SkillsActive, the sector skills council for active leisure, learning and well-being, has secured £230,000 of Government funding from the Growth and Innovation Fund, which is jointly administered by The Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the Skills Funding Agency and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).
The Fund matches employer funding with Government funding to help meet skills gaps in economically important sectors. The Joint Investment Programme in Playwork focuses on the skills gaps identified to SkillsActive by playwork employers.
Lesli Godfrey, Strategic Lead for Playwork at SkillsActive, says: “We are really pleased that our bid for this funding has been successful and that employers will now have this opportunity to access a Playwork qualification for their staff from an early years background.”
Playworkers provide spaces and resources for children and young people to come together and play in their free time, at out of school clubs, adventure playgrounds, parks and community centres across the country. The subsidised qualification equips staff who have gained early years qualifications with the principles, knowledge and understanding of Playwork that they need in order to facilitate play opportunities for children and young people.
SkillsActive is looking for playworkers in England to take advantage of the offer of 50pc matched funding towards the Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork (from early years).
SkillsActive is now working with City College Norwich and a network of partner training providers to deliver the programme across all counties of England. It is intended that the programme will be completed by the end of July 2013.
To be eligible for funding, learners must hold a full level 3 early years qualification, based on the children’s care learning and development or early years and education standards. This does not include the new level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce at present. Employers will need to pledge at least 50pc of the cost of the qualification i.e. £229 to enable this to be matched by Government.
All learners will also receive their own SkillsActive activepassport, an on-line tool to record their qualifications, training and experience.
Dick Palmer, Principal, City College Norwich, says: “We are delighted to be working with SkillsActive and partners to deliver the Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork nationwide which will help extend the opportunities available to those already trained in early years.”
Details of the training available and the process by which both employers and playworkers can register their interest can be found at http://www.ccn.ac.uk/form/playworktransition
The English teenager became the youngest winner of the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship held at Royal Portrush when she took the title in June aged only 16, breaking a 112-year record.
Now 17 and in her second year of the AASE programme, Taylor, beat cyclist Lucy Garner and swimmer Eleanor Simmonds to the award.
The decision was made by a panel chaired by BBC Sport presenter John Inverdale.
The youngster made a memorable debut on the Ladies European Tour, qualifying for the Slovak Open and then hitting a hole in one during the first round and is ranked 20th in the women's amateur world rankings.
Taylor helped England win a silver medal at the European Girls Team Championships in the Junior Solheim Cup and was also a member of England's winning Ladies' Home Internationals team. She has been now been signed by Baylor College, Dallas, Texas, on a sports-based scholarship.
Speaking about her achievements, Ryder Cup player and world number 25 Ian Poulter said: "She is not only a great golfer but an extremely well-rounded young woman. Lauren is a deserving winner of the award and has my full support as she moves forward with her golfing career."
Steve Robinson, English Women's Golf Association national coach, added: "Lauren has always impressed me with her work-rate, attitude and ambition along with her desire to compete - the attributes all top-class athletes require.
"Lauren is a very talented, down to earth sportsperson and has a very bright future ahead of her."
In addition to Taylor, Garner and Simmonds, the original shortlist of 10 also included: Liam Broady (tennis), Sally Brown (athletics), Tom Daley (diving), Jack Laugher (diving), Pat McCormack (boxing), Laura Robson (tennis) and Anthony Watson (rugby union).
The award is made to the outstanding young sportsperson aged 16 or under on 1 January 2011. Previous winners include Daley, Andy Murray, Wayne Rooney, Simmonds and Theo Walcott.
SkillsActive chief operating officer David Henwood helped judge the first ever Lifetime Learner Achievement Awards ceremony on 17 November.
David says the awards, split into three categories (Open, Academy, and Apprenticeship programmes), recognise and celebrate the learning achievements and resulting career and personal successes, of those who have completed a qualification with SkillsActive's approved training provider, Lifetime.
David was invited to be a judge alongside David Foster (Lifetime CEO), Carole Bishop (Head of Lifetime Awarding), Spencer Melhman (NotGoingToUni).
David says: "It was a real honour to talk to the 20 finalists and learn what a difference their new found skills and knowledge in the active leisure, learning and wellbeing sector has made to them and those around them.”
Mark Davey, 31, from Westcliff-on-Sea was crowned the open category and Overall winner of the 2011 Awards. Mark overcame health issues and is now a fulltime gym manager, running his own exercise referral company and helping give back to those suffering similar health conditions.
Rachel Hobbs, 21, from Guildford was named as Apprenticeship programme category winner with a story of determination and passion to succeed for the sake of her young son.
The Academy category prize was scooped by Londoner Ian Perkins, a young man who has well and truly turned his life around through training.
20 finalists were shortlisted for the inaugural 2011 Lifetime Learner Achievement Awards, from an impressive 130 nominations. For further information on the 2012 awards, please visit www.lifetimeawards.co.uk
SkillsActive, the sector skills council for active learning and leisure, is organising a special employment and training fair in Guildford for those looking to leave the Armed Services, and veterans.
The Fair, to be held at Surrey Sports Park, in Guildford, Surrey, on 8th March 2012, marks the start of SkillsActive’s Change Gear programme.
The Change Gear Programme is designed to offer specific career change support to ensure those leaving the Services are empowered to make informed decisions about the opportunities available to them in the sport, health and fitness, outdoors, playwork, health and beauty, and caravans industries.
Head of programmes Julie Evans explains: “What we are hoping to achieve with Change Gear Employment and Training Fair is to look past the uniform to the person within, recognising not only the skills of trained service men and women, but also the personal qualities that will help each individual succeed. Our sector has massive potential for growth and career development and therefore offers a wealth of opportunity for those entering it.
“The Change Gear Programme, and our Employment and Training Fair, are designed to offer all round support through expert advice, high quality training and additional support for business and finance etc, to make these career changers the best candidates with access to the best jobs. Service personnel will have access to specific career change advice as well as the chance to meet with training providers, employers and veterans who have made the transition from Forces-life into the sector. All this will enable them to make informed decisions about their future.“
As well as the Employment and Training Fair the Change Gear programme includes:
If you would like to know more about Change Gear or sign-up for the Employment and Training Fair please go see Change Gear
Delegates were able to choose from a range of practical workshops sessions on exercise for ultimate fat loss, speed training, social media, cardiac rehabilitation, ViPR, studio powerbag conditioning, creating and maintaining motivation, integrated back training, mental health issues, muscle testing and physiology, and strength and conditioning, earning them four CPD points.
They also heard from keynote speaker and weight loss guru Pete Cohen, REPs Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch, and SkillsActive’s activepassport manager Claire Westrop.
Jean-Ann said: “Our conventions always have a good vibe but this was one of the best yet. Our members are passionate about the work they do and en masse that enthusiasm and drive is incredible to see.
“As ever our practical workshops were hugely popular and everyone left feeling tired but inspired!”
The next REPs convention will be held in Cardiff on February 8 2012. This will be followed by the South East convention planned for May 10 2012 and a new bumper National convention to coincide with Leisure Industry Week in late September.
Active leisure, learning and well-being employers in Northern Ireland stand to benefit from the work of a new initiative developed by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs).
Collaboration groups enable SSCs to collectively lead on partnership activities and common issues that affect more than one sector. SkillsActive has joined three of these ‘cluster groups’, including the Tourism and Hospitality Cluster group.
SkillsActive in Northern Ireland manager Siobhan Weir says many jobs in the Northern Ireland active leisure, learning and wellbeing benefit from the expanding tourism industry.
“The Tourism and Hospitality Cluster group provides an important opportunity for SSCs to collaborate to benefit employers across tourism related sectors in Northern Ireland.
“Our first job is to coordinate the roll-out of World Host, a world-class training programme designed to raise the standard and delivery of customer service, which is 90% funded by the Department for Employment & Learning (DELNI).
“We’ll then move on to developing joint applications for the Skills Collaborative Fund. This is a new fund that DELNI are currently developing and it will be loosely based on the Grant Innovation Fund (GIF) criteria. DELNI will announce details of the application process in January with the intention of projects beginning in April 2012.”
SkillsActive is also actively involved with other tourism related partners and forums in Northern Ireland, such as the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Destination Fermanagh and the Activity Tourism Forum.
Delegates discussed European Standards, Accreditation of European Training Providers and pre-requisites for entry into vocational and degree qualifications.
Jean-Ann says: “It is always so interesting to have the opportunity to discuss and appreciate international differences and variations. Coming together in this way moves the industry closer towards more reciprocal arrangements, to benefit members wishing to travel and work around the world.”
Also attending the summit was senior programme manager for SkillsActive Ben Gittus.
Ben added: “The EHFA International Standards event was a great opportunity to discuss education standards and qualifications with colleagues from across Europe. However, the best part of the event was the attendance and input from the main American instructor certification agencies. There were presentations from both ACE and ACSM and it was really useful to share insights and ways of working with these organisations.”
Our National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure works with the best training providers in our sector to deliver cost-effective, quality assured training solutions.
Finding the right apprenticeship scheme and understanding apprenticeship funding can sometimes feel a bit daunting. That’s why we’ve put together these useful step-by-step guides with information on all aspects of apprenticeship schemes. Whether you’re seeking a new career, looking for funding to train existing employees and take on new staff or wanting to add more training options to your business, discover how SkillsActive can help you work out the best options for your organisation.