Tag Archives: skills

Preparing for a modern economy

Preparing for a modern economy with Knowledge-Based Industries and a well qualified and highly specialised workforce at its heart, requires us to grow our own talent pool as well as attracting in-bound talent.

Around 50,000 people commute within the Greater Exeter Travel to Work Area every week day. People that live in East Devon may work in Exeter or Teignbridge and people that work in Mid Devon perhaps live in East Devon (see the diagram below). Children and young people travel considerable distances to learn too. The catchment area of some schools and colleges extends right across local council and sometimes county boundaries. Our ‘raw material’ for this talent pool needs to be nurtured from a young age regardless of the student’s or the school’s location, as inevitably we will all be working together, in an effort to make this region a great place to live and work.

Net flow for commuters through EHOD

Looking at the performance of schools and students is a sometimes a  little like comparing ‘apples and pears’; up until 16 years ‘student residency’ is all important and at 18 years’ school location’ becomes the basis of the ranking.  On the whole:

  • Primary school children, in most parts of the region,  perform better than the national average.
  • Secondary school students performance at GCSE level (around 16 years) is more varied with GCSE results revealing a range of nearly 10% between the top performing and least well performing schools per council area.
  • Young people, are increasingly more mobile around about the age of 18, and tend to do well academically.

BUT then disappointingly the proportion progressing to Higher Education (HE) is notably lower than would be expected. Nationally, a decline of 4% in university applications has been recently reported. Closer examination reveals that this reduction is mainly in ‘mature’ students and in Nursing/Medicine/ Health related degrees where student tuition fees are no longer exempted. However, our small (124 students), local (South West), recent (June 2017) research exercise at a Big Bang SW indicates that 13% fewer school students intend to apply to university than the students surveyed in 2016 (see graph below). This is concerning as the proportion of young people progressing to Higher Education in EHOD is already notably lower than the national average.

Destinations comparison 2016 2017 graph

Student debt (Tuition fee loans of up to £9250/annum plus maintenance loans are charged at 6.1% interest from this autumn) has been hitting the headlines and combined with economic uncertainty may have influenced a growing reticence amongst potential students to invest in themselves through HE. Surprisingly, and disappointingly, it appears that this reduction in HE applications may not result in a corresponding increase in students intending to undertake an apprenticeship, despite prominent Government campaigns and opportunities locally. Perhaps the messaging about university fees has been stronger than that of pro-Apprenticeships?

Accepting the research exercise was small and two years is not a trend, it is nevertheless interesting. Perhaps we are left with more questions than answers? At the very least this research indicates that more young people are certain about what they want to do. It may be that more young people want to be entrepreneurs, more want to get  jobs (which does not and should not rule out learning), and that we all need to examine why local young people are less likely to apply to University and what can be done to increase the uptake of apprenticeships at every level. Working together is more likely to be the most successful approach. Whatever the route young people take, we want them to achieve their potential, to continue to learn and to contribute to a more modern economy and a happy community.

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Full STEAMM Ahead

Grand Challenges - University of Exeter - June 2016
Grand Challenges – Tackling 21st Century Interdisciplinary Dilemmas Together at the University of Exeter – June 2016

Recently we have been discussing the complex and volatile world in which we live and work, and the increasing need for more interdisciplinary teams.

Locally, Innovation Exeter is focused on cultivating a City-region which is a world-leader in environmental data analytics.  This is an interdisciplinary area and results will be achieved by exploiting the presence of the Met Office, the University of Exeter, the Science Park, the Maths School and other critical assets. STEM∗ STEMM° STEAMM℘ are top topics. Naomi Climer, the president of the Institute of Engineers, values the mix of creative and technical skills in individuals. However, the skills and personal qualities which underpin and enable interdisciplinary working in these highly technical areas are vital across all sectors and at all levels. If we are to tackle the productivity challenge and be more fulfilled individuals we need to unleash confidence, communicate effectively, collaborate meaningfully and re-discover curiosity.

Our meeting of Employers, Training Providers, Facilitators and Funders on Friday 25 November explored the theme Full STEAMM Ahead! Interdisciplinary STEAMM teams with strong collaborative abilities are the way ahead. We enjoyed presentations from and discussions with:

Kerry Burnham Exeter Maths School Creative and interdisciplinary project work with the University, Exeter College and employers – the benefits of being stuck!
Louise Cole & Kevin Feaviour Imagine If – Assets for Success Soft skills in schools, colleges, universities communities and the modern workplace

louise-and-kevin-employment-skills-board-presentation-final

Rosie Bates Education Business Partnership STEAMM & the EBP – STEM Ambassadors, Big Bang etc

ehod-esb-ebpsw-full-steamm-ahead

Anka Djordjevic Grand Challenges – University of Exeter Grand Challenges interdisciplinary enquiry –led learning with leading academics and external specialists

full-steamm-ahead-grand-challenges-presentation-light-version

Jo McCreedie Careers & Employability – University of Exeter Internships & employability experiences

(Presentation to be added when technical glitches solved!)

Our main discussion points identified our need to:

  • Transcend silo mentality and cross boundaries
  • Ensure students experience breadth and develop interdisciplinary skills as study subject areas become more specific
  • Think beyond the immediate demand for STEM and not to fixate on ‘the now’
  • Focus on ‘Character, values and virtues’

We will need an interdisciplinary, creative, collaborative, innovative group to make this happen.

This was an interesting and informative start to what should be a Grand Challenge for Exeter and beyond.

Thanks to the Met Office who generously hosted this meeting.


∗STEM – Science Technology Engineering Maths
° STEMM – Science Technology Engineering Maths Medicine
℘ STEAMM – Science Technology Engineering Arts Maths Medicine

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

 

 

 

“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?

 

DCC Apprentices 2015-graduation-ceremony1
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