Newsletter & Bids 5 2018

 In bids

Dear Members

This week’s newsletter bids, grants and Funds come to you in conjunction with our sponsors London Based Manley Summers Training. This week we have some 52 pages of information News, Bids Grants and Funds. Full details can be downloaded from the link below:


Subcontractor declaration for 2017 to 2018: Organisations delivering ESFA funded adult programmes, including all apprenticeships and traineeships, must declare their subcontracting arrangements for 2017 to 2018 by Wednesday 14 February 2018.


Ok Jobs side Ilford area training Company looking for a person for post of Centre manager who has experience of managing the contract under Traineeships , App, DWP  preferably 3 days a week to start of with. E-mail


Also required East and North London a London Apprentice Manager Full time to run this section of the business must be a person who goes the extra mile wants to be the person to make it grow and have quality at the heart of their work   CV to


Strict rules that apprenticeships cannot involve qualifications are set to be overturned next week, FE Week understands, potentially unsticking a series of standards held up for years.


Hi and if your new to ESFA funding you will know there are several ways to do this and indeed the ESFE have updated their information on this Friday 2nd  Apprenticeship service bulk upload specification. If your already doing it for many years you should have had an e-mail. Technical documents for the apprentice bulk upload facility for training providers to use in the apprenticeship service.


Roger who I am sure many of you know or herd of is doing it again T yes he is always up to something this year our RWF Challenge is the Yorkshire 3 Peaks.  The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge takes on the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, usually in this order, and in under 12 hours. These peaks form part of the Pennine range, and encircle the head of the valley of the River Ribble, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  The route we take is 24 miles (38.6km), and includes 1585m (5200ft) of ascent.  The people we support at The Reasons Why Foundation face difficult challenges every day and we see it as part of our journey, to challenge ourselves on a regular basis in order to raise funds and awareness of the services we provide and the people we support, many of whom have suffered the consequences of bad choices that they’ve made in their lives.  We would love for you to take part by going to if you’d prefer to not do the event but still want to support it, you can do by visiting
Updates will be coming to our socials throughout the training running up to the 16th June, the travelling to the start and of course, the event itself. Pictures will be over on twitter and instagram. Thank you.


Peer Meet Up at Twin Group London for training Directors and owners 16th of March next week tickets and Agenda in full.


Reminder: deadline for T level consultations approaching. We would like to remind institutions that the deadline for responding to the consultation on the implementation of T level programmes and consultation on occupational maps closes on 8 February 2018. We would like to thank all the delegates that attended the consultation events, which took place in January. Your responses to these consultations are important to make sure T levels are a success.


Items from a Grade 1 Inspection from Ofsted to a private Provider: Learners

They are suitably placed onto the right courses, well matched to their careers aspirations. Almost all learners benefit from guidance on employment options and/or further study at a higher level.

Learners regularly explore good work ethics and healthy lifestyles with their trainers and assessors. For example, learners and apprentices develop a sound understanding of the effects of drug and alcohol misuse. They explore ways in which they can work more effectively at work.

For example, by developing good eating and sleeping habits to ensure that they are more effective at work and by decreasing stress through regular exercise.

Staff teaches learners very well to understand British values. For example, learners in a particular region attributed far right radicalisation to the increase in unemployment rates. Leaders have ensured that employers have a good understanding of the dangers of radicalisation and the importance of promoting British values in the work place. Assessors plan and deploy effective learning activities to develop apprentices’ understanding and, as a result, most apprentices fully understand the importance of demonstrating British values in the work place, with their peers, clients and customers.


The low volume of apprenticeships (down by 26% compared to 12 months ago) and the increasing gap between the government’s three million target and current levels is concerning for those involved in education and learning provision. So, what’s been going on and where’s it all heading?   Operationally, the apprenticeship levy is, in my experience working with levy payers and being a trustee of a levy-paying organisation, proving challenging to implement for many on the apprenticeship frontline. But there are also other forces in play, which are contributing to a slow take-up by the levy-payers. Managing capacity: The management of the levy more often than not falls within the remit of an HR team: a team not only struggling to find the capacity to develop their own knowledge of apprenticeships, but also required to manage the co-ordinated use of a significant pot of money. Additional resource or time needs to be budgeted to accommodate this, particularly in these early, formative days. If policy had allowed for a proportion of the levy to be made available to employers to improve internal management of the levy, then the ability of HR teams to respond earlier could have improved. A different approach to decision-making: In some cases, the levy is stymying the capacity of those responsible for recruitment – a head teacher, for example – to opt to recruit an apprentice. In the new landscape, this type of decision requires a degree of discussion with whoever controls the central levy fund, either in terms of decision-making, or the processes behind the apprenticeship service. This would not have been the case in the past. In the short term, it’s a frustration and creating a blockage.

Creating an internal market: Unless the employer has an existing strategy to utilise apprenticeships within the organisation, there is a need to build an internal market, where leaders and managers are not only made aware of the levy and the detail associated with employing apprentices but also the detail of how to engage with them. Make no mistake, this is a major change initiative and whilst a strategic approach in important, I also ask employers to consider the ways in which they can nudge the decision to use apprenticeships into the day to day norm. The simple question, when a vacancy arises, have we considered if an apprenticeship is suitable for this role? Where an interviewee doesn’t quite meet the mark, have we got the capacity to develop them into the role? In some cases it will be suitable, in others not but at least managers have an easy way to build this into their thinking. Developing interest takes time, investment and a strong will to make it work, particularly where the default position is to recruit at graduate level. Return on (apprenticeship) investment: Employers are still struggling to get the best out of apprenticeships, which can add significant value, introduce fresh thinking and new ideas, and secure future workforce skills. Securing a return on apprenticeship investment requires the capacity to provide good mentoring and investment by an employer together with the time to consider how best to manage an apprentice’s training time, without it impacting on the workloads of other team members. This is not such an issue if an employer is recruiting an apprentice to boost existing headcount, but in these uncertain economic times, when workforces are under the microscope, it isn’t necessarily how large organisations are best utilising their apprentice talent. Finding apprenticeship training providers: It is not unusual for a levy payer to have procured a framework of suitable apprenticeship providers. But this is a resource hungry, time-consuming process and as we head towards the apprenticeship service payments for end-point assessment going directly to the requisite assessment organisations, as opposed to via the training provider, the same is likely to recur next year. And while these procurement processes are being undertaken, any apprenticeship activity has more or less stopped. For those who have not undertaken such an exercise, the question of how to source high quality apprenticeship provision remains important but is further down the list than establishing internal interest in the first instance.

Time for standards: It is acknowledged by the Institute for Apprenticeships that the process for developing and approving apprenticeships is too slow. If we are to make significant headway into moving from frameworks to standards this has to be a priority. While the frameworks will remain for some time to come, the standards are broadly, easier to understand and engage with from an employer’s perspective. However, in the main good apprenticeship providers are recognising the value of the standards and making headway to move provision from frameworks to standards where they exist. It is difficult for employers new to apprenticeships to get to grips with some of the basics, having to explain the differences between frameworks and standards isn’t something they have time for.


Employer providers: New employer providers, on the one hand have to understand how to get best value from the levy as an employer, while on the other, creating an apprenticeship training provision. The key to success in my view is for employer providers to divorce the two in their thinking, in the early stages. One is a function of HR (or similar); the other is a supplier of internal services to them. While I appreciate it isn’t always as neat as this, establishing boundaries around the relationships and processes for engagement can only pay dividends in the long run.  At this stage, there’s no reason to panic over the low volume of apprenticeships. The level of exposure of apprenticeships to large businesses as a result of the levy is encouraging and will continue to grow. I do believe strongly that we need to recognise that change is so much more than the levy itself if we are to avoid employers walking away and putting this in the ‘too hard’ box.

Louise Doyle, Director, MESMA


The Skills Show in Birmingham last November, with visitor numbers of over 73,000, was an ideal opportunity for my team to conduct some user testing with employers interested in apprenticeships.  In just 2 days we managed to speak to 73 users and potential users of the apprenticeship service representing over 50 different employers. Our focus was on testing 4 early prototypes of a new ‘landing page’ for the service.

Prototypes – a first look

The 4 prototypes we presented to employers contained information on various aspects of the service, but each one used different formats and approaches. Seeing what employers thought of each prototype has helped us to identify which elements matter most to users and what information they would like to see have prominence.

Through discussion with users we explored the rationale behind each employer choice, which increased our understanding of:

What employers need from the apprenticeship service
Current blockers to taking on apprentices
The types of content most valuable to employers
The dynamics between training providers, employers and industry professional bodies
Employer hopes for the future of the service
What did we learn?
One of our initial assumptions was that most levy-paying employers would already know how to hire an apprentice. In fact, many employers we spoke to said that they didn’t have a firm understanding of this.  We were also surprised by how many levy-paying organisations also wanted to become training providers.  Read more


Action: user research – Information Exchange  The Information Exchange is an ESFA business to business portal for the exchange of information between the agency and our partners. We want to talk to anyone who actively engages with the Information Exchange portal to understand your user experience and interactions with the system.

3.1 Meeting times

Wednesday, 7 February 2018 Monday, 12 February 2018
10am – 11am 10am – 11am
11.30am – 12.30pm 11.30am – 12.30pm
1pm – 2pm 1pm – 2pm
2.30pm – 3.30pm 2.30pm – 3.30pm
4pm – 5pm 4pm – 5pm

To join us for a one-hour web meeting, please email your preferred slot and we will confirm your place. If you can’t make these times but would like to take part – please email us and we’ll arrange a suitable time with you.

This research will help us identify what works well for you and where we may need to make improvements. We hope you are able to join us and share your insights.


Cash incentives of £1,000 are being offered to every employer who takes on apprentices caught up in the collapse of Carillion.  The payments have been sourced by the Construction Industry Training Board in a £1.4 million package that sees firms receive £500 upfront, and a further £500 after six months if they’ve retained the displaced trainees. Over 550 of the 1,400 affected apprentices have been given new job offers since the outsourcing giant ceased trading two weeks ago, according to the CITB.


Repeat of Last week for you from now on you need to be aware New Identity Checking Guidelines – Disclosure and Barring Service New identity (ID) checking guidelines have been introduced for standard and enhanced disclosure checks. The new guidelines have been running in parallel with previous guidelines since October 2017. However, the previous guidelines now cease to apply and you must use the new version. The change is being introduced so that the DBS’s identity checking process is aligned with right to work checks. These state that employers must prevent illegal working in the UK by carrying out document checks on people before employing them to make sure they are allowed to work. If you have any questions about the changes: Contact


Skills devolution needed to power economy: London and other parts of the country are experiencing severe skills shortages that could hinder economic growth and leave them vulnerable to the impact of Brexit, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London (APPG for London) argued at Westminster Tuesday. In a specially convened Westminster Hall debate, Catherine West MP set out how the present skills system is unable to meet the growing demand for skilled employees, and made an urgent case for skills devolution to London and other major towns and cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. Catherine West said: “I’m asking government to act now to free our skills system so it truly delivers the education and training employers are looking for. In London we want to respond to the needs of our growing population and dynamic business community but our powers are limited.”


A company approved to provide external quality assurance for digital apprenticeships will fold in September, in a situation described as an “unworkable short-term solution”. The Institute for Apprenticeships approved the Tech Partnership for the role in December, two months after it announced plans to shut up shop.

The IfA also confirmed that if no suitable replacement is approved by September, it may itself have to take on the quality-assurance role for the sector, “either on a permanent basis or for however long is necessary to cover any transition”.

Other parts of the sector are not best pleased with the situation: a source from an end-point assessment organisation for digital apprenticeships, who asked not to be identified, has hit out at the IfA.

“There are already far too many questions surrounding EQA and apprenticeships. For the IfA to grant the Tech Partnership a short-term contract is unthinkable,” they said.

“What we need now more than ever is continuity, comparability and fairness not more uncertainty.  There are already far too many questions surrounding EQA and apprenticeships

“More effort needs to be concentrated on a successor for the EQA and encourage more positive press for apprenticeships, as opposed to fuelling the fire with unworkable short-term solutions.”

The decision has split opinion across the tech industry. Some providers believe that the Tech Partnership is a “sensible” short-term appointment and that a replacement will be ready for September.

The EQA provider will be auditing end-point assessment procedures, and EPA providers will foot the bill.  It will be able to mandate changes to EPA organisations’ activities and can invoke sanctions if these are not met.

EQA firms are obliged to report back to the IfA on the quality and consistency of assessment, as well as the general operation of the standard and assessment plan.

The Tech Partnership announced on January 8 that the IfA had officially recognised its new employer-led Digital Apprenticeship Quality Board, and would assume “immediate responsibility” for EQA.  The board includes representatives from Google, Sainsbury’s, Auto Trader UK, Inspired Energy and Delta Financial Systems.

“Its primary responsibilities are to review the quality of end-point assessment decisions and the internal quality-assurance processes of all organisations approved by the IfA to administer EPA,” a spokesperson for the IfA said.

Responsibility for EQA “will be transferred to another organisation”, before Tech Partnership closes.

“This involves employers, through the Digital Apprenticeship Quality Board, deciding on the best approach, and overseeing an orderly handover,” he added.

“The most important point is that we now have over 5,500 digital trailblazer apprentices studying, and hundreds of apprentices now undertaking end-point assessment.

“It was therefore agreed that it was in the best interests of a rapidly growing body of learners and employers to establish an EQA panel as soon as possible to establish consistency, comparability and quality in the assessment process, and that the Tech Partnership was the best-placed organisation to arrange this on an interim basis.”

The Tech Partnership, which has not received a letter from the IfA confirming its EQA appointment, announced on October 4 that it would close the following September.

Its income in 2016 was £7.1 million, but its latest accounts show this had fallen to £2.45 million in 2017. The organisation retained just under £4 million in assets minus liabilities.

The IfA already plays a dominant role as EQA provider of choice for many trailblazer groups – even though it describes itself as the “option of last resort”. There are concerns across FE that its staff could struggle to cope if it also has to take on EQA for the digital sector.


NOCN boss Graham Hasting-Evans has previously described situations in which the government’s own EQA regulator, the IfA, will effectively have to regulate itself for a number of sectors, as “bizarre”.  An IfA spokesperson said the Tech Partnership had been “very open about its position” and had been “working closely with the Institute and the relevant trailblazer groups in order to assure the quality of specific apprenticeships and to support the transition to an alternative EQA provider from late 2018”.


Learndirect has entered redundancy talks with an unknown amount of its staff. A consultation on job losses was launched on Thursday, and is directly linked to the termination of Contracts.


Tip of the week I: 33% discount on food at Beefeater. Details

Tip of the week 2: Two weeks in South Asia including tours and meals from £449. Details

Tip of the week 3: 20% discount on Oasis sale items. Details


Keep training from me Steve and all the Team at EEVT, see you also on social media  in Groups EEVT Limited or  on Facebook

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