The report recognises the importance of apprenticeship schemes to the UK economy. It outlines how vital it is for apprenticeship programmes to be fit for purpose and to reflect the needs of employers. Importantly, the report also recommends that the vocational route be given the same prominence as the academic route in the dissemination of careers advice.
The report highlights the effectiveness of alternative delivery models of training such as Group Training Associations. Stating that:
"We welcome the development of alternative models of delivery including Group Training Associations and Apprenticeship Training Agencies. These are employer-led and therefore have the potential to address the skills shortages experienced by business."
Upon reading the report SkillsActive CEO Ian Taylor commented:
"Apprenticeship programmes are of great importance and they should be an attractive alternative to the academic route. Vocational training is a powerful tool to develop potential and enhance the skills of young people."
"SkillsActive looks forward to continuing to work with employers in ensuring that Apprenticeships across our sector deliver the knowledge and skills their businesses needs. We will also continue to work with SMEs via our Group Training Associations to ensure that they receive the maximum amount of funding for their training needs."
To find out more about our involvement in Apprenticeships follow this link.
To find out more about our Group Training Associations follow this link.
In its response to the House of Lords' report on the Olympic legacy and the nation's health, the Government stated that:
"Registration through REPS signifies that gym instructors meet minimum National Occupational Standards for the knowledge, competencies and skills needed to perform their specific role. For those delivering exercise referral, the required level of registration is determined by the clinical needs of the referral population. We would encourage all commissioners of exercise referral schemes to make the use of appropriately trained and qualified exercise professionals (and eventually compliance with the updated guidelines for exercise referral) a contractual requirement."
John Greenway President of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) highlighted the importance of the comments made by the Government:
"We welcome the Government's recognition of the qualification framework which REPs has established to facilitate exercise referral as a major contributor to improving health outcomes. We look forward to working with the Government to encourage an increased uptake of exercise referral to appropriately qualified REPs members".
The CACHE Level 4 Award in Playwork, CACHE Level 4 Certificate in Playwork and CACHE Level 5 Diploma in Playwork are now on the Government’s LARA (Learning Aim Reference Application) website, which means they are eligible for government funding for learners over 16 years.
Learners who are between 16 and 18 years old are eligible for full funding, while learners who are 19-24 are likely to be eligible for 50% funding through adult learner provision.
SkillsActive’s Strategic Lead for Playwork and the Children’s Workforce, Lesli Godfrey, says: “SkillsActive is very pleased the higher level Playwork qualifications are eligible for funding. We’ve had a lot of enquiries from potential learners who are keen to undertake a Playwork qualification at levels 4 and 5, and access to funding support is a welcome bonus for them and their employers, many of whom struggle to pay for staff development.’
Cache’s Director of Portfolio Development Nick Cutland says: “CACHE are thrilled that these qualifications are attracting funding. The knowledge and skills learners will gain through completing them will contribute to continuing professional development in the Playwork sector.”
Training providers who have direct contracts with the Skills Funding Agency are now able to apply for funding to support learners undertaking these qualifications. This good news follows the recent announcement that the Level 5 Diploma in Playwork (NVQ) is accepted by Ofsted as full and relevant for work in a setting on the early years register.
To learn more about these funded qualifications please visit http://www.cache.org.uk and to check which Skills Funding Agency funding streams apply, visit https://gateway.imservices.org.uk/sites/LARA/Pages/aimssearch.aspx
It follows proposals from the UK government to replace the Adventures Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) - set up in 1995 after four people died while canoeing in Dorset.
After the Common Sense, Common Safety report of 2010, the UK government has committed to abolishing the 17 year old legislation. This forms the basis of the statutory licensing requirement of outdoor adventure providers who are commercial and who operate with children and young people.
This decision was taken following a UK-wide consultation on the issue which closed last September. SkillsActive and its Outdoor Employers Group (OEG) submitted a response to this consultation which can be viewed here: Consultation response
However, the Scottish Government believes that the outdoors licensing issue is a ‘devolved’ one. It has just launched a consultation of the development of safety systems for the outdoor adventure sector specifically in Scotland. The consultation and response document can be viewed here: Scottish consultation . The consultation closes on 30 March 2012. SkillsActive will be responding to the consultation
The consultation will look at, and compare, three options for Scotland, including the UK government's planned new voluntary code of practice and would remove costs associated with licensing, a non-statutory, voluntary accreditation scheme and a statutory scheme.
The Scottish consultation was formally launched by Commonwealth Games and sport minister Shona Robison.
Robison said: "Any safety system developed for adventure activities in Scotland would need to meet the needs of Scottish providers and users whilst being robust and proportionate.
"That's why I want to hear views on whether a statutory inspection and licensing regime should be maintained or if a new approach should be adopted."
Grantfinder - 16/11/11
Funding expected to create at least 4,000 jobs and unlock around £500 million of new investment by small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) has been announced by the Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Hundreds of small businesses will benefit from government investment of £95 million to help boost growth and rebalance the economy.
The £95 million is part of the Government's Regional Growth Fund, which is a £1.4 billion fund supporting projects that can create jobs, are based in areas dependent on the public sector and are supported by private sector investment. The Fund has been primarily targeted at larger firms, with a minimum grant threshold of £1 million.
RBS, NatWest and HSBC have agreed to facilitate the distribution of the £95 million. RBS and NatWest will facilitate £70 million and HSBC will facilitate £25 million. The banks will not profit financially from the administration of these schemes.
The new schemes will provide grants to support SMEs considering investing in new capital assets and creating new employment.
The key features of the RBS, NatWest and HSBC schemes are as follows:
Business Minister Mark Prisk said: "These schemes will directly help SMEs that want to invest and create new jobs. They will deliver a shot in the arm to local communities and help small businesses drive local growth.
"100 per cent of the RGF funding will be provided as grants to small businesses with the banks employing their regional networks to administer the schemes for free."
For Further information see the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website.