DCTPN - Weekly Digest
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Weekly Digest - 1 February 2017

Dear <<First Name>>

Last week saw the Government publish its Industrial Skills Strategy, this was accompanied by a positive blizzard of associated PR on skills, training and the alternatives available to a traditional academic pathway. I think it is safe to say that the Government have recognised that the UK has fallen by the way side in terms of technical education, and that Apprenticeships aside, we are not seeing the numbers required to support future growth and development. The plans for the Government to publish, later this year, a comprehensive strategy for careers information, advice and guidance cannot come soon enough.

The Board for the new Institute for Apprenticeships was also announced at the end of last week; made up of six employers and two college Principals, the absence of a representative from the independent training provider sector has been noted and commented on from a number of quarters. With the ITP sector delivering so many of the Apprenticeships it would make sense for them to be included... however five of the six Deputy Directors have yet to be announced so we may see some ITP inclusion here. 

The IfA has published its draft operational plan and although containing no real surprises it does acknowledge and support the need to speed up the process around signing off and introducing the new Standards and associated assessments. The IfA are seeking feedback on the draft plan, with consultation closing on 27 February

The Apprenticeship Levy continues to be part of our waking moments, with more commentary being heard with regards to whether there will be enough 'left in the pot' for non-Levy Paying employers (SME's) to access for their training needs. With SME's being seen as the driving force behind improved social mobility and productivity there is an absolute meed for them to be able to access funding for Apprenticeships. At a local level, where we do not have large numbers of Levy Payers, this could have serious consequences, perhaps not immediately, but certainly as we enter years 2 and 3 of the Levy. There is a continuing call for the Government to agree to a minimum annual budget for the non-Levy Payers - this would give smaller businesses, so critical in driving up Apprenticeship numbers, guaranteed access to funding. 

Final few pieces of Reform update;  the Register for Apprenticeship Training Providers, RoATP - the SFA have indicated that they will re-open for applications possibly at the end of March - I know that those of you who applied late last year are still waiting to hear the outcome from those applications. The new Digital Apprenticeship Service looks ready to launch, following a period of beta testing,according to a FE Week article. I envisage a flurry of activity... 

Onto the Network and some of the activity we are carrying out to support our Members - our Prevent workshops, which will support you and your organisation meet your statutory obligations are now open for booking  - read on in the Digest to find out more and book your place. Although not a limiting factor, the Prevent strategy is seen as a vital element within education - there are a number of concerns being voiced over the challenges in being able to effectively manage Prevent within a work-based learning context. With learners in industry, it is critical that employers are made aware of Prevent and that both providers and employers are clear about their individual responsibilities and their combined role within Prevent strategy.

The Network is supporting the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP with an employer 'Apprenticeship Reforms' event, which is being held at the Royal County Showground on Friday 3 March -  interested in attending or think your employers would benefit from doing so? Please book your place here.  

I am keen to meet as many of you as possible and have managed, in the main, to do so. If you would like to arrange a one-to-one meeting with me, or would like to see the Network offering something specific in terms of guest speakers at meetings, topics within the Digest or workshops to support staff CPD please do get in touch with me - I would love to hear from you.

With best wishes


Prevent Workshops 
Do you know what your organisation should be doing in terms of the Government's Prevent Strategy? What part do you play? How can you ensure that your organisation is meeting the requirements being asked?

Have you booked your place yet? We are taking bookings now for our series of four interactive Prevent workshops which will inform, update and equip you with the tools you need for you to meet your Prevent obligations.

All four workshops will take place at ETS House, Emperor Way, Exeter and will run between 9.00am and 3.45pm, and will include refreshments and lunch. :
Workshop One - 22 February
Workshop Two - 23 May
Workshop Three - 26 July
Workshop Four - 28 November

Priced at just £299 per person for ALL four workshops this is a cost effective way for you to access first-rate,quality training, which will really add value to your organisation. Additional bookings from the same organisation will be priced at £249 per person. This equates to under £75 per full day workshop - a cost effective way to ensure your organisation is up-to-date and informed on all things Prevent. 

To book your place(s) please contact the Network via e-mail.
Adult Education Budget - Procurement Process Underway 
The Government have written to all ITPs to update them on the changes being implemented with regard to public contract regulations, which will have a direct impact on ITPs and their contracts to deliver services as part of the Adult Education Budget. 

The current contract term ends on 31 July 2017 and the changes being introduced will mean that automatic renewal will not be available. With this in mind the Government are introducing a competitive procurement exercise for funding, which has been made available to all training providers listed on ROTO. One year contracts will be awarded in the first instance. 

Concern has been voiced over the fact that only independent training providers are in scope, i.e. colleges and local authorities do not need to engage with the process.

Read more on this, later in the Digest, in the further reading section.
The Young Enterprise organisation, a member of DCBC, is looking for individuals to acts as judges for their Company Programme - aimed at young people aged 15-19 the programme runs throughout one academic year, enabling participants to find out what it’s really like to set up and run a business.

Young people make all the decisions about their company, from deciding on the company name and product to creating a business plan, managing the company finances and selling to the public at trade fairs. All this takes place with the support of a volunteer Business Adviser who brings a wealth of business knowledge and expertise. Teams can track their progress using self-assessment tools and even compete against other schools in local, regional and a national final.

If you would like to get involved, or to find out more, please contact Chloe at DCBC. 
Further Reading

To read the latest SFA Update please click here - contains information on: 1. Adult education budget: independent training provider contracts; 2. Draft adult education budget (AEB) funding rules 2017 to 2018; 3. Funding rates and formula 2017 to 2018 published; 4. Qualification achievement rates (QAR) and minimum standards (MS) 2015 to 2016; 5. Apprenticeship grant for employers (AGE) facilities; 6. Funding claims 2016 to 2017 guidance; 7. Updated restructuring facility guidance; 8. Process for adding components to the 2016 to 2017 adult education budget local flexibility offer; 9. National living and minimum wage campaign.

The latest Register of Training Organisations has been published by the Government - click here to access the January list.
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