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


18/1/17 - SFA Update Issue 342

Latest from the SFA including: 1. Adult education budget: independent training provider contracts; 2. Use ‘Find an apprenticeship’ to advertise new apprenticeship vacancies; 3. The new apprenticeship service; 4. Industry professionals to lead technical education panels; 5. New apprentices welcome letter from Robert Halfon MP.

18/1/17 - Hastings Announced As 'Opportunity Area'

Education Secretary, Justine Greening has announced 6 more parts of England to become Opportunity Areas including Hastings. These areas will create local partnerships with early years providers, schools, colleges, universities, businesses, charities and Local Authorities aimed at helping local children get the best start in life regardless of their background. Click here for more.

17/1/17 - Keys To Successful Business Development In FE

Click here for this useful FE News article looking at how colleges and ITPs can move forward (or backwards!) in 2017.

16/1/17 - Slides & Video From 16-19 Funding Webinar

Click here for the video and here for the slides from today's 16-19 Funding Update For 2017-18 webinar from Learning Curve.

13/1/17 - Don't Forget To Book Your Members' Meeting Place!

Unusually, we are asking members to book their places for the Members' Meeting on the 19th January - details of the meeting are here. This is so we can guarantee you a seat, a lunch and a badge! We have some great speakers including Mark Dawe from AELP, Mike Bailey from the NHS, colleagues from Coast 2 Capital LEP and an afternoon presentation from the SFA on the Digital Apprenticeship Service.

13/1/17 - Looking Ahead To Next Week's SCTP Activity

We like to keep members informed about how SCTP is representing and supporting its members. On Monday the 3rd meeting of SCTP's Strategic Leaders Forum takes place with 15 members coming together to look at how to enhance leadership policy and practice in our sector - the notes from the last meeting are here. Wednesday sees the latest meeting of ESCC Apprenticeships In East Sussex Group looking at apprenticeship promotion and delivery across the county - the agenda is here; please contract Paul Mitchell if there are any issues that you would like us to raise. Finally, we have the latest SCTP Members Meeting on Thursday - see item above!

13/1/17 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 157

Latest from the EFA including: Information: post-16 allocation calculation toolkit (ACT); Reminder: transferring learning difficulty assessments (LDAs) to education health care plans (EHCPs); Information: publication of school improvement monitoring and brokering grant provisional allocations; Information: Condition Data Collection programme; Action: spring 2017 school census; Information: headteacher reference groups; Information: buying new computer equipment; Reminder: school workforce census deadline.

13/1/17 - AEB Procurement Process Set To Launch

According to FE Week, the first ever procurement process for Adult Education Budget contracts has been given the ministerial go-ahead and is expected to begin within days. Click here for more.

13/1/17 - Free Lsect Webinar On The IfA Consultation

Nick Linford will be joined by Mark Dawe, Chief Executive at AELP, to consider the IfA strategic plan and consultation. Just what will the IfA be responsible for and why does it matter? The webinar takes place on Wednesday 18th January at 12.00 noon. Click here to register

12/1/17 - ETF: Leading Teaching & Learning For Maths & English

The ETF has announced that its 3-day ‘Leading Teaching & Learning for Maths & English first line managers’ programme is now available in the South East. Full details of the programme and how to reserve your place are here. If you have any other queries or needs in relation to the delivery of maths or English then feel free to get in touch with your ETF Regional Specialist Leads Claire Callow (English) or Judy Maguire (maths).

12/1/17 - East Sussex Apprentice Ambassador Training

This programme, run by SCTP for East Sussex County Council, trains apprentices to act as ambassadors in promoting apprenticeships at school and careers events. Now's the time for providers to nominate their apprentices to benefit from this developmental opportunity and give your own organisation an increased profile while promoting apprenticeships. To nominate your apprentices, please complete the nomination form which can be downloaded here and return to by 5pm on Wednesday 18th January 2017. As this is an East Sussex project all nominated apprentices need to be working in East Sussex. The next Ambassador training is on Friday 20th January 2017, 10am – 1pm in Eastbourne.      

12/1/17 - Brighton & Hove Apprentice Ambassador Training

This is the same programme as outlined above for East Sussex but covering apprentices that work in Brighton & Hove with the next ambassador training session taking place on Monday 30th January 2017, 10am – 1pm in Hove. The Brighton & Hove nomination form is here and needs to be returned to by 5pm on Friday 27th January 2017. Employers can also nominate their own apprentices.

11/1/17 - Free Webinar: Update On 16-19 Funding For 2017/18

SCTP member, Learning Curve is offering a free webinar 'Update on 16-19 Funding 2017-18'. This takes place at 4:00-5.00pm on Monday 16th January 2017. Click here for more information and booking.

11/1/17 - SLN Collaborative Outreach Project Press Release

Efforts to increase the participation in higher education of disadvantaged groups across East and West Sussex and Brighton & Hove received a major boost with confirmation that the Sussex Learning Network has been successful in its bid for a share of a new £60 million per year programme. The full press release is here. SCTP is pleased to be working in partnership with this initiative on behalf of its members.

11/1/17 - New Apprenticeship Grant For Employers Factsheet

The SFA has published an updated version of the factsheet on the Apprenticeship grant for employers of 16 to 24 year olds (AGE 16 to 24), eligibility information and how to apply.

11/1/17 - Crawley Small Business Grant Scheme

Crawley Borough Council is offering business grants for local small businesses (under 50 employees) that take on apprentices and local small businesses who wish to implement new ideas in their organisation. Click here for a link to the Council's website and here for the scheme flyer.

11/1/17 - Training Providers Need To Offer 24/7 Digital Learning

A newly released report from YMCA Awards has revealed that increasing numbers of students now expect access to on-demand learning, enabling them to learn at a time and place suited to them. Click here for more.

11/1/17 - More LEP Surgeries After Next Members' Meeting

SCTP is pleased to confirm another chance for members build relationships with the skills leads for our local LEPs. After the 19th January Members' Meeting (10.00-1.00 at Plumpton College) between 1.00 and 2.00pm there will be the opportunity for members to meet 1:1 with Louise Aitken, the South East LEP's Skills Lead and/or Kirsten Trussell Coast 2 Capital LEP's Head of Strategy & Policy. There will be 6 x 10 minute slots available to see Louise and the same for Kirsten. Please e-mail Paul Mitchell to make a booking. Places will allocated on a first come first served basis with appointments to see both LEP representatives only available if availability allows. Thanks to Louise and Kirsten for taking part.

10/1/17 - SCTP Prevent Seminar Receives Positive Feedback

18 delegates attended SCTP's Prevent Seminar held at Rewards in Crawley today and delivered by Colin Forrest of the ETF. The all day session was well received with feedback showing members found the session informative and useful in implementing the requirements of the Prevent Duty.

10/1/17 - Events Map For National Apprenticeship Week

The SFA has published a newly designed events map for National Apprenticeship Week 2017 (6th-10th March).

10/1/17 - Updated Apprenticeship Funding Bands

The SFA has published updated information that sets out the funding bands that will apply for existing apprenticeship frameworks and apprenticeship standards.

10/1/17 - Funding For SEN Support Confirmed

The DfE has announced a multi-million pound investment to support children and families with special educational needs and disabilities. Click here for the press release.

9/1/17 - Forthcoming SCTP Leadership Webinars

There are 3 more one-hour webinars coming in January:

Without, within: the secrets of leadership from outside the sector: Friday 13th January – 11am

Space: reflection, critical thinking and making long-term decisions in a short-term world: Thursday 26th January – 11am

Leading upwards: working with LEPs, devolution & government: Thursday 26th January – 3pm

Full details are available on the SCTP website here.

9/1/17 - London Learning Consortium Joins SCTP

We are pleased to welcome Stephen Jeffery, Heather Armstrong and their team to membership of SCTP.  The London Learning Consortium was recently successful in a ESF Coast 2 Capital bid to deliver basic skills in the workplace in West Sussex and Brighton & Hove. Outside of Sussex LLC also delivers apprenticeships, traineeships, adult and community learning an AEB funded provision throughout the South East. For more on LLC go to

6/1/17 - Concern About Future 16-18 Apprenticeship Recruitment

Jon Graham, chief executive of SCTP member, JTL has called on the government to make a “clear and unambiguous” commitment to 16-to-18 apprenticeships, after he warned that funding reforms will cause its starts for that age group to plummet by two thirds. Click here for more.

6/1/17 - Apprenticeship Vacancies Stats

Click here for data from the SFA about the nature and volume of apprenticeship vacancies logged via the 'Find An Apprentice' service.

5/1/17 - Equal Opportunities For Users Of British Sign Language

The government has confirmed that for the first time, British Sign Language (BSL) will be accepted as an alternative qualification to functional skills in English for apprentices where BSL is their first language. Click here for more.

5/1/17 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 156

Latest from the EFA including: Information: 19 to 25 year olds with education health care plans access to the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund; Information: transferring learning difficulty assessments to education health care plans; Information: 16 to 18 further education (FE) data and management information for local authorities; Information: apprenticeship levy and public sector duty.

5/1/17 - Free Webinar: 'Apprenticeship Reforms For Governors'

This free webinar from AELP looks at what governors, non-executives and/or board members need to know about the new apprenticeship reforms. It will also consider the impact on businesses and the risks associated with the new reforms. It takes place on the 17th January from 10.30-11.30. Click here for more information and booking.

5/1/17 - First Director Of Labour Market Enforcement Announced

Sir David Metcalf has been named as the first Director of Labour Market Enforcement to oversee a government crackdown on exploitation in the workplace including minimum wage violations. Click here for more.

4/1/17 - SFA Update Issue 341

Latest from the SFA including: 1. Funding for 19+ continuing learners for the 2017 to 2018 academic year; 2. Apprenticeship reforms: withdrawal of frameworks; 3. Preparing to deliver apprenticeship end-point assessment.

4/1/17 - Apprenticeships & Skills Minister's New Year Message

Click here to see Robert Halfon's apprenticeship, skills, further education and careers plans, priorities and resolutions for the year ahead. In a TES article, Stephen Evans, Chief Executive of the Learning and Work Institute also given his views on an optimistic outlook for the learning and skills sector in 2017.

4/1/17 - DfE Consults On IfA Strategic Guidance

The Department for Education is seeking feedback on the draft guidance which sets out government’s views on how the Institute for Apprenticeships would carry out its functions. Click here for the on line survey. The consultation closes on the 31st January. Responses from the sector are here including and a press release from AELP here.

3/1/17 - Support For New Governance Via FE Sussex

The Education and Training Foundation has awarded FE Sussex the contract for its 'Support for New Governance' programme. The project provides one day of consultancy by leading sector experts to all principals/CEOs of colleges/ITPs, the costs of which will be met by the ETF.  Full details of the project and how to register are here.

3/1/17 - OFSTED News Issue 54

Latest issue of the newsletter from the inspectorate.

3/1/17 - New Year's Honours List: Sector Recipients

Click here to see details of the 120 people honoured for their contribution to education, children’s services and equality and diversity.

29/12/16 - SCTP Prevent & Health & Safety Events

A reminder that bookings are still open for SCTP's Prevent Workshop on the 10th January - details here and Apprenticeship Reforms Health & Safety seminar on the 20th January - details here

29/12/16 - Lookfantastic Gets OFSTED Grade 2

SCTP member Lookfantastic has let us know that they have achieved a grade 2 at their recent OFSTED inspection. Congratulations to them and also SCTP member SIGTA that works with them as a partner provider. More information is here. If other members have similar good news stories please let us know.

29/12/16 - SCTP Additional Executive Director Vacancy

A reminder that SCTP is looking to appoint an additional Executive Director. Due to expansion SCTP is looking for a committed and dynamic individual to continue momentum to fulfil its mission to strategically lead and maximise the quality, impact and profile of our members. The successful applicant will have significant knowledge of the work-based learning and pre-employment sectors and an appreciation of the challenges and opportunities it faces. They will be motivated by working alongside and complementing our existing part-time Executive Director, Paul Mitchell. A job and person description is here. To apply please send a covering letter explaining suitability for the role and CV to closing date Friday 6th January 2017, interviews 17th January. Please circulate this information to any contacts that you have that may be interested in the role.

23/12/16 - Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

From all at SCTP to all our readers.

23/12/16 - SE National Careers Service Labour Market e-Bulletin

Click here for the latest from the National Careers Service covering E Sussex, Kent and Essex.

23/12/16 - Enabling Traineeships To Grow

In this FE News article AELP CEO, Mark Dawe reflects on outcome statistics for Traineeships and looks at what measures would help to support the growth of the programme.

22/12/16 - ETF December Newsletter

Latest from the Education & Training Foundation including a summary of the programmes offered to support providers.

22/12/16 - 2nd W Sussex Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony

The second West Sussex Graduation ceremony takes place at Chichester cathedral on the evening of Tuesday 7th March 2017.  It proved to be a celebratory and moving occasion in 2016 and we want to encourage many more newly qualified apprentices to come along next year. Eligible graduands are those at Advanced and Higher/Degree levels who will be completing their apprenticeships by the end of this year and employed in a West Sussex company. There will be robes, photos and refreshments for graduands and their families in the beautiful Edes House from 5pm and a Business reception for their employers and training providers in the Novium museum at the same time. This is followed by the ceremony in the cathedral for all at 7pm. Further information is here or email here.

22/12/16 - Opportunity To Partner With Interserve

SCTP member Interserve is offering the opportunity for providers to become one of their approved apprenticeship providers. They want to partner with providers who are able to work alongside them and deliver services to large employers they are working with as well as assisting with their own levy commitment. Click here to complete an expression of interest and here for the invitation e-mail.

22/12/16 - Next Wave Of Careers & Enterprise Fund Has Opened

The Fund will allocate £5 million of investment funds nationally to scale up many existing, effective careers and enterprise programmes. Details are here. Closing date is 20th January at 3pm.

22/12/16 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 55

Latest from the EFA including: Information: schools revenue funding settlement 2017 to 2018; Information: school improvement and brokering grant; Information: other grant funding 2017 to 2018; Information: publication S251 data 2015 to 2016; Information: national funding formula second stage consultation: supplementary information; Information: post-16 funding in academic year 2017 to 2018.

22/12/16 - East Sussex November Participation Data

East Sussex County Council has published the latest figures on young peoples' participation on education and training. Commenting on the figures Caroline McKiddie, ESCC's Participation Manager said 'The figures above indicate a great start to the year, so we would like to thank you all for your contributions and commitment to helping ensure that young people in East Sussex  participate in education, training or employment with training'.

22/12/16 - EFA 16-19 Funding Statement

The EFA has issued a letter explaining the funding for academic year 2017 to 2018 for students aged 16 to 19 and students aged 19 to 25 with an education, health and care plan. Commenting SCTP Director Dan Wallman stated that 'Much remains the same for 17/18 including the baseline funding rate as promised in earlier Government statements. However there is a major change to note that the EFA  will now fund 19+ continuing learners through EFA rather than SFA funding (which means that providers without an SFA AEB contract could not offer a continued programme).  This is something that SCTP has campaigned for this year, providing more flexibility to members delivering pre-employment provision and we are pleased to see this now being implemented'. For more on the EFA letter click here.

21/12/16 - SFA Update Issue 340

Latest from the SFA including: 1. Finance record 2015 to 2016; 2. Final reconciliation statements and capping release 2015 to 2016; 3. SFA takes over issuing certificates for apprenticeship standards; 4. Provisional qualification achievement rates and minimum standards dashboards 2015 to 2016; 5. Updated provider data self-assessment toolkit.

20/12/16 - Best Practice People Joins SCTP

Welcome back to SCTP to Grant Basson who many members will know from his time with Hill McManus. Grant is now founder and CEO of Best Practice People which started as a  a recruitment business and has now developed into a training provider. The company is delivering two contracts locally - the first offering Business Driven Maths™, designed to improve Maths skills for people in work as well as allow them to achieve qualifications; the second is to work with unemployed/inactive young people to move them in to Apprenticeships and employment through high impact skills provision. More information is available at

19/12/16 - Two New Guides Published Re Levy & DAS

Two new guides have been released by the authorities to help companies understand the Apprentice Levy. The first is a detailed and specific guide for companies that may be affected by the Apprentice Levy, published by HMRC, it can be found here. Secondly, the SFA has released a new YouTube video to guide companies through the process of using the new Digital Apprenticeship Service.

19/12/16 - Evaluation of JCP Schools Support Pathfinder

This report presents findings from a DWP evaluation of the Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools programme in 6 pathfinder areas in England. The report suggests that the Support for Schools pilots are meeting with a positive response. The pathfinders target those at risk of becoming NEET, and cover apprenticeships and traineeships, with both employers and providers getting involved.

19/12/16 - DfE Publishes Post Apprenticeship Earnings Stats

The Department for Education has published figures showing average earnings up to 4 years after training for adults that achieved apprenticeships between August 2010 and July 2013. There is a detailed analysis of the results including figures by sector and level.

19/12/16 - National Apprenticeship Week: Toolkit & News Story

Click here for a toolkit containing Information and suggestions for employers, apprentices, MPs, schools, colleges and training providers to help support NAW 2017. Also, here is a press release promoting the theme of the week as 'ladder of opportunity'. NAW takes place from the 6th to the 10th March and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

19/12/16 - Apprenticeship Standards Approved & In Development

More apprenticeship standards are emerging all the time with those approved for delivery listed here and those in development here.

19/12/16 - Boost To Support Access To HE In Sussex

SCTP member, The Sussex Learning Network has been successful in its bid for a share of the new £60 million National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) (funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)), which aims to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds progress into Higher Education. The programme will focus on delivering activities which build upon and boost outreach in schools and local communities. The Network’s successful bid, which is worth several million pounds over the next four years, brings local stakeholders together to focus on developing clear and appropriately supported pathways through various educational routes to relevant forms of higher level study aligned to local need and future demand. For more information contact Sarah Williams, Director, Sussex Learning Network.

16/12/16 - South East LEP December Newsletter

Latest from the Local Enterprise Partnership covering E Sussex, Kent and Essex.

16/12/16 - More On Nursing Apprenticeships

See this article from Moving On magazine. See also information here about plans for Police Constable Apprenticeships.

16/12/16 - SFA Inform Issue 114

Latest issue 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.

15/12/16 - Prevista Partnership Opportunity

SCTP member Prevista has submitted details to SCTP regarding a partnership working opportunity that may be of interest to members as follows:

'Prevista has an Adult Skills Budget with the SFA and is looking for subcontractors who have the capacity, capability and employer relationships to start learners immediately. Prevista will provide a full package of support to subcontractors including e-portfolio support; joint observations to ensure quality; safeguarding, equality & diversity and Prevent support; free training for your delivery staff and back office functions; and joint tendering opportunities.  If you are confident of being able to deliver this service, please complete and return this Expression of Interest Form to by Wednesday 11th January 2017'.

15/12/16 - Skills East Sussex December Newsletter

Latest update from the skills group covering East Sussex by ESCC and linked to SELEP.

15/12/16 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 154

Latest from the EFA including: Information: national funding formula: second stage consultation; Information: schools revenue funding settlement 2017 to 2018; Information: authority proforma tool (APT) guide 2017 to 2018; Information: adjustments to local authority funding related to free schools; Information: delivery data for the Youth Contract to the end of March 2016.

15/12/16 - Concerns Expressed Over LEP Funding Decisions

Decision making processes used by some LEPs for allocating funding have been called into question recently following a high profile Daily Mail investigation. See more in this FE Week article. Members will know that SCTP has good working relationships with both SELEP and Coast To Capital LEP both of whom have provided reassurances that they are confident in the transparency of their work.

15/12/16 - Unemployment Rates Still Lowest For A Decade

According to research from the DWP: The labour market has finished a record breaking year with unemployment down by over 100,000 people and the rate running at 4.8%. See more on this and the latest figures published today here.

15/12/16 - DTD Health & Safety Blog

Click here for an article from DTD's Tudor Williams on the potential impact of the Apprenticeship Reforms and Levy on Health & Safety systems and requirements. To book on to the workshop on this subject that DTD is running for SCTP members on the 20th January click here.

14/12/16 - Advanced Learning Loans Webinar Video & Slides

Click here for the video of Learning Curve's webinar titled: 'Advanced learner loans: making the best of your loans facility'. Click here for the slides.

14/12/16 - SFA Update Issue 339

Latest from the SFA including: 1. Apprenticeship readiness self-assessment survey – closing Friday; 2. Qualification achievement rates (QAR) dashboards for 2014 to 2015 and 2015 to 2016; 3. Final funding-claim statements for 2015 to 2016.

14/12/16 - Research Shows Limited Impact Of CEIAG In Schools

The results of Edge Foundation and City & Guilds report have revealed that careers advice in schools is having little to no impact on young people’s decisions to stay on into FE. Click here for more.

13/12/16 - SFA Issues Revised Traineeship Information

The SFA has issued an updated factsheet for employers, potential trainees and a referral sheet for providers.

13/12/16 - Inquiry Into Education & Mental Health Of Learners

Parliament's Education Committee has joined forces with it's Health Committee for a new inquiry into the role of education in promoting emotional wellbeing in children and young people and preventing the development of mental health problems. The short inquiry will specifically focus on the capacity of schools, colleges and other educational settings in prevention and early intervention, including how teachers and other professionals can be trained to recognise the signs of mental illness and support pupils when problems occur. It's good to see this issue being explored after these issues were raised recently by members at SCTP's Pre-employment Meeting. Mental health and education is also explored in a report published by Central YMCA looking at the impact of education on learner well-being.

12/12/16 - IfA Establishes Panel For Apprentices

The government has committed to establishing an apprentice panel for the Institute for Apprenticeships. The panel will be made up of apprentices from different occupations and experiences and decide for itself which issues to focus on; it will challenge and make recommendations to the IfA board. Click here for more.

12/12/16 - Govt Sets Aside £762M For Area Review Restructuring

The government has set aside almost three quarters of a billion pounds to cover restructuring costs emerging from the area reviews - primarily in the form of loan funding. Mark Dawe, CEO of AELP commented 'The total sum is roughly the equivalent of the entire adult apprenticeship budget, and some of the money is being used to set up competing provision in an already effective high-quality market'. Click here for an FE Week article on this.

12/12/16 - SE Business Magazine December/January Issue

Latest edition of the region's business magazine.

9/12/16 - SCTP Still Seeking Additional Executive Director

SCTP is still looking to appoint an additional Executive Director having not appointed to the role after the last round of interviews. Due to the expansion of SCTP we are looking for a committed and dynamic individual to continue momentum to fulfil our mission to strategically lead and maximise the quality, impact and profile of our members. The successful applicant will have significant knowledge of the work-based learning and pre-employment sectors and an appreciation of the challenges and opportunities it faces. They will be motivated by working alongside and complementing our existing part-time Executive Director, Paul Mitchell. A job and person description is here. To apply please send a covering letter explaining suitability for the role and CV to closing date Friday 6th January 2017, interviews 17th January. Please circulate this information to any contacts that you have that may be interested in the role.

9/12/16 - Additional Funding Awarded To The ETF

A further £5 million has been awarded to the Education and Training Foundation to 'continue their work to ensure further and technical education is of the highest quality'. The money will allow the ETF to continue to support colleges in delivering the recommendations set out by the area review programme and support all FE providers to expand apprenticeships and prepare for the introduction of new technical routes. Click here for more.

9/12/16 - SCTP Attending SELEP's Skills Advisory Group

Tuesday the 13th December sees the latest meeting of the South East LEP's Skills Advisory Group. This is a pan-LEP group looking at skills strategy and funding and is attended by LEP staff, local authorities, colleges and provider networks. SCTP will have the chance to raise any strategic issues on members' behalf. The agenda and papers are here. Please take advantage of this opportunity to be heard by e-mailing

9/12/16 - 'I Can' Careers Event: Opportunity To Take Part

A careers event is being arranged for Monday 30th of January 2017 at Eastbourne Kings Centre, Eastbourne from 9.30am-12.30pm. An event flyer is here. The aim of the event is to provide an ‘interactive’ careers event for students who struggle with traditional careers fairs (i.e. stalls, high volumes of people and numerous 1-2-1 conversations). Students will attend different time slots so there is a steady stream of students throughout the morning and we hope that up to 200 year 10 and year 11 students will attend. If your organisation is willing to take part in this important event for vulnerable students in East Sussex please can you let Anna Morse know by Wednesday 21st of December 2016

9/12/16 - Free Webinar: Using Advanced Learning Loans Facility

SCTP member, Learning Curve is offering a free webinar titled: 'Advanced learner loans: making the best of your loans facility'. This takes place at 12:00-1.00 on Wednesday 14th December 2016. Click here for more information and booking.

9/12/16 - E.Sussex Apprentice Ambassador Training Programme

This programme run by SCTP for ESCC trains up apprentices to act as ambassadors in promoting apprenticeships in schools and with employers. Now's the time to for providers to nominate their apprentices to benefit from this developmental opportunity and give your own organisation an increased profile while promoting apprenticeships for the benefit of all. To nominate your apprentices please complete the nomination form which can be downloaded here and return to by 5pm on Wednesday 18th January 2017. As this is an East Sussex project all nominated apprentices need to be working in East Sussex. The next Ambassador training is on Friday 20th January 2017, 10am – 1pm in Eastbourne.          

9/12/16 - Brighton & Hove Apprentice Ambassador Programme

This is the same programme as outlined above for E Sussex but covering apprentices that work in Brighton & Hove with the next ambassador training session taking place on Monday 30th January 2017, 10am – 1pm in Hove. The Brighton & Hove nomination form is here and needs to be returned to by 5pm on Friday 27th January 2017. Employers can also nominate their own apprentices.

9/12/16 - ETF Publishes Guidance On FE Teaching Qualifications

The Education and Training Foundation, working with a variety of sector bodies, has produced revised guidance on the qualifications in education, training and assessment available and relevant for working in the post-16 education and training sector. Click here for more.

9/12/16 - SCTP Future Leadership Webinars - Feedback Request

SCTP would like to hear you views about the webinar programme. We would be grateful if you would complete this short survey (only 4 questions), especially if you have NOT participated in the programme! There is also an opportunity for you to enter our prize draw to access one webinar of your choice (worth £25). A winner will be announced week commencing 19th December. Please complete the survey by 5pm on the 17th December 2016.  The next available webinars are Leading upwards: working with LEPs, devolution & government 16th December and Without, within: the secrets of leadership from outside the sector on the 13th January click here for details and booking.

8/12/16 - The Skills Commission Publishes 'Going Places' Report

The Skills Commission has launched its latest report focusing on innovation and leadership in the FE sector and ways in which it can be developed to help meet the needs of local communities and learners in the future.

8/12/16 - SFA Business Update Issue 19

Latest issue of the SFA's monthly newsletter for business.

8/12/16 - SCTP Attends ESCC's IPOG Group

Paul Mitchell today attended ESCC's Increasing Participation Operational Group on behalf of members - the agenda is here. This group looks at how to maximise participation of 16-19 year olds in the county. This meeting looked mainly at detailed planning to implement ESCC's 16-19 Strategy for East Sussex as well as hearing updates from JCP on the Youth Obligation and the Schools adviser service plus a participation data report from ESCC.

8/12/16 - AELP Countdown Issue 800

To mark the publication of the 800th edition of 'Countdown', AELP's weekly newsletter for its members, AELP has given permission for this edition to be circulated beyond its membership so we have reproduced it here.

8/12/16 - Coast To Capital LEP Partnership Forum Feedback

The Coast to Capital LEP held their first Partnership Forum on 6th December. Chief Executive Jonathan Sharrock delivered a presentation to introduce the new organisational structure of the LEP followed by input from the Senior Leadership Team. SCTP was represented on behalf of its members. More is on the LEP's Partnership Forum page.

8/12/16 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 153

Latest from the EFA including only one item this week: Reminder: deadline for Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) 2017 to 2018 applications.

7/12/16 - SFA Update Issue 338

Latest from the SFA including: 1. Subcontractor declaration form 2016 to 2017; 2. Apprenticeship readiness self-assessment survey – closing soon; 3. New apprenticeship standards approved for delivery; 4. Preparing to deliver apprenticeship end-point assessment; 5. Joint SFA EFA early intervention policy; 6. New apprentices welcome letter from Robert Halfon MP.

7/12/16 - Lsect Ofsted Webinar Slides

Click here for the slides from Lsect's Ofsted Annual Report Webinar that took place yesterday. During the webinar Paul Joyce, Ofsted’s deputy director for FE and skills, revealed that talks have begun between Ofsted and the government over extending the inspectorate’s remit to cover degree apprenticeships - click here for more.

7/12/16 - Post-16 Careers Guidance Webinar Video & Slides

Click here for yesterday's video from Learning Curve on 'Careers Guidance in the Post-16 Sector: improving the scope and quality of your careers advice and guidance services'. The webinar explored the strategic context for careers guidance in schools, colleges and universities and developed an organisational response to the changing context that effectively delivers the entitlements of young people and adults to high quality careers advice and guidance. Click here and here for the slides.

5/12/16 - English & Maths ETF Contacts

We carried a news item on the 30/11 (now corrected) giving details of the support available via the Education & Training Foundation for Maths & English and the contacts for their specialist support staff. The south east regional lead for maths is Judy Maguire and for English its Claire Callow not the other way around! Apologies for any confusion this may have caused.

5/12/16 - Presentations From The ALPSE Conference

Click here for the slides from the presentations made at the recent ALPSE Regional Provider Conference in Farnham. These include presentations from Sarah Stear, Head of Apprenticeship Policy Implementation at the SFA; Georgina Angele, Coast to Capital, Careers and Enterprise Company; Phil Romain, Senior HMI, Further Education and Skills OFSTED; Louise Aitken, Skills Lead, SELEP.

5/12/16 - Euroskills FE Week Supplement

Click here for all the news from Euroskills which finished over the weekend with the UK's 19 competitors finishing 7th in the medal table out of 28 countries with 2 gold medals, 1 silver, 2 bronze and 8 medallions for excellence.

2/12/16 - Line Up For January SCTP Members' Meeting

We are pleased to confirm that the speakers for the next Members' Meeting on the 19th January at Plumpton College will be Mark Dawe, CEO of national provider network, AELP, Mike Bailey, Senior Programme Manager at Health Education England (NHS) and Kirsten Trussell, Head Of Strategy & Policy at Coast 2 Capital LEP. In addition there will be another opportunity for 1:1 meetings with Kirsten and her SELEP counterpart Louise Aitken during the lunch period - to book a 10 minute appointment please click here. Finally we are pleased to announce that the SFA will be delivering a post-lunch session on the new Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS). Further details will be issued nearer the time.

2/12/16 - SCTP At The C2C LEP Area Partnership Strategic Group

Next Tuesday SCTP will be representing members at the Coast 2 Capital Area Partnership Strategic Review Group meeting in Horsham. The agenda is here. Please e-mail us if you have any issues that you would like to be taken forward.

2/12/16 - Local Growth Fund: C2C LEP Call For Bids

The Coast 2 Capital LEP has issued a call for bids to the Local Growth Fund. This current call will be open for applications from 2nd December 2016 until 5pm on Friday 6th January 2017. More details are here.

1/2/16 - Graduate Outcomes By Degree Subject & University

The DfE has published employment and earnings of higher education graduates broken down by graduate characteristic, subject studied and university attended.

1/12/16 - Young Start Up Talent Event In Chichester

The Young Start-up Talent team in conjunction with Chichester District Council and NatWest is holding a celebratory lunch to launch an entrepreneurial initiative in the Chichester area which is aimed at inspiring 16-25 year olds to have a ‘can-do’ attitude towards business. The event is from 6.30pm on the 12th January. Click here for an invitation and more details.

1/12/16 - New Nursing Degree Apprenticeship Launched

The first apprentice nurses could be working on wards from September, and once established, up to 1,000 apprentice nurses could join the NHS each year. Click here for more.

1/12/16 - EFA E-Bulletin Issue 152

Latest from the EFA including: Information: institutions providing free meals in further education (FE) support to students in 2016 to 2017; Reminder: Individualised Learner Record R04 2016 to 2017; Information: high needs student numbers recorded in the 2015 to 2016 ILR R14 return and January 2016 school census in special academies; Information: new school improvement funding; Information: updated schools revenue funding 2017 to 2018 operational guide; Information: early years funding reform: consultation response and operational guidance; Reminder: Document Exchange file expiry.

The EFA has also published its High Needs Operational Funding Guide for 2017-18.

1/12/16 - Ofsted Annual Report Published

Click here for a link to the report and comment from FE Week. Encouragingly Sir Michael Wilshaw's comments focussed on questioning the GCSE English and maths resit policy which was not working as hoped. He concluded: “For many students, an alternative level 2 qualification may be a more appropriate means of improving their English and mathematics and ensuring that they are ready for work.” The report also noted that this year 63 per cent of apprenticeships were found to be good or outstanding, an increase of 12 percentage points compared with last year. Responses from sector leaders are here while an official AELP response is here.

Lsect is running a free webinar summarising Ofsted’s annual report and tackling key questions about the inspection regime. Paul Joyce, Ofsted’s Deputy Director and lead on FE and skills will be taking part. The webinar takes place on Tuesday 6th December at 3:00pm. 

1/12/16 - University Of Chichester Joins SCTP

A warm welcome to Sandra Coley, Head of Employer Engagement (who attended the last members' meeting as a guest) and her colleagues. As Higher and Degree apprenticeships become an increasingly important part of the apprenticeship offer it is important that apprenticeship providers of all types are brought together to share and explore what they offer. It is great news that all 3 universities in Sussex are now members of SCTP. The University of Chichester offers a range of professional courses and training and more recently has started to deliver degree apprenticeships. Find out more at

30/11/16 - Free Webinar On Careers Guidance

SCTP member, Learning Curve is offering a free webinar Careers guidance in the post-16 sector: improving the scope and quality of your careers advice and guidance services from 11.00-12.00 on Tuesday 6th December. The webinar will explore the strategic context for careers guidance in schools, colleges and universities and develop an organisational response to the changing context, that effectively delivers the entitlements of young people and adults to high quality careers advice and guidance. Click here for more information and booking.

30/11/16 - EuroSkills 2016 Opens

The most skilled young people in Europe were told they are becoming the “role models of the future” as the curtain was raised on EuroSkills 2016. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven gave a powerful speech as thousands gathered for the competition’s opening ceremony. Click here for more.

30/11/16 - Ofsted News Issue 53

Latest monthly newsletter from the inspectorate.

30/11/16 - SFA Update Issue 337

Latest from the SFA including: 1. Variation to funding agreements 2016 to 2017; 2. Transactions unit: financial model now available; 3. Qualification achievement rates: 2015 to 2016 business rules; 4. Update to learning aim search on the Hub. The SFA has also published guidance on how providers submit their data for inclusion on the Find Apprenticeship Training web portal.

30/11/16 - English & Maths Support From ETF Regional Leads

Support is available via the Education & Training Foundation. A programme of CPD is available for Maths & English as well as specialist support staff being available to help providers of all types. The south east regional lead for maths is Judy Maguire and for English it's Claire Callow. Click the links to make contact. Judy and Claire have been invited to future SCTP Members' & pre-employment meetings.

Also here is a reminder about the ETF's Retrain & Retain programme that financially and practically supports FE providers by retraining practitioners to become teachers of maths or English (with bursaries worth up to £2,000). The provider information pack and application form is here.

30/11/16 - Apprenticeship Readiness Self Assessment Survey

The SFA has asked SCTP to issue information about the above survey which is designed to help providers of apprenticeships understand what they need to do to prepare for the apprenticeship reforms in May 2017. Completing the survey will enable providers to assess their progress towards being ready for the reforms. The results will also help the SFA identify any further support the sector might need, to make sure it is ready to provide apprenticeships to employers paying the levy, and those accessing the co-investment model. The survey is open until Friday, 16 December. If you wish to review the survey questions before going on line these can be seen here. If you have any questions please e-mail the SFA here.

30/11/16 - PAC Questions Apprenticeship Outcome Measures

The Public Accounts Committee has recommended that the Government must broaden the range of measures it will use to evaluate its apprenticeships programme, particularly measuring the success of the Apprenticeship programme beyond just the overall 3 Million target. It also calls for measures that evaluate the programme’s ability to meet the needs of employers - which would seem sensible as this was the main driver of reform going back to the 2012 Richard Review. Click here to read all of the PAC's recommendations in this FE News article and here for the full report.

29/11/16 - DWP Touchbase Newsletter Issue 116

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

29/11/16 - University Of Brighton Hastings Campus Update

Click here from the latest from the University of Brighton about plans for their campus in Hastings.

29/11/16 - Sussex Area Review Final Report Published

The DfE has published the report and recommendations from the Sussex area review which confirms the main known outcomes regarding mergers and federations between some Sussex colleges. The recommendations are summarised on page 24. Click here for all the other area review reports including those for the South East including Surrey, Solent and Thames Valley as well as comment from the Skills Minister, Robert Halfon. FE Week reports little change in most areas.

29/11/16 - Free 'Innovation In Apprenticeship Delivery' Event

This Future Apprenticeships event is designed to inspire providers and employers to improve the quality of their delivery in the move from apprenticeships frameworks to standards. The event takes place in London on the 17th January from 10.00am-3.00pm. There will be input from Grade 1 provider Hawk Training. Click here for more information and booking.

29/11/16 - Kennedy Scott Wins ESF/DWP Contract In C2C Area

The following statement has just been uploaded to the Coast 2 Capital LEP's ESF page: 'Following an open tender competition we can now confirm that Kennedy Scott Ltd has won the contract to deliver Employability Skills Support in the Coast to Capital LEP area, co-funded under the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Opt-in European Social Fund (ESF) provision. The delivery contract is worth £1.5m in ESF funding. Delivery is set to commence in January 2017'.

29/11/16 - Careers & Enterprise Co Invest £3.5M In Mentoring

More than £3.5million will be invested in mentoring programmes to support thousands of young people at risk of disengaging from education and not fulfilling their full potential at school. The Careers & Enterprise Company has announced the successful bidders for its latest round of funding from its Investment Fund which will target almost 20,000 students across the country. Click here for more.

29/11/16 - FE Week Publishes Register Application Numbers

FE Week has revealed that 1,753 providers applied to the register to be able to deliver training directly or as a sub-contractor to large, levy-paying employers. Of these, 1,310 (75%) – also applied to deliver training to smaller, non-levy paying employers. Click here for more.

29/11/16 - Skills East Sussex Meeting Minutes

Click here for the minutes of the 21st November meeting of Skills East Sussex - the Employment and Skills Board convened by ESCC to look at skills strategy and actions across the county as part of the SELEP federated structure.

28/11/16 - Sussex Cricket Appoints New Chief Executive

SCTP member, Sussex Cricket has today announced the appointment of Rob Andrew, former RFU Professional Rugby Director, as their new Chief Executive.

25/11/16 - SCTP Leadership Webinar On Managing Change

The next SCTP Leadership webinar is 'Managing Change, When Change Is All We Have', taking place from 11am – 12pm, 1st December. This webinar will get to the heart of change management principles and will explore how FE & skills leaders can navigate organisational turbulence. Guest speakers are Carole Kitching, Principal and CEO at Lewisham Southwark College and Dr Stephen Reeve, Principal Lecturer and founder of the Institute of Change Management, Brighton Business School, University of Brighton. Click here to book now. For details of other webinars in the series click here.

25/11/16 - News From The ALPSE Regional Conference

Jo Bridger, SCTP and ALPSE Chair has sent the following report. 'Last Wednesday, 23rd November, members gathered from local provider networks SCTP, ALPHI, ALPS and KATO for the ALPSE annual regional conference. We heard from Sarah Stear in place of Keith Smith about the latest updates on the Levy and funding including small employers, 49 or less employees, will still get 100% funding for 16-18 year olds. This was followed with a 'state of the nation' from Mark Dawe, Chief Executive of AELP. After Lunch we had input from Georgina Angele, Coast to Capital, Careers and Enterprise Company, Louise Aitken, SELEP and Phil Romain from OFSTED. Lots of interesting questions but still detail that needs to be confirmed. The slides from the conference should be issued in the next few days and these will be available via the website'.

25/11/16 - Gatwick Publishes Employment & Skills Research

Click here for a research report from Gatwick Airport which looks at its current position and the future skills and employment needs.

25/11/16 - Brighton & Hove Information Bulletin

Latest edition of the news digest from the City's Youth Employablity Service.

25/11/16 - New Head Of Strategy & Policy At C2C LEP

A new role but for a familiar face. Many members will know Coast To Capital LEP's Skills Development Manager Kirsten Trussell not least through her regular appearances as a speaker at SCTP Members Meetings. Kirsten has now been promoted to Head of Strategy & Policy, focussing on housing and regeneration, infrastructure and of course, employment & skills. Congratulations to Kirsten, who will remain SCTP's contact person at the C2C LEP.

25/11/16 - Assessment In Apprenticeships Webinar Slides & Film

Click here for this week's video from Learning Curve on 'Assessment in apprenticeships: exploring the relationship between continuous and end point assessment'. Click here for the slides.

25/11/16 - Call For More Enterprise & Work Readiness In Schools

Click here for an article on Ofsted's 'Getting Ready For Work' survey which has found that schools could be doing more to prepare young people for the world of work. Also, click here for a related article in which the Open University warns that the UK must boost the employability of young people to improve economic growth.

24/11/16 - Coastal West Sussex Autumn Update

Click here for the latest newsletter from the Coastal West Sussex Partnership. The partnership brings together leaders from business, education and the public sector to work collectively on economic issues that affect the coast. SCTP is now representing its members on the CWS Skills Group.

24/11/16 - C2C LEP Announces ESF Contract Winners

Coast To Capital LEP has announced the successful winners of the 3 lots for the ESF/SFA Skills Support For The Workforce.

Lot 1: Basic skills provision - London Learning Consortium

Lot 2: Intermediate and higher level skills provision for the employed - National Financial Services Skills Academy

Lot 3: Higher level skills provision for the unemployed - National Financial Services Skills Academy

We also believe the winner of the ESF/DWP tender is Kennedy Scott although this is still to be officially confirmed. More information on Coast 2 Capital's ESF programme is here.

24/11/16 - SFA Inform Issue 113

Latest issue 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.

24/11/16 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 151

Latest from the EFA including: Action: set up your Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) portal account; Reminder: making sure EFA has the right contact information; Information: fire risk from school maintenance or building works; Information: EFA now on Twitter.

24/11/16 - DfE Publishes Quarterly NEET Stats

Click here.

24/11/16 - SCTP Prevent Course Announced

SCTP will be running a course on the 'Implementation of the Prevent Duty' on the 10th January, 10.00-3.30 in Crawley. Click here for more information and booking.

24/11/16 - Sector Response To Autumn Statement

Click here to see the response from sector leaders to the Chancellor's statement. There was little on education & training which perhaps is a relief to many providers dealing with a raft of current change. Perhaps worthy of note is the devolving of the Adult Education Budget in London, a reduction in the expected levy yield, a planned increase to the apprentice minimum wage (up 10p to £3.50 an hour from April 2017) and a slight easing of Universal Credit cuts. The full transcript of the Chancellor's speech is here.

24/11/16 - Some Details Of Institute For Apprenticeships Emerge

The head of the new Institute for Apprenticeships, Peter Lauener has given more details on what the new standards body will look like in evidence to a parliamentary sub committee. Click here.

23/11/16 - ASK Project For Schools Launches

The SFA has launched a project to raise the awareness and prestige of quality apprenticeships in schools. The Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for schools (ASK) project will deliver apprenticeship and traineeship information to young people in years 10, 11, 12 and 13. This will ensure young people are aware of all the options available to them. We are trying to determine how this new service sits with existing Apprenticeship IAG services already available to schools.

23/11/16 - BHCC Publishes BME & Disability Research

BHCC has released two research reports that it had commissioned. The first is 'Race Equality In Employment & Skills In The City'; the second is 'Addressing barriers to work for disabled people and those with long term health conditions in Brighton & Hove'. Both reports have useful executive summaries and both will be considered by this week's Learning, Skills & Employment Partnership meeting.

23/11/16 - SFA Update Issue 336

Latest from the SFA including: 1. Register of apprenticeship training providers and invitation to tender - closing soon; 2. Apprenticeship readiness self-assessment survey; 3. Subcontractor declaration form 2016 to 2017; 4. Supply chain fees and charges 2015 to 2016; 5. Qualification achievement rates 2016 to 2017: business rules; 6. Feedback on the draft apprenticeship funding rules; 7. Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) - LDM codes.

22/11/16 - Latest On Procurement From DWP

DWP has asked us to communicate the following statement: 'Berkshire, Surrey, and Sussex DWP District is now purchasing locally-funded Work Focused Activities using the DWP’s Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS); we are unable to purchase direct from you. The DPS is an electronic process for setting up and maintaining a list of suppliers from whom provision can be procured locally as and when the need arises. DPS is administered via eProcurement which requires you to register on our Bravo Solution system. The DPS comprises an “Employability Journey” which details a number of Service Categories along with supporting narratives to explain what type of provision DWP may be buying. More information about DPS can be found on Contracts Finder. Thank you for your interest in working with DWP to deliver our Welfare Reform objectives'. A national letter from DWP to suppliers is here.

22/11/16 - Cost Effective Traineeship Webinar Slides & Film

Click here for this week's video from Learning Curve on 'Planning and Delivering Cost Effective Traineeships'. Click here for the slides.

22/11/16 - New FE Commissioner On Area Reviews

Click here for an interview with FE Commissioner Richard Atkins at the AoC conference last week. He is only several weeks into the FE Commissioner role after taking over from David Collins and chats about leading the new reviews, intervention and sharing the lessons learned from the Area Review Process. 

22/11/16 - Apprenticeship Reform Employer Factsheet

Click here for the latest 2-page guide to the reforms from the SFA aimed at employers.

22/11/16 - Supporting Deaf & Hearing-Impaired Apprentices

This interactive training day for apprenticeship training providers will help them meet the needs of deaf and hearing-impaired apprentices and fulfil their duties in the Equality Act 2010. The training day is on the 11th January 2017 in London from 10.00-4.00. A flyer is here, agenda here and a booking form here.

21/11/16 - Search For Apprentice Team Of The Year Begins

Entries for the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017 are now open. Click here for more.

21/11/16 - SFA Guidance On Qualification Achievement Rates

This guidance from the SFA explains how qualification achievement rates (formerly qualification success rates) are calculated.

21/11/16 - Free Levy & EPA Webinars From NCFE & CACHE

NCFE and CACHE are hosting FREE webinars for providers and employers to talk more about quality End Point Assessment and what that looks like. The provider focussed webinars focus on how to deliver high quality EPA, and help improve provider confidence in an EPA process that addresses employer demand. The employer webinars are focussed on letting an employer know that there is help available to be levy ready. These are a supportive information-driven sessions which can be offered to employers in order to help them engage more with the levy and EPA. The CACHE's sessions are Healthcare focussed while NCFE's focus on Management. More information and booking is below.

NCFE Employer Webinar 6th December 11.00-11.30

NCFE Provider Webinar, 6th December 1.00-1.30

CACHE Employer Webinar 7th December 11.00-11.30

CACHE Provider Webinar 7th December 1.00-1.30

21/11/16 - AELP Research Briefing Issue 5

Latest issue of stats and useful background information from AELP including: Apprenticeships starts and achievements data; Apprenticeships providers’ responses to reforms – key research findings; Advanced Learner Loans statistics; Unemployment, youth unemployment and NEET statistics; Adult skills in the digital age; Ofsted inspection reports. 

21/11/16 - In2Skills Joins SCTP

We were able to welcome our latest new full member of SCTP to the Members' Meeting last week. Terry Horton from In2Skills introduced his organisation to the membership as he joined on the spot at the meeting. In2Skills, although based in Crawley, deliver mainly in East Sussex and Brighton offering Apprenticeships, Traineeships, Advanced Learner Loans and support for the long term unemployed back into work. You can find out more at

21/11/16 - Nick Juba Is CEO Designate For New Merged College

Existing City College CEO, Nick Juba has been appointed as CEO Designate for the new Metropolitan College formed from the merger of City College and Northbrook College. This news is underpinned by news of City College's Ofsted Grade 2 released recently.

21/11/16 - Skills Show Results

Results from the Skills Show have been made available via Fe Week by competition and by organisation. Good to see SCTP members Chichester College and Sussex Downs College well placed in the league table.

21/11/16 - Analysis Of The Move To End Point Assessment

This useful article looks at the potential impacts of moving towards End Point Assessment for the new Apprenticeship standards.

18/11/16 - SCTP Out & About Representing Members

On Monday, SCTP will be at the Skills East Sussex meeting (agenda here) that oversees skills strategy and actions for the county as part of the SELEP structure. On Tuesday we will be at a meeting with the Employers & Education Task Force, and the 3 Local Authorities co-ordinating the resources available to promote apprenticeships in schools; we'll also be attending the Brighton & Hove City Council IAG schools IAG meeting (agenda here) as well as holding a training session for our Apprentice Ambassadors who operate as part of the Apprenticeships In Sussex events service which will continue to do its work in E Sussex and Brighton and Hove schools. On Wednesday we will join many members at the ALPSE Regional Provider Conference in Farnham as well as representing members at the Coastal West Sussex Skills Group in Worthing (agenda here). If you have anything that you would like to feed into SCTP so that we make sure we are representing our members as effectively as possible please e-mail Paul Mitchell.

18/11/16 - Two Free Webinars From Learning Curve

SCTP member, Learning Curve is offering two free webinars in the near future. The first is Planning and Funding Cost Effective Traineeships from 11.00-12.00 on Monday 21st November 2016, click here for more information and booking. The second is Assessment in apprenticeships: exploring the relationship between continuous and end point assessment from 1.15-2.15 on Thursday 24th November 2016, click here for more information and booking.

18/11/16 - Unemployment Falls But Conceals Ongoing Issues

This week’s unemployment figures show a welcome continued decrease with unemployment now the lowest it has been since 2005. However, for two groups the data is not so positive and provides evidence for the need for more intensive support – those unemployed for over 24 months and 16 to 17 year olds.

18/11/16 - SCTP Health & Safety Seminar 20th January

As announced at this week's Members' Meeting we will be running a half day seminar led by Health & Safety Consultancy DTD, on the morning of the 20th January at Plumpton College. This will look into the impact of the apprenticeship levy and other reforms on the Health & Safety responsibilities and procedures required of providers. Further details will be issued shortly.

18/11/16 - West Sussex Apprenticeship Jobs Fair

West Sussex County Council and Crawley Borough Council will be holding the first West Sussex Apprenticeship Jobs Fair of 2017 in the Civic Hall, Crawley on the afternoon of Thursday 12th January.  They already have interest from several training providers but if other SCTP members would like to attend please contact Jane Chew at WSCC.

18/11/16 - NFER Research Confirms Provider Reform Concerns

Click here for an article by AELP CEO Mark Dawe reflecting on new research carried out with training providers regarding the impact of apprenticeships reforms. Mark will be a guest speaker at the next Members' Meeting on the 19th January.

17/11/16 - SCTP Members' Meeting Report

Today's Members' Meeting at Hove Cricket Ground saw over 40 members gather to absorb and debate the latest news and information, network, form partnerships and shape the future of their network. Members heard from Louise Aitken, the newly appointed Skills Lead for the South East LEP and Alan Jenkinson, Programme Manager from the SFA. There were also updates from SCTP Director, Dan Wallman on the latest Pre-Employment news and from Chair Jo Bridger on the outcomes of the recent SCTP Board meeting and the latest SCTP projects. There was also an opportunity after the meeting for members to meet LEP contacts Louise Aitken and Kirsten Trussell for 1:1 discussion as well as an excellent presentation from Jo Webb of Pearson on the use of virtual and augmented reality technologies in learning. More details will be in the minutes which will be issued to members soon but presentations from today's speakers are available here now. The next Members' Meeting is on the 19th January at Plumpton College 10.00-1.00 (AGM for full members only is at 9.30). All SCTP event details can be found here

17/11/16 - Free ETF QTLS Webinar

Click here for information on the free webinar on Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status called 'New QTLS: You're Questions Answered'. It takes place on the 29th November 12.30-1.30.

17/11/16 - Skills Minister At The Skills Show

The apprenticeship and skills minister visited the fourth annual Skills Show this morning as the three-day event at Birmingham’s NEC kicked off. Click here for this FE Week article on the show. Also, click here for Mr Halfon's speech to the conference.

17/11/16 - Updated One Page Guide To Apprenticeships

Click here for the latest A4 NAS guidance sheet.

17/11/16 - Summary Of Current Funding Issues

Click here for a video clip funding update from funding guru Beej Kaczmarczyk from the Learning Curve Group from the Association of Colleges annual conference. Beej chats about funding for 16-19 year olds, Apprenticeship funding, loans and the future funding of adults. 

17/11/16 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 150

Latest from the EFA including: Information: English and maths condition of funding tolerance - click here for FE Week article; Information: new energy efficiency loan fund; Information: publication of 2017 to 2018 schools funding: historic commitments – supplementary guidance for local authorities; Reminder: Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) 2017 to 2018; Reminder: disapplication request deadline.

17/11/16 - JISC Update On Provider Support With Technology

Jisc is the agency funded to support providers to develop their use of technology. Jisc has published a new online guide to support skills providers.  Enhancing the digital experience for skills learners explores how skills providers can make the most of digital technology to support their learners to gain employment and progress in their careers. The guide draws on findings from their Digital student Skills study which looked at skills learners’ experiences and expectations of technology.  There is also a blog post from Clare Killen, author of the new guide, outlines the Five things skills providers are doing in their quest to embrace technology and enhance learning.

There is also a free webinar on Wednesday 23 November between 1.00-2.00pm on learners' expectations and experiences of the digital environment in apprenticeships, adult and community learning and prisons. To find out more and register click here.

16/11/16 - AoC President Concerned About Learner Mental Health

Ian Ashman, Association of Colleges President discusses Mental Health in Colleges in this video clip. Ian is calling for this year of his Presidency to be the Year of Mental Health. He explains that last year AoC ran a survey about mental health and wellbeing and 85% of College Principals reported an increase in students with mental health issues. The survey highlighted that poverty and the disadvantaged, pressure of exams and social media were all drivers to mental health issues in students in their colleges. He calls for an increase in and better engagement with, support services available. This resonates with feedback from SCTP's Pre-employment group meeting last month where providers of all types were reporting this mental health trend.

16/11/16 - Cath Sezen On The Skills Plan

Catherine Sezen, 14-19 & Curriculum Senior Policy Manager for the Association of Colleges (and formerly of Northbrook College), chats about 14-19, Sainsbury and the Skills plan in this useful video clip.

16/11/16 - Notes From SCTP's 2nd Strategic Leaders' Forum

Click here to see the notes from the second meeting of the forum looking at leadership issues facing SCTP members and the wider sector. Please note that the members of this group are representatives of the wider membership so please feed into the group if you have any ideas or comments via Richard Freeman.

16/11/16 - Nucleus Commercial Finance Joins SCTP

We are pleased to welcome Nucleus Commercial Finance as an associate member of SCTP. Nucleus offers bespoke financial services products for the sector based around SFA and EFA funding streams and subcontracting arrangements including an overdraft product, term loans, unsecured loans and property loans as well as providing a facility for match funding bids. The offer intends to alleviate the problem that some providers have historically faced when trying to raise funds from the high street banks. Phillip Speed (formerly of Platform Black and Northbrook College) is our contact. To find out more go to

16/11/16 - SFA Update Issue 335

Latest from the SFA including: 1. New provider data self-assessment toolkit; 2. Register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP): update; 3. National Careers Service: post-16 course directory.

16/11/16 - Apprenticeships In Spotlight At Skills Show

Click here to see information about how apprenticeships will be promoted at this week's Skills Show.

15/11/16 - Support For Teacher Retraining In Maths & English

This programme from the Education & Training Foundation has been developed to financially and practically support FE Providers by retraining teachers and trainers, whose jobs may otherwise be at risk, to become teachers of maths and English. By doing so, it aims to address a number of key issues currently facing FE providers including: teachers and trainers may be facing possible redundancy due to a decline in learner numbers for a particular subject; there is a national shortage of suitably qualified teachers and trainers of maths and English; there is more pressure on FE providers to ensure learners have an appropriate qualification in maths and English. A bursary will be given to FE Providers in return for allowing qualifying teachers and trainers the time and resource to access appropriate training and support to enable them to teach maths or English. Click here for more information.

15/11/16 - Details Of Last Week's C2C LEP NEET Event

Click here to view details of the NEET event held by the Coast 2 Capital LEP in Horsham last Thursday, including presentation slides and a listing of potential project roles which were identified on the day.

14/11/16 - Crawley Town FC Community Foundation Joins SCTP

Welcome to Joe Comper Education & Skills Manager and all his colleagues at Crawley Town FC. The foundation is involved in delivering Sports Development, Higher Education and the National Citizen Service as well as offering Apprenticeships and Traineeships. You can find out more at

11/11/16 - DfE Apprenticeship Funding Webinars

The Department for Education’s Apprenticeship Funding Unit will be running a set of webinars for interested stakeholders on the latest information on the funding reforms (please note that if you have been to a recent SFA employer event or webinar then these webinars will cover the same areas).  The current dates are: Friday 2nd December, 10:00 - 11:00, Thursday 15th December, 10:00 - 11:00. Further dates will be announced in due course. Click here to book.

11/11/16 - ETF Support In Using Technology In Maths & English

Click here for details.

11/11/16 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 149

Latest from the EFA including: Information: free meals in further education – carry-over of funds; Information: commercial and charitable providers (CCPs) with over delivery in 2015 to 2016 academic year; Information: publication of schools block and post-16 funding allocations for 2016 to 2017; Information: Bursary Fund audit guide update.

10/11/16 - Millions Invested In Degree Apprenticeships

Click here for news about how thousands of new degree apprenticeships are to be created through a new multi-million pound development fund.

9/11/16 - IPPR Calls For College-Based Level 2 Route

The Institute For Public Policy Research has published a report which suggest the government to phase out level two apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds, and replace them with a programme only offered by colleges. The report has been supported by AoC but strongly opposed by AELP. Click here for more.

9/11/16 - SCTP Leadership Webinar Update

Please click here to find our latest schedule of webinars and a press release which has been published about the SCTP/ETF project.  All webinars cost just £25 and can be booked here. The next webinar is 'The business of learning vs the learning business: leading in an FE marketplace' at 11am – 12pm, 18th November 2016. This webinar will explore the new marketplaces for work-based learning, looking at the role of FE & skills leaders to be beacons of both entrepreneurial and educational excellence. Guest speakers are Louise Doyle, founder and Director of Mesma and Catherine Newman, Director of FE Sales at Pearson. Click here to book.

9/11/16 - Apprenticeship Technical Funding Guide Published

Click here for details of the funding system to be used for apprenticeship frameworks and standards from 1 May 2017.

9/11/16 - SFA Update Issue 334

Latest from the SFA including: 1. Register of apprentice assessment organisations; 2. Skills funding service availability this weekend; 3. Transfer of powers to DfE; 4. Apprenticeship technical funding guide (from 1 May 2017).

9/11/16 - SFA Business Update

Click here for the SFA's latest new and information for businesses.

8/11/16 - BHCC Publishes City Employment & Skills Plan

Brighton and Hove City Council has published its City Employment & Skills Plan for 2016-2020. The plan aims to increase apprenticeships, support the long-term unemployed into employment and help residents develop their skills, experience and career prospects.

8/11/16 - Improve Your Skills Joins SCTP

We are pleased to welcome Hastings-based apprenticeship training provider, Improve Your Skills to full membership of SCTP. Some of you will have met Centre Manager, Alison Perry who attended the September Members' Meeting as a guest and we look forward to working with Alison and her colleagues. For more details on the company go to

7/11/16 - Free Governance Support From The ETF

Click here for details of a free support programme funded by the Education & Training Foundation. The successful National Leaders of Governance (NLG) Programme is now available for the first time to Independent Training Providers and is designed to support your Board and your Directors/Trustees to understand and fulfil their responsibilities and to help organisations ensure that they have appropriate and robust governance arrangements in place.

7/11/16 - AELP Apprenticeship Update For Local Networks

As part of AELP's commitment to support local networks it has published this useful Powerpoint presentation summarising all the details of the final apprenticeship funding in England from May 2017 and information about the new register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP).

7/11/16 - CXK Announces New Chief Executive

SCTP member, CXK has announced that its new Chief Executive will be Pauline Smith who will start in February. Click here for the press release.

5/11/16 - Consultation Sparks Hopes On EYE Requirements

Today’s launch of the consultation on what numeracy and literacy skills are needed by Early Years Educators, by the minister for early years Caroline Dinenage, was greeted as a major step in the right direction as campaigners continue to press for a change to GCSE requirements in EYE apprenticeships. Click here for more.

4/11/16 - SCTP Training In Prevent 10th January - Save The Date!

SCTP is organising a training day on Prevent requirements which will take place on the 10th January in Crawley. Further details and a call for bookings will be issued shortly.

4/11/16 - Consultation On Transforming Employment Prospects

DWP is seeking views on what it will take to transform employment prospects for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions. In a green paper published earlier this week, the government proposed: a review of Statutory Sick Pay and GP fit notes to support workers back into their jobs faster and for longer; encouraging Jobcentre Plus work coaches to signpost claimants to therapy; the launch of a consultation on Work Capability Assessment reform; and encouraging employers to work with their employees with long-term health conditions to stop them from falling out of work.  

4/11/16 - SCTP Attending ESCC Apprenticeship Group

On Wednesday 9th November Paul Mitchell will be attending East Sussex County Council's Apprenticeships In East Sussex Group. The group is comprised of local councils, colleges and SCTP of behalf of its members and looks at co-ordinating apprenticeship promotion and strategy across the county. The minutes of the last meeting are here, the agenda for next week's meeting here and the group's action plan here. Please e-mail Paul if there is anything that you would like SCTP to feed into the meeting.

3/11/16 - SCTP LinkedIn Group

18 delegates gathered at Plumpton College today to hear about the power of LinkedIn and Facebook in networking & promotion. This has prompted us to mention once again that SCTP has a closed LinkedIn group which allows members to communicate freely with each other. 59 people have joined so far - if your business is a member of SCTP you can join too!

3/11/16 - Government Inaction On Careers Advice 'Unacceptable'

The Government’s failure to address inadequacies in careers guidance is unacceptable and Ministers must act to improve provision as a matter of urgency to ensure young people are equipped with the right skills to succeed in the modern economy, the Chairs of the Education, Skills and the Economy Committee say in a statement released today. Click here for more.

3/11/16 - Halfon Appears Before Parliamentary Committee

Skills Minister, Robert Half has reassured MPs that 'the Government will be ready to delivery apprenticeship reforms. His comments came while addressing the parliamentary Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy. For more on this click here.

3/11/16 - AELP Autumn Conference Feedback

Click here to go AELP's post-conference page which includes details of the speakers and their presentations. SCTP Director, Charlotte Blant attended the conference on behalf of SCTP and reported that the main headline was the discontent over the lack of availability of end point assessment organisations for some apprenticeship standards already being followed by some apprentices. For more on this issue see here. There was also a presentation from the DfE on the Skills Plan which provided some clarifications on routes and qualifications - a summary is here.

3/11/16 - ETF Blog On SCTP's Strategic Leaders Forum

The Education Training Foundation is funding SCTP's Strategic Leaders Forum which brings together 15 senior leaders from member providers to work together to share and develop forward thinking leadership strategies. This blog written by SCTP's Lead Project Consultant, Richard Freeman, summarises the progress so far after the first two meetings of the forum.

3/11/16 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 148

Latest from The EFA including: Action: EFA customer insight survey – allocation calculation toolkit (ACT); Information: due diligence process for new special post-16 providers; Information: funding arrangements for 2017 to 2018 videos; Information: visit EFA at the Academies Show; Reminder: find answers to your questions about EFA.

2/11/16 - SFA Update issue 333

Latest from the SFA including: 1. Apprenticeships and traineeships growth requests 2016 to 2017; 2. Advanced learner loans – changes to the process for requesting an increase to your loans facility; 3. Register of apprenticeship training providers – new YouTube resources.

2/11/16 - ETF Sector News

Latest from the Education & Training Foundation.

1/11/16 - SEND: Experiences With Schools & Colleges

DfE has published a report on the experiences of children with SEND and their parents, of schools and colleges.

1/11/16 - Apprenticeship Funding Webinar: Video & Slides

Click here for the video and here for the slides from Learning Curve's Apprenticeship Funding Changes webinar broadcast today.

1/11/16 - Ofsted News Issue 52

Latest from the inspectorate.

1/11/16 - E Learning4Skills e-Brief: October Newsletter

Click here for a newsletter which is mainly sent to training organisations in Eastern England but much of the content is generic and may be useful to members interested in e-learning and technology.

1/11/16 - Apprenticeship Standards Approved For Delivery

After last week's announcements it's especially important to keep track of the apprenticeships standards that are available for delivery - which can be found here.

31/10/16 - More On Apprenticeship Register Applications

The SFA has added presentation slides and a link to narrated presentation on YouTube to the information issued last week. Click here.

31/10/16 - One Provider's View Of The New Subcontracting Rules

Click here for an article by Matt Garvey from the West Berkshire Training Consortium. Matt has written often about how the apprenticeship reforms are impacting on providers and this latest article in the TES focuses on how the latest rule changes on the new apprenticeship provider register will improve subcontracting options.

28/10/16 - Slides From Lsect Apprenticeship Funding Webinar

Click here for the slides from yesterday's webinar.

28/10/16 - ESCC Publishes Employment & Skills Strategy

East Sussex County Council has published its Employment & Skills Strategy for 2016-18. It has also published the evidence base that sits behind the strategy and an action plan for implementation. This work is driven by the Skills East Sussex, the county's Employability and Skills Board which is part of the South East LEP structure. The minutes of the last meeting of Skills East Sussex are here. SCTP represents its members on this group. If members have any comments please contact Paul Mitchell.

28/10/16 - New Work Training Joins SCTP

SCTP welcomes its latest Associate Member, New Work Training. The company supports businesses, large and small, to enable their employees to become more 'tech savvy' and to understand and take advantage of the opportunities available through the apprenticeship programme (although not a provider themselves). SCTP looks forward to working with founder and Managing Director Tom Bewick who is also a Brighton City Councillor and chairs the Children, Young People and Skills Committee. More information is available at

28/10/16 - Non-Levy Procurement Details Released

Click here for details of the procurement round for delivery to non-levy paying organisations after May 1st 2017. This is now open and closes on the 25th November 2016. AELP has been able to establish some important points about the nature of this process including:

28/10/16 - Summary Of Apprenticeship Documents Issued

It has been a week when many of the long awaited documents related to apprenticeship funding and the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers have been published. We have uploaded these to the resources page of the SCTP website together with the main points we have learned this week. Meanwhile FE Week has published a short interview with Skills Minister, Robert Halfon who comments on the changes made as a result of the consultation.

28/10/16 - Free AELP Webinar On The New Provider Register

AELP is offering a free webinar on the new Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers on the 3rd November from 10.30-11.30. Click here for information and booking.

28/10/16 - Free AELP Webinar On Apprenticeship Funding

AELP is offering a free webinar on the Apprenticeship funding arrangements from May 2017 onwards. This will take place on Tuesday 8th November between 10.30 and 11.30am. Click here for more information and booking.

28/10/16 -  Apprenticeship End Point Assessment Opportunities

Click here for a useful FE News article looking at potential opportunities emerging from the introduction and development of Apprenticeship End Point Assessment (EPA).

28/10/16 - SFA Inform Issue 112

The SFA's 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.

27/10/16 - NEW Coast 2 Capital £1M NEET ESF Tender Spec

The Coast to Capital LEP has issued details of a new ESF NEET worth £1m and spilt into 3 lots, namely: Lot 1: Tracking, monitoring and engaging; Lot 2: Re-engagement provision; Lot 3: Route into traineeships, apprenticeships and internships. The specification can be seen here and application information here. The deadline for applications is 22nd December 2016. A workshop for interested bidders is taking place in Horsham on the 10th November 1.30-4.00pm.

27/10/16 - Technical & Further Education Bill Published

The government has today published a bill aimed at improving the quality of technical and further education for young people across the country. Click here for a 3-page DfE policy paper summarising the key points. Click here for a DfE Impact Assessment looking at how the bill will affect private, voluntary or independent sector organisations and groups with relevant protected characteristics. Response to the bill from sector leaders is here.

27/10/16 - Revised National Careers Service Website Goes Live

The revised National Careers Service website is now available, designed to provide a better online experience, particularly for people on smart phones and tablets, as well as laptops and desk top computers. Click here for more.

27/10/16 - Free Webinars On Apprenticeship Funding Changes

SCTP member, Learning Curve is offering 2 free webinars on Apprenticeship Funding Changes on the 1st November 11.00-12.15 and the 2nd of November from 1.00-2.15pm. Click on the links for more information and booking.

27/10/16 - EFA e-Bulletin

Latest from the EFA including: Action: ILR final claims 2015 to 2016; Information: letter to FE and sixth-form colleges and independent training providers; Information: PE and sport premium funding for 2016 to 2017; Reminder: autumn school census return; Information: EFA customer reference group.

26/10/16 - SFA Update Issue 332

Latest from the SFA including: 1. New apprenticeship funding to transform investment in skills; 2. Register of apprenticeship training providers; 3. Procurement for delivering apprenticeship training to non-levy employers; 4. Apprenticeship end-point assessment – workshops; 5. AELP conference; 6. Skills minister’s termly letter; 7. Redesigned National Careers Service website now live; 8. ‘Find apprenticeship training’ tool now live.

26/10/16 - Review Of Industry Training Boards Announced

Skills Minister Robert Halfon has announced a major government review of the industrial training boards. Click here for more.

26/10/16 - AELP Responds To Apprenticeship Funding News

Click here for a FE News article from AELP CEO Mark Dawe in response to yesterday's apprenticeship funding and register announcements while FE Week has published the results of its number crunching on the new measures and finds that some of the most popular frameworks are still facing significant cuts (although less so than before).

25/10/16 - Apprenticeship Learner & Employer Surveys Published

Click here for the encouraging results from the 2015 survey into the views and experiences of both employers and learners involved in apprenticeships.

25/10/16 - SCTP Webinar: New Apprenticeships & Leadership

The next Future Apprenticeships Leadership Webinar (funded by the ETF and delivered by SCTP) will be 'Reform and Levy: What the new Apprenticeships mean for leadership and vision'. It takes place on Thursday 3rd November 11.00-12.00. The webinar will explore how the biggest ever change to the DNA of Apprenticeships is impacting the role of leaders and hear how provider leaders are embracing the changes across the UK; understand the opportunities for sector leaders to innovate and take positive risks and consider what the future of work-based learning means for future leadership style and skills. Speakers are AELP CEO, Mark Dawe and JTL's Southern Regional Business Manager (and SCTP Vice-Chair) Mark Syrett. To book click here.

25/10/16 - Children's Mental Health Services Struggling To Cope

Figures show that about a quarter of a million under-18s in England are receiving help from NHS mental health services. It is the first time this data has been recorded and it follows a reports that mental illness is soaring among women aged 16-24. Recently providers at SCTP's Pre-employment Group meeting reported an increase in learners presenting with mental health issues. As well as highlighting the issue this Guardian article looks at some of the support available.

25/10/16 - Guidance: Register Of Apprenticeship Training Providers

Click here for the SFA guidance on the new apprenticeship register and the welcome news that for providers delivering less than £100,000 of apprenticeship training per year have the option of whether to register and that an employer's main provider need not deliver a 'significant majority' of the employer's apprenticeship provision. The 8-page guidance document is essential reading.... and just published is the e-tendering portal guidance which is designed to help organisations locate and complete the register of apprenticeship training providers application questions and application instructions. Deadline is 25th November.

25/10/16 - DfE Publishes Apprenticeship Funding Details

The Government has released the long awaited details of how apprenticeship funding will work in the future and has opened the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers. Click here for the official press release and here for a summary from FE Week including links to all the documents published today. Lsect is running a free webinar on Thursday at 2pm on the details and implications of this new information.

25/10/16 - Ofsted Questions Value Of GCSE Retake Policy

Ofsted's deputy director for FE and skills Paul Joyce has questioned whether GCSE is the right qualification for everybody and whether it's a realistic expectation that everybody with a D grade can actually achieve a C grade. Click here for more.

21/10/16 - Immersive Technologies Session For SCTP Members

After the 17th November Members' Meeting (9.30-1.00 at Hove Cricket Ground) there will be a free session from Head of Immersive Learning Design at Pearson- Joanna Webb entitled 'Immersive Technology': The Future of Training?'. The session will look at some of the latest technologies in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) and how they can be applied now and in the future in education and training - with a chance to try the Microsoft hololens and debate the importance of these technologies. There is no need to book for the session which will run from 2.00-3.30pm after the Members' Meeting and the LEP Surgeries (see below). We are grateful to Joanna for giving up her time to share her expertise with SCTP members.

21/10/16 - LEP Surgeries After Next Members' Meeting

SCTP is pleased to announce a new initiative to enhance the ability of our local LEPs to communicate and work with SCTP members. After the 17th November Members' Meeting (9.30-1.00 at Hove Cricket Ground) between 1.00 and 2.00pm there will be the opportunity for full member providers to meet 1:1 with Louise Aitken, the South East LEP's Skills Lead and/or Kirsten Trussell Coast 2 Capital LEP's Skills Development Manager. There will be 6 x 10 minute slots available to see Louise and the same for Kirsten. Please e-mail Paul Mitchell to make a booking. Places will allocated on a first come first served basis with appointments to see both LEP representatives only available if demand allows. We hope to repeat the surgeries after the 19th January meeting as well. Thanks to Louise and Kirsten for taking part.

21/10/16 - Letter From Skills Minister On FE Reform

Robert Halfon, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, has written to colleges and training providers updating them on the FE reform programme. Click here for the letter.

21/10/16 - National Numeracy Publishes Free Maths Game

SCTP member, National Numeracy the charity dedicated to promoting maths for all has released a new free mobile app – Star Dash Studios – based on the charity’s Essentials of Numeracy model to help promote functional maths among young people. Click here for more.

21/10/16 - Government Evidence On National Minimum Wage

Click here for a report that sets out the government’s evidence and analysis to the Low Pay Commission on national minimum wage and national living wage policy. There is information about the apprenticeship minimum wage and its enforcement.

21/10/16 - Minutes From The SELEP Skills Advisory Group

The South East LEP Skills Advisory Group (SAG) exists to pull together skills intelligence, policy and strategy across the whole SELEP area and is attended by Local Authorities and provider representatives from the 3 constituent or 'federated' areas of SELEP i.e. East Sussex, Essex and Kent.  SCTP represents its members on this group. Click here for the minutes and actions of the last meeting on the 10th October which provides updates on European funding and the development of a new SELEP skills strategy - presentation here. Please feed any comments that you may have to Paul Mitchell at SCTP. The next meeting is on the 13th December.

21/10/16 - Future Apprenticeships Launches EPA Programme

The government has launched a new programme to tackle the shortage of End-Point Assessors in apprenticeships. The new large-scale scheme is funded by the Department for Education and commissioned by the Education and Training Foundation, with the aim of improving capacity to deliver independent end-point assessment in apprenticeships. It will be co-managed by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers and the Strategic Development Network and ultimately will work towards building up to a critical mass of end-point assessors. Click here for more and here for details of workshops and booking.

20/10/16 - DWP Touchbase Newsletter Issue 115

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

20/10/16 - SCTP Cyber Security Event Report

Only 6 people beat the train strike and attended today's free Cyber Security event which was surprising given the high profile of recent cyber attacks. The areas covered were essential for secure on line personal and business practice and those providers did attend fed back that the information had been informative and essential. For those members that would still like attend one of Barclays Cyber Security seminars (and we would recommend that you do) there are two further public sessions this year on the 3rd November and 1st December.

20/10/16 - ESCC Publishes 16-19 Strategy For 2016-2020

After widespread consultation, East Sussex County Council has published its 16-19 strategy with the subtitle of 'All Young People Learning & Working'. The strategy has four main themes: 1. Education and skills that meet the needs of the labour market; 2. Career management; 3. Support for vulnerable learners
4. Improving work readiness. The strategy document is here.

20/10/16 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 146

Latest from the EFA including: Action: Individualised Learner Record (ILR) R14 2015 to 2016 and ILR final claims 2015 to 2016; Information: Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) 2017 to 2018; Information: institutions providing free meals in further education (FE) support to students in 2016 to 2017.

19/10/16 - Employment Stays At Record High

The Office for National Statistics has released the latest employment stats which confirm that there are 31.8 million people now in work – up by more than 560,000 in the past year. For June to August 2016, for people aged from 16 to 24, there were:

19/10/16 - Update On Progress Of Area Reviews

Click here for a letter from the Further Education Commissioner sent to chairs and principals of FE institutions to update them about the area reviews and here for the latest Area Review Implementation Guidance.

19/10/16 - SFA Update Issue 331

Latest from the SFA including: 1. Final funding claims 2015 to 2016; 2. Funding allocations to training providers 2016 to 2017; 3. FE Choices employer satisfaction survey 2015 to 2016 results; 4. FE Choices learner satisfaction survey 2016 to 2017.

19/10/16 - University of Sussex Internship Programme

The University of Sussex is offering employers and therefore SCTP members the opportunity to take part in a fully funded Graduate Internship programme. For more information and to apply click here.

18/10/16 - South East NCS Labour Market e-Bulletin Issue 4

Click here for the latest edition of #InspireMe - the National Careers Service E-Bulletin for the South East of England Essex, Kent and East Sussex). 

18/10/16 - Northbrook/City College Merger Consultation

Click here for an announcement of the colleges' merger plans which are out for consultation until 17th November. The merger has also made national news with FE week carrying an article about the consultation..

18/10/16 - AELP Reports On Public Accounts Committee Session

Senior DfE officials responsible for apprenticeships faced questions from MPs at the Public Accounts Committee in the House of Commons recently in an in depth examination of the proposed reforms. Click here for a report from AELP, CEO Mark Dawe.

18/10/16 - Provider Allocations Published For 2016-17

The SFA has published funding values for colleges, training organisations, local authorities and employers with a contract for 2016 to 2017.

18/10/16 - Regional National Apprentice Awards Winners

The regional winners have been announced at London and the South East celebration for National Apprenticeship Awards 2016. Click here for more.

18/10/16 - SE Business Magazine October/November Edition

Click here for the latest issue of the business magazine covering the South East.

18/10/16 - Richard Atkins Is New FE Commissioner

Richard Atkins CBE has been announced as the new FE Commissioner. Richard will take on the role from current FE Commissioner Sir David Collins who will be retiring in November 2016. Click here for more.

18/10/16 - Analysis OF Sussex Apprenticeship Starts Stats

SCTP has carried out an analysis of provisional apprenticeship starts figures released recently by the SFA. We have produced a spreadsheet which shows 2015-16 apprenticeship starts figures for each district/borough in and parliamentary constituency in Sussex and a comparison with previous year's performance.  It shows Sussex performing well, with an increase of 9% made up of E Sussex 9.5%, W Sussex 6.3% and Brighton 19.1%. This is against a SE region contraction of 0.5% and an increase across England of only 0.8%. The analysis also shows starts per head of population.

17/10/16 - ESCC Scheme Enablement Fund

This fund is about enabling and developing new capital investment schemes and can be used for commercial and skills schemes throughout East Sussex. This fund can be used to overcome barriers to grants and other funds by assisting applicants to develop business cases or conduct feasibility studies. There are limited funds available and this is a one-time only offer, so even if you feel you scheme is not yet ready to bring forward, please do not hesitate to submit an expression of interest and we will examine its future potential. ESCC's  aim is to build a strong East Sussex pipeline of commercial, housing and educational/skills schemes that can take advantage of future economic development funding opportunities (including Local Growth Fund, Skills Capital Fund, Growing Places Fund, Home Building Fund, CaSS etc.). To express an interest click here or contact Ben Hook at ESCC.

17/10/16 - Stephen Burkes Is New Sussex Skills Solutions Chief

Many members will know Stephen Burkes, formerly of Woodspeen Training who officially starts today as the new director of Sussex Skills Solutions - a joint venture between SCTP members Sussex Downs College and Sussex Coast College Hastings focussed on the delivery of apprenticeships and employer focused skills training.

14/10/16 - Last Chance To Book On SCTP Cyber Security Seminar

Next Thursday (20th, 10am-12pm) sees SCTP's Cyber Security session taking place in Brighton, in association with Barclays. This session is free to members and with various high profile hacking cases hitting the headlines it is a great opportunity to check that your organisation has safeguards in place to protect against cyber crime. More details and booking information is here.

14/10/16 - Lack Of AAOs For Active Apprenticeship Standards

FE Week is reporting that recently published Government statistics show that 33 of the 56 apprenticeship standards that have at least one start do not have an approved Apprenticeship Awarding Organisation (AAO). Furthermore, 42% of apprentices (1790 in total) have started on apprenticeship standards with no (AAO). This has sparked real concerns across the sector about apprentices following standards where assessment arrangements have not yet been finalised. Click here for more.

14/10/16 - Independent Providers' AEB Contracts To End In July

FE Week is reporting that private training providers have received a letter from the SFA notifying them that their current adult education contracts will end next July – rather than be automatically renewed as before. A new open and competitive procurement exercise for AEB will be introduced to comply with EU Procurement Regulations. Click here for more.

14/10/16 - AELP Party Conference Brief

Click here for a copy of the brief sent to MP by AELP in advance of the party conferences. This is a useful summary of current issues as well as an insight into how AELP is representing providers at national level.

14/10/16 - 3SC Devolution October Newsletter

Latest update on the progress towards devolution in Sussex and Surrey.

14/10/16 - YMCA Training Urge Apprenticeship Rethink

Lady Andree Deane-Barron, managing director of SCTP Member, YMCA Training, has today called on the Skills Minister, Robert Halfon to rethink a number of apprenticeship reform policies. Click here for more.

13/10/16 - High Ratings For Providers In Employer Survey

The SFA has published the results of the latest survey of 60,000 employers involved with apprenticeships and work based learning carried out between March & July 2016. 78% of employers were satisfied with the quality of training and assessment and 80% of employers would recommend their provider to prospective employers. This is a fantastic vote of confidence for providers and a signal to the Government that the new apprenticeship system must build on this success rather than undermine it.

13/10/16 - Number Of UK Businesses At Record High

Click here for a press release from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) which reports that the number of private sector businesses in the UK has hit a record 5.5 million. Official statistics showing the 2016 business populations for the UK and the regions are here.

13/10/16 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 145

Latest from the EFA including: Reminder: local authorities (LAs) to submit grant return and use of funds statement by 24 October 2016; Action: high needs place change notification arrangements for 2017 to 2018 for local authorities; Action: EFA customer reference group.

13/10/16 - SCTP Announces Full Leadership Webinar Programme

You will have seen below details of the first two leadership webinars available in this leadership series developed by SCTP supported by the ETF. These are Maths & English: What Success Looks Like and Succession Planning & Future Leadership In FE & Skills and are both open for booking via the links. Details are now available on the content, speakers, dates and times of the remaining sessions which can be seen here. Booking information for the remaining sessions will follow. These webinars will explore what it is to be a leader now (and in the future) in FE, work-based learning and vocational training. They will look at broad strategic themes and new research, as well as specific operational challenges and opportunities such as the levy, delivery of maths & English and working with LEPs and schools. The webinars will feature some key thinkers, problem-solvers and senior leaders from within the sector and also from the worlds of commercial business and academia - with the chance for you to ask questions and be part of the debate. The webinars are for passionate leaders and managers (and emerging leaders) in FE colleges, sixth form colleges, independent training providers, adult & community learning, universities and the wider training and skills sector.

12/10/16 - SCTP Seeks Additional Executive Director

SCTP is looking to appoint an additional Executive Director to work alongside Paul Mitchell as the network continues to expand. Full details of the vacancy and how to apply are here.

12/10/16 - SFA Update Issue 330

Latest from the SFA including: 1. Register of training organisations: last chance for new applications; 2. Final funding claims 2015 to 2016; 3. Find apprenticeship training: update.

12/10/16 - AELP/ETF Maths & English Webinar Programme

Click here for details of a range of AELP/ETF webinars to support practitioners facilitating apprentice development in Maths & English.

12/10/16 - Register Of Apprenticeship Assessment Organisations

The SFA has published updated information on the register that includes an overview of the register, the approved organisations, the apprenticeship standards covered and assessment plans. 

11/10/16 - SCTP Pre-Employment Meeting Highlights

16 people beat the train strike and gathered at Sussex Downs College in Lewes for SCTP's latest meeting of its Pre-employment Group. The meeting discussed Traineeships, funding opportunities with DWP, learners' mental health, collaboration needed with new organisations winning tenders, English & Maths delivery issues and the need to find and support 18 year olds that are not signing on. Key actions from the meeting were to ask DWP to attend the meetings, explore the support available to learners with mental health issues, improve the supply of maths teachers and recruit organisations winning BBO and ESF tenders to SCTP to foster collaboration. The next meeting will be on the 22nd February, 9.30-12.30, venue to be confirmed.

11/10/16 - More On DWP's Work & Health Programme

Click here for an article that gives more information and analysis of how the Work & Health Programme will be commissioned.

10/10/16 - Rise In Volume Of Management Apprenticeships

Management is now the third most popular apprenticeship subject and analysis by FE Week suggests it will rocket to the top spot once the apprenticeship levy kicks in next year. Recent statistics show 83 per cent of all 25+ higher apprenticeship frameworks are currently in management, according to the latest DfE data. Click here for more.

10/10/16 - Erasmus+ Programmes Encourages VET Applications

The UK National Agency for the European Commission's Erasmus+ programme is encouraging more organisations that work with apprentices to apply for this funding to send their learners on work experience placements from 2 weeks to 12 months at a European partner. There will be funding available again in February 2017 for UK organisations and it covers costs such as travel, accommodation, food and linguistic support whilst apprentices are abroad training and learning unique skills. Click here for a factsheet specific to organisations working with apprentices and vocational learners and here for a booklet which explains the Vocational Education and Training funding across Erasmus+. For more information please contact Project Manager, Sara Southam.

7/10/16 - SCTP Webinar: Succession Planning & Future Leadership In FE & Skills

'Succession planning and future leadership in FE & Skills' is the second of a series of 12 interactive webinars running from October 2016 to March 2017 that have been commissioned and funded by the Education & Training Foundation and designed and delivered by SCTP. Our expert guest-speaker is Dr Carol Azumah Dennis, Programme Director: Post Compulsory Education & Training at the University of Hull. The webinar takes place on Friday 21st October, from 3pm-4pm. This webinar will examine current research and thinking on leadership ethics, planning and the traits needed at the top of a changing FE & skills sector. For more information and booking click here.

7/10/16 - Apprenticeship Funding Cuts: Fact Not Fiction?

Click here for an ITP's response to a challenging article on apprenticeship funding that we featured on the 29/9. Matt Garvey, MD of the West Berkshire Training Consortium lays out four reasons why the proposed new funding system is flawed.

7/10/16 - ESCC To Publish Provider Open Day Information

Colleagues at ESCC have received feedback from some parents and foster carers that they don’t always get to hear about provider Open Days. As a result ESCC has created a dedicated page on their C360 website for Open Day/Taster day info which will be kept updated with key users being signposted to the page which is here. Please submit all your information on Open Days or Taster Days to Rob Moore at ESCC.

7/10/16 - Apprenticeship Standards Update

Click here for a SFA list of all apprenticeships standards approved for delivery, approved and in development. Click here for a SFA spreadsheet showing Apprenticeship standards approved for delivery including an approved assessment plan, allocated funding cap and apprenticeship level. These standards are approved for employers and training organisations to use.


7/10/16 - Conservative's Priorities Skills Ahead Of Budget

Ministers put a focus on skills at the Conservative Party conference this week, but the FE sector must now wait to find out if this will translate into extra financial support. Education Secretary Justine Greening put particular emphasis on the implementation of the Skills Plan. Click here for more.

6/10/16 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 144

Latest from the EFA including: Action: post-16 infrastructure changes in maintained schools; Action: autumn school census; Information: financial assurance on local authority-maintained institutions with sixth form funding.

6/10/16 - DWP Indicative Procurement Timetable Published

DWP has now confirmed an indicative timetable for the procurement of the Work and Health Programme (W+HP) and given more details on its new Umbrella Agreement for the provision of Employment and Health Related Services (UAEHRS). More information is here as reported by AELP.

6/10/16 - SFA Communications Update Issue 39

Latest issue of the SFA's monthly newsletter designed for marketing, communications and business development staff in colleges and other training organisations. This issue includes: National Careers Service Website; National Apprenticeship Awards; National Minimum Wage rate for under 25s increased; Future Apprenticeships – support for providers.

6/10/16 - SCTP Future Leadership Webinar On Maths & English

'Maths & English, What Success Looks Like' is the first of a series of 12 interactive webinars running from October 2016 to March 2017, commissioned and funded by the Education & Training Foundation and designed and delivered by SCTP. The webinar will open up critical debates, challenges, solutions and opportunities in the delivery of quality maths and English as part of a 16+ vocational education offer. It will features Mike Ellicock CEO of SCTP Associate Member, National Numeracy and Dr Tim Strickland, CEO of FE Sussex. It takes place on Friday 21st October from 11.00-12.00. Click here for more information and booking.

6/10/16 - Latest Apprenticeship Starts Stats Issued

These latest SFA apprenticeship starts stats show provisional 2015-16 starts data by Local Authority, sector, equality & diversity, parliamentary constituency and region. Brighton & Hove starts were up 19% on the previous year at 1560, East Sussex was up 9.4% at 3930 and West Sussex up 6.3% to 5740. All these percentage increases look good against the South East region's performance which was a fall in starts of 0.5% and the national increase of only 0.76%.

6/10/16 - ROTO Open Again But Closing Next Week

A reminder that the Register of Training Organisations (ROTO) opened for applications last week but will close again on Friday, 14 October. This is not a full refresh but is intended for new applications for those organisations that are required to enter the register, or who wish to enter it for the first time. This is particularly key to organisations who may wish to bid in any upcoming procurement round (excluding Apprenticeships), and in particular for the Adult Education Budget.

6/10/16 - Record Number Of Young People On Apprenticeships

Click here for a good news DfE press release which contrasts with the previous news item. The conclusion: the apprenticeship programme is growing but has not yet caught up with the volumes in other comparable European nations.

6/10/16 - Only 2% Of UK Youth In Apprenticeships

The OECD, the world’s leading economic research group, has issued research that shows that just 2% of young people are in apprenticeships in the UK – compared with 9% in Denmark and 15% in Germany. Click here for more.

5/10/16 - SFA Update Issue 329

Latest news from the SFA including: Register of training organisations: new applications; Year-end indicative reconciliation statements 2015 to 2016; National Minimum Wage rate for under 25s increased.

5/10/16 - Reed In Partnership Wins SELEP Employment Contract

Reed in Partnership has won the contract for the ESF funded activity supporting people into employment across the SELEP area. SELEP will be invited to a meeting with Reed in Partnership and the DWP soon. Reed in Partnership will be encouraged to engage with partners and work with Employment and Skills Boards to ensure their delivery fits with local priorities and sector need. We will also recommend engagement with other ESF funded employment projects. 

SELEP also provided an update on ESF SFA tenders (worth approximately £24m and covering numeracy, higher skills and apprenticeships) which are all undergoing moderation and evaluation. The SFA hope to announce successful bidders later this month and SELEP will make this information available as soon as possible.

5/10/16 - Apprentices Call For More Apprentices In Schools

Apprentices should be sent into classrooms to tell school pupils about vocational career and training options, according to two learners who chose apprenticeships despite having been discouraged by their schools. The apprentices told their story at a fringe event at the Conservative party conference. SCTP is pleased to hear support for this approach as we continue our work to recruit a team of apprentice ambassadors to go into schools as part of Apprenticeship In Sussex IAG events. To nominate your apprentices contact

5/10/16 - Minister Plays Down Apprenticeship 'Gaming' Fears

The apprenticeships minister Robert Halfon has sought to play down fears in the business community that some companies will “game” the new apprenticeship levy system to subsidise their own in-house training. Halfon told a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham this morning that although it was “inevitable” that there may be some “gaming of the system”, he did not believe it would be widespread. Click here for more.

5/10/16 - £4M Injection From Careers & Enterprise Company

The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) is to invest millions of pounds to help thousands of young people into work. The CEC has set out how it will allocate the next round of its multi-million pound government-funded investment programme to boost social mobility and help thousands of young people into the world of work. Click here for more.

5/10/16 - Education Secretary Announces New Opportunity Areas

In her speech to the Conservative Party conference, Education Secretary Justine Greening announced the creation of the first “Opportunity Areas” which will benefit from increased support to schools, communities and businesses to build opportunities for young people. None of the areas are in the South East but more are to be announced. A DfE a press release is here and a full transcript of the speech is here.

4/10/16 - News On Brighton & Hove's Own Area Review

This review was launched last October so that school sixth forms and independent training providers could be fully considered in the larger Sussex-wide area review. This article from FE Week gives an indication of the proposals, especially those affecting school 6th forms in the City.

4/10/16 - Computer Skills To Be Fully Funded Via AEB

Plans have been unveiled to fully fund IT courses for adults, putting ‘digital literacy’ on a similar footing to English and maths. A consultation on the final details of the plans will be undertaken in due course, which will be funded from the existing £1.5bn annual Adult Education Budget. Click here for more from FE Week.

4/10/16 - AELP's Mark Dawe Reports On Tory Fringe Meeting

Many thanks to AELP for allowing us to reproduce Mark Dawe's comment piece from this week's 'Countdown' newsletter. Mark attended a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference this week where Apprenticeship Minster, Robert Halfon, had the opportunity to speak and answer questions for an hour. The Minister outlined his 5 key priorities for apprenticeships which Mark then analyses in some detail (and with reference to his love for Chas & Dave)! Well worth a read.

4/10/16 - CITB Grants For Funding & Training Workshops

Click here for information on a series of workshops that may be of interest to members. SCTP member, CITB is offering free workshops on the CITB levy and grants including flexible and structured funding which training providers can partner with registered employers. CITB is keen to encourage any providers who work with construction companies to come along and learn how the grants and funding could help support the training they offer.

4/10/16 - ETF Annual Survey

The Education & Training Foundation wants to know what you think of their services. Click here for more information and the survey itself.

4/10/16 - FairTrain Announces Work Experience Week

Work Experience Week is dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of high quality work experience. It's an opportunity for organisations across the country to host activities showcasing their work experience provision and to demonstrate the difference a high quality placement can make to an individual’s employment prospects and life. Click here for more.

3/10/16 - Bookings Open For Worldskills 2016 Event

Click here for information and booking for The Skills Show which takes place in Birmingham from the 17th-19th November.

30/9/16 - SCTP Strategic Leaders' Forum To Meet Again

On Monday 10th October SCTP's Strategic Leaders' Forum will meet for the second time. Building on a productive 1st meeting the group is set to look, amongst other things, at the building of a job description for an exemplary future leader as well as developing a manifesto for how the sector can make the most of the opportunities presented by current challenges. The group members are there to represent the wider SCTP membership so please pass any comments to

30/9/16 - Apprenticeship Minimum Wage Rate Increase

The 1st October sees a rise in National Minimum Wage rates including the apprentice rate rising to £3.40 an hour. A Government press release is here and a link to the GOV.UK NMW rate page is here.

30/9/16 - Apprenticeships Checklist For School Governors

Amazing Apprenticeships has produced and issued a self-assessment tool for governing bodies and secondary schools. It's a useful quick checklist that will help governing bodies to develop their role in advising head teachers and senior leadership teams on the strategy for careers guidance in their schools, specifically in relation to apprenticeships.

30/9/16 - Feed In To The Next SELEP Skills Advisory Group

The next meeting of the South East LEP's Strategic Advisory Group takes place on the 10th October and SCTP, on behalf of its members will have the chance to raise any strategic issues on members' behalf. The group will be taking the first steps to writing a revised skill strategy for the LEP area covering E Sussex, Kent and Essex. Please take advantage of this opportunity to be heard by e-mailing

30/9/16 - SFA Inform Issue 111

Click here for 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.

30/9/16 - Coast To Capital LEP October Newsletter

Latest from the Local Enterprise Partnership covering West Sussex, Brighton & Hove and parts of Surrey and South London.

30/9/16 - Ofsted News Issue 51

Latest from Ofsted.

30/9/16 - Discounted AELP Membership Offer For SCTP Members

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), the national trade association for private training providers and employers involved in skills and or employability delivery, is collaborating with SCTP in offering its local network members a 15% saving off the annual AELP membership fee. Click here for details. Contact SCTP for the discount code.

30/9/16 - Alton Towers Case & Relevance To Training Providers

Click here for an article from SCTP Associate Member, Tudor Williams of Health & Safety specialists, DTD Training about the implications for training providers arising out of the recent Alton Towers prosecution.

30/9/16 - Who Are The ATAs?

Find out by clicking here for the up to date list of approved Apprenticeship Training Agencies from the SFA.

30/9/16 - SFA Guidance On 'Recruit An Apprentice' System

The SFA has published guidance for 'Recruit an apprentice' users on how create apprenticeship vacancies in England and manage applications. 

29/9/16 - Early Years Educator Childcare Review

National provider network AELP has given an update on this important review: 'In July, then Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah MP announced that there would be a review of the requirements for GCSEs for level 3 qualifications in Early Years, followed sustained pressure from both employers and providers that it was damaging the recruitment of suitable staff into the industry. He has since been replaced in post by Caroline Dinenage MP, but there has been no publicity as to how the review was progressing. On the back of this, we have to report that unfortunately recent enquiries to the DfE by AELP have not given us great reassurance either, to the extent that we are now not sure it is even happening at all. This requirement is having a crippling effect on the sector and it is imperative that action is taken now to resolve the situation. Too much time has been lost already and it is disappointing that the situation is not apparently being treated with the urgency it deserves. We look forward to hearing from DfE as to what immediate steps are now being taken to fulfil Mr Gyimah’s July pledge'.

29/9/16 - SELEP Newsletter

Click here for the latest update from the South East LEP for the period 20th August to the 23rd September.

29/9/16 - EFA e-Bulletin 143

Latest from the Education Funding Agency including: Information: high needs funding arrangements 2017 to 2018; Reminder: autumn school census 2016; Information: local authority planned expenditure for 2016 to 2017; Reminder: sub-contracting controls for schools and academies; Information: workload challenge funding for schools.

29/9/16 - An Alternative View On Apprenticeship Funding Cuts

Roger Francis has written a challenging article for FE News giving an alternative and perhaps optimistic view of the proposed new apprenticeship funding regime. Click here.

28/9/16 - Opening Of Apprenticeship Provider Register Delayed

The opening of the new Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers register has been delayed. The first wave of applications now won’t be accepted until the end of October instead of the 3rd of next month as previously stated. Mark Dawe, AELP's CEO stated “while we can understand the delay, we think it is incredibly unfair to not give providers a revised date. These are busy people and busy businesses who need to plan.” We can only hope that the delay signals significant changes in the design of the register as called for in AELP's recent consultation response. Click here for more from FE Week and here for news of assurances from DfE that the levy implementation timetable will go ahead as planned.

28/9/16 - SFA Pauses Loans Growth Request Process

Growth requests for advance learner loans have been paused until further notice, after growing concerns over lengthy delays with processing. A statement in the SFA's update said the agency was “changing the way providers apply for growth to their loans facility” and would not accept any new growth requests “until the new approach is in place in autumn”. Click here for more.

28/9/16 - SFA Update 326

Latest from the SFA including: Register of training organisations: new applications; Advanced learner loans: changes to loans facilities growth request 2016 to 2017; FE choices employer satisfaction survey results 2015 to 2016; Education and Training Foundation: staff individualised record system; Opening of register of apprentice training providers: update.

28/9/16 - Retail Apprenticeship Standards Support

The Future Apprenticeships programme is offering providers a chance to benefit from a package of support for providers looking to deliver the new Retail apprenticeship standards.

28/9/16 - Does FE Fail The Quality Test?

Click here for a challenging FE News article by marketing consultant, Stefan Drew who contends that a the test of a quality service does not lie in achieving national quality standards but in the daily customer experience of the organisation. He gives many examples which enable providers to self-assess the quality of their own customer experience.

27/9/16 - Barnardos Joins SCTP

SCTP is very pleased to welcome Barnardos as the latest full member of SCTP. Kay Tarry, Head of Operations for the South & Midlands attended the SCTP Members' Meeting last week as a guest and after that experience has decided to join. Barnardos has recently won Big Lottery funding as part of a partnership for their 'Make TRAX' programme which will provide support to 360 young people in Croydon, West Sussex, and Brighton & Hove who are NEET and provide additional support to those at risk of becoming NEET. Barnardos also provide apprenticeships in other areas of the country. Find out more at .

27/9/16 - Minister's Speech:The Importance Of Industrial Strategy

Click here for a speech by Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to the Institute of Directors annual conference 2016. Quite a few mentions for the importance of skills.

27/9/16 - Ofsted Welcomes 31 New Apprentices

A group of 31 talented young apprentices started work at Ofsted this morning, taking up a variety of roles and responsibilities in five of the organisation’s offices across England using Stockport-based training provider Damar. Good to see the inspectorate getting involved and getting an employer's perspective. Click here for more.

26/9/16 - AIS Service Is Back In Brighton & Hove

We're pleased to confirm the announcement made at last week's Members' Meeting that SCTP's Apprenticeships In Sussex service is now able to offer Apprenticeship events to Brighton & Hove schools as well as developing the Apprentice Ambassador Network for the City. There will also be apprenticeship events for employers. This comes courtesy of funding from Brighton & Hove City Council and will boost the profile of SCTP member providers in the City. For more information contact Richard Freeman at SCTP.

26/9/16 - SCTP Receives Reply From Skills Minister

Back in July SCTP wrote to Maria Caulfield, Conservative MP for Lewes about our concerns about various aspects of apprenticeship reform. Our letter was forwarded to the Skills Minister (then Nick Boles) and this week a reply was received from new Skills Minister, Robert Halfon which can be seen here. Perhaps predictably, while we await the outcome of the recent consultation, the letter is little more than a restatement of Government policy but we are grateful to Maria for at least helping our voice to be heard. SCTP is keen to extend our engagement with local MPs of all parties and has invited Maria to speak at our January Members' Meeting.

26/9/16 - Consultation On Employer Levy Calculations

This technical consultation from HMRC asks for comments on the draft regulations regarding how employers will calculate, report and pay the Apprenticeship Levy. These draft regulations also specify how the levy allowance will operate, on a monthly, cumulative basis. The consultation closes on November 14th.

26/9/16 - Institute For Apprenticeships Shadow CEO Announced

The Department for Education announces that Peter Lauener is appointed as the Shadow Chief Executive for the Institute for Apprenticeships. Click here for more detail and here for the response from the sector and here for some voices of concern.

23/9/16 - Advanced Learner Loan Growth Requests Delayed

According to FE Week some providers are reporting SFA delays in responding to Advanced Learner Loans growth requests as loan applications rise. Click here for more.

23/9/16 - EFA Guidance On High Needs Funding Arrangements

The EFA has published information for local authorities and institutions about high needs funding arrangements for 2017 to 2018.

23/9/16 - AELP Free Webinar: Using Technology With Standards

Click here for details of this free webinar from AELP titled 'Using Technology To Support The Delivery Of Apprenticeship Standards'. This takes place on Wednesday 5th October from 10.30-11.30.

23/9/16 - Provider Support Needed Re Deafness Training Day

The National Deaf Children’s Society is working with the National Sensory Impairment Partnership to develop a training day for apprenticeship training providers on supporting deaf people on apprenticeships.  They are looking for input into their planning for the session from an apprenticeship training provider to ensure it best meets the needs of providers. If you are able to help please contact

22/9/16 - SCTP Celebrates 30 Years and 100 Members

Today's Members' Meeting at Hove Cricket Ground doubled as a celebration of SCTP's 30th anniversary and of the organisation reaching 100 members (106 now actually). Over 70 members attended and heard the latest on skills policy and action from Hove MP Peter Kyle, Caroline Bragg (ESCC), Kirsten Trussell (C2C LEP) and Rachel Carter (BHCC). There were also updates from Paul Mitchell on Apprenticeship Reform, Richard Freeman on SCTP's latest projects and Dan Wallman (Dv8/SCTP) on the latest Pre-Employment news. Chair Jo Bridger gave an important update from the recent SCTP Board meeting on plans to restructure SCTP's Governance, Staffing and Membership Policy. The event also included a 'Market Place' with 17 SCTP associate members exhibiting their products and services. Last but certainly not least, former Chair Baroness Debbie Steadman-Scott led tributes to SCTP's development and achievements and those that had contributed to its success. More details will be in the minutes which will be issued to members soon. The next Members' Meeting is on the 17th November, also at Hove Cricket Ground 9.30-1.00. All SCTP event details can be found on the calendar page of this website. Presentations from today's speakers are available now here.

22/9/16 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 142

Latest from the EFA including: Information: traineeships; Action: local authorities to submit grant return and use of funds statement by 24 October 2016; Action: EFA email addresses are changing; Information: answers to your EFA questions; Reminder: EFA communications - tell us what you think.

22/9/16 - Two New FE Commissioners

The role of the FE commissioner will be split in two following departing commissioner Sir David Collins’ concern over his workload covering both intervention and area reviews. Click here for more.

21/9/16 - Platform Black Joins SCTP

SCTP welcomes Platform Black as the latest associate member to join SCTP. The company specialises in financial solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of providers and can structure a financial solution where often mainstream banks won't. We welcome Philip Speed, Head of Education Finance and his colleagues and look forward to working with them as part of the network. More information is available at

21/9/16 - Workshop On 'Back Office' Trailblazer Processes

We are grateful to our colleagues at the Hampshire provider network (ALPHI) for opening this session up to SCTP members. The workshop is designed for work based learning practitioners to provide a long half day workshop on the back office systems and procedures that will be helpful when implementing Apprenticeship Standards. The session will take place from 9.30-2.00 on the 21st October in Portsmouth, price £50 per head. Click here for more information and booking.

21/9/16 - FE Week Publishes Technology Supplement

FE Week takes a look at all things technology-related for the FE and skills sector taking its theme from the recent Association for Learning Technology (ALT) annual conference. Click here for the supplement.

21/9/16 - Two Reports On Skills In Higher Education

In their report 'Provision Skills & Graduates' Universities UK looked at the sorts of skills valued in the market place for graduates and how these are being provided for in current HE provision. Meanwhile HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) published the outcomes of a commissioned report into technical education highlighting the continuing dilemma of both employer demand for, but confusion about, technical skills and calling for greater clarity about skills, routes and pathways.

21/9/16 - 40% Of Business 'In The Dark' On Apprenticeship Levy

Click here for the full details of this survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce and reported in Personnel Today. It found that two-fifths of businesses still have no understanding or have not heard of the upcoming apprenticeship levy.

21/9/16 - YEUK Launches 'Young Professional' Initiative

Youth Employment UK has launched its Young Professional initiative which provides an excellent opportunity for young people to improve their employability profile and to get noticed by employers. Click here for more information and to get involved.

21/9/16 - SFA Update Issue 327

Latest from the SFA including: Exceptional learning support claims: 2016 to 2017; Qualifications eligibility principles – 2016 to 2017; Legal entitlements qualifications lists: updated; National Apprenticeship Week 2017.

20/9/16 - Future Apprenticeships Session On....Apprenticeships

As part of the Future Apprenticeships programme, commissioned by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), AELP is offering a one day ‘crash course’ in all areas of apprenticeship policy, planning and implementation drawing on the latest facts provided by the SFA. Click here for details.

19/9/16 - Skills Minister Sets Out Apprenticeship Vision

In this article for FE News, the new apprenticeships and skills minister, Robert Halfon sets out his case for “boosting social justice, economic productivity, and our country’s skills base”. There is also coverage of his first speech as Skills Minister here in which he targets the need to improve the image and reach of apprenticeships. He states that there have been nearly 1,000 responses to the funding and register consultation and says that “I hope we become and apprentice nation and I hope the levy will be the change maker we think it will be.”

19/9/16 - Digital & Financial Apprenticeship Standards Support

The Future Apprenticeships programme is offering providers a chance to benefit from a package of support for providers looking to deliver the new Digital and Financial Skills apprenticeship standards.

19/9/16 -- SFA Publishes Apprenticeship Vacancies Stats

Click here for the latest statistics on applications and vacancies uploaded to the national apprenticeship vacancies system.

19/9/16 - Save Our Apprenticeships Campaign Asks For Support

Click here for details of a request from Nick Linford for support for FE Week's Save Our Apprenticeship campaign.

19/9/16 - National Apprenticeship Week 2017 Date Announced

The National Apprenticeship Service has announced that the 10th annual National Apprenticeship Week will be taking place from 6 to 10 March. Click here for more.

16/9/16 - 'Save Our Apprenticeships' Campaign Launched

FE Week launched its Save Our Apprenticeships campaign against cuts in apprenticeship funding at the Houses of Parliament to a packed gathering of sector leaders and senior politicians — including Skills Minister Robert Halfon. There are clear, deeply felt concerns about the rate cuts for 16-18 olds from MPs, employers and providers and a perceived conflict between the proposals and Theresa May's declared social mobility agenda. Click here for a full report.

16/9/16 - Recording of AELP CEO Update Webinar

Click here for the recording and slides from AELP’s CEO Update Webinar with Mark Dawe which took place today. There is useful input on the latest on the apprenticeship levy and register, end point assessment and standards as well as an analysis of the opportunities for providers regarding higher and degree apprenticeships and working with universities. Also, there is a look at the Smith Review of English & maths. AELP's position on the apprenticeship funding proposals can also be seen in a FE Week article from Mark Dawe here.

16/9/16 - Concerns As SFA Reveal Need For Employer Contracts

There are concerns among employers and providers after it was revealed by FE Week that the SFA has stated that employers would have to sign strict contracts with them – rather than just with providers as had been expected. Click here for more.

15/9/16 - ETF Sector News

Latest from the Education & Training Foundation.

15/9/16 - SFA Publishes Latest List Of Declared Subcontractors

Click here for the SFA's list of subcontractors that hold contracts to provide education and training.

15/9/16 - SFA e-Bulletin Issue 141

Latest from the EFA including: Information: review of data source for post-16 disadvantage block 2 funding; Information: Key to Success system for colleges; Action: the autumn school census COLLECT blade closes on 30 September 2016; Action: EFA communications - tell us what you think.

15/9/16 - New CPD For Maths & English In Apprenticeships

The Education and Training Foundation has commissioned AELP and their partners the CETT Academy, to develop a CPD programme to support those working with apprentices in the development of their maths and English skills. These bite-sized online seminars delivered over lunch times will cover a range of topics. Click here for more.

15/9/16 - Greening Promises To 'Get It Right' On Levy

Education Secretary Justine Greening has been giving evidence to the Parliamentary sub committee on education and reaffirmed that the apprenticeship levy system would go ahead as planned but that they must get the Digital Apprenticeship Service right for employers. More is here and comment from committee chair Neil Carmichael is here asserting that the priority is the quality, not the quantity of apprenticeships.

15/9/16 - C2C LEP Announce 9 New Social Inclusion Projects

The Coast to Capital LEP has recently announced that a total of 9 social inclusion projects worth up to £4.8 million have been approved. These projects are funded jointly through the ESF and by the Big Lottery Fund. Details of the successful projects and organisations are here.

14/9/16 - SFA Update Issue 326

Latest from the SFA including: Find apprenticeship training: upload your apprenticeship data; Year-end funding claim 2015 to 2016: deadline Friday, 16 September; Earnings adjustment statement 2016 to 2017: guidance published; National Careers Service website.

13/9/16 - Support On Hospitality Apprenticeship Standards

The Future Apprenticeships programme is offering providers a chance to benefit from a package of support for providers looking to deliver the new apprenticeship standards in Hospitality.

13/9/16 - DWP Touchbase Newsletter Issue 114

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

12/9/16 - EFA Communications Survey

The Education Funding Agency has launched a survey to gather feedback on the way they communicate with EFA-funded customers.

9/9/16 - Forthcoming Meetings SCTP Is Attending For Members

On Tuesday, Paul Mitchell will be attending the Apprenticeships in East Sussex group which is convened by ESCC and brings together providers and local authorities with a view to promoting apprenticeships in the county. Also on Tuesday, SCTP director Charlotte Blant will be attending one of a number of new groups in Brighton and Hove that have emerged out of the City's Employment and Skills Plan. Charlotte will attend the Skills Group while Paul will attend the Employer Group on Wednesday. Please could members let us know here if there are any policy issues that you would like us to raise on your behalf. A reminder that the next SCTP Members' Meeting takes place on the 22nd September at Hove Cricket Ground (9.30-1.00) - the agenda will be issued early in the week beginning 12th September.

9/9/16 - DWP Dynamic Purchasing System Seminar Handouts

On the 5th September DWP held a meeting in Lewes to launch the new local procurement process, the Dynamic Purchasing System. A number of SCTP members attended but for those that weren't able to be there we are making the handouts available as follows: DWP Overview; National Employability Journey; DPS Supplier Presentation; DPS Supplier Service Offer Factsheet Upload Guide; DPS Supplier Guide For Basware Registration; Flyer for Conference Call Event for Suppliers 15th September 10.00-11.30.

9/9/16 - FE Week Launches Save Our Apprenticeships Campaign

FE Week, along with many providers remain very concerned about the impact of the proposed changes to apprenticeship funding. Next Wednesday they will launch their campaign to 'Save Our Apprenticeships' at the Houses of Parliament with many MPs due to be in attendance. Last month FE Week research showed that the proposed funding changes could mean funding rates being cut by up to 50 per cent for the most deprived 16 to 18-year-olds. Meanwhile, Skills Minister Robert Halfon has rejected calls from many industry sectors to delay the introduction of the levy - click here for more.

9/9/16 - Worthing Apprenticeship Jobs Fair Reminder

West Sussex County Council and Worthing & Adur Council are holding an Apprenticeship Jobs Fair on Thursday 20th October 2-4pm. Several SCTP members have already booked exhibiting and there are a few spaces still available. To book please contact

8/9/16 - Partner Opportunities With Lookfantastic Training

A reminder that you can click here for details of apprenticeship partnering opportunities which are still available with Lookfantastic Training (owned by Rewards).

8/9/16 - SFA Seeks Providers & Employers To Test DAS

Click here to register an interest in taking part in a pilot of the new Digital Apprenticeship Service. By taking part in the pilot, providers will get an exclusive preview of the system and how it works, as well as helping to shape the design and perfect the process. 

8/9/16 - AELP End Point Assessment Webinar Slides & Recording

Click here for the slides and recording from this week's AELP Future Apprenticeships Webinar on Apprenticeship End Point Assessment.

8/9/16 - EFA e-Bulletin Issue 140

Latest from the Education Funding Agency including: Action: Individualised Learner Record R13 2015 to 2016; Information: claims for 16 to 19 Bursary Fund for vulnerable students; Information: new process for 2015 to 2016 for local authorities (LA) grant return and use of funds statement; Action: making an accurate autumn census return.

7/9/16 - JRF Report Highlights English & Maths Weaknesses

This article from the Education & Training Foundation responds to the findings of a report published this week by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation that found that millions of adults are unable to 'write short messages', 'use a cash-point', 'understand price labels on food' or 'pay household bills'.

7/9/16 - Apprenticeship Standards Approved & In Development

A reminder of where to find the listings of apprenticeship standards approved for delivery and those that are in development as the numbers continue to grow.

7/9/16 - SFA Update Issue 325

Latest from the SFA including: Higher education learning aims request 2016; The hub and data collections service: new website; Financial assurance and year-end funding claims 2015 to 2016; Education and Training Foundation: staff individualised record system.

7/9/16 - SCTP Announces LinkedIn/Facebook Seminar

SCTP has today issued details of a seminar for its members focussed on making best business use of Facebook and LinkedIn. The seminar takes place on the 3rd November 9.30-1.45 at Plumpton College with the option to either attend the LinkedIn session only, the Facebook session or both. More information and booking is here.

6/9/216 - Slides & Recording From AELP Levy/Register Webinar

Click here for the slides and recording of last Friday's AELP webinar 'Latest Government Announcements On The Apprenticeship Levy'.

5/9/16 - MPs Demand Apprenticeship Funding Cut Reversal

More than 50 Labour MPs have urged skills minister Robert Halfon to reverse apprenticeships funding cuts exposed recently in figures produced by FE Week. The group of MPs led by David Lammy, former minister for higher education and MP for Tottenham, have all signed a letter to apprenticeships and skills minister Robert Halfon describing the potential cuts as “devastating” for apprentices in deprived areas. Click here for more.

5/9/16 - National Audit Office Apprenticeship Report Published

The National Audit Office has published its report 'Delivering Value Through The Apprenticeships Programme'. Click here for a summary of the outcomes. The report is particularly critical of the department's risk management with regard to the overall process of Apprenticeship reform, noting that they are unclear as to what "success" will look like and have not properly related the projected increase in Apprenticeship numbers to either increased productivity or impact on the most valuable areas of the economy. The report also states that standards development is more time-intensive than was anticipated and is in danger of leading to a large number of overlapping and narrow standards. Despite this, only 2,600 people have started an Apprenticeship using them. Responses from the sector are here.

5/9/16 - Louise Aitken Is New SELEP Skills Lead

Louise Aitken has been appointed as the new Skills Lead for the South East LEP taking over from Mike Rayner. Members will be able to meet Louise at the 17th November Members' Meeting. SCTP would like to welcome Louise to her new role and look forward to working with her in the future.

5/9/16 - Support On Health & Care & Customer Service Standards

The Future Apprenticeships programme is offering providers a chance to benefit from a package of support for providers looking to deliver the new apprenticeship standards in Health & Adult Care and Customer Service. There is also a support package available on Organisational Action Planning & Change Management.

2/9/16 - SCTP Supports AELP Levy Consultation Response

Having looked at the content of AELP's response to the government consultation on Apprenticeship Funding and The Register, SCTP has come to the conclusion that it is well written, supports the interests and represents the views of the majority of SCTP members. As a result, SCTP has written to the DfE to support AELP's position.

2/9/16 - SCTP Activity Week Beginning 5th September

Paul Mitchell will be attending the latest meeting of the Brighton Youth Employability Trust on Tuesday 6th September on behalf of members. This group is looking at how to structure youth services in the City in the future while looking to link these with services to employers including an apprenticeship brokerage - the agenda is here. Looking ahead to Monday the 12th, this will see the next SCTP board meeting where directors meet to oversee the governance of SCTP on behalf of their fellow members. Please let us know if there is anything that you would wish the board to consider or any pints that you would like to be raised at the Youth Employability meeting by e-mailing here.

1/9/16 - Webinar Recording On Implementing The Prevent Duty

Click here for the recording and here for the slides from the webinar on 'Implementing the Prevent Duty and Strategy in FE and Skills Providers' from SCTP Member, Learning Curve.

1/9/16 - Sector Leaders Call For Rethink On GCSE Resit Policy

A TES article reports that senior leaders across the FE sector have urged the government should rethink the policy of forcing young people to resit their English and maths GCSEs. As GCSE results for English and maths shoed a significant fall AELP CEO Mark Dawe said that "Surely this is evidence enough that hitting students over the head with the same form of learning and assessment is not the way forward." He called for the greater use of Functional Skills as an alternative route.

1/9/16 - Recording of AELP Webinar On Apprenticeship Register

Click here for the recording and slides from AELP’s Future Apprenticeship Webinar – 'Consultation on proposals for Register of Apprentice Training Providers' which took place last Wednesday.

1/9/16 - Employers & Providers To Test New DAS

As part of a pilot employers and training providers will be able to test the new Digital Apprenticeship Service from start to finish to make sure it meets their needs. Click here for more.

1/9/16 - Social Stigma For Not Going To Uni Is Reducing

New research has revealed what young Britons went through when telling their family and friends that they weren’t planning to attend university, highlighting the different reactions from five years ago as opposed to this year. According to the results of a new study, two thirds of young Britons who admit that they do not want to go to university are now supported in their decision, as opposed to the number who were met with shock and disappointment five years ago.

1/9/16 - DfE E-mail Addresses To Change

Click here for information on how to update e-mail addresses for your DfE contacts.

1/9/16 - Senior Apprentice Adviser To No 10 Leaves Role

One of the most senior apprenticeship advisers to the government has left his role and as yet, has not been replaced. A spokesman for Nadhim Zahawi confirmed that the MP, who had been advising David Cameron since November 2015, was no longer serving in the post. Click here for more.


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