are now making available up to £1 million to be spent by end of March 2019.

The fund is open to voluntary and community sector groups and we are inviting bids for funding for projects of up to £30,000 although we will consider bids for greater funding for projects with collaboration between partners.

Bids will be assessed on the extent to which they demonstrate:

  • delivery of outcomes to stop knife crime
  • proven track record of delivering local interventions
  • proven track record of ability to work with children and young people
  • proven track record of ability to work in partnership with other organisations and services
  • evidence of value for money

How to apply

The deadline for submission of bids is 15 June and bids must be submitted on the community fund application form (ODT, 27.3KB) (also available in Word format (MS Word Document, 37.8KB) . We will inform successful organisations by end of July and, providing financial details are provided promptly, will transfer the funds in August. The funds are to be spent by 31 March 2019.

Please submit all bids to also look at the following


Mind the Gap: a practical guide to employing ex-offenders in the construction industry from NACRO

Appendix A: The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act guidance

Appendix B: DBS filtering guide

Appendix C: Criminal record declaration form – ROA covered roles

Appendix D: Criminal record declaration form – ROA exempt roles

Appendix E: Sample risk assessment form

Appendix F: Professional boundaries for RoTL candidates

Appendix G: Model MOU for paid placements

Appendix H: Model MOU for unpaid placements

Useful contacts
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
Disclosure and Barring Service
Business in the Community
Disclosure Scotland
Information Commissioner’s Office

Useful links

Nacro’s Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 Guide
Risk assessment template (criminal records)
DBS list of offences that will never be filtered from a criminal record check
Nacro’s practical guidance on DBS filtering
Criminal record declaration form for jobs exempt from the ROA
Criminal record declaration form for jobs covered by the ROA


Tip of the week I: Four nights in Venice with flights from £89. Details

Tip of the week 2: Free can of Princes fruit. Details

Tip of the week 3: 20% discount on FitFlops. Details


From me Steve and from all the team have a great week and keep training!

Non-Executive Director at Five Companies and MD of EEVT Ltd

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