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Taken from THE SUN
I WANT to leave college and get a job where they’ll train me up while I’m working, but my mum says I’m ruining my life.
I’m a 17-year-old boy and started college in September. I recently decided that college wasn’t for me. I didn’t like the course and hated being back at what felt the same as school.
I talked to my tutor and he suggested I look for an apprenticeship or something like that. The college have been very helpful.
I told my parents and my dad has been great. He has helped me with my CV and taken me round different companies to give them out.
But all my mum does is shout at me. I have agreed with her that it’s hard to find a job, especially with no A levels, but I got good GCSEs, all As and Bs.
She doesn’t seem to realise how difficult things are now. When she was my age going to university was the way ahead, but it isn’t like that now and she won’t accept it.
How can I find a job with prospects and how can I get my mum off my back?
Good for you that you know what you want to do. You are far less likely to do well when you are doing a course you don’t like.
Apprenticeships can be a great way to start a successful career and you can earn while you’re training and gaining qualifications.
Contact the National Apprenticeships Service who have around 8,000 jobs on apprenticeship vacancies at any one time.
They run a vacancy-matching service and offer advice to young people and their parents. Check out their website for more information (www.apprenticeships.org.uk).
I hope that your mum will see that you are serious about this and give you a break. Your father understands how you feel, so ask him to talk to her about it.
My leaflet for job hunters has practical tips on giving yourself the best chances in of landing a job or an apprenticeship.
Solid advice from
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Also…. See earlier Zenos Article 👍
More than 40 colleges and training providers are being investigated as part of the review into short duration apprenticeships.
“We are working with the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) to consider the outcomes of each review of short provision,” a National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) spokesperson said.
“Action is already in hand to investigate cases where there is cause for concern, with 45 different colleges and private training providers being closely reviewed.”
The investigation follows an initial review which judged all apprenticeship provision against the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) and Delivery Model Guidance.
Teresa Frith, senior skills policy manager at the Association of Colleges (AoC), said: “It should be noted that there are 45 provider organisations being investigated – this does not necessarily indicate that all 45 cannot justify their delivery models.
“Indeed three existing frameworks are recommended by Sector Skills Councils as needing less than 12 months for completion, so there is a likelihood that at least some will come through their investigation in a positive fashion.”
A spokesperson for the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) added: “AELP will support action by the NAS that addresses cases of poor quality provision whether it is relation to a college or an independent provider.
“However, we note there are 45 cases out of a total cohort of some 1,000 skills providers and we shouldn’t rush to judgement on the extent of the overall problem before we know the outcome of each case review.”
The 157 Group says these colleges and training providers are likely to be under review because of the confusion surrounding best apprenticeship practise.
“Although 45 different colleges and private training providers are being closely reviewed, this does not necessarily mean that they are culpable of any wrong-doing,” a spokesperson for the 157 Group said.
“If anything, in a time of policy upheavals, changes and challenges, this number is most likely to be reflective of the inevitable current confusion around best apprenticeship practise.”
The review into quality and short duration apprenticeships has led to a number of new measures which were announced by John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, in the House of Commons last month.
The new measures include a minimum duration of 12 months for all apprentices aged 16 to 18, as well as a requirement for every apprenticeship programme to deliver “significant new learning”, rather than accrediting existing knowledge and experience.
Mr Hayes said: “If the standards are sufficiently stretching and the expectations of competence high, I believe that a course should naturally extend over at least 12 months. That will be the expectation first for 16 to 18 year-old apprentices from August 2012, as new contracts to training providers are issued.”
The new measures are part of a Quality Action Plan which will allow the NAS to tighten contracts and immediately withdraw public money from apprenticeship providers who are failing to meet the appropriate standards of quality.
“The review of short provision provided some of the content and direction for our Quality Action Plan,” a NAS spokesperson said.
“During 2012, we will work with the Skills Funding Agency, Sector Skills Councils, and other partners across the sector to implement each of the recommendations in the Quality Action Plan, including those on short duration Apprenticeships.”
The spokesperson added that apprenticeship programmes which do not meet the relevant standards, but still offer “valuable support to young people” will be referred to other agencies such as the SFA for consideration.
The De Vere Academy of Hospitality is one provider which has already announced a new apprenticeship programme following the review by NAS, which be launched on February 1 and last at least 12 months.
— Post From My Amazing Wandering iPhone
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Big cash boost for jobs
Published: 06 January 2012
County Hall bosses have unveiled plans to plough £50m into helping get people working
Lancashire County Council bosses have made a series of savings and investments in Government gilts which has enabled major investment in jobs and training.
County Council leader Geoff Driver said: “Young people are at the heart of our proposals because they are the future.
“We want them to stay and prosper in Lancashire when they leave education and we recognise the difficult economic climate is making that particularly hard to do at the present time.
“As well as helping them into employment, these proposals will give more young people across the county access to activities, information and guidance through the expansion of our Youth Zone programme.
“We also plan to direct some of this investment into providing the right infrastructure and other conditions that make Lancashire a good place to do business, so that employers want to relocate or expand their operations here and create jobs for local people.”
Among the plans is a £10m apprenticeships programme to help young people into work, supporting employers to take on apprentices and creating professional apprenticeships within the county council.
Plans have also been unveiled to invest £5m over five years to support the cost of young people travelling to education, employment and training.
There will be a £10m investment in a programme of measures to promote economic development, aimed at encouraging businesses to take on new staff.
A total of £6m is to be used for the extension of the Youth Zone programme to provide young people with more activities and opportunities to access information.
A £3m pot has been earmarked to employ armed forces veterans to mentor young people in secondary schools and £1m for refurbishing libraries.
The remaining £15m will be used for transport projects across the county
– Post From My Amazing Wandering iPhone
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Progress: you may have been getting away with this, but it doesn’t make it right! Hopefully this will make other providers think about their learners and not just their bank balance.
Apprenticeship course postponed for hundreds
By Louisa Peacock, Jobs editor
Last Updated: 7:05PM GMT 06/01/2012
Hundreds of people due to start an apprenticeship on Monday have been told not to bother turning up, it has emerged.
IT training provider Zenos, owned by Pearson, the FTSE 100 education and publishing group, has written to 300 candidates aged 19 or over telling them their scheduled placement for 2012 will not begin as planned on January 9. The company runs thousands of apprenticeship programmes each year.
The Skills Funding Agency, a Department for Business body, is understood to have asked Zenos to review its apprenticeship scheme because those enrolled on the course have no guarantee of employment with another organisation once the programme has finished.
Critics have long argued that apprenticeships of this kind, with no employers involved, lead to “ghost jobs” with candidates being turfed out into the labour market upon finishing their course, raising questions over value-for-money of the state-backed scheme.
Last month the Government promised a crackdown on training programmes that failed to meet quality standards. Skills minister John Hayes warned BIS would withdraw money from providers where there was evidence public money had been “over-claimed”.
Under the previous arrangements, Zenos would have paid all 300 apprenticeship candidates a wage, effectively making them employees of the training provider. But it could not guarantee work for them once they had finished the course.
It is now working to devise a new training programme which it hopes to start in the next few weeks, although it will not officially be called an apprenticeship.
A spokesman said the company did not yet know whether the new programme would pay participants of the course. The new “wage” may just involve expenses, a company statement said.
Jason Moss, managing director of Zenos, said: “Due to recent changes in the Government policy on apprenticeships, we are now working hard to ensure that the Zenos provision is fully aligned to the latest policy and that our learners continue to receive the best programme.
“All of the existing affected candidates will be starting a relevant programme imminently that will support their aspirations to gain an apprenticeship within the original time frame.
“We have consistently adapted our programme over the last 18 months to reflect the Government guidelines and we have a flexible and dynamic operation that can respond to these changes.”
The news has hit many would-be learners hard, with some claiming they had turned down job offers elsewhere thinking they had secured an apprenticeship scheme with Zenos.
The training provider’s own Facebook page has been littered with comments over the past 24 hours.
However, the news appears to have been a shock to the training provider, too, with a statement on its Facebook page saying it only found out about the course changes “24 hours” ago.
The statement said: “Within the past 24 hours, the funding agencies have told us that anyone starting an apprenticeship now needs an employer and a specific job identified, prior to starting on the programme. This is out of our control and we can understand that this may cause you uncertainty, which we can only apologise for.
“We are working very hard on your behalf to ensure that you have a successful career in the IT sector and at present we anticipate that although the start of the training may differ slightly that overall you are on the programme for the same amount of time.”
Zenos also claims 91pc of its learners find a job after completing one of their apprenticeships.
Employers offering apprenticeships to people aged between 19 and 24 can claim about half of the cost of the course from the state. Those hiring 16 to 18 year-old apprentices are eligible for 100pc funding.
— Post From My Amazing Wandering iPhone
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In a single minute there are over 695,000 status updates on Facebook. That’s just one example of the mind boggling scale of online activity.
The following infographics show a bunch of other incredible things that happen in 60 seconds (via Barry Ritholtz).
A “NORTH-SOUTH” divide in the company failure rate widened in 2011 as 21,000 companies went bust across the UK, according to research by an accountancy firm.
Businesses in the North East and North West of England were more than one and a half times as likely to go bust than their counterparts in the south in 2011, RSM Tenon said.
ROUGHLY one in every 40 companies in the North East and North West became insolvent this year, compared with less than one in 70 in London and the South East.
In the latest blow to the Coalition’s plans to encourage a manufacturing-led recovery, the research showed that companies which are failing fastest in the North tend to be manufacturing-based.
Carl Jackson, head of RSM Tenon’s recovery service, said: “Sadly, it’s a return to the old story: northern England used to be geared towards industry, but, judged by proportion of insolvencies, it appears that industry is still deserting it.
“If you make furniture, industrial materials, pharmaceutical, medical and toiletries, or work in the wood, paper and board industry, you have a far higher chance of going bust if your company is based in the North than if its headquarters are below Watford.”
The impact of public sector cuts has yet to have a significant impact on the divide, Mr Jackson added. “It’s tempting to blame the rift on the effect of [spending cuts], especially given that the North – and particularly the North East – is relatively dependent on the public sector compared to elsewhere in the country,” he said.
“However, the proportion of failed public services companies in the North and the South was roughly similar this year.”
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One of the city’s MPs has called for apprenticeships to be given greater status as a career option for young people.
Speaking in a debate in Parliament about apprenticeships, MP for Milton Keynes South Iain Stewart argued that there should not be any form of ‘snobbery’ against apprenticeships and that they should be regarded as an equally valid option for training and education after school.
He pointed out that sometimes many careers advice services focus too much on the academic route and not enough on the vocational route with apprenticeships or other training options.
The Milton Keynes South MP used the debate to celebrate the higher than average take up of apprenticeships in Milton Keynes. The city has seen an increase of more than 70 percent in the number of apprentices taken on this year.
Also praising University Centre Milton Keynes for pioneering innovative ways of delivering new products to meet skills needs in the city, Mr Stewart invited John Hayes, Minister for Further Education, to visit the centre in order to see how it delivers its training.
Commenting afterwards, Mr Stewart said: “I believe that for the long-term health and rebalancing of UK economy we need to value apprenticeships and the learning that goes with them.
“I am pleased that the Government will offer employers an incentive payment of up to £1,500 to encourage them to take on an apprentice. I also welcome measures to simplify the bureaucracy and make it quicker and easier for employers to take on an apprentice.”
From September 2012, the Education Act 2011 will place a new duty on schools to secure access to independent, impartial careers guidance for pupils in school years nine to 11.
Subject to consultation, this will be extended down to year eight and to young people aged 16 to 18 in schools and further education settings.
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FE Week receives many questions about government announcements. This week we sought a number of clarifications from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on your behalf.
No change in rates
The national funding rates will not change in 2012/13, according to BIS.
The investment strategy ‘New Challenges, New Chances’ makes no reference to funding rates, but a BIS spokesperson has confirmed “they have stayed the same”.
The BIS spokesperson also confi rmed that the large employer discount will remain at 25 per cent.
The apprenticeship rate for learners aged 25 and above will also remain at 20 per cent less than the rate for 19 to 24 year-olds.
Colleges can now dissolve themselves as part of new freedoms given to the FE sector by government.
BIS has told FE Week that this is “a new power for colleges” and that “colleges may decide that they wish to adopt an alternative organisational form and/or form new partnerships with other providers to meet the needs of learners, employers and their broader communities. Such proposals could lead to dissolution of the current corporation.”
Permission from the Secretary of State will no longer be required.
Bursary details soon
New details about the bursary scheme for FE teachers and trainers undertaking ITT will be announced next Spring, the government has announced.
John Hayes MP unveiled the new bursaries at the Association of Colleges (AoC) Annual Conference, and said it would ensure FE teachers are “the best in the world”.
A BIS spokesperson told FE Week: “Arrangements for future bursaries are being discussed with the sector first.
“We anticipate further details in spring 2012.”
What’s in a name?
The government is conducting a review into how they can protect the “terminology and titles” of FE colleges.
A BIS spokesperson told FE Week that “colleges need to apply to the Department for approval for the name of a college corporation against published criteria”, and that the government
is not against a college rebranding themselves without the word ‘college’ in its name.
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