World-class Work Experience

Cosmic Graduation Friday 22 July 2016
L to R: Kate (Cosmic), Clare (Industrial Cadets), Bethany (Honiton Community College) and Josh Elliot-Smith (Uffculme School)

 

World-class Work Experience Graduations!

Cosmic are the first of our employers to host young people on ‘World-class Work Experience’ accredited placements through Industrial Cadets as part of our pilot study. Both Bethany and Josh were awarded their Silver Level certificates which detail the programme they undertook, assure the quality of the experience against national standards and add to their sense of achievement. Cosmic believe in investing in young people and developing talent. They already run very successful and sought after work experience placements but these are the first as part of this pilot study. Thank you!

Josh Elliot-Smith from Uffculme School said:

Doing work experience at Cosmic has been a really interesting yet a challenging week for me. I’ve found throughout that I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone, and have come out the other side with new ideas and skills that I never would’ve thought I would get out of this week , and I’m sure will benefit me in the future. I would definitely recommend doing your work experience at Cosmic if you’re interested in any area of IT2.

 Bethany Jacobs from Honiton Community College said:

My work experience at Cosmic has been so enjoyable. I have achieved so many new and different skills meanwhile improving in my weaker areas. Everyone has been so nice, welcoming and helpful throughout this week. I really enjoyed this week and this has given me an insight to my future. I recommend Cosmic to students wanting to develop their skills in business and IT for their work experience.

The experience of quality Work Experience is invaluable. We know that the more real-life experiences of the world-of-work young people have the less likely they are to have difficulty entering the work-place. Work Experience brings benefits to the young people, the host employers and us all in the longer -term. This pilot will consider the value of the Industrial Cadets nationally recognised accreditation to the young people and the employers.

Tapping into ‘Untapped Talent’

160624-project-search Torbay graduates June 2016
Photo: Torbay & South Devon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Website – Project SEARCH graduate interns June 2016

Inspiration – Business Benefits and Positive Teams!

Ros Banfield, Equality & Employability Support Officer from  Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (top left in photograph) inspired all the participants of our ‘Tap into Top Talent’ Employer Breakfast on 5th July at the lovely Hannahs, Seale Hayne. Eight young people with learning disabilities from the local area have just graduated from the ground-breaking Project SEARCH internship scheme based at Torbay Hospital. Project SEARCH aims to remove the significant barriers faced by people with learning disabilities looking for employment and has had success all over the world. The business benefits a real desire to work, enjoyment of routine tasks, low absenteeism and especially for those living with autism close attention to detail and good levels of concentration. The positive impact of Project SEARCH has spread to the teams in which the interns work where mentoring, coaching and team identity improve and people ‘just seem sunnier’. This is the fourth year it has been delivered in Torbay by South Devon College, local social enterprise Pluss and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.

Practical Support and funding for individuals and businesses

Carolyn Horton and Jason Creed from the Department of Work and Pensions encouraged participants to consider the ‘Access to Work’ grant (up to £40,800 per year) to help with practical support to enable those with a disability to start or stay in work. The amount of the grant depends on need and eligibility but it can be used for taxi fares to work, adaptation or purchase of equipment, disability awareness training for colleagues or a workplace coach.

Marise Mackie from Pluss spoke enthusiastically about ‘Work Choice’ which is a government national programme delivered in this area by Pluss an organisation where people of all abilities are inspired and helped to achieve a career. Work Choice is for young people with disabilities between the ages of 18-24 and it can provide between £1137.50 and £2,275 per person to employers depending upon eligibility.

Thinking about Equality & Employment Law

Bethan Jones, from Michelmores provides HR support and advice on the full range of employment law issues, including unfair dismissal, redundancy, disciplinary and grievance procedures and HR policies and contracts. She was kind enough to talk about the key points to think about when employing individuals with Learning  Disabilities and Difficulties and she helped to alleviate some of the concerns participants may have had.

A place where disability is incidental

Debbie Slurman from Hannahs joined us to give us a potted history of Dame Hannah Rogers Charity which was founded in 1767 in Plymouth. Evolving through time the aim has been simple: to help enrich and empower the lives of children and adults in need. Debbie was inspirational. Although she confessed to not being practiced at the art of public speaking she had all participants wanting to know more and soak up her energy.

It makes so much sense …

The Employment and Skills Board believes in a ‘local world-class workforce where every individual matters’.  Apart from being the right thing to do, enabling people with Learning Disabilities and Difficulties or those living with Autism to work makes so much sense when we have almost full employment and individuals who really want to work and contribute.  Marise, Carolyn and Jason endorsed everything Ros said about the benefits to the workplace, the positive responses from the wider community and jobs well done.

We are grateful to Devon County Council for funding this event and we look forward to more ‘Untapped Talent’ events and positive outcomes in other locations!


Apprenticeships for people with learning disabilities

A taskforce on access to apprenticeships for people with learning disabilities, led by Paul Maynard MP has just published their recommendations all of which have been accepted.You can find the short report and response, ‘Apprenticeships: improving access for people with learning disabilities’ here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeships-improving-access-for-people-with-learning-disabilities

 

 

 

Untapped Talent: the employer benefits

Untapped Talent Logo

Untapped Talent: The Employer Benefits

Does your business require a high work ethic, low absenteeism and excellent attention to detail?

Despite many being keen to find work, more than 85% of people with learning disabilities (LD) or autism are unemployed. Many do not consider themselves disabled, some have mild disability issues, and the majority have untapped talents or skills that are desirable for employers.

Businesses that employ someone with LD can benefit from skills that include:

  • Reliability, conscientiousness and persistence
  • High levels of concentration
  • Accuracy, close attention to detail
  • Detailed factual knowledge and an excellent memory
  • Meticulous application of routine tasks

Traditional recruitment methods can often exclude those with learning disabilities, because individuals find it harder to communicate and understand. The Untapped Talent initiative is designed to help employers access this skilled and reliable workforce. This event will offer business tips on inclusive recruitment and answer concerns regarding employment law.

Fact: 7% of people with learning disabilities have a job. 65% want one.*

Untapped Talent: The Employer Benefits Business Breakfast 

Join us at this business breakfast for HR experts and business owners.

  • Tuesday 5 July 2016
  • Hannahs, Seale-Hayne, Newton Abbot, TQ12 6NQ07.30 – 10.30am
  • Free full sit down breakfast
  • This event is kindly being hosted by the Exeter & Heart of Devon Employment & Skills Board

PLEASE join us. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/untapped-talent-the-employer-benefits-tickets-25344309512

Untapped Talent: The Employer Benefits Booklet

Please click this link to find out more about:

  • The Business Benefits
  • Why employing someone with LD or Autism is good for business
  • ‘Work Choice’ and ‘Access to Work’ grants and funding
  • What is a Learning Disability?
  • Emplyment support available to business
  • Free support for employers
  • 3 steps to hiring someone with a disability
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Different ways to get involved – Apprenticeships, Supported Internships etc
  • Other support and helpful links
  • Glossary of terms

*For data sources view: http://www.autism.org.uk/about-autism/myths-facts-and-statistics/some-facts-and-statistics.aspx

 

http://www.learningdisabilities.org.uk/help-information/Learning-Disability-Statistics-/187693/?view=Standard

“Getting Talent is Getting Tough”

Getting Talent is Getting Tough
England’s working age population volume and rate compared with Devon’s rate.

Participants from thirteen local Public Sector employers met at the Met Office for an update on the Apprenticeship Levy and the introduction of mandatory employment targets which will come into effect in April 2017. Ben Neild’s first presentation set the scene for the morning, proposing that apprenticeships could  help to grow and keep local talent of all levels as “getting talent is getting tough”. The agenda included four informative and inspiring presentations – links below:

A round table discussion followed around three questions which elicited a great deal of interaction and notes! Here is a brief summary:

Q1 How do you work together and share knowledge and information?

Local Public Sector employers do not work together although there are groups and networks to which they belong. In addition internal collaboration can be a problem.

Q2 What would a Gold Medal Standard look like?

A Gold Medal standard apprenticeship would meet the business need, reduce resistance to cultural change, maximise the levy payment, provide evidence to enable further development, enhance collaboration and provide the apprentice with a quality learning experience with opportunities for employment and progression, whilst receiving a decent wage.

Q3a What are your next steps?

The next steps are for organisations: to understand their business and training needs and what the levy and the targets mean for them; to communicate this to Senior Management and identify dedicated resource and/or apprenticeship champion; and to consider working with other organisations to aggregate demand in order to negotiate with Training Providers and to share apprentices.

Q3b How can the EHOD Employment and Skills Board (ESB) help?

The ESB can help by informing and influencing organisations and by linking organisations either through identifying existing networks or by providing a facility to do so or similar networking events.


You may also be interested to read:


More follow-up information about the event will be shared with participants. Please contact oenone.thomas@exeter.gov.uk or 01392 265344 if you would like more information.

 

 

Public Sector Employers – Ready for the levy?

 

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DCC 2015 Apprenticeships Graduation Celebration

The Government has recently announced significant changes to Apprenticeships from April 2017. The changes are quite complex and far-reaching including Apprenticeship funding and incentives, delivery and direction, content, infrastructure etc. The most prominent message is a commitment to “3 million quality apprenticeship starts in England over this parliament”. For large public sector employers engagement will be mandatory, targets will be set and a levy charged.

This event is for local public sector employers to help them plan for the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy, targets and new processes. It is designed for employers who already employ apprentices and for those that will be new to it. The agenda includes:

Exeter & Heart of Devon Economic Update from Ben Neild, University of Exeter

The importance of the public sector to the local economy and an update on productivity.

Detailed briefing on Apprenticeships post 2017 from Richard Daulton, National Apprenticeship Service

The Employer Levy, the 2.3% Public Sector target, the Digital Apprenticeship Service, apprenticeship standards and funding.

‘Large organisations thinking on Apprenticeships post 2017’ from Ben Neild, University of Exeter

Moving to a systemic approach.

A private sector case study from Nigel Fenn from South West Water

Assessing your current situation, plotting skills gaps and future needs, new recruits and/or workforce development and establishing costs and targets.

Room for collaboration?  A round table discussion chaired by Mark Shepherd (Chair of EHOD Employment & Skills Board)

Shared apprenticeships? Joint development of standards where they do not exist? Shared intelligence and information.

Lunch and networking

The Event Details:

It is essential to register for this event (see below).  Due to The Met Office security requirements please note that non-British Nationals should have their passports with them. Please do not arrive unless you are representing a Public Sector employer and you have booked your place. Thank you.

Date and Time 25 May 2016 09.00 am for 09.30 am with lunch at 12.30 pm
Location The Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, EX1 3PB
Cost None. We are very grateful to the Met Office and to Exeter City Council for their support of this event.
RSVP – latest end of Tuesday 17 May. Confirmation is essential.

Please register using https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/public-sector-ready-for-the-levy-and-government-apprenticeship-targets-tickets-24007516127 As this is a targeted event you will need to enter this password EHODapprenticeships2017

 

Apprenticeships Budget update

Composite in Paint 100
Employers supporting the ‘Pass the Torch’ campaign at the ‘Tap into Top Talent’ business breakfast

Last week employers met at the ‘Tap into Top Talent’ business breakfast to hear about the Government’s proposed extensive changes to apprenticeships and their commitment to 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020. As well as having the opportunity to meet with employers who are committed to growing their own talent through the apprenticeship route, employers were signposted to the latest sources of information on the Employer Levy, the targets which will be imposed on the Public Sector, the new apprenticeship standards which replace apprenticeship frameworks and the mechanisms which underpin everything. Links to this information can be found at the bottom of this page.

Since ‘Tap into Top Talent’ there have been more announcements and information.

Government 10% Top-up announced in The Budget

This week George Osborne announced that the government will apply a 10% top-up to monthly funds entering levy paying employers digital accounts, for apprenticeship training in England, from April 2017. Therefore all funds entering a levy payer’s account will be increased, with every £1 will be increased to £1.10 in value.

Frequently Asked Questions

The proposed changes to Apprenticeships from 2017 are significant, quite complex and far-reaching including funding and incentives, delivery and direction, content, infrastructure etc. Select this link Apprenticeship Levy questions answered

Detailed and official information

Overview:

Latest government publications on Apprenticeships

New a short PowerPoint: Apprenticeships Levy Stakeholder Slides 14-03-2016

English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision – Executive Summary

English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision

Support for Employers:

The Employer Guide to Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Find an apprenticeship Training Organisation

Recruitment: Register on Find an apprenticeship (dedicated online vacancies and recruitment site)

Funding and Finance:

HMRC – The Employer Levy

Funding Principles and Minimum Apprenticeship Wage: Refer to Employer Guide (pages 9,14,15):

AGE Grant: £1,500/new recruit 16-14 year old apprentice. For details refer to employer fact sheet: 

National Insurance Employer Contribution – abolition for apprentices under 25 (from April 2016): HMRC:

Traineeships and Work Experience:

Employer Guide to Traineeships:

Apprenticeships: the range and levels:

Apprenticeship frameworks (live list)

Apprenticeship standards – Ready for Delivery

Apprenticeship standards – Approved for Development

‘Tap into Top Talent’ Breakfast

Speakers at Tap into Top Talent with Torch
Mark Shepherd (Waitrose), Paul Gale (Interserve), Simon McGinnes (Univeristy of Exeter), Fiona Parsons (SWW) & Richard Daulton (SFA) with the Apprenticeship Torch

The Government have recently announced significant changes to Apprenticeships which will take effect in 2017. The changes are quite complex and far-reaching but the most prominent message is a commitment to ‘3 million quality apprenticeship starts in England over this parliament’.

The Business Breakfast

The Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board’s ‘Tap into Top Talent’ Business Breakfast on Friday 11th March was an opportunity for local employers to find out more about the benefits of ‘growing your own’ talent. Some employers had already benefitted from employing Intermediate and Advanced level apprentices and wanted to explore Higher or Graduate apprenticeships. Others new to apprenticeships and faced with the possibility of a levy wish to make the most of the changes. Whilst other businesses were particularly eager to find out about the new BSc Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeships at the University of Exeter. The event included presentations from successful apprentice employers and the opportunity for a question and answer session with an expert panel.  The event was part of the National Apprenticeship Week 2016 and kindly supported by Santander Corporate & Commercial Bank, at Pynes Hill, Exeter.

The Apprenticeship Torch

The ‘Apprenticeship Torch’ designed and made by apprentices to  symbolise the passing on of knowledge made an appearance. The Torch was en route to an event at The Shard in London on Monday and then back to Exeter for the Apprentice Expo 2016 on Tuesday 15th March. Employers took the opportunity for a photo call with The Torch and to make pledges to make apprentices part of their workforce in the future.

Apprenticeships move with the times

Many apprenticeships today reflect the emerging sectors in the economy including information technology. However, as far back as the 1500s apprenticeships in England were developed around traditional trades such as paper-making and printing. Later in the late nineteenth century apprenticeships encompassed emerging sectors such as engineering and shipbuilding. Apprenticeships have always moved with the times. Now the Government plans a series to develop apprenticeships for a new era of increased productivity. It intends to make significant changes in 2017 which are likely to include:

  • Employers with a pay-bill of at least £3,000,000 will pay the Apprenticeship Levy at 0.5% of their pay-bill through HMRC.
  • Employers will be eligible for an allowance of up to £15,000 towards apprenticeship course fees. This funding will be managed through the Digital Apprenticeship Service and is made on a £2 Government : £1 employer contribution basis and has a defined life-time after which it will be lost.
  • Public Sector employers employing more than 250 people will be required to ensure that apprentices represent 2.3% of their workforce. A separate event in April will be help for Public Sector employers to find out more about this.

Many of these planned changes are still in the ‘melting pot’ but employers need to keep up-to-date.  Plan to make apprentices part of the workforce either through formalising the training of existing employees or through recruitment so that you can make the most of the apprenticeship allowance, neutralise the cost of the levy if your paybill is over £3 million and meet the targets set for those in the Public Sector .

More detailed and official information

Overview:

English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision – Executive Summary

English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision

Support for Employers:

The Employer Guide to Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Find an apprenticeship Training Organisation

Recruitment: Register on Find an apprenticeship (dedicated online vacancies and recruitment site)

Funding and Finance:

HMRC – The Employer Levy

Funding Principles and Minimum Apprenticeship Wage: Refer to Employer Guide (pages 9,14,15):

AGE Grant: £1,500/new recruit 16-14 year old apprentice. For details refer to employer fact sheet: 

National Insurance Employer Contribution – abolition for apprentices under 25 (from April 2016): HMRC:

Traineeships and Work Experience:

Employer Guide to Traineeships:

Apprenticeships: the range and levels:

Apprenticeship frameworks (live list)

Apprenticeship standards – Ready for Delivery

Apprenticeship standards – Approved for Development

Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board is an independent body and voice for employers, aiming to improve employment across Devon and beyond.