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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

22/6/17 - ETF Launches Advanced Teacher Status

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

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

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

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

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

21/6/17 - Fall In Adult Education Participation

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

21/6/17 - Justine Greening Social Mobility Speech

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

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

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

21/6/17 - ESFA Update Issue 359

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16/6/17 - ETF Publishes Annual Workforce Report

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

15/6/17 - SCTP Members Winning Awards

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

15/6/17 - Skills East Sussex Quarterly Newsletter

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

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

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

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

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

15/6/17 - Unemployment Falls Again

Unemployment continues its steady post-recession decline.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14/6/17 - ESFA Update Issue 358

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

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

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

13/6/17 - New Skills Minister Appointed

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

13/6/17 - Apprenticeship Standards Update

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

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

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

10/6/17 - Sector Response To Election Result

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

9/6/17 - FE Week Election Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7/6/17 - ETF June Newsletter

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

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

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

5/6/17 - Coastal West Sussex June Newsletter

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

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

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

2/6/17 - Free NCFE Functional Skills Event

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

2/6/17 - Apprenticeship Ambassador Training Opportunities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2/6/17 - SFA Inform: May Issue

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

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

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

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

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

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

1/6/17 - SELEP Skills Awards Launched

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

30/5/17 - East Sussex April Participation Data

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

25/5/17 - National NEET Statistics Quarterly Brief

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

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

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

24/5/17 - Apprenticeship Levy Accounts Now Active

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

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

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

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

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

19/5/17 - Who Really Delivers Apprenticeships?

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

19/5/17 - Manifesto Report

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

19/5/17 - SCTP Members' Meeting Report

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

18/5/17 - Apprenticeship Standards Update

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

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

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

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

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

17/5/17 - Unemployment Reaches New Lows

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

17/5/17 - ESFA Update issue 357

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11/5/17 - AEB Procurement Paused

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

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

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

10/5/17 - Nursing Degree Apprenticeship Standard Approved

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

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

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

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

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

9/5/17 - NSAFS Still Seeking Delivery Partners

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

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

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

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

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

9/5/17 - ETF Maths & English Support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5/5/17 - Two More AELP Development Opportunities

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

5/5/17 - Local Videos Promoting Apprenticeships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3/5/17 - East Sussex March Participation Data

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

3/5/17 - AELP Publishes Election Manifesto

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

2/5/17 - SLN NCOP Funding Opportunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

28/4/17 - QDP Joins SCTP

SCTP is pleased to welcome SCTP as a Commercial Associate Member. QDP (Questionnaires Data Processing) Services has been assisting education providers to run learner, governor, employer, staff and parent/carer surveys for over 20 years. They currently have over 500 customers which include schools, colleges and training providers. They have experience of running survey projects, analysing response data and producing reports, including internal distance travelled and external benchmarking.  QDP offers survey solutions including online, paper and telephone surveys to all stakeholders including 'SurveyManager', an online toolkit specially designed for the education market. We look forward to working with Account Manager, Sarah Martin and introducing her to our members. To find out more about QDP go to

28/4/17 - Google Digital Garage Coming To Hastings & Brighton

Google Digital Garage is coming to Hastings Pier on Friday 5th May and to the i360 in Brighton on 12th May and will be providing FREE digital and online training to businesses and individuals. From growing your business to expanding your digital confidence, visit the Google experts for face to face training - they can help you make the most of the web; whether it’s taking your first steps online or growing your business. Click here for more.

28/4/17 - Apprenticeships Funding/Performance Rules Published

The ESFA today (28 April) reissued the rules that will apply to all apprenticeship provision funded by the ESFA following the introduction of the apprenticeship levy. These documents set out the funding and performance management rules for employers, employer-providers and training providers delivering the new apprenticeship programme from 1 May 2017. The ESFA has also published revised 'Common Funding Rules' - the rules that apply to all apprenticeship provision funded by the ESFA which form part of the Funding Rules 2016 to 2017.

27/4/17 - Recorded Webinars To Energise Your Team Meetings

There are lots of tips out there on how to shake up long, arduous team meetings. What if you could invite a couple of experts into your meeting room? A professor of FE & Skills to talk about decision making or the CEO of an apprenticeship provider to discuss the future, providing expertise on the Levy, post-Brexit considerations and policy making. SCTP's Future Leadership Webinars offer this opportunity via webinar presentation packs that focus on current topics within the FE & Skills sector. Click here for more.

27/4/17 - AELP Fears Of 'Horror Story' For Providers

Sector leaders are warning that some apprenticeship providers are facing up to a “horror story” of bankruptcy and failure after receiving funding allocations that amount to a fraction of their current delivery. Indeed AELP has written to the Education Secretary, Justine Greening requesting urgent action. Click here for more from FE Week. We hope that this is not reflective of the situation for our members but there are clearly serious issues out there - see this FE News article from one concerned provider - does this reflect your views? If any member provider is facing difficulties please contact us.

27/4/17 - C2C ESF Digital Skills Specification Launch (8th May)

The Coast to Capital LEP is inviting interested SCTP members to an event to launch their new European Social Fund (ESF) Digital Skills funding calls.  The event will explain what funding is on offer in your area and how you can get involved.  In order to receive a personal invitation, email

Two specifications have been released - Digital Skills for the Employed, and Digital Skills for SMEs, and the specifications can be found through this link.

26/4/17 - Free Lsect Webinar On The Apprenticeship Reforms

Another chance to join Nick Linford (FE Week) and Mark Dawe (AELP) on Tuesday 2nd May, 1.00-2.00pm for a free webinar Q&A on the apprenticeship reforms. Appropriately this takes place on the first working day under the new apprenticeship funding regime. Click here to book.

26/4/17 - Free Digital Technologies Training For Trainers

The ETF is funding free sessions around the country focussing on various specific vocational areas to help trainers and teachers to understand and make better use of digital technologies. Details are here.

26/4/17 - C2C LEP European Funded Projects Summary

The Coast to Capital LEP has provided this useful summary of the projects funded through 3 European funding streams namely the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund. The latter is likely to be of most interest to members with a number of SCTP members delivering.

26/4/17 - National Apprenticeship Awards Information Webinars

The National Apprenticeship Service is running a series of webinars to help providers understand the entry process, what evidence and stats to include and to open up the opportunity to start creating their own entry. Click here for more information and booking.

26/4/17 - ESFA Update Issue 356

Latest from the ESFA including: 1. Updated provider data self-assessment toolkit; 2. Reviewing provider data self-assessment toolkit reports: user guide; 3. Funding allocations to deliver training to non-levy paying employers until December 2018; 4. Updated Apprenticeship funding and performance management rules; 5. Purdah guidance

26/4/17 - Free Webinar: How Digital & Tech Apprenticeships Work

This webinar is designed to bring employers up to date with the latest changes, to explore what other digital and tech businesses are doing and to explain where to go for help. It is free for SCTP members and their customers. Join Richard Freeman & Ann Potterton (SCTP), Chris Palk (DabApps), Mark Heholt (Tech Partnership), Claire Hopkins (Ideal) and Bob Soper-Dyer (BT), to explore the issues that matter to you and your customers.

'How Digital and Tech Apprenticeships Work' connects experts with employers in the digital and tech sector to answer their questions on how to find, recruit and train the right apprentice for their business. Click here for details and please do share with anyone who may find this helpful.

26/4/17 - APM-UK joins SCTP

SCTP welcomes Bridget Pattenden and her colleagues at APM as the latest Full Member of SCTP. APM delivers a range of skills development programmes as well as providing developmental pathways encompassing Study Programmes and Traineeships . Recently the company was successfully appointed as a subcontractor on an ESF/DWP contract – helping long-term unemployed adults in East Sussex to support them into sustained employment. Find out more about APM by visiting  

26/4/17 - joins SCTP

SCTP welcomes as the latest Commercial Associate Member of SCTP. are a local jobs board in Sussex focusing on helping job seekers find jobs and provide a platform for businesses around Sussex to promote their jobs to over 60,000 visitors a month and recruit the best talent possible. have won various awards over the past 12 month including Most Responsible Business at The Sussex Business Awards and finalists in the prestigious National Online Recruiter Awards.  Find out more by visiting

25/4/17 - AELP Support Packages On Standards Delivery

AELP is offering support packages (at £200) for providers looking to be ready to deliver various apprenticeship standards. There is a forthcoming session in London for Customer Services/Business Administration on the 11th May with many other packages available across a range of occupations.

25/4/17 - Non-Levy Funding Allocations Sent To Providers

The ESFA has sent prime providers a funding allocation for apprenticeship starts covering the period from 1st May to 31 December 2017 for non-levy employers. The letter to providers and comment from AELP can be seen here. Members remain concerned about the lack of detail on funding for existing apprentices and concerns have been escalated to AELP.

24/4/17 - Public Sector Apprenticeship Levy Update Published

The DfE has published an update to its guidance for public bodies in scope of the public sector apprenticeship target by usefully clarifying which public bodies are in scope of the levy. Click here.

24/4/17 - Responses To The Industrial Strategy Consultation

Although the future of the Industrial Strategy has been thrown into some doubt by the forthcoming election it is still useful to read the consultation responses of others in this case the CIPD response which called on the government to help cut regional productivity gaps by 15% by 2030 and to set up an independent body to monitor progress and the Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership response gives a local flavour and urges the Government not just to invest in the Midlands and the North.

24/4/17 - SLN Seeks 'Be the Change' Volunteer Mentors

Be the Change encompasses a range of inspirational events designed to support students who may face challenges and difficulties in school or post-16. Focusing on happiness, confidence, hope, relationships and employability, Be the Change encourages students to identify their personal barriers to success, and helps them overcome them. The Sussex Learning Network is seeking mentors to help support learners. Click here for details.

24/4/17 - IfA Announces Chairs Of Its 15 'Route Panels'

The Institute for Apprenticeships has announced the names of the chairs for the 15 panel routes that will advise the Institute on occupational standards. The route panels are made up of industry experts and are responsible for setting the standards of knowledge, skills and behaviours needed by employers for every occupation in England. The chairs will lead their groups in reviewing and recommending apprenticeship standards and assessment plans and advising on funding levels on behalf of the institute. Click here for more including the names and organisations of the 15 chairs and information about the panel of apprentices.

24/4/17 - One File Wins Queen's Award For Innovation

Congratulation to SCTP Associate Member, One File who has won a 2017 Queen's Award for Innovation. Click here for more.

24/4/17 - 'Find An Apprenticeship': Updated Provider Guidance

With all national marketing driving enquiries from employers to the Find Apprenticeship Training on line tool it is crucial that providers make sure that their information is uploaded to the site and is kept up to date. SCTP has come across recent examples of employers being referred to providers outside Sussex and local providers missing out. For the latest guidance on how to submit data click here.

24/4/17 - European Funding Calls

Three calls have been issued that are relevant to skills in Sussex.

21/4/17 - SCTP Survey: How Providers Help Employers To Recruit

SCTP has been invited to speak at a webinar for employers about providing apprenticeships to the Creative, Digital and IT sector. This is part of a series of sector-specific events being put on by Brighton and Hove City Council to promote apprenticeships. We will be explaining how our members work with and support employers with their apprenticeship recruitment (in both Tech on non-Tech areas). So that we can best reflect the range of recruitment support available to employers we would like to collect feedback from our provider members via this very short survey here. Alternatively, feel free to email Ann Potterton about any specific case studies or examples you would be happy for us to quote. Thank you very much for your input which will help us to promote your services to local employers.

20/4/17 - ESFA Notifies Providers On Contract Extensions

The Education and Skills Funding Agency has written to providers regarding non-levy funding for apprenticeship from 1 May. Changes to subcontracting rules have been suspended and non-levy allocations have been promised by the 25th April. For details see here.

20/4/17 - SCTP To Attend SELEP Skills Advisory Group

Tuesday 25th April sees the next meeting of the South East LEP's Skills Advisory Group. This groups bring together skills policy and interventions across the SELEP area of Kent, Essex and E Sussex. SCTP represents its members on this group and we would be keen to hear about any issues that you would like us to raise. The agenda is here and the minutes of the last meeting here.

19/4/17 - Free NCFE Webinar On End Point Assessment

SCTP member, NCFE is offering a free webinar looking at how providers can make the most of the opportunity presented by end-point assessment (EPA). For more information and booking click here.

19/4/17 - ESFA Update Issue 355

Latest from the ESFA including: 1. Adding apprentices to the apprenticeship service; 2. Purdah pre-election guidance

19/4/17 - Local Authority Apprenticeship Delivery Opportunity

West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove City Council and Surrey County Council have now opened Category 7 of the Learning & Development Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS). This category is dedicated to facilitate the purchase of Apprenticeship Training and will support delivery of these Councils' responsibilities under the Apprenticeship Levy. It is anticipated that all of these authorities will access providers and services by using the Apprenticeship Category on the DPS from early May 2017. The Apprenticeship Category is part of a wider Learning and Development DPS which includes 6 other categories which are already open for application. Full details of the Learning and Development DPS including further instructions, full Qualification documents and the additional requirements of the Apprenticeship Category click here. Initial deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm on 26th April 2017.

19/4/17 - Nick Linford's 3 Key Questions To The Skills Minister

FE Week Editor Nick Linford was able to ask Skills Minister, Robert Halfon 3 key questions at last night's launch event for the Institute of Apprenticeships. The questions were: 1. What is the future of the 3 million starts target? 2. Why was there no English and maths retakes policy shift? 3. Does the minister understand the impact of the pause to the non-levy apprenticeship procurement process and what is happening about this? For the minister's answers click here.

18/4/17 - IfA Consultation Outcome & Operational Plan

The Institute for Apprenticeships has published the results of the recent consultation on its Operational Plan as well as publishing the final version of the plan which outlines how the IfA will operate, carry out its functions and improve the quality of apprenticeships in England - this can be seen here.

18/4/17 - Apprenticeship Contracts & Purdah

AELP's Mark Dawe is lobbying heavily for further information to be released on apprenticeship contract extensions before the civil service goes into purdah (the period when it is not allowed to make announcements prior to a general election - believed to start Friday). Providers are waiting to hear whether the 10% employer contribution will still need to be collected and whether new subcontracting rules will still come into play...and more. This comes as it was reported that the non-levy procurement round was over subscribed to a value four times the available funds. Click here for more.

18/4/17 - South East LEP March/April Newsletter

Click here for the latest newsletter from the South East LEP covering the period 10th March to 10th April.

18/4/17 - Sussex Digital Awards Winners Announced

THE online achievements of some of the most progressive organisations across Sussex have been honoured at the first annual Digital Awards. Accolades across 14 categories including “Website”, “Use of Video for Business”, “Mobile App” and “Use of Social Media for Business” were presented to businesses, charities and schools at Pelham House in Lewes, on April 13. The event was co-sponsored by SCTP to raise the profile of training providers, with SCTP director Dan Wallman presenting some of the awards. Click here for more.

13/4/17 - Work & Health Programme Contenders Announced

The number of providers in each region that are competing for the Work & Health Programme contracts has been whittled down from 5 to 3. In the Home Counties region (covering East Sussex) the remaining providers are G4S, Ingeus and Shaw Trust. In the Southern region (covering West Sussex and Brighton & Hove) the remaining providers are Pluss, Shaw Trust and Working Links. The successful providers for each region are expected to be announced in September. The Work & Health Programme exists to provide support into work for people with long term health conditions and disabilities. The emphasis will be on providing tailored support for participants while ensuring co-ordination and co-operation with existing local services.

13/4/17 - ESFA e-Bulletin Issue 170

Latest news from the ESFA for 'schools, colleges, LAs and other post-16 providers' including: 1. Reminder: local authorities to submit 16 to 19 grant return by 30 April; 2. Information: funding guidance for young people aged 16 to 19 in 2017 to 2018; 3. Information: 2017 to 2018 mainstream school funding formulae published; 4. Information: fraudulent communications claiming to be from ESFA.

13/4/17 - Free Lsect Webinar On The Apprenticeship Reforms

You can join Nick Linford and Keith Smith from the ESFA on Monday 24th April at 11am for a free webinar Q&A on the apprenticeship reforms. Click here to book.

13/4/17 - ESFA Update Issue 354

Latest from the ESFA (replacing the SFA update) including: 1. Procurement for apprenticeship training in smaller employers; 2. Funding calculation 2016 to 2017: technical document; 3. College benchmarking tool; 4. Issuing certificates for apprenticeship standards: reminder; 5. European Social Fund: supplementary data guidance; 6. Prevent duty compliance workshops for independent training providers and new apprenticeship providers.

12/4/17 - Ofsted FE & Skills Inspection Handbook Updated

Ofsted has published updated guidance on how further education and skills providers are inspected under the common inspection framework.

12/4/17 - ESFA Business Update Issue 22

Latest edition of the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s monthly round-up of information and news for businesses.

12/4/17 - Statutory Careers Guidance For Schools

Updated version of DfE's statutory guidance for school leaders, governors and staff on providing careers guidance and inspiration. Click here.

12/4/17 - Non-Levy Procurement Process Paused Until 2018

The ESFA has announced that existing apprenticeship contracts held by providers will be extended until December 2017 as long as they are on RoATP. New providers will have to wait until next year to have a chance to receive an allocation. More information and comment from AELP and AoC is here. ESFA's message to providers that was issued today is here. The response from providers is reported here.

11/4/17 - Coast 2 Capital LEP's Industrial Strategy Response

Here is the C2C LEP's final response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy consultation. One of 7 areas of focus is 'Developing Skills' the detail of which can be seen on page 2 of the Annex.

11/4/17 - AELP Support Sub Committee Apprenticeship Review

AELP has welcomed the report of the Commons Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy which described the levy and the 3 million starts target as blunt instruments that risk being unduly focused on simply raising participation levels without sufficient focus on quality. AELP's position is covered in FE News here.

11/4/17 - AELP Calls For More Flexibility On 20% Off Job Rules

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) has said that recent funding rule changes for off-the-job training in apprenticeships don’t go far enough in addressing the differing needs of employers and apprentices across various business sectors. AELP has also called for clear definitions of what will be acceptable for inclusion in the 20% requirement so that providers and employers can plan provision effectively. Click here for more.

11/4/17 - South East Business Magazine April/May Edition

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

10/4/17 - GCSE Retakes Policy Retained In Funding Guidance

The Education & Skills Funding Agency has published its 'Funding Guidance For Young People 2017-18' which outlines the funding regulations for this learner group. Disappointingly this includes the decision not to revoke the existing policy requiring GCSE retakes for those learners with a grade D (old grading) or grade 4 (new grading). More information and comment from sector leaders is here.

10/4/17 - Cash Boost For Hastings

Hastings has been awarded additional resource as part of the latest round of Coast Communities Funding. The award will fund a 2-year project to support economic development around the White Rock area of Hastings. Click here for more.

7/4/17 - DfE Public Sector Apprenticeship Target Guidance

The Department for Education has published guidance for public bodies in scope of the public sector apprenticeship target.

7/4/17 - National Careers Service SE Labour Market e-Bulletin

Click here for the latest labour market news from the NCS including details of employment generating projects across East Sussex, Essex and Kent.

6/4/17 - Ofsted Launches 'Good' Provider Logo

Providers that achieve a good rating from Ofsted will now be able to display a logo in recognition of the quality of their provision in the same way that 'outstanding' providers currently do. Click here for more.

6/4/17 - Minutes Of Apprenticeships In E Sussex Meeting

Click here for the minutes of last week's Apprenticeships in East Sussex meeting. This is East Sussex County Council's group that involves district and borough councils, providers and their representatives. It looks at co-ordinating apprenticeship promotion across the county and monitors progress on apprenticeship starts targets.

6/4/17 - Latest Apprenticeship Start Stats For Sussex

Latest figures and forecasts show that apprenticeship starts figures to the end of Q2 (January 2017) are holding steady but not progressing at a rate to meet the Government's 3 million target. There are variations around this trend by district and parliamentary constituency. These latest figures have been produced by SCTP from the SFA's Statistical First Release. For more historic trends including an analysis of statistics for the 2015/16 year for adult education, trainee ships as well as apprenticeships see here.

6/4/17 - Apprenticeship Levy Launched Today

Click here for the DfE press release launching the Apprenticeship Levy. Response from employers, employer groups and the skills provider sector is here and a news item on the views of the CBI is here.

5/4/17 - Recording Of Provider Apprenticeship Reform Webinar

Click here for a recording of Learning Curve's latest webinar titled 'Ensuring an effective organisational response to the Apprenticeship reforms’.

5/4/17 - New Enterprise Zones Going Live (including Newhaven)

Click here for a summary of the 12 new Enterprise Zones including Newhaven in East Sussex and the benefits to businesses that accrue from this. There are potential opportunities for providers from being involved in this local initiative.

3/4/17 - HEFCE To Regulate Degree Apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships will be regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and not by Ofsted. The news was revealed by the Department for Education this morning, as part of its apprenticeships accountability statement. More information is here.

3/4/17 - ETF Launches Leadership Training Programme

A new programme has been launched by the Education and Training Foundation designed to boost the capacity of individual principals and CEOs, as well as their colleges or training providers and the sector as a whole. It is supported by DfE funding of £1.27 million for the first year by the Department for Education, although participants will have to pay an additional fee, estimated to be around £3,000. It’s understood to be the first new leadership programme specifically for the FE and skills sector since the demise of the former Learning and Skills Improvement Service in 2013. More information is here.

3/4/17 - Minutes Of The Skills East Sussex Meeting

Click here for the minutes of the most recent meeting of Skills East Sussex, the strategic group led by ESCC looking at skills policy and implementation across the county. The meeting took place on the 20th March and was attended by SCTP on behalf of members. The Government's localism and devolution policies mean that the activities of these groups are becoming ever more relevant for our members.

3/4/17 - Institute For Apprenticeships Launches Today

Click here for a press release marking today as the first day of operation for the new IfA. The government has also published guidance on how the Institute for Apprenticeships should carry out its functions for the 2017 to 2018 financial year as well as an Apprenticeship Accountability Statement which outlines the roles and responsibilities of all organisations involved in regulating apprenticeships.

3/4/17 - Apprenticeship Standards Approved & In Development

Click here for the latest list of approved apprenticeship standards and here for those in development.

31/3/17 - Minimum Wage Rise From 1st April

The minimum wage rates increase on the 1st April with the Apprenticeship Rate rising to £3.50 and hour. Click here for the official press release and here for a guide on calculating the minimum wage.

31/3/17 - Apprenticeship Policy Needs Focus Says Committee

The Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy, formed from the Education and Business Select Committees, finds in its report published this week, that the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, introduced next week, and target of three million ‘starts’ by the end of the Parliament are blunt instruments that risk being unduly focused on simply raising participation levels. They believe that a concentration is needed on sectors and regions where training is most needed. There was also concern about the lack of end point assessment organisations. A summary and sector response is here.

Meanwhile the DfE published its 'Apprenticeships Benefit Realisation Strategy' setting out the Government's aims for apprenticeship reform, summarising how this will benefit employers and apprentices, widen participation and increase quality. This is summarised here.

31/3/17 - TPE Proposals Examined In New Report

NCFE and the Campaign for Learning commissioned a report titled 'Reforming Technical and Professional Education Why should it work this time?'. The report examines the Government's new Technical & Professional Education (TPE) proposals and asks some searching questions of the rationale and evidence behind them.

31/3/17 - Marketing & Customer Experience: Provider Webinar

A webinar from e-memoir titled 'Customer experience is the new brand building tool of modern marketing. How can we apply it in the FE and skills sector?' £20 + VAT, 11.00 - 12:00 noon. Tuesday 4th April 2017. Click here for more information and booking.

31/3/17 - FE Week Publishes AAC Conference Supplement

For those who weren't able to attend FE Week's recent Annual Apprenticeship Conference (AAC), a 16 page supplement covering all the main news and debate has been published and can be seen here.

31/3/17 - Touchbase Edition 119

Touchbase is the DWP's monthly publication of news and articles from across government for advisers, employers and organisations that help people find jobs. Click here for the March edition.

31/3/17 - SFA Inform March Newsletter

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

31/3/17 - AELP Update For Local Provider Networks

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

30/3/17 - Updated Apprenticeship Guidance For Employers

Latest updated version of the SFA's key guidance document for employers about how apprenticeships will work under the new funding system from May 2017 including the apprenticeship levy and the online apprenticeship service.

30/3/17 - Skills Show Dates Announced

The national skills and careers event has been confirmed to take place from November 16th to 18th at the NEC in Birmingham. Click here for more.