The Sussex Council of Training Providers represents and supports Government funded training organisations operating in Sussex.


16/8/17 - Unemployment Falls To 42 Year Low

Unemployment in the UK fell by 57,000 in the three months to June, official figures show, bringing the jobless rate down to 4.4% - its lowest since 1975. The squeeze on real incomes continues to grow, though at a slower pace. Click here for more.

16/8/17 - ACL Funding Webinar Recording & Slides

Click here for a recording of yesterday's e-Memoir webinar titled 'An Update on the Funding of Adult Community Learning for 2017 to 2018'. The slides can be seen here.

16/8/17 - UfI Funds AI Solution For Apprenticeship Resources

Ufi Charitable Trust, a grant-funding body which supports the delivery of adult vocational skills through digital technology, has announced £100,000 of funding for a vocational training projectthat will use artificial intelligence to creat 'just in time' training resources to support apprentices in their learning. The project is being led by SCTP member Youthforce. More information is here.

15/8/17 - ETF Practitioner Research Programme Bursaries

Do you have a good research idea but need some support and some thinking time to make it happen? Do you want to develop your teaching skills or understand education practice better? Do you want to be a part of the future of teaching in your sector?  Applications are now open for the 2017/18 Practitioner Research Programme run by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF). Applications from all parts of the sector and disciplines are welcome. There are some key areas of focus which will attract preference: Maths and English teaching and Improvement in or development of technical teaching and the curriculum. The deadline for application is Monday 25 September 2017 at 5.00pm. More information is here.

15/8/17 - How To Deliver Fantastic Community Learning

See this useful article from an experienced practitioner.

15/8/17 - Two Publications On University Access

Firstly, the Education charity Teach First has found that those born in the poorest postcodes of the country have just a one in five chance of progressing to university. By contrast, half of young people born in the wealthiest postcodes go on to higher education. In a report released in partnership with the Credit Suisse EMEA Foundation, Beyond Access: Getting to University and Succeeding There, Teach First has warned that unless action is taken by the Government, universities and wider society, young people from disadvantaged backgrounds will continue to struggle to reach their full potential.

Secondly, The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and the social mobility charity Brightside are jointly publishing a collection of essays by senior higher education figures entitled Where next for widening participation and fair access? New insights from leading thinkers.

11/8/17 - QA Joins SCTP

A warm welcome to SCTP's latest full member - national specialist IT apprenticeship provider, QA. We look forward to working with Louise Stevenson, Business Development Manager and James Dawson, Sales Manager as they develop their new centre in Brighton's New England Quarter near the railway station. To find out more about QA go to their website here.

10/8/17 - ESFA e-Bulletin Issue 182

Latest information from the former EFA including: 1.Action: Publication of DfE performance tables on college websites; 2.Information: Schools funding operational guidance for 2018 to 2019; 3.Information: R10 reconciliation statements for 2016 to 2017 academic year.

9/8/17 - DWP Touchbase Newsletter: August Edition

Latest news and articles from across government for advisers, employers and organisations that help people find jobs.  

9/8/17 - ESFA Update Issue 366

Latest from the ESFA including: 1.National Apprenticeship Awards 2017 – regional finalists announced; 2.Becoming an end-point assessor for apprenticeships: Future Apprenticeship workshops. (More on becoming an end point assessor is here).

8/8/17 - Video/Slides: E-Memoir Non-levy Procurement Webinar

Click here for a recording of E-Memoir's 'Non-levy paying employer procurement' webinar led by Beej Kaczmarczyk and here for the slides. This contains useful insights and information.

8/8/17 - Slides From Lsect Non-Levy Procurement Webinar

Click here for the slides from today's webinar which contain useful tips on tender completion.

7/8/17 - Chichester & Central Sussex Colleges Announce Merger

Congratulations to SCTP members Chichester College and Central Sussex College who have formally announced their merger. Central Sussex College will now revert to being known as Crawley College with new senior management appointments and more information available in the press release.

3/8/17 - DfE Publishes Learner Mental Health Best Practice

The DfE has released their "Supporting Mental Health in Schools and Colleges" survey and case studies with schools on activities to support pupils' mental health and wellbeing. This research set out to understand what schools, colleges and other educational institutions in England currently do to promote positive mental health and wellbeing among all of their learners.

3/8/17 - SELEP 12/9 ESF Workshop Registration Details

The South East LEP is holding an ESF workshop on the 12th September in London to look at how best to use the remaining £20M of unmatched ESF funding available in the current round. The venue is Central Hall in Westminster, timings are 13.00-16.30. All interested parties are welcome and places (which will be limited by venue capacity) can be reserved by clicking here.

3/8/17 - ETF Summer & Autumn CPD Programme

Latest provider support available via the Education and Training Foundation.

3/8/17 - Final Area Review Recommendations Published

Following publication of the final area review recommendations, this FE Week article looks at the process and outcomes over a 2 year period. Links are available here to new area review reports affecting the South East for Kent & Medway and Greater Essex.

2/8/17 - AELP Calls For End To £200k Non-Levy Tender Limit

AELP believes that the £200,000 threshold in the new non-levy procurement process should be scrapped so that smaller providers will not be disadvantaged. Under the rule, the ESFA has said that in all cases, the lowest contract value that will be awarded for the “initial contact period” is £200,000. Click here for more and here for further analysis on the strengths and weaknesses of the non-levy tender process.

2/8/17 - Financial Modelling For Apprenticeship Standards

Click here for a useful checklist from the Strategic Development Network regarding the costs involved in delivering apprenticeship standards.

2/8/17 - ESFA Guidance On Contracting Arrangements

The ESFA has issued guidance on contracts for adult education budget, apprenticeships agreements and 16 to 18 traineeships (not delivered through 16 to 19 participation budget).  

2/8/17 - ESFA Update Issue 365

Latest from the ESFA including: 1.Apprenticeship funding for levy-contracted apprentices: ensure your ILR matches information agreed with employers in the apprenticeship service; 2.Latest batch of apprenticeship withdrawals; 3.Apprenticeship technical funding guide (from 1 May 2017); 4.Customer engagement research; 5.HSBC extend student account to higher and degree apprentices.

2/8/17 - Free Webinar On ACL Funding

E-memoir is offering a webinar titled 'An Update on the Funding of Adult Community Learning for 2017 to 2018'. This takes place on August 15th 11.00-12.00. Details and booking are here.

2/8/17 - ESFA Business Update Issue 24

Click here for the August issue of the ESFA's publication aimed at employers.

2/8/17 - Health & Social Care Apprenticeship Progression Event

The University of Brighton is running a workshop on 20th September to look at the challenges and opportunities around apprenticeship progression in the Health and Social Care sector. The University would like to invite fellow SCTP members that deliver apprenticeships in the Health and Social Care sector to join them for this workshop and to work together to develop solutions and build clear pathways. Attendance is free, but places are limited so you will need to register your attendance to secure a place. You can book a place here.

31/7/17 - Two Reports On Digital Skills

The Government has published two reports on digital skills the first looking at the growing demand for digital skills and approaches to improve their supply, the second looking at rising demand for digital skills in the UK and how the further education sector can adapt to address it.

31/7/17 - New Cyber Security Programme For 14-18 Year Olds

The government has launched a new website for students, teachers and industry. The aim is to encourage the best and brightest young minds to take the opportunity to learn cutting-edge cyber security skills alongside their studies through a nationwide network of extracurricular clubs, activities and a new online game. This looks mainly schools focussed but may be of interest to other learners working with providers.

31/7/17 - ESFA Inform July Issue

Latest monthly e-news for MI managers, software writers and suppliers about FE data systems and reports, the ILR, open data and other data news.

31/7/17 - Apprenticeship Levy Audit Regime Published

Apprenticeships funded from May will be included in the ESFA's 2016-17 audit programme. Annual ESFA financial assurance audits take place shortly after the end of the academic year, typically between mid-August and the end of October, and for the first time will include a separate section for apprentices recruited from May. Click here for more.

31/7/17 - ETF Appoints New Senior Staff

The Education and Training Foundation has announced senior appointments to two newly created roles. In October, Jenny Jarvis will be joining the charity as Chief Operating Officer and Neil Bates will be joining as Associate Director for Professional and Technical Education. Both will play a key role in the ETF’s drive to improve and champion the quality of the sector’s teaching and training sector.Click here for more.

31/7/17 - Future Apprenticeship Toolkit Updated

The DfE/ETF Future Apprenticeships Toolkit has just been updated to include the latest policy, practice and tools. The toolkit is a comprehensive and practical guide covering all providers need to deliver high quality apprenticeship standards. It shares transition models and effective practice from organisations who have been quick to adopt the new standards, building on work with hundreds of apprenticeship colleagues across the sector. It highlights actions that leaders, managers and practitioners will need to consider, and equips you with tools to starting putting these into practice.

28/7/17 - Apprenticeship Non-Levy Procurement Launched

The ESFA has announced the launch of the new procurement exercise for non-levy apprenticeship delivery. This announcement also includes details of the differences between this procurement round and the last. New contracts awarded as a result of this procurement will run from January 2018 to April 2019, which is the target date for all employers to be brought onto the apprenticeship service. The procurement will be open until the beginning of September this year. To help providers the ESFA has issued a narrated presentation which sets out some further details on the new exercise. More information and comment is also available from FE Week here.

28/7/17 - Launch Of SCTP's YouTube Channel

SCTP is delighted to announce that there is now a SCTP YouTube channel. Currently it features some great videos about apprenticeships that SCTP has produced on behalf of Brighton & Hove City Council, the National Careers Service, CXK, East Sussex County Council and the South East LEP.  They succinctly tell stories about apprenticeships from a range of perspectives, including that of apprentices, employers and parents.  You can share these videos with your own customers and we hope they are helpful. 

We would love to share member's videos on the SCTP YouTube channel too.  If you have videos which are relevant to government funded training programmes and would be useful for learners, employers and parents/carers to view and would like them added to the SCTP YouTube channel, contact with a link so we can quickly check them. They should be informative and not overtly sales-focused.

27/7/17 - AEB Tender Results Delayed Until August

The ESFA has informed providers via its e-tendering portal that the results of the AEB tendering round will not be published until August 4th. This will be frustrating for providers who have had to deal with repeated delays to the results. More information and comment is here.

27/7/17 - SCTP CPD Events Programme Announced

Click here for details of the 2017-18 CPD programme for members. Bookings are open for the first 2 courses namely an Introduction to Curriculum Planning which looks at planning for the delivery of the new apprenticeship standards and also a session on the delivery of End Point Assessments.

27/7/17 - ESFA e-Bulletin Issue 180

Latest from the ESFA (formerly the EFA e-bulletin) including: 1.Information: Academies Financial Handbook 2017; 2.Information: delivering provision to high needs students aged 19 to 25 in 16 to 19 academies; 3.Information: year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium - allocations for 2017 to 2018; 4.Action: 30 hours childcare update.

27/7/17 - C2C LEP Call For Local Growth Bids

Click here to see information from the Coast 2 Capital LEP on the latest call for Local Growth Funding.

27/7/17 - Prison Education Prior Information Notice

A notice has been issued by the Ministry of Justice for potential providers of prison education. The prison service is keen to work more with local colleges and providers to achieve greater alignment to the existing landscape and job opportunities.

27/7/17 - SELEP Strategic Advisory Group Minutes

Click here for the minutes of the South East LEP's most recent Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) meeting on the 20th June. The SAG exists to co-ordinate skill strategy across Kent, Essex and East Sussex. SCTP represents its members on the group and would welcome feedback.

27/7/17 - AELP Lobbying On The Apprenticeship 20% Rule

AELP has been lobbying the skills minister on behalf of providers to raise concerns about the restrictive nature of the 20% off-the-job training rule in apprenticeships. AELP met with the minister on the 17th July and submitted this briefing on the issue supported by evidence from employers. We await further developments but if you have any evidence that can support the case for reform then please submit these via SCTP.

27/7/17 - Only 10% Of Apprentices Found Path Via School

A new report from the Industry Apprentice Council (IAC) shows that fewer than one in 10 apprentices found out about their apprenticeship programme through a teacher or a careers adviser - more here. The research was carried out with 1200 apprentices, through the Industry Apprentice Council – made up of apprentices from the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector and supported by national engineering skills body Semta. The report was also critical of the lack of qualifications in standards and how this might lead to apprenticeships becoming less valued than 2 levels in this respect - more detailed analysis is here.

27/7/17 - Some Flexibility On English And Maths Requirements

The latest version of the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards in England (SASE) has been published giving guidance for the year 2017/18. Of particular note was the incorporation of the recommendation of the Maynard Panel – on which AELP was represented - that minimum apprenticeship English and maths requirements should be flexed downwards to Entry Level 3 for a defined cohort of learners for whom learning difficulties present a barrier to access and achievement. The SASE document refers only to the minimum requirements in recognised frameworks in England, but AELP understands from DfE that the exemptions and flexibilities also apply to apprenticeship standards.

26/7/17 - ESFA Update Issue 364

Latest from the ESFA including: 1.Regularity self-assessment questionnaire; 2.Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) 16 to 24; 3.Advanced Learner Loans and Adult Education Budget funding rules 2017 to 2018 webinars; 4.Updated provider data self-assessment toolkit; 5.Changes to adult apprenticeships payment arrangements for providers funded through a grant; 6.Submission of estimated exceptional learning support (ELS) costs for 2017 to 2018; 7.Update on procurement for non-levy paying employers; 8.Amendments to apprenticeship framework funding bands.

26/7/17 - East Sussex & Btn & Hove June Participation Data

Click here for the East Sussex data and here for the Brighton & Hove data on young peoples' participation on education and training.

26/7/17 - ESFA Publishes List Of Declared Subcontractors

Click here for a list published by the ESFA that provides information about subcontractors that hold contracts worth at least £100,000 in aggregate with one or more lead providers (a college, training organisation or employer that has a direct contractual relationship with the ESFA).

26/7/17 - SELEP ESF Workshop Announced For 12/9

The South East LEP is holding an ESF workshop on the 12th September in London to look at how best to use the remaining £20M of unmatched ESF funding available in the current round. Timings and venue are to be confirmed but timings are provisionally set at 13.30-16.30. All interested parties are welcome and places (which will be limited by venue capacity) can be reserved by e-mailing Louise Aitken at SELEP.

25/7/17 - iPEGS Joins SCTP

SCTP welcomes iPEGS as the latest Commercial Associate member of SCTP.  iPEGS has developed an app designed for training providers to enable them to operate a paperfree business, helping to reduce costs, save time and improve processes and efficiency. We look forward to working with Polly Ruggiero and Adam Leese. More information on iPEGS can be found at

We have also just confirmed that IPEGS will be offering a free session after the next Members' Meeting on the 21st September at 1.00-2.00pm to explain the concept of the paperless office and the technology that underpins this. Lunch will be available for those staying as well as a 20% discount on IPEG products and a free iPAD cover! As a taster here is a one minute slide video showing how the apprenticeship process can be made paperless.

25/7/17 - Minister Calls For Greater Apprenticeship Diversity

Skills minister Anne Milton has stressed the importance of getting more young people from Minority Ethnic backgrounds earning and learning through apprenticeships. She was speaking this week at a Celebration of Apprenticeships, at the House of Lords. Click here for more and here for details of SCTP's own Apprenticeship Diversity campaign - Limitless Apprenticeships.

25/7/17 - Labour Market Enforcement Plans Announced

Director of Labour Market Enforcement Sir David Metcalf has warned 'rogue employers' that he would be consulting on how to make full use of powers to jail the worst offenders who flout labour market legislation such as the National Minimum Wage (NMW). Click here for the press release and here for further information and comment. The government has also issued further details of its NMW enforcement policy including the naming of the employers that break the law.

24/7/17 - Coast 2 Capital LEP July Newsletter

Latest news from the Coast To Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.

24/7/17 - DfE Apprenticeship Reform Benefit Realisation Strategy

Department for Education has updated its progress in the Apprenticeship Reform Programme and summarised how this benefits employers and apprentices. This strategy outlines a range of high-level indicators of success for the programme, measured in positive outcomes for participants.

21/7/17 - WDR Joins SCTP

A warm welcome to the latest training provider to join SCTP. WDR has been based in Horsham for many years as a commercial training provider but has moved into apprenticeship delivery as a result of levy paying clients wanting WDR to add Leadership and Management apprenticeships to their portfolio of services. We look forward to working with Learning Manager, Sue Isaac and her colleagues. More information on WDR can be found at

21/7/17 - SCTP Members' Meeting Report

Sixty members gathered at the University of Sussex yesterday for SCTP's July Members' Meeting. The meeting included new member intros from survey specialists QDP and work experience experts Fair Train as well as updates on SCTP activities and projects and input from 3 Local Authorities (ESCC, WSCC and BHCC) on their Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), market research company Emsi on labour market trends in Sussex and a skills update from the South East LEP. Members had the chance to debate issues relating to the 20% off-the-job training rule, work experience in T-levels and the operation of the DPS. Minutes and presentations will be issued to members shortly. The next Members’ Meeting is at Sussex Downs College, Newhaven, on 21st September, (9.30-1.00). We are anticipating speakers from the ESFA, BT Apprenticeships and the DWP.

20/7/17 - T-Level Delay Confirmed In Ministerial Letter

Anne Milton, the Skills Minister has confirmed in a letter to providers that the introduction of T-Levels has been shifted back a year to 2020. This has been welcomed by AELP and no doubt by most providers. The letter lays out the approach to the reforms and is well worth a read for anyone who is likely to be involved. Further comment and analysis is here. The letter also confirm that tendering for the new Institutes of Technology will be delayed until the autumn - more here while a Government report has also cast doubt on the likely success of the plan to have one awarding body per T-Level technical qualification - more here.

20/7/17 - New Data Legislation Requirements Becoming Clearer

British organisations have been advised to begin urgently considering the way they use employee and recruitment data ahead of new laws on company data practice from the European Union due to come into force in 2018 with large fines for non-compliance. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will bring profound changes to the status of individuals’ rights in relation to automated processing, in a move aimed at strengthening individual controls on personal data. The UK will be forced to introduce the rules regardless of the progress on Brexit at that point. People Management have also reported that over a fifth (21 per cent) of people plan to use their rights under the GDPR to ask their employer or ex-employers to delete their information, research has revealed. These rights would of course equally apply to Apprentices. Members will need to look at the implications for their own organisations.

20/7/17 - Apprenticeship Pay Survey Published

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published its report on apprenticeship pay in 2016. The report looks at apprentices’ pay, earnings and whether or not they received the National Minimum Wage (NMW). It found that average pay for level 2 & 3 apprentices was well above the £3.50 minimum at £6.98 per hour although there were significant variations by occupational sector. There remain issues with NMW compliance especially in lower paid sectors - more comment on alleged government inaction is here.

20/7/17 - Govt Announces £16M Investment In Post-16 Maths

A £16 million investment to increase the quality of teaching in post-16 maths has been announced as part of major drive to see more students studying the subject after GCSE and ensure Britain’s future workforce can compete in the global marketplace post Brexit. Following a government-commissioned review by Professor Sir Adrian Smith about how to improve 16-18 maths education in England, Education Minister Nick Gibb has set out a series of actions to increase participation. There is no change to the GCSE retake requirement (yet) despite some concerns in the report about the lack of recognised alternatives (see comment here from FE Week) and no mention of the long-argued case for higher funding for maths & English as part of apprenticeships.

20/7/17 - ESFA e-Bulletin Issue 179

Latest from the ESFA (formerly the EFA e-bulletin) including: 1.Action: get information about schools – new service; 2.Information: schools funding arrangements in 2018 to 2019; 3.Information: outcome of Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) appeals for 2017 to 2018; 4.Information: 14 to 16 in further education; 5.Information: update on procurement for non-levy paying employers; 6.Information: 16 to 19 sub-contracted students for the 2015 to 2016 academic year; 7.Information: post-16 census tool; 8.Information: maths and English condition of funding; 9.Information: Care to Learn guide; 10.Information: 16 to 19 Bursary Fund guide; 11.Information: final 2016 to 2017 and updated 2017 to 2018 dedicated schools grant allocations; 12.Information: customer engagement user research.

19/7/17 - DfE Publishes 16-19 Study Programmes Guidance

The DfE has published its latest non-statutory guidance for providers on what should go into effective 16-19 study programmes and how best to deliver them.

19/7/17 - Ofqual Survey Of Employer's View Of Qualifications

Ofqual has reported on its first survey of employer perceptions of vocational qualifications finding much variation with some sectors much more aware than others but most at least know about the changes to functional skills and the assessment of apprenticeships.

19/7/17 - Skills East Sussex Meeting Minutes

The minutes of the last Skills East Sussex meeting that took place on the 5th July can be found here. These meetings are important in determining local policy and practice in education and skills and it could be important for providers operating in East Sussex to take an active interest in linking with this group through SCTP.

19/7/17 - ESFA Update Issue 363

Latest from the ESFA including: 1.Update to learning aim search on the Hub; 2.Payment history available in the Skills Funding Service; 3.Customer engagement user research; 4.FE Choices Learner Satisfaction Survey 2016 to 2017; 5.Update on procurement for non-levy paying employers.

19/7/17 - Free Advertising In The National Apprenticeship Guide

The Apprenticeship Guide, now in its 12th edition is a publication that is promoted to every school in England. It gives a concise summary of every apprenticeship framework and standard in England and is circulated to every secondary school as well as many academies and colleges. One feature of the guide is a listing of learning providers by region, showing a contact telephone number and website. The basic listing is free. For more details click here.

19/7/17 - EFA & SFA Annual Reports & Accounts

Summaries of the performance and all the financial information for the 2016-17 year from the Education Funding Agency and the Skills Funding Agency. These are fairly weighty documents so it may be best just to read FE Week's summary of the 'Ten Things We Learned' from the reports here.

18/7/17 - Shift From Frameworks To Standards An Identified Risk

According to the Department for Education's (DfE) Government Major Projects Portfolio, published today, the apprenticeship programme has experienced a "slower than budgeted move from frameworks to more expensive standards and lower than anticipated number of learners from those assumed in the spending review model". Read more here.

18/7/17 - SELEP Area Apprenticeship Videos Released

SCTP, funded by CXK & SELEP has produced 10 apprenticeship promotional videos to promote apprenticeships. The videos feature employers and 19+ apprentices (as this is produced for the National Careers Service) speaking about their positive experiences of being involved in the programme. The videos were showcased at the recent SELEP Skills event, are available for use now and can be accessed on the SCTP You Tube channel here.

18/7/17 - First Of The Degree Apprentices Graduate

The country's first degree apprentices have graduated at a ceremony in Birmingham. Click here for more.

18/7/17 - ETF July Newsletter

Latest newsletter from the Education & Training Foundation, the national organisation funded to support training and education provider development.

14/7/17 - Updated Apprenticeship Guidance For Employers

Latest updated version of the ESFA's key guidance document for employers about how the reformed apprenticeship funding system works has been published. This covers the levy and non-levy funding systems and the operation of the on-line Apprenticeship Service.

14/7/17 - ESFA Releases Details Of £50m Work Placement Funds

The ESFA has published further details about how eligible providers can access a £50 million pot for ‘capacity building’ work placements. Click here for more information and comment.

13/7/17 - NAO Report On English Devolution

The National Audit Office has published a report which provides a useful summary of where we are on devolution, including which powers each combined authority has. No observations are made about the delivery of devolved skills programmes so far, such as Apprenticeship Grants for Employers, or the proposed hand-over of the Adult Education Budget.  

13/7/17 - DfE Research Into Claimants' Attitude To Training

The DfE has published behavioural research looking at the influences on benefit claimants’ attitudes to work training.  

13/7/17 - ESFA e-Bulletin Issue 178

Latest from the ESFA on 16-19 provision including: 1.Action: fire safety questionnaire; 2.Information: technical education work placement funding; 3.Information: sixth-form college key financial indicator dashboard; 4.Information: June 2017 release of 16 to 18 FE data and management information for local authorities; 5.Information: update on business cases for 2017 to 2018 academic year post-16 funding allocations; 6.Information: customer engagement user research.

13/7/17 - CBI/Pearson Education & Skills Survey Published

The Confederation of British Industry in partnership with SCTP member, Pearson has published its report 'Helping the UK Thrive' into the current education and skills landscape. This includes a focus on what employers are looking for in new recruits, the importance and incidence of work experience the quality of information advice and guidance and the need for the skills system to deliver quality training that helps meet skills shortages. The survey also found that 63 percent of the businesses questioned planned to reconfigure existing training into apprenticeships, while 27 percent expected to cut back on non-apprenticeship training activity to meet levy costs. Additionally, the report found that a third of businesses saw the lack of clear guidance as the biggest challenge they faced in the first year of the operation of the levy

13/7/17 - OFSTED Publishes Annual Report & Accounts

OFSTED has published its annual report and accounts. An analysis is provided by FE Week here including the issues of budget cuts and increasing provider numbers. FE Week has also featured a story on OFSTED's lack of inspection of subcontractors.

13/7/17 - FE Choices Learner Satisfaction Survey

The DfE has published the results of the annual Learner Satisfaction Survey for 2016-17 which captures learners’ experiences of their 'college or training organisation'. The headline finding is that 83% of respondents would recommend their learning provider to friends or family.

13/7/17 - Counter Terrorism Advice Sheets

Thanks to SCTP Member, Abacus Training for sharing this official information and advice given by the Metropolitan police should a weapons attack take place. This has been produced as part of Project Griffin and will hopefully be useful to members in putting in place procedures in place to cover these worst case scenarios.

12/7/17 - Good Turnout For Regional OFSTED Event

Over 20 providers, including many SCTP members attended the regional OFSTED session organised by ALPSE (Association of Learning Providers South East). This is the vehicle for 5 local networks (Sussex, Kent, Hampshire/IOW, Surrey and Berkshire) to collaborate on bring useful events to their memberships. The session was run by Stuart Jackson HMI and was well received. The next ALPSE event is the annual Apprenticeship Provider Conference on the 22nd November - information is here.

12/7/17 - ESFA Update Issue 362

Latest from the ESFA including: 1.Financial plan submission requirements; 2.Fire safety questionnaire: please complete; 3.Funding reports guidance; 4.Customer engagement user research; 5.Prevent modules online.

12/7/17 - Halfon Elected Chair Of Education Select Committee

The former apprenticeships and skills minister and FE champion Robert Halfon has been elected as the new chair of the education select committee. Click here for more and here for the response from the sector.

12/7/17 - Education Secretary Unveils Social Mobility Schemes

New initiatives to tackle social mobility and help pupils from all backgrounds reach their full potential were announced today a keynote speech by the Education Secretary Justine Greening. These included a focus on the 12 'Opportunity Areas' one of which is Hastings.

11/7/17 - Local Apprenticeship Starts Statistics

SCTP has prepared a summary of apprenticeships starts statistics from data released by the ESFA last week. This shows the number of starts in the first 3 quarters of the 2016-17 year and a forecast for the year end as well as previous years' data. Figures are show by council area and parliamentary constituency. Providers have been reporting a surge in non-levy starts prior to the apprenticeship reforms so a lower level of start is expected in quarter 4 to compensate. A summary of the national trends can be found here.

11/7/17 - APPG Report On Apprenticeships Published

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Apprenticeship has published its annual report for 2016-17 including 7 recommendations on page 3 focussing on diversity, geography, employer support, pay and better IAG.

11/7/17 - Skills Groups Lobby On Non-Levy Allocations

SCTP welcomes the fact that Skills East Sussex, the Employment & Skills Group for the county has written to the ESFA to express concerns about the meagre non-levy allocations issued to providers and the impact that this could have on meeting the apprenticeship demand from SMEs - see the letter here. Picking up this theme the South East LEP has also written a similar letter. SCTP is representing members on both of these groups and has been involved in instigating the lobbying activity and will communicate the ESFA's response when received.

11/7/17 - DfE Publishes Traineeship Evaluation Report

The DfE has published a very positive evaluation of the effectiveness of Traineeships. This found that ‘the majority of trainees were very satisfied with their experience of the traineeship; eight in ten (82%) were satisfied with the traineeship overall including half (47%) who were very satisfied. The survey also found that in total, 80% of trainees said that they had been in employment (including on an apprenticeship) or had been self-employed at some time since they finished their Traineeship. It is widely recognised that Traineeships are vital for young people in the NEET group to help them progress on to an apprenticeship or into a job – policy outcomes which still are not properly measured by the ESFA systems.  AELP CEO, Mark Dawe commented, “We need a more demand-responsive monthly funding system and proper measures of success that reflect the policy intent”. This follows last week's  official data which showed that 2016-17 starts were likely to be well down on last year after two years of growth.

11/7/17 - NSAFD Looking For Sussex Food & Drink Providers

Following an increase in demand for local apprenticeship provision across the country the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink (NSAFD) is looking to expand its provider delivery network into Sussex. The NSAFD works with many of the UKs largest food manufacturers, including 9 out of the top 10 food producers in the country and is trying to identify high quality providers who can deliver apprenticeship training to its Business Members (see case studies of some their members here). Currently there are no NSAFD Industry Approved Training Providers in the South East of England and the NSAFD aims to rectify this by recruiting providers from the region to join their network. Providers need to complete a structured approval process in order to obtain the recognition of Industry Approval for the Food & Drink Manufacturing sector and the NSAFD want to speak to any provider who thinks they have what it takes to meet their high level of quality. A membership fee is payable. For more information or to set up an appointment contact Bernardette DeZinger on 01904 236 481 or email The NSAFD has already secured over £3.5m of levy funded delivery for its provider networks in 2017.

10/7/17 - Taylor Review Into Employment Practices Published

A government review of employment practices has called for apprenticeship and loan funding to be made available for 'modules' and 'flexible' courses. Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, was asked by the prime minister to “develop proposals to improve the lives of this country’s citizens” through the workplace. The report also recognises that 'concerns have been raised about ensuring sufficient public resources are available for apprenticeships and workplace training in small and medium-sized enterprises, and the impact the levy might have'. More information and comment is here.

10/7/17 - SELEP Skills Showcase Takes Place in Harlow

Many SCTP members attended the South East LEP's Skills Showcase event held at Harlow College last Friday. Training providers and local councils from East Sussex, Essex and Kent plus the former Skills Minister, Robert Halfon attended the event which sought to profile the impact that SELEP skills investment has had on skills in the SELEP area. The Skills Showcase brochure is here and SELEP's annual report here.

10/7/17 - Minister Confirms Support For Training Boards

The government has confirmed its continuing support for the Construction and Engineering Industry Training Boards on the basis of further reforms and announced it would publish the results of its review into them in the autumn.

10/7/17 - ESFA Publishes 2016-17 Funding Allocations

The ESFA has published an updated list of funding values for individual colleges, training organisations, local authorities and employers with a contract for 2016 to 2017.

8/7/17 - C2C LEP Strategic Economic Plan Discussions

SCTP recently attended the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership's Partnership Board on behalf of our members. We contributed to the development of C2C's Strategic Economic Plan with a focus on the skills agenda. The notes and discussion points are here.  SCTP are pleased to be able to contribute to the early thinking and we will be invited to comment again when the vision and its detail are in the final stages.

8/7/17 - Potential College Merger Announced

Sussex Downs College and Sussex Coast College Hastings have declared their intention to merge, subject to due diligence.  Further talks are planned to examine the business case for a formal merger and if successful the new college will launch on March 29, 2018. A press release is here.

7/7/17 - E Sussex Apprenticeships Meeting 12th July

SCTP will be representing members at East Sussex County Council's Apprenticeships In East Sussex meeting on Wednesday the 12th July. This is the group that brings councils together with providers to look at apprenticeship strategy and implementation in the county. The agenda is here and the minutes of the last meeting here. Please let us know if there are any points that you would like us to raise on members' behalf.

7/7/17 - Most Eligible Employers Not Registered On Levy System

Statistics from the apprenticeship service have been published including registered apprenticeship services accounts and commitments to the 31st May 2017. These appear to show that most eligible employers have not yet registered on the levy system. See this analysis from FE Week and an alternative view about levy take up from the Open University based on their recent research.

7/7/17 - Technical Education Work Experience Report Published

The Learning and Work Institute along with SCTP Associate Member, Fair Train have reported back for the DfE on their call for evidence on what makes for good work placements. The report looks at effective practice in work placements; how to increase the scale of current work experience and challenges to providing placements and how to overcome them. The report also suggests that employers are suffering from work placement fatigue - just as Justine Greening asks employers to help with the increased need for work experience in T-Levels. Click here for more comment.

6/7/17 - Employ Crawley Launching Early Autumn

Crawley Borough Council, in partnership with West Sussex County Council, are developing a new service to be launched in early autumn called Employ Crawley.  Based in Crawley library, the hub will provide a holistic approach to employment support, bringing together the experience and expertise of employment services, businesses and training providers to offer the best information advice and guidance.  Ultimately the service will support Crawley residents to make career decisions; whether that is into work for the first time or into higher skilled, higher paid employment.  Employ Crawley will be a partnership approach to tackling some of the challenges that Crawley residents face within the employment landscape.  Two full time coordinator posts for the hub are currently being advertised for an early September start.  If you are interested in finding out more and getting involved, please contact Stass on

6/7/17 - Aspire Sussex Joins SCTP

SCTP welcomes Robyn Kohler and her colleagues at Aspire Sussex as the latest Full Member of SCTP.  Aspire Sussex is a social enterprise providing community-based adult education across Sussex, responding to the needs of their local communities.  Find out more about Aspire Sussex by visiting This takes the number of SCTP members to a new record high of 109!

6/7/17 - Edge Foundation Publishes 14-19 Education Plan

The Edge Foundation has published further thinking on 14-19 provision calling for 14 year olds to be able to start apprenticeships, work experience to be compulsory in schools and GCSE to be based on stage rather than age, as part of an eight point plan for a more unified 14-19 system.

6/7/17 - Webinar Recording: Supporting SMEs On Funding Changes

AELP is association with City & Guilds staged a free webinar on the 3rd July titled 'Supporting your SMEs through the funding changes'. This was aimed at helping providers to successfully engage small to medium enterprises who offer apprenticeships? As promised the recording, slides and Q&A are here.

6/7/17 - Surge In Pre-Reform Apprenticeship Starts

Click here for an analysis of official apprenticeship start stats from FE Week which confirm what providers have been saying - that there were sound reasons to load starts prior to the apprenticeship reforms coming in. The impact on subsequent month's figures is yet to be seen.

6/7/17 - Minister Pleased With Participation & Outcome Stats

There have been 1.06 million apprenticeship starts since May 2015, there have been 3.44 million starts since May 2010 reported to date. New Skills Minister Ann Milton celebrated the 'fantastic achievement'. More information and links to the statistics are here.

6/7/17 - ESFA Update Issue 361

Latest from the ESFA including: 1.Closure of the contracts and finances area of the Hub; 2.Apprenticeship grant for employers (AGE) 16 to 24; 3.Post-16 further education funding agreements; 4.Withdrawal of frameworks by issuing authority; 5.Customer engagement user research; 6.Adult education budget funding rules 2017 to 2018.

6/7/17 - NSAFS Seeking Delivery Partners

The National Skills Academy for Financial Services won two ESF/SFA Skills Support For The Workforce lots in the Coast To Capital LEP area - one aimed at 'Intermediate & Higher Skills Provision For The Employed', (known as 'Skills For Growth') the other for 'Higher Level Skills Provision For The Unemployed' (known as 'Skills For Jobs'). For Skills For Growth, NSAFS is looking for delivery partners that already have employers that they are engaged with, in priority sectors (see links above) in the C2C LEP area that are able to deliver units of qualifications the employers want at Level 3 and Level 4 but have a value of no more than 14 credits to employees in the target demographics (see links above). In relation to Skills For Jobs, partners are sought that can deliver the same types of restricted qualifications to the same targeted groups of people who have been unemployed for less than 6 months and then progress them into employment. Partners will need to undergo a due diligence process and if interested can contact NSAFS here.

6/7/17 - Justine Greening Calls For Skills Revolution

Education Secretary, Justine Greening has set out her mission to spark the skills revolution needed to help Britain make a success of leaving the European Union. She called for a genuine partnership between business, government and education professionals to get the right results. For more information and the transcript of her speech to the British Chambers of Commerce Education Summit, click here.

6/7/17 - ESFA e-Bulletin Issue 177

Latest information and actions from the ESFA for academies, schools, colleges, local authorities and other post-16 providers. Information includes: 1.Information: academy trust financial returns 2017 to 2018; 2.Information: budget forecast return webinar; 3.Information: new presentations to support the 2017 to 2018 funding guidance for young people; 4.Information: section 96 has a new temporary web location; 5.Information: post-16 sub-contracting funding guidance for 2017 to 2018; 6.Information: pupil premium 2017 to 2018; 7.Information: universal infant free school meal (UIFSM) allocations and conditions of grant for 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018; 8.Information: customer engagement user research.

5/7/17 - Chief Executive Of New Office For Students Announced

The Department for Education has announced the appointment of Nicola Dandridge as the inaugural Chief Executive of the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS will be the regulator for the Higher Education sector and will put the student interest at its heart. It will be innovative in its approach to student participation, success and employability. Once fully operational in April 2018, the OfS will replace the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).

5/7/17 - LGA Publishes 'Work Local' Report

The Local Government Association (LGA) has published a report which set out plans for a devolved system of employment and skills, based on proposals from the Learning and Work Institute, which would see the current maze of employment, skills and apprenticeship activity devolved to local councils as a one-stop service from 2022.

5/7/17 - AELP Update For Local Provider Networks

We're grateful to AELP for sending this useful set of slides that encapsulates all the key news for providers on Apprenticeship Reforms, Future Apprenticeship Support Programme, End Point Assessment and more.

5/7/17 - IfS Report Highlights Student Debt Averaging £50k

An Institute for Fiscal Studies report has showed that students now graduate with average debts of £50,000 – and even more for the poorest students. The IFS says that the combination of high fees and large maintenance loans contributes to English graduates having the highest student debts in the developed world. Surely this emphasises the importance of every student in school and college understanding their options and the alternative choice of an apprenticeship which now appears to be more attractive than ever. SCTP, through its Apprenticeships in Sussex brand, works all year round in schools, with employers and in the community promoting alternative options and the provision offered by its members.

5/7/17 - Huge Attendance At Apprenticeship Myth Busting Event

More than 600 teenagers and parents attended an event at Hove Town Hall yesterday afternoon which was organised by Apprenticeships in Sussex (SCTP) and Brighton and Hove City Council. Sixteen apprenticeship providers and half a dozen employers had stalls at the drop-in event which was called “Apprenticeships – busting the myths”. The event was dedicated to helping students, parents and carers bust some commonly held myths about apprenticeships and understand the opportunities available. SCTP Co-Executive Director Ann Potterton was delighted with the turnout saying that 'at one point queues to get in reached around the building which shows just how keen people are to know about what apprenticeships can offer'. Click here for more.

4/7/17 - DWP Concerns Over Cash For DPS Registrations

The DWP has contacted SCTP and asked us to raise awareness that there is evidence of some companies approaching providers and charging to support getting them onto the DWP's Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) with the false expectation that they are then contracting direct with DWP. At present there is only evidence of this happening in North East England but the alert is going nationwide. For the text of the e-mail from DWP please see here.

3/7/17 - The £2.2bn Cost Of The Skills Gap

The skills gap is costing UK businesses more than £2 billion a year in higher salaries, recruitment costs and temporary staffing, according to research from The Open University. The Open University Business Barometer – which monitors the skills landscape of the UK – finds that 90 per cent of employers have found it difficult to recruit workers with the required skills in the last 12 months, and some have had to inflate salaries to attract talent above market rate. Surely this is a great challenge and opportunity for training organisations, local authorities and LEPs to respond to this need. Click here for more.

3/7/17 - Analysis Of Post-16 Skills Reforms From AELP

AELP's Director of Research & Development, Paul Warner looks at the issues, challenges and potential benefits arising from the technical & education reforms and how providers might respond in this FE News article.

3/7/17 - DfE Confirms Ministerial Appointments

No surprises in the department's announcement.

3/7/17 - ESFA Business Update Issue 23

Latest issue of the ESFA's monthly round-up of information and news for businesses including: 1.Apprenticeship non-levy paying employers; 2.Apprenticeship levy-paying employers; 3.National Apprenticeship Awards 2017; 4.Which? University Guide; 5.Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017.

3/7/17 - AELP Launches Apprenticeship Recruitment Survey

AELP and GetMyFirstJob have launched a survey to get a snapshot view of the recruitment market for apprentices following the levy’s introduction. Aimed at AELP members and training providers across the UK, this survey will give an insight into the key challenges facing training providers in recruiting new apprentices for employers. More information is here.

3/7/17 - RBLI Wins ERSA Award

Congratulations to SCTP Member, RBLI who has won the ERSA (Employment Related Services Association) Employability Award for Disability & Health Employment category. Click here for more.

30/6/17 - Full Transcript Of Minister's AELP Speech & Q&A

Click here to read everything that new Skills Minister, Ann Milton said at the AELP Conference last Monday.

30/6/17 - TEF Results Show Value Of Degree Apprenticeships

Young people now have an apprenticeship pathway to an equally high earning career which doesn’t leave them with a lifetime of debt, according to AELP in response to the publication of the university Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) results. Those on a level 5 higher apprenticeship, which comes without debt, are now earning an average £34,220 per annum over lifetime earnings, just £1,300 or just 3.6% per annum less than a traditional degree from a non-Russell Group university.

30/6/17 - ESFA Survey On Fire Safety Of Buildings

In the wake of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower the ESFA is carrying out an immediate data collection exercise on educational buildings. Please see the communication from the ESFA here which only refers to colleges but we are advised by East Sussex County Council that independent training providers are also required to respond where appropriate. Deadline for responses is 5pm on the 4th July.

30/6/17 - Webinar: Supporting SMEs Through Funding Changes

AELP is association with City & Guilds are offering a free webinar titled 'Supporting your SMEs through the funding changes'. This is aimed at helping providers to successfully engage small to medium enterprises who offer apprenticeships? Apologies for the short notice as this webinar takes place on Monday 3rd July at 11.00am and registration is here. We hope to include a recording in next week's newsletter.

30/6/17 - Kennedy Scott Joins SCTP

SCTP welcomes Barbara Penney and her colleagues at Kennedy Scott as the latest Full Member of SCTP.  Kennedy Scott hold a national DWP Prime Contract for Specialist Employability Support, and also deliver DWP/ESF Work Programme across the South East.  Find out more about Kennedy Scott by visiting

30/6/17 - Controversial Achievement Rate Data To Be Published

Two weeks ago, the Department for Education published revised national achievement rates tables for 2015/16 for individual providers – but without comparable figures for previous years, which are needed to give any kind of indication of providers’ progress. The DfE has now committed to publishing comparative data. More information is here.

30/6/17 - ESFA Inform June Issue

Monthly e-news from the ESFA aimed at MI managers, software writers and suppliers about FE data systems and reports, the ILR, open data and other data news.  

30/6/17 - DfE Advice About Post-16 Funding Regulations

DfE has published advice about post-16 funding regulations and the use of funds for each funding year.. The documents and analysis can be found here.

29/6/17 - ESFA e-Bulletin Issue 176

Latest from the ESFA, this bulletin covers information formerly in the remit of the EFA. This week's issue includes: 1.Action: Fire risk assessment and cladding survey – due Tuesday 4 July; 2.Information: Local authority Section 251 outturn 2016 to 2017 collection; 3.Information: Presentation to support the 2017 to 2018 funding guidance for young people - student eligibility guidance; 4.Information: 2016 to 2017 R10 reconciliation statements for commercial and charitable providers; 5.Information: Customer engagement user research.

29/6/17 - SCTP Members' Meeting, Thursday 20th July

We hope to see many of our members at the next Members' Meeting on Thursday 20th July at University of Sussex, Brighton 9.30-1.00. Further details, including the agenda and how to register your attendance at the meeting will follow next week.

29/6/17 - SCTP To Attend Skills East Sussex

SCTP represents its member by attending the meeting of Skills East Sussex - East Sussex County Council's strategic skills group which is part of the South East LEP's structure. The agenda for the next meeting that takes place on the 5th July is here and the minutes of the last meeting are here. Please let us know if there are any issues that you would like SCTP to raise on members' behalf.

28/6/17 - DfE Publishes Employer Perspectives Survey

The Department for Education has published findings from the 2016 employer perspectives survey, including interviews with over 18,000 employers across the UK. The report stats that 'this insight will serve to improve initiatives designed to help individuals find work, as well as improve initiatives that support business growth and development of the workforce, so they better meet the needs of employers. There is also a substantial focus on establishments’ engagement with apprenticeships, which has become a key focus in recent times for national governments'.

28/6/17 - AEB: Contracts Extended As Tender Delayed

The ESFA has said that the delay to results for the Adult Education Budget (AEB) tender will last until the end of July and that in the meantime 2016/17 contracts will be extended “for a three-month period, until 31st October 2017.” Click here for more.

28/6/17 - ESFA Update Issue 360

Latest from the ESFA including: 1. Advanced Learner Loans funding and performance management rules 2017 to 2018; 2. Adult Education Budget Funding and Performance Management Rules 2017 to 2018; 3. Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) reports available in the Skills Funding Service (SFS); 4.Legal entitlement offer for level 2 and level 3: 2017 to 2018; 5. Qualification eligibility principles and legal entitlements: 2017 to 2018; 6. Non-levy apprenticeship growth requests; 7. Customer engagement user research.

28/6/17 - DfE Reports On Its Gender Pay Gap

The Department for Education has become the first Government department to publish its gender pay gap and bonus pay gap, setting an example to other employers on promoting gender equality in the workplace. The department has reported a mean pay gap – the difference between average salaries for men and women - of 5.3% and a median pay gap of 5.9%. This is compared to the UK’s national gender pay gap of 18.1% which is the lowest since records began in 1997. More information is here.

28/6/17 - Request For School Business Management Training

A member provider has contacted SCTP as they have a client (a specialist school based in Sussex) that requires a special diploma in school business management for their new school manager. If you can deliver this (or know who could) please contact SCTP here.

27/6/17 - IfA Governance Framework Published

The governance framework for the Institute for Apprenticeships has been published. The framework sets out the roles, responsibilities and procedures for the conduct of the institute's business.

27/6/17 - Fair Train Joins SCTP

SCTP welcomes Fair Train as its latest associate member. Fair Train is the owner of the national Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation and the Group Training Association (GTA) for the voluntary and community sector. They promote workforce development and champion all forms of high quality work experience including traditional work placements, vocational training, volunteering, internships, Traineeships and Apprenticeships. We look forward to working with Head of Client Relationships, Cordelia Osewa-Ediae. To find out more about Fair Train visit

27/6/17 - PM Pledges Mental Health Training For Schools

The government has pledged that every secondary school in the country will be offered Mental Health First Aid training by 2020.SCTP members have been feeding back that more and more learners are presenting with mental health issues and that their staff need training to deal with this. SCTP is working with AELP to lobby for this pledge to be extended to Further Education and is talking with Mental Health First Aid England to look at what training can be arranged locally for SCTP members.

27/6/17 - CEO, Peter Lauener On The IfA's First 100 Days

See this video clip of the Institute of Apprenticeship CEO discussing the organisations progress to date and their key focus on Quality of Apprenticeship Standards and End Point Assessment.

27/6/17 - Coast To Capital LEP June Newsletter

Latest news from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.

27/6/17 - May Participation Data From BHCC & ESCC

Click here to see the latest participation data from Brighton & Hove City Council and here from East Sussex County Council relating to the Raising of the Participation (RPA) duty. A summary of national NEET figures to the end of 2016 is here.

26/6/17 - AELP Conference Day One Highlights

FE Week has produced a supplement covering today's main events from day one of the AELP conference in London. This includes details of input from Skills Minister Ann Milton, AELP CEO Mark Dawe and shadow Skills Minister Gordon Marsden.

26/6/17 - New Skills Minister Brings Welcome News

Speaking at the AELP conference this morning new Skills Minister, Ann Milton announced that the non-levy growth requests will be brought forward to July, at the AELP annual conference this morning. Providers that made a business case following the non-levy allocations will also be notified next week regarding any additional funding. Speaking of the paused tendering round, Ms Milton said it would be scrapped, and rerun in July. Click here for more.

26/6/17 - Guidance On Apprenticeship 20% Off Job Training Rule

The Department for Education has issued guidance on how employers and training providers should meet the 20% off-the-job training requirement for apprentices, with some best practice examples.  

23/6/17 - AELP Concern At Reported Fall In Apprenticeship Starts

AELP is reporting that feedback from its provider members suggests that apprenticeship starts had fallen in May to around a quarter of their pre-reform levels. This is being attributed to a slow start by levy paying employers, a destabilisation of the non-levy market by the late and widely inadequate funding allocations and employer resistance to pay the 10% non-levy contribution. Furthermore, the outcomes of research AELP has commissioned from the Warwick Institute for Employment Research suggest at least a short term fall in demand for apprenticeships from employers. Click here for more on this story. Also, here is an analysis of the situation from ex-LSC and ESFA man, Tony Allen. Does all this match the experience of SCTP members? Please let us know.

23/6/17 - T-Levels & Work Experience

This article from Andy Durman of labour market data specialists Emsi looks at the decisions facing colleges (and all providers) about which T-Levels to offer and how the required work experience might be sourced from local employers. A free webinar is offered on this subject on the 29th June - see here for details. An Emsi speaker will also be presenting at the SCTP Members Meeting on the 20th July taking about labour market research in Sussex.

23/6/17: Cautionary Tale On Employer Levy Inducements

A North East training provider has had its contract with the ESFA terminated, after it was found to be offering banned inducement payments to an employer. More details are here.

23/6/17 - Providers Urged to Assess Apprentices From The Start

Speaking at the Festival of Skills this week, Chris Jones of City & Guilds urged training providers to assess new apprentices’ skills as soon as they begin training in order to establish a baseline for measuring progress. Mt Jones, Ofsted’s specialist adviser for apprenticeships, explained that the lack of qualifications within new apprenticeship standards has led to an “unintended consequence” in that trainers will miss out on information vital for tracking apprentices’ development. Click here for more.

22/6/17 - SCTP Pre-Employment Meeting Report

26 people gathered at Swim UK in Brighton for SCTP's latest meeting of its Pre-employment Group. The meeting heard presentations from Ann Potterton (SCTP) and Dan Wallman (SCTP/Dv8) on the Industrial Strategy and Technical Education reforms, from Paul Whitehouse of the ESFA on the Adult Education Budget and Traineeships and Mandy Crandale of Possability People on support for disabled people and people with mental health conditions to help them into work. There were also updates from Local Authority colleagues including an analysis of the latest NEET figures and a discussion about how providers can best support learners with mental health needs including identifying sources of support. We will circulate the meeting notes, information and presentations shortly in a separate email to SCTP members. The next Pre-employment meeting will be on the 11th October, 9.30-12.30, venue to be confirmed.

22/6/17 - ETF Launches Advanced Teacher Status

The Education and Training Foundation has launched Advanced Teacher Status (ATS) for teachers and trainers. The new status recognises experienced professionals who can demonstrate mastery in teaching and/or training, an exemplary degree of subject knowledge in their area of professional expertise and effectiveness in working collaboratively to improve teaching standards amongst their peers or within their organisation. More information is here and sector response here. The latest list of support for providers available from the ETF is here.

22/6/17 - ESFA e-Bulletin Issue 175

Latest from the ESFA, this bulletin covers information formerly in the remit of the EFA. This week's issue has only one item: 1. Action: maths and English condition of funding questionnaire

21/6/17 - Queen's Speech Confirms Introduction Of T-Levels

The Queen’s speech has confirmed that the drive towards T-Levels will continue and stressed ministers’ determination to create a world-class technical education system as laid out in the Post-16 Skills Plan, published in July 2016. Other key aspects retained as current policy are Institutes of Technology, importance of apprenticeships and the Industrial Strategy. Click here for more.

21/6/17 - Fall In Adult Education Participation

New government figures have indicated a further fall in the number of learners on state-funded adult education courses. According to the quarterly Further Education and Skills in England report, 78,300 fewer learners participated in an adult education course in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2015-16. Overall participation in adult further education fell by 11.1% 2015-16, compared with 2014-15.

21/6/17 - Justine Greening Social Mobility Speech

Education Secretary, Justine Greening addressed delegates at the launch of an initiative showcasing the top 50 UK firms for social mobility and laid out the Government's determination to offer opportunities for all. The text of the speech is here.

21/6/17 - Report Published On Post-Brexit Labour & Skills

A report published by the CIPD and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), Facing the future: tackling post-Brexit labour and skills shortages, has found that more than a third (35 per cent) of employers in low-paying industries have hired EU staff after being unable to find UK-born workers to fill low or semi-skilled jobs. The report claims to add further weight to evidence that employers do not recruit EU migrants in preference to British workers, but merely because they attract too few British applicants, with 11% of the 1,000+ organisations surveyed also saying the number of EU nationals they have recruited since the referendum has decreased.

21/6/17 - ESFA Update Issue 359

Latest from the ESFA including: 1. Exceptional learning support claims for 2017 to 2018; 2. Advanced learner loans funding and performance management rules 2017 to 2018; 3. Financial assurance 2016 to 2017: monitoring the funding rules; 4. Removing redundant roles in the Identity and Access Management Service (IdAMS).

20/6/17 - DfE Issues New GCSE Grading Factsheet

The Department for Education has issued a new factsheet that gives information about the new GCSE grades for parents, employers and further and higher education providers.  

20/6/17 - SELEP Growing Places Fund: New Round Opens

The South East LEP is now inviting Expressions of Interest for applications to its recycled Growing Places Fund (GPF). GPF was originally launched in 2011 by DCLG and DfT as a ‘recyclable loan scheme’, providing targeted investment to unlock development – East Sussex has benefitted from almost £20m of GPF investment. With the original schemes now beginning to pay back those loans, SELEP will recycle the monies by opening a new funding round. There is approximately £9.3m available for reinvestment over the next three years. Loans will be between £250k and £2m, capital only, repayable by March 2022. Projects seeking under £250k are able to apply but will need to be considered against other priority projects that meet the criteria. Further information is here and an expression of interest form here to be returned to Ben Hook. Deadline 12th July, 12 noon.

20/6/17 - South East Business Magazine June/July Edition

Latest issue of the magazine aimed at employers across the South East.

19/6/17 - Gtr Brighton MET Apprenticeship Partner Opportunity

Greater Brighton Metropolitan College (the merged organisation of City College and Northbrook College) is seeking Expressions of Interest from potential Supply Chain Partners/Subcontractors wishing to work with the College in 2017/18 to deliver Apprenticeship Training for all ages within the SE of England. A flyer summarising the opportunity is here. An expression of interest form for SME work is here and a diagram of the subcontracting process is here. An expression of interest form for levy work is here and a diagram of the subcontracting process is here.

19/6/17 - Free Webinar: Update On Learning Support Funding

This free E-Memoir webinar will provide an update on the arrangements for the funding of learning support for young people on study programmes and traineeships, as well as learning support funding in the Adult Education Budget. There will also be an opportunity to consider how to optimise the support you provide to apprenticeship learners. The webinar is on the 29th June 11.00-12.00. Registration is here.

19/6/17 - Brighton & Hove Unemployment Figures Plummet

Following on from our recent item about the national falls in unemployment, please see this short article that focusses on equally significant falls in Brighton and Hove and a welcome acknowledgement from Steve Benwell at the DWP that local projects run by training providers are making a positive difference.

16/6/17 - Sue Dare Made An MBE In Queen's Birthday Honours

Congratulations to Sue Dare on her MBE. Sue was until very recently Principal & Chief Executive of Northbrook College and formerly had senior roles at the Learning and Skills Council & Sussex Downs College. For the full list of those from the world of FE & Skills that received honours click here.

16/6/17 - Mencap Society Launches 'Right Place' Project

The Royal Mencap Society, with funding from DfE, is delivering a project to provide support and work placement opportunities to colleges and education providers for students with SEND aged 16-24. They have employer engagement contacts to broker work placements. They then pass these placements on to colleges and education providers who meet minimum quality standards, who will match available SEND students into placements and support them in the workplace - and it’s FREE! The following will be available:

A project summary is here. The nearest project launch event takes place in London on the 21st July 10.00-1.00. For more information contact

16/6/17 - ETF Publishes Annual Workforce Report

The Education and Training Foundation has today published its annual “Workforce Data Report 2015/16“, (previously known as the Staff Individualised Record data report) highlighting trends in staffing numbers, pay and demographics across all provider types in the English Further Education (FE) and Training sector. The report provides valuable insights for practitioners, providers, and policy makers ensuring they have robust and high quality data to support decision-making in a sector that grows in importance by the day. A short summary of the findings is available in a FE News article here.

15/6/17 - SCTP Members Winning Awards

Congratulations to The College of Richard Collyer who has won a Sixth Form College Association Award for its ‘independent learning’ bespoke study programme for special educational needs and disability 19 to 25 year olds - for details and the other award winners see here. Also receiving awards this week were Plumpton College floristry student Amy Vaughan and Chichester College lecturer, Holly Hackney who were recognised for their achievements at the City & Guilds LION Awards - details here.

15/6/17 - Skills East Sussex Quarterly Newsletter

Click here for the news and information about the activities of the Employment & Skills Board for East Sussex. The minutes of the last Skills East Sussex meeting (30th May) are here.

15/6/17 - AELP Makes Recommendations For Government Action

AELP, the national provider network, has set out 8 clear priorities for action for the new Government including 'proper' funding for non-levy apprenticeships, traineeships nd English & maths. The full list is here.

15/6/17 - DfE Publishes National Achievement Rates Tables

DfE/ESFA have published the 2015-16 apprenticeship, education and training annual national achievement rate tables (NARTs). These show achievement rates data cut in many different ways including by providers and learner local authority area. There have been some concerns over the way these figures have been produced by the DfE as reflected in this FE Week article here. Official guidance on how the figures were calculated is here.

15/6/17 - Unemployment Falls Again

Unemployment continues its steady post-recession decline.

14/6/17 - SCTP Pre-Employment Meeting Wednesday 21 June

The Pre-Employment Group Meeting is being held on Wednesday 21 June at Swim UK in Brighton, 09:30 – 12:30.  All the details, including the agenda and information on directions and parking, can be found here.  If you are going to attend, please register via the Eventbrite link included with the information.

14/6/17 - ESFA Publishes One Page Guide To Apprenticeships

The ESFA has published a one page guide (first published in 2015) explaining apprenticeships to would-be apprentices. There is also a revised occupational A-Z of apprenticeships.

14/6/17 - SCCH & SDC AEB EOI For Working With ESCC

Sussex Coast College (SCCH) and Sussex Downs College (SDC) are working with East Sussex County Council to develop a new model for commissioning Adult Education Budget (AEB) provision to meet identified county needs and to increase the range of flexible, tailored AEB funded programmes aligned to these priorities. They are piloting this approach during the academic year 2017/18. The colleges will deploy £400k (excluding management fees) to fund between 2-6 projects that will focus upon two key themes:

Click here for an Expression of Interest form for completion by any provider who has a track record of successful delivery in the above mentioned priority themes within East Sussex. The return date deadline for Stage one (EOI) is 05/07/2017. Further information is available from Hayley Robertson.

14/6/17 - ESFA Update Issue 358

Returning after the election purdah period here is the latest ESFA weekly update including: 1. Submission of final exceptional learning support (ELS) costs for 2016 to 2017; 2. Decommissioning the contracts and finances area of the hub; 3. Qualification achievement rates (QAR) 2015 to 2016 – final data; 4. National achievement rates tables (NART) 2015 to 2016; 5. New apprenticeship provider assurance and support.

14/6/17 - AELP Membership Discount & Model Contract

At recent SCTP meetings, members have been asking if SCTP could support them in gaining access to AELP's model apprenticeship employer contracts. SCTP has spoken with AELP (the national provider network) and the only way to gain access is to join! Fortunately, SCTP has an agreement with AELP which offers members a 15% saving off the annual AELP membership fee. Click here for details and contact SCTP for the discount code. AELP members also get a free place at this month's AELP annual conference worth £670.

13/6/17 - New Skills Minister Appointed

The new minister for apprenticeships and skills is Anne Milton, MP for Guildford replacing Robert Halfon. Click here for a profile of the new minister who was educated locally at Haywards Heath Grammar School (which became Haywards Heath Sixth Form College in 1980, then Central Sussex College Sixth Form Campus in 2005) on Harlands Road in West Sussex. Click here for more background.

13/6/17 - Apprenticeship Standards Update

With more guidance on apprenticeship standards as diverse as a Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship to a Mineral Processing Mobile & Static Plant Operator (!) being issued this week we felt it was time to issue one of our occasional updates. Details of approved standards and those in development are here.

13/6/17 - Webinar: How To Resource Apprenticeship Delivery

AELP is offering a webinar titled 'How will I resource Apprenticeship Delivery in the new world? This is an opportunity to explore ways of costing the resources needed to deliver high quality apprenticeships. It is delivered by senior staff at national provider Protocol Skills. The webinar takes place on Wednesday 28th June, 10.30-11.30 and costs £25. More information and booking is here.

10/6/17 - Sector Response To Election Result

See this summary of responses from sector leaders provided by FE News.

9/6/17 - FE Week Election Edition

Click here for a full analysis of the election result in relation to education and skills with a reminder of the relevant Conservative manifesto pledges as all the key labour and conservative educational figures are re-elected.

9/6/17 - Cash Flow and Financial Management In Apprenticeships

In this article SCTP Associate Member, Nucleus Finance looks at the financial challenges presented by the new apprenticeship funding systems and looks at some solutions.

9/6/17 - Maths & English Good Practice Guide

A maths and English Good Practice Guide has been launched by West Suffolk College following two very successful conferences focussing on leadership in those subjects. The guide is intended to share best practice about the culture required to drive success in those subjects. 

8/6/17 - SCTP Pre-Employment Meeting Wednesday 21 June

The next Pre-Employment Group Meeting is on 21 June at Swim UK in Brighton, 9:30 - 12:30. The agenda and all other details will be circulated shortly.

8/6/17 - SCTP To Attend SELEP Skills Advisory Group

Tuesday 20th June sees the next meeting of the South East LEP's Skills Advisory Group. This groups bring together skills policy and interventions across the SELEP area of Kent, Essex and E Sussex. SCTP represents its members on this group and we would be keen to hear about any issues that you would like us to raise. The agenda is here and the minutes of the last meeting here. A report on the activities funded via by the ESFA via SELEP in each county is here with SCTP and ESCC working together to support SMEs understanding of the apprenticeship reforms.

8/6/17 - ETF English & Maths Support For Providers

The Education & Training Foundation has recently launched further courses to support the CPD of staff involved in the teaching of maths & English together with some final versions of the Maths and English Enhancement Programmes.  Two courses are being offered in the South East:

Providers are also being offered the opportunity to host a number of the new programmes at discount rates for 5, 8 and 16 staff.  These include:

Full details of all the programmes currently on offer and their costs can be found here.  If you are interested in discussing any of these courses or have any other needs in relation to the delivery of maths & English, please feel free to contact Claire Callow (English) or Judy Maguire (Maths).

8/6/17 - AELP Bursary Programme For Small ITPs

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has commissioned AELP to manage and deliver a small Bursary fund targeted at small independent training providers (ITPs) who may face barriers to accessing CPD support. The fund is designed to improve access by offering discounts on course fees, reducing the cost of travel and, in some circumstances, paying for overnight accommodation. Eligibility criteria is based on the provider being on the Register of Training Organisations and their organisation having 250 (or fewer) learners in training. Providers wishing to apply for the bursary funding will need to complete an on-line application form and return it to AELP by Friday, 14th July 2017. The offer is made on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Please visit the AELP website for complete details.​

7/6/17 - Free Equality & Diversity In Apprenticeships Webinar

Click here for details of a free ETF webinar on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Apprenticeships taking place on the 19th June. This free two-hour online course aims to help front-line apprenticeship staff to engage and support a diverse range of apprentices (and their employers) right the way through the new apprenticeship standards journey. 

7/6/17 - ETF June Newsletter

Latest news and information from the Education & Training Foundation on the support available to providers in the education and skills sector.

6/6/17 - Business Edge June/July Issue

Click here to see the latest edition of the Sussex Chamber's Business Edge Magazine keeping in touch with the latest economic and business news. The Sussex Chamber is an SCTP Associate Member.

5/6/17 - Coastal West Sussex June Newsletter

Latest news from the strategic partnership that which brings together leaders from business, education and the public sector to work collectively on economic issues that affect the West Sussex coast.

5/6/17 - Free Digital Technologies Training For Trainers

The ETF is working with AELP to provide free sessions around the country focussing on various specific vocational areas to help trainers and teachers to understand and make better use of digital technologies. The latest sector to be covered is Customer Service/Retail on the 16th June in London. Details are here.

2/6/17 - Free NCFE Functional Skills Event

SCTP Associate Member, NCFE is offering a free Functional Skills Information event in London on the 15th June, 10.00-1.00. More information is here.

2/6/17 - Apprenticeship Ambassador Training Opportunities

There are free training sessions for Apprentices this Wednesday (7th) in Brighton and Friday (9th) in Eastbourne to learn and explore critical skills in story-telling, public speaking and holding an audience. Apprentices can then join SCTP's large network of Ambassadors (all ages, genders, sectors and levels) who directly inspire and wow young people, parents and employers who are unsure about the benefits of local Apprenticeship pathways. To book on these sessions, to find out more or to book on future sessions - please email

2/6/17 - Concerns Over Non-Levy Degree Apprenticeships

Higher education leaders are voicing their concerns about their ability to offer degree-level apprenticeships to non-levy paying employers in the wake of the recent procurement pause and allocations process. Click here for more.

2/6/17 - SCTP's Welcomes New Office & Marketing Coordinator

SCTP is delighted to welcome Sarah Sawyer to the SCTP team as our Virtual Office and Marketing Coordinator - Sarah starts with SCTP on Monday the 5th June working 24 hours a week. Some members will already know Sarah who  has been in the education sector for many years working for both the Learning and Skills Council and the Skills Funding Agency/National Apprenticeship Service. Click here for more. Sarah takes over the work done by Diana Freestone (Events) and Gail Murphy (Admin) and SCTP would like to thank them both for their contribution and support. 

2/6/17 - SCTP To Attend Coastal West Sussex Group

On behalf of its members SCTP has developed links with the Coastal West Sussex Partnership which brings together leaders from business, education and the public sector to work collectively on economic issues that affect the coast. SCTP now sits on the Coastal West Sussex Skills & Enterprise Group and the agenda for the next meeting on the 7th June is here. Please e-mail if there are items that members would like us to raise on your behalf.

2/6/17 - Feedback From SCTP's Strategic Leaders' Forum

The most recent meeting of the Forum was on the 8th May, the notes of this meeting can be seen here. The Forum was formed last year as an opportunity for senior managers of SCTP member providers to meet together to discuss the issues of the day, identify solutions, priorities for lobbying and collaboration. The group had been funded in its first year by the Education & Training Foundation and has done significant work looking at the nature of leadership and ensuring that a pipeline of future leadership talent is available locally in the sector. As a result work is ongoing to explore the concept of a SCTP Leadership Academy backed by SCTP research into successful academies elsewhere. Although the support funding for the Forum had ceased SCTP is looking to keep the group alive as a SCTP sub-group, open to all members - details will follow regarding the next meeting in September.

2/6/17 - SFA Inform: May Issue

Latest edition of the SFA's monthly e-news for MI managers, software writers and suppliers about FE data systems and reports, the ILR, open data and other data news.

2/6/17 - Apprenticeship Information Event At Hove Town Hall

SCTP, through its Apprenticeships in Sussex brand, is working with Brighton and Hove City Council to put on an event aimed at informing parents, carers and young people about apprenticeships. The event is on 4th July from 4pm to 7pm at Hove Town Hall and will give people the opportunity to speak with apprentices, employers and training providers to find out what’s on offer, what it’s like to be an apprentice and what future jobs apprenticeships can lead to.

If you know of any students, parents or carers who are interested in finding out more about apprenticeships, then please direct them to this link to register.

1/6/17 - Status Of Matrix Standard With ESFA & OFSTED

National provider network, AELP has been able to obtain clarification from the ESFA that Matrix Accreditation is still required and forms part of their current contract for services (Clause 18.14.2) where it states that if "information and advice is embedded as part of the delivery of the Services the contractor should work towards achieving the Matrix Standard accreditation within 12 months of the start of the Contract." Meanwhile the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework does not specifically mention the Matrix standard, but does require at paragraph 28 that providers "successfully plan and manage learning programmes, the curriculum and careers advice so that all children and learners get a good start and are well prepared for the next stage in their education, training or employment."

1/6/17 - SELEP Skills Awards Launched

The South East LEP has launched its Skills Awards to acknowledge the input of businesses into developing skills and employability in the South East region. There are awards for large employers, small employers and the employer who has shown best practice and impact. More information, criteria for the awards and a nomination form are here. Deadline 9th June! The awards will be presented at the SELEP Skills Showcase event in Harlow on the 7th July - the agenda is here and you can register to attend here.

30/5/17 - East Sussex April Participation Data

East Sussex County Council has published the latest figures on young peoples' participation on education and training for the county.

27/5/17 - Infographic For East Sussex SMEs Produced By SCTP

SCTP has worked with the South East LEP and East Sussex County Council to create a clear infographic for local SMEs. With essential statements, statistics, case studies and testimonials this resource is to be widely shared with small businesses thinking about their Apprenticeship offer. The infographic can be seen here.

27/5/17 - General Election Manifestos: Education & Skills

FE Week has published an extensive look at the main party manifesto statements on education and skills in a special supplement which can be seen here.

26/5/17 - Opportunity For Pre-employment Providers 

SCTP member Steve Willis Training (SWT) is looking to make contact with a pre-employment provider with funding and capacity to deliver Functional Skills in English and Maths to potential apprentices in the Brighton/Hove area. SWT is a building engineering services apprenticeship provider and would like to IAG some applicants to this type of provision with a route back to their own apprenticeship programmes when the individual can meet entry requirements.  Please contact Suzanne Green, Apprenticeships Manager on 01444 870860 if you can help.

25/5/17 - Views Needed On Local Future Apprenticeship Offer

AELP has proposed making available its Future Apprenticeship programme at local network level via SCTP. We are seeking the views of members as to whether they feel that this would be useful and affordable. Please see the offer here and let us know your views here.

25/5/17 - Free Webinar For Apprenticeship Health Providers

Skills For Health is offering a free Q & A webinar for providers about the deliver of apprenticeships in the health sector. This will take place on the 8th June from 10.30-11.30. Registration is here.

25/5/17 - National NEET Statistics Quarterly Brief

Click here for statistics about young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) from the Department for Education and here for a short summary.

24/5/17 - SCTP Membership Survey 2017: Reminder

A reminder to our embers to complete SCTP's Membership Survey for 2017. This survey is carried out every 2 years to get feedback from members on the quality of SCTP's services and explore the potential for new avenues of support. The deadline for responses is the 2nd June. The survey is here and will only take 5 minutes to complete.

24/5/17 - Apprenticeship Levy Accounts Now Active

This week sees another mini-milestone in the development of the new Apprenticeship Levy funding system; as Levy paying employers now have their first payment available to spend. This useful article from national provider Kaplan explains the position and includes a link to an official video explaining how the digital Apprenticeship Service works. This is against a backdrop of the surprise inclusion in the Conservative manifesto of a proposal that the levy could be used to pay the wages of apprentices - a measure that would put huge pressure on apprenticeship funds available for both levy payers and non-levy payers. Click here for more.

23/5/17 - Confusion Over ESFA Provider Training Requirements

The sector is unclear about the new compulsory requirement for 'new' providers to undergo compulsory training from the ESFA on how to run apprenticeship programmes. This FE Week article suggests that many providers new to the RoATP (the apprenticeship provider register) are waiting to hear details of the required training and in the meantime are delayed in taking on new starts. Also, SCTP has clarified with the ESFA on behalf of one member that former subcontractor who have now become main providers do need to attend the training as this will help them to understand their new responsibilities as a main provider.

22/5/17 - Upcoming Free Webinars From E-Memoir

5 free webinars are available in the coming weeks covering: Understanding the Funding and Delivery of Learning Support in Apprenticeships, 31st May; The role of marketing communications in building the FE and skills brand, 7th June; Improving the quality of study programmes to meet funding and quality requirements, 13th June; Understanding changes to the funding of apprenticeships and how to make the most of the levy, 15th June; Re-visiting Target Setting – making it work for you and your students, 16th June. Click here for more details and booking.

19/5/17 - Who Really Delivers Apprenticeships?

Figures obtained from the ESFA by national provider network AELP, have uncovered the real position about which type of providers deliver apprenticeships. The headlines say that 75% of apprenticeships are delivered by independent training providers (ITPs) which in one way is true but this includes the ITPs that deliver as subcontractors under a college contract who could also claim to be delivering these apprenticeships. You can make up your own mind as the figures are reproduced (in FE Week's usual style) here.

19/5/17 - Manifesto Report

SCTP doesn't get involved in party politics although we all know how much politics has an impact on the skills sector and our members' businesses. So we thought we'd provide you with links to summaries of the 3 main English party manifestos, Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats (courtesy of Fe News).

19/5/17 - SCTP Members' Meeting Report

Over forty members gathered at Crawley Town Hall yesterday for SCTP's May Members' Meeting. The meeting included new member intros from Love Local Jobs, Go Train, Improve Your Skills and APM as well as updates on SCTP activities and projects and input from Rory Abbott (Medway Youth Trust), Kirsten Trussell (C2C LEP) and Mike Cox (AELP). Members also had the chance to debate issues relating to contracting, the on line Apprenticeships Service, Traineeships and Dynamic Purchasing Systems. All slides used on the day are available on the SCTP website here. Minutes will be issued to members shortly. The next Members’ Meeting is at the University of Sussex, Falmer on the 20th July (9.30-1.00).

18/5/17 - Apprenticeship Standards Update

With more guidance on apprenticeship standards as diverse as Operational Firefighter and Optical Assistant being issued this week we felt it was time to issue one of our occasional updates. Details of approved standards and those in development are here.

17/5/17 - Ofqual Video Explains New GCSE Grades

More information that helps to explain the new GCSE grading to employers, parents, students - anyone! This 2 minute video from Ofqual helps to make things clear.

17/5/17 - 507 New Providers Added To Apprenticeship Register

The updated register of apprenticeship training providers has now been published. An extra 507 providers have been added by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. This comes after a number of providers were unsuccessful in the first round of applications and were offered the opportunity to reapply. Congratulations to the SCTP members who are now listed. More information and comment are here.

17/5/17 - Unemployment Reaches New Lows

Unemployment continues to fall. There were 1.54 million unemployed people - 53,000 fewer than for October to December 2016 and 152,000 fewer than for a year earlier- making an unemployment rate of 4.6 %. This is the lowest unemployment rate since 1975, according to official UK labour market data published this week.  Looking at youth employment, in period from January to March 2017 there were 3.95 million people in work (including 912,000 full-time students with part-time jobs), 562,000 unemployed people (including 197,000 full-time students looking for part-time work) and 2.63 million economically inactive people, most of whom (2.03 million) were full-time students. The unemployment rate among 16 to 24 year olds was 12.5%, down from 13.7% in January to March of last year and down from 12.6% in October to December 2016.

17/5/17 - ESFA Update issue 357

Latest from the ESFA including: 1. Responding to employer requests for levy-funded apprenticeship training; 2. Register of Apprentice Training Providers (RoATP) updated; 3. Advanced Learner Loans 2017 to 2018: changes to subcontracting; 4. Advanced Learner Loans: launch of 2017 to 2018 application service; 5. Learning Aim Reference Service 2017 to 2018: update to table and field definitions.

15/5/17 - Campaign Launched To Protect Post-Brexit Social Fund

A campaign has been launched to in an attempt to ensure that ESF funding that currently supports some of the most vulnerable and excluded learners will not be lost once Britain leave the EU. The campaign, launched by the Learning and Work Institute, with backing from the Association of Colleges, HoLEX and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, is calling on the next government to invest “at least the same value” in locally-driven ESF successor programmes. Click here for more.

15/5/17 - The Platform Hosts Social Media Conference In Brighton

SCTP member, The Platform is working in partnership with international organisations to host a conference next month in Brighton to advance sustainable and high impact innovation for the social enterprise sector. This free conference will take place on the 15th June at a venue in Brighton. For more information click here.

13/5/17 - SCTP Members' Meeting, Thursday 18th May

We hope to see many of our members on Thursday at the next Members' Meeting at Crawley Town Hall, 9.30-1.00. We will hear from the Coast To Capital LEP, Medway Youth Trust and AELP will lead a debate on apprenticeship funding - plus all the latest news on how SCTP is supporting its members. Click here for meeting information.

13/5/17 - ESCC Apprenticeships Meeting 17th May

SCTP will be representing members at East Sussex County Council's Apprenticeships In East Sussex meeting on Thursday the 17th May. This is the group that brings councils together with providers to look at apprenticeship strategy and implementation in the county. The agenda is here and the minutes of the last meeting here. Please let us know if there are any points that you would like us to raise on members' behalf.

13/5/17 - Guide To GCSE Changes For Employers & Providers

Click here for a handy guide from SCTP Associate Member, Pearson which explains the changes to GCSE grading from an employer and provider perspective and some of the potential issues arising.

12/5/17 - Worthing 'Be The Change' Event 16th May

The Sussex Learning Network is running a 'Be The Change' event on Tuesday 16th May at Worthing Assembly Hall 9am – 3.30pm. SCTP members are able to take part. Be The Change events are inspirational days aimed at young people who may face challenges and difficulties within the learning environment or with life in general, and who perhaps lack confidence but who with the right support have the potential to aim high with great results. Further details are here and to get involved e-mail here.

11/5/17 - Report On How Schools Prepare Students For Future

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education (APPG) has this week published an inquiry-based paper entitled, ‘How well do schools prepare children for their future?’ This inquiry and resultant paper has been drawn up as a response to the latest stark figures which reveal that youth unemployment currently stands at 13.1% (national average = 4.8%). This becomes even more of a concern when placed alongside the UKCES 2015 Employer Skills Survey which reported that 1 in 4 vacancies are not being filled because businesses can't find, or access the right people.

11/5/17 - AEB Procurement Paused

Providers who submitted bids as part of the procurement process for the Adult Education Budget were notified by the ESFA on Tuesday that the process was being paused until after the general election.  An update will provided after 8 June. 

10/5/17 - ESFA Issues Non-Levy Calculations To Primes

The ESFA has issued a letter including details of calculations used to determine non-levy allocations to each prime provider. This will enable prime providers to understand their allocations and if necessary contact their ESFA account manager if there are concerns, errors or incorrect assumptions. The letter also explains what the allocations are for as the allocations do not need to cover the same activity as in previous years. Prime providers are also urged to take the greatest of care in ensuring that they are accurately interpreting their non-levy starts allocations on a like for like basis with previous years. There is a view amongst some members that the allocations issued have been reasonable especially with the opportunity for growth cases to be made in August, while others remain very concerned. Of course providers may find themselves with different allocation levels and business circumstances. Subcontractors are encouraged to contact their primes to support them n the allocation analysis. All members are encouraged to contact SCTP if they have any concerns and to attend the 18th May Members Meeting for a full analysis of the current situation. SCTP continues to pass members' views to AELP to support their lobbying efforts.

10/5/17 - Nursing Degree Apprenticeship Standard Approved

The Institute for Apprenticeships today (9 May) approved the Registered Nurse Degree (level 6) Apprenticeship standard which describes the job role that an apprentice will be doing and the skills required of them by the nursing sector. Click here for more.

10/5/17 - Free AELP Webinar On Work Ready Skills

Click here for details of a free webinar looking at the key attitudes and behaviours that determine employers’ hiring decisions, how to scientifically measure those key attitudes and behaviours and how to develop those key attitudes and behaviours in learners. The webinar takes place on the 7th June 10.30-11.30am.

10/5/17 - Free Webinar On Learning Support In Apprenticeships

SCTP member, Learning Curve is offering a free webinar on 'Understanding the Funding and Delivery of Learning Support in Apprenticeships’, taking place 11.00 - 12:00 on Wednesday 17th May. The webinar will outline how the funding for learning support of apprentices will operate after May 2017 and also consider different models for the effective delivery of learning support to apprentices on frameworks and standards. Click here for more information and booking.

9/5/17 - NSAFS Still Seeking Delivery Partners

The National Skills Academy for Financial Services won two ESF/SFA Skills Support For The Workforce lots in the Coast To Capital LEP area - one aimed at 'Intermediate & Higher Skills Provision For The Employed', (known as 'Skills For Growth') the other for 'Higher Level Skills Provision For The Unemployed' (known as 'Skills For Jobs'). For Skills For Growth, NSAFS is looking for delivery partners that already have employers that they are engaged with, in priority sectors (see links above) in the C2C LEP area that are able to deliver units of qualifications the employers want at Level 3 and Level 4 but have a value of no more than 14 credits to employees in the target demographics (see links above). In relation to Skills For Jobs, partners are sought that can deliver the same types of restricted qualifications to the same targeted groups of people who have been unemployed for less than 6 months and then progress them into employment. Partners will need to undergo a due diligence process and if interested can contact NSAFS here.

9/5/17 - The Changing Role Of The Assessor In Apprenticeships

Click here for a useful article that looks at some of the main changes to the assessor role and what these will mean in practice for vocational assessors and for those planning to teach or assess on the new apprenticeship routes.

9/5/17 - Jason Holt Comments On SME Funding Concerns

The Government’s Small Business Apprenticeship Ambassador, Jason Holt has given his comments on the potential lack of apprenticeship funding for SME's. Click here.

9/5/17 - ETF Maths & English Support

Click here for the latest resources and training available from the Education & Training Foundation on English and maths delivery.

9/5/17 - SELEP AGM & Skills Showcase 7th July

The South East LEP will be hosting both their Annual General Meeting followed by the Skills Showcase at Harlow College in Essex.  The Showcase is an opportunity to find out about SELEP's skills capital investments and ESF programmes to date. You will also have the opportunity to hear the highlights from our skills boards across the LEP and how your area is benefiting. It is hoped that the Skills Minister will attend. Click here for more information and booking.

8/5/17 - East Sussex 'Invest 5' Business Grants

The East Sussex Invest 5 fund is an East Sussex County Council (ESCC) and Regional Growth Fund (RGF) programme to support the local economy and create jobs. It is delivered by the County Council in partnership with Locate East Sussex (LES). The fund offers grants and loans for capital investment to stimulate business growth and job creation in the county and incentives for participating businesses to recruit apprentices. Click here for more.

8/5/17 - SCTP's Welcomes New Office & Marketing Coordinator

SCTP is delighted to welcome Sarah Sawyer to the SCTP team as our Virtual Office and Marketing Coordinator. Some members will already know Sarah who  has been in the education sector for many years working for both the Learning and Skills Council and the Skills Funding Agency/National Apprenticeship Service. Sarah starts with us on the 5th June. Click here for more.

5/5/17 - More Analysis On Apprenticeship Funding Position

Click here for an interesting summary of the current apprenticeship funding situation from Tony Allen (ex-SFA and LSC) who is well placed to interpret the unprecedented actions of the ESFA over recent weeks. Also, click here for the latest reporting on the non-levy allocations from FE Week. Their reporting is never short on the dramatic but hopefully this still provides a useful update on what is happening. We will be opening up the chance for members to share and debate the current issues regarding apprenticeship funding at the next Members' Meeting on the 18th May, 9.30-1.00 at Crawley Borough Council - more information to be issued soon.

5/5/17 - SCTP Strategic Leaders' Forum To Meet Again

SCTP's group of strategic leaders meets again on Monday 8th May. This will be the fourth meeting in the series where senior managers from SCTP member providers gather to discuss the future direction of the sector and how SCTP can best anticipate the support needs of members. One item for discussion will be the potential for establishing a SCTP Leadership Academy to ensure a pipeline of local leadership talent for members (you can still submit your views here). There will also be discussion about recent apprenticeship funding issues and the future of the group.

5/5/17 - Two More AELP Development Opportunities

AELP is holding workshops for providers on 'Building Your Business' looking at how providers can take advantage of the opportunities arising from a changing apprenticeship market. The second opportunity are workshops offering an 'Introduction To Curriculum Planning' focussing on developing an understanding of the main differences in planning a curriculum offer for the apprenticeship standards. Fees are payable for both workshops although these are subsidised via the Future Apprenticeships programme. Nearest location is London.

5/5/17 - Local Videos Promoting Apprenticeships

Brighton and Hove City Council commissioned SCTP to produce a range of short videos promoting apprenticeships. They are aimed at a variety of audiences including 16 - 18s, over 25s, employers, parents and those interested in degree apprenticeships. They are all available for you to view, download and use on the Resources page of the SCTP website.

4/5/17 - ESFA e-Bulletin Issue 172

Latest from the ESFA for 'schools, colleges, local authorities and other 16 to 19 providers' including: 1. Information: approved list of independent special schools and special post-16 institutions in England and Wales; 2. Information: local authority summaries of student numbers for 2017 to 2018; 3. Information: Condition Improvement Fund appeals.

4/5/17 - Talent Match SE EOI For Specialist Mentoring Services

Talent Match South East has issued an Expression of Interest for specialist mentoring services in E Sussex. Details of the procurement process are here and an application form here.

4/5/17 - 50% Of Providers Ignore Course Enquiries

The interesting FE News article reports on course enquiry mystery shopping carried out over Easter and the extent to which enquiries were answered after the Easter break. It also explores the use of technology in handling customer enquiries.

3/5/17 - Free Learning Curve CPD Opportunity For Providers

Opportunity expires end of May! A reminder that SCTP member, Learning Curve Group is offering the opportunity for provider colleagues to undertake fully funded staff CPD qualifications using their 'high quality, engaging content and NCFE approved assessments' that enable learners to study at a time and place convenient to them supported by a qualified assessor. More details are here.

3/5/17 - East Sussex March Participation Data

East Sussex County Council has published the latest figures on young peoples' participation on education and training for the county. Commenting on the figures Caroline McKiddie of ESCC said 'Although we have not met our target for  participation for 16yr olds, 97% was a very challenging target, which was set significantly above what was achieved last year nationally (94.9%) and SE (94.4%) in March. We wanted to be ambitious and perhaps if there had not been such a long delay in awarding the ESF/SFA/DWP contracts, this target may have been met through re-engagement programmes. But regardless, 97% of this cohort are in some form of education, training or employment and this should be celebrated!  So we would like to take the opportunity to thank all our partners and colleagues, both internal and external, who have worked together to secure such a positive outcome for young people across East Sussex'.

3/5/17 - AELP Publishes Election Manifesto

AELP, the national provider network has published an election manifesto which calls on the next government to commit to (and hopefully fund) 4 million quality apprenticeships over the life of the next parliament. There are 9 other commitments requested of Government that can be seen here including the topical call for guaranteed funding of at least £1 billion a year for non-levy paying SMEs for their apprenticeship needs.

2/5/17 - SLN NCOP Funding Opportunity

The Sussex Learning Network has launched its National Collaborative Outreach Programme funded by the Higher Education Funding Council England. The programme will target disadvantaged students living in identified ward areas in Sussex where progression into Higher Education is lower than expected based on GCSE attainment figures and looks to increase the numbers of young people aged 14-19 years accessing Higher Level learning by 2020. There is an opportunity for local partners to contribute to these targets and access funding. For more information click here.

2/5/17 - AELP Support Packages On Standards Delivery

AELP is offering support packages (at £200) for providers looking to be ready to deliver various apprenticeship standards. There is a forthcoming session in London for Health & Dental Apprenticeship Standards on the 5th July and workshops for Accountancy & Financial Services coming up with many other packages available across a range of occupations.

2/5/17 - Seaford Head School Requests Mock Interview Help

Seaford Head School has asked if SCTP members could help with its mock interview day for their pupils on the 26th & 27th September. They need 14 employers on each of those days to do half an hour per student between 9.00am and 1.30pm followed by lunch. If you can help please contact 

2/5/17 - Launch Of 'South East Business Boost'

The aim of the South East Business Boost (SEBB) is to elevate companies and increase employment through support, guidance and grants. The project will improve business resilience, profitability and competitiveness. The programme can fund up to 30% of the cost of qualifying projects. The minimum grant that can be awarded is £1,000. The maximum grant amount is £10,000. More information is here.