Jobcentre Plus uses workfare!!! | Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Jobcentre Plus uses workfare!!!

The UK workfare debates heats up… and it soon comes apparent that even yours truly Jobcentre Plus is using workfare participants to make up it numbers.

No workfare participant will be able to undertake an Employment Officer role, however, DWP is cutting its “corporate administration budget” by 36% over 4 years.

PCS is already upset with DWP plans to close contact centres and get rid of over 1,900 job vacancies. Labelled a staffing crisis and defending jobs as more centres scheduled to close.

It is now clear, that the least important jobs could soon be replaced with workfare participants.

The workfare job adverts

Lets select 3 – magic number lol. Just to make it clear, you have to contact Jobseeker Direct to find out who the employer is with… they were a little too shy to place “Jobcentre Plus” or “DWP” in the employer box, however, of course its workfare not paid employment (although they pay your benefit so are in every way your employer).

Technically speaking, “Secretary of State” holds the title… so you are in effect slaves of these persons (yes, the term applies to all Secretary of States – not just Work and Pensions).


Yes, why not shout about it?! No idea why the uppercase. This one too close to home… in Bury St Edmunds of the same county. The job description:-

This is a work experience placement available to customers claiming Jobseekers Allowance with little or no work history. The placement is working at the Job Centre at St Andrews House in Bury St Edmunds. Through a combination of job-shadowing,mentoring and coaching, the participant will gain an overview of office administration. Duties including (but not exhaustive); filing, minute taking/general admin duties/use of IT and possibly use of telephone to contact customers. A full CRB check will be conducted prior to starting. Personal Advisers must ensure interested customers sign a work experience consent to share form. CV and JCP application form should then be sent to Bury St Edmunds EA team.

With a wage of “JSA + TRAVEL”, hours of “25 – 30 per week” (was also in uppercase… ), location of ” EAST ANGLIA, IP33 ” and reference of “BSD/27427″.

Wait… a CV AND application form?! Not even a paid job …


Unlike the above (yes its uppercase again..) this is placed with a proper SOC code. The job description:-

***Work Experience Customers Only***Applicants must be aged 18 – 24 with little or no work experience and interested in administrative or general office work. Will be working with the public dealing with a diverse range of customers. Researching vacancy opportunities for customers (non LMS). Gaining customer service skills. Helping promote digital channels with customers.Must be able to provide acceptable means of identification for standard security verification checks. CRB checks will need to be undertaken and cleared before an offer of a placement can be made

With a wage of “BENEFITS + TRAVEL EXPENSES”, hours of “30hrs per week” (was also in uppercase… ), location of “CRAMLINGTON NE23″ and reference of “CRM/20576″.

This job is probably posting jobs on twitter lol…


Call centre job! The job description:-

***TELFORD Contact Centre*** TF3 4HB Working in a Contact Centre enviroment, Admin duties in an office enviroment. Will be expected to go to a 20 minute informal interview in the Telford room, Ground Foor, New Town house, Telford. START DATE: 19/12/11. ELIGIBILTY: Primarily aimed at younger JSA claimants aged 18-24 from week 13 up to referral to the Work Programme. There is discretion to refer claimants earlier than week 13 &, exceptionally, those aged 25+ who have no recent work history, & 16/17 where agreed – see guidance and/or RC.

With a wage of “NA”, hours of “25″ (how lazy), location of ” TELFORD TF3 ” and reference of ” TEL/64684 “.

Please Note: Did you see the start date? Job was actually posted on the 6th February 2012… so it seems this job has been advertised previously and a lazy copy and paste job without bothering to read it.


Do you work for Jobcentre Plus? Are you worried about your job?

Are you a jobseeker? Would you work at Jobcentre Plus for no pay?

Paul Champion
Strategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

Minister’s anger over ‘job snobs’ opposing Tesco work experience for unemployed – Telegraph

Minister’s anger over ‘job snobs’ opposing Tesco work experience for unemployed

Chris Grayling, the employment minister, has described critics of a flagship Government scheme to combat joblessness amongst the young as

Writing for The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Grayling said that 20,000 young people have already moved off benefits after finding full-time jobs after taking up work experience organised by jobcentres

By Robert Watts, Deputy Political Editor

Last Updated: 8:30PM GMT 18/02/2012

Chris Grayling, the employment minister, has described critics of a flagship Government scheme to combat joblessness amongst the young as “hypocrites” and “jobs snobs”.

Opponents of the work experience scheme have in recent days claimed it is tantamount to “forced labour” and “21st century slavery”, after it emerged that some of the positions offered included night shifts of shelf stacking for Tesco, the supermarket giant.

Until the Coalition government changed the law, it was possible for anyone undertaking unpaid work experience to lose their benefits.

As well as allowing young jobseekers to keep their benefits during eight weeks of unpaid work experience, the Department for Work and Pensions has found voluntary placements for people in supermarkets and other employers.

Writing for The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Grayling said that 20,000 young people have already moved off benefits after finding full-time jobs after taking up work experience organised by jobcentres.

He said the Government hopes find a further 100,000 more of these placement over the coming year.

“Short term work experience placements lasting a few weeks are of immense value to young people looking to get a foothold on the job ladder,” Mr Grayling writes.

“The critics are job snobs. The Guardian newspaper publishes stories attacking big retailers for offering short-term unpaid work experience placements for young people.

“But that same Guardian newspaper advertises on its website – yes, you guessed it – short-term unpaid work experience placements for young people.

“The BBC’s Newsnight joined in the attack on big retailers offering unpaid work experience. And on the BBC website? Yes, you guessed it again – an offer of unpaid work experience placements. It’s time we put an end to this hypocrisy.”

Mr Grayling lauded the example set by Sir Terry Leahy, the former chief executive of Tesco, who stacked shelves and washed floors before rising to the top of the country’s biggest supermarket.

The row has already lead to protests against the supermarket, with one of the group’s stores in Westminster forced to close yesterday due to protesters who chanted: “Tesco bosses hear us say, we won’t work if you won’t pay.”

Tesco has stressed that it would not have participated in the government’s work experience scheme if it was mandatory.

A spokesman for the company said the advert that initially sparked the row was an advert for work experience with a guaranteed job interview at the end of it.

Youth unemployment has proved a persistently damaging political problem for the Coalition government since joblessness amongst 16-24 year-olds passed 1million last November.

This was the first time this landmark figures had been reached since records began in the early 1990s.

Paul Champion
Strategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

‘Back to work’ tsar at centre of fraud probe over claims ‘funding went on jobs lasting just a day’ | Mail Online

‘Back to work’ tsar at centre of fraud probe over claims ‘funding went on jobs lasting just a day’

By Christopher Leake and Russell Myers

Last updated at 1:43 AM on 19th February 2012

Emma Harrison's company called A4e is being investigated for alleged fraud

Emma Harrison’s company called A4e is being investigated for alleged fraud

The company run by David Cameron’s ‘Back to Work Tsar’ Emma Harrison is at the centre of a fraud investigation.

The Department for Work and Pensions confirmed last night that a probe into A4e – headed by Mrs Harrison – was under way.

A source at the company told The Mail on Sunday that on Friday afternoon, officers from Thames Valley Police visited the company’s offices in Slough, Berkshire.

The source said they stayed for up to four hours and demanded staff hand over documents and computer files dating back two years. He confirmed: ‘Police were in the office on Friday going back over contracts.’

The source added that police had indicated they planned to make further visits to other A4e offices throughout the country.

It is also the source’s understanding that the police were investigating claims that the company had put some people in jobs for just one day, but claimed the funding nonetheless.

It is believed that Work and Pensions Minister Chris Grayling was last night made aware of the investigation into A4e.

The company is majority-owned by Mrs Harrison, who has made millions from running her work programmes under both Labour and the Conservatives.

Last week it was revealed that she had been paid an £8.6 million dividend after A4e’s turnover rose to £234 million.

The disclosure that A4e is being investigated for alleged fraud will be an embarrassment for Mr Cameron.

'Posh commune': Emma Harrisons home Thornbridge Hall in Derbyshire which she shares with friends

‘Posh commune’: Emma Harrisons home Thornbridge Hall in Derbyshire which she shares with friends

Last year, he appointed Mrs Harrison as his ‘Families Champion’, giving her responsibility for getting problem families back into work.

Mrs Harrison, 48 – who is reportedly worth £70 million – is chairman of A4e, a global multi-million-pound training company. She was once jobless before she drove A4e from a small company set up to retrain redundant Sheffield steelworkers to an operation spanning 11 countries.

The firm has received Government contracts worth millions of pounds over the past 20 years.

Mrs Harrison with her husband Jim

Mrs Harrison with her husband Jim

Mrs Harrison lives with her husband Jim and their four children – two boys and two girls – in Thornbridge Hall, a Grade II listed 12th Century mansion. It is an opulent ten-bedroom property set in a 100-acre estate in Derbyshire.

They share their home with 11 close friends and the six children they have between them. Mrs Harrison has reportedly described the set-up as a ‘posh commune’.

After completing an engineering degree at Bradford University, she joined her father’s training company but eventually set up her own firm, Action For Employment, in 1991 to provide redundant steelworkers with training to find new jobs.

Multi-million-pound government contracts followed for the Sheffield-based company. In the year to March 2011, A4e’s turnover rose from £190 million to £234 million. Pre-tax profits rose by £5.5 million to £15 million.

Mrs Harrison has appeared on a number of television programmes, once trying to find worthy causes to help on a council estate in Dagenham for Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire.

In 2010, A4e featured in two episodes of the series Benefit Busters and earlier this year she was on screen again, guiding four celebrities in the BBC1 reality series Famous, Rich And Jobless.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: ‘We cannot comment any further on an ongoing investigation.’ But a source said that the probe related to fraud.

Thames Valley Police said it was unable to either confirm or deny whether A4e’s Slough premises had been visited by its officers.

A spokesperson for A4e said: ‘If there are any allegations or investigations of fraud in any of our activities, we will co-operate fully with the DWP and also anything referred to the police.

‘We have a zero-tolerance policy of fraud in A4e.’

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Paul Champion
Strategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920




The CfA and SFEDI, in partnership with the Peter Jones Foundation, are currently organising a series of workshops with employers across the country to explore how a higher apprenticeship in innovation and growth would work and add value to the development and competitiveness of businesses, both small and large.

The workshops will explore not only how businesses currently develop understanding and skills in enterprise, innovation and growth amongst their staff but also the ways in which an innovation and growth apprenticeship scheme would work, such as induction of the apprentice, the knowledge and skills required by an apprentice, the activities they would undertake and the training and development that would be provided by the employers.

The workshop for the North East will be held in Durham on Monday 27th Februaryat The Rivergreen Centre, Aykley Heads, Durham, DH1 5TS and will run from12:00-14:00 with lunch and refreshments.

Why should you come along?

The workshop not only provides you with an opportunity to exchange experiences with a group of other employers about developing enterprise and innovative skills amongst staff and the value of apprenticeships, but also your input will be used to develop an apprenticeship scheme which meets the needs of businesses like yours in the area.

We hope that you will be able to attend the workshop and in anticipation of your co-operation, we will contact you during the next couple of days to provide further details of the workshop.

In the meantime, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Leigh Sear leigh.sear or Jo Lee jo.lee.

Event details

Paul Champion
Strategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

BBC News – Peter Thiel: Your questions answered

Peter Thiel: Your questions answered

16 December 2011 Last updated at 00:00

Peter ThielPeter Thiel invested in PayPal and Facebook, and has launched his own fellowships for entrepreneurs

We’re facing the biggest youth unemployment crisis in a generation, according to the International Labour Organisation.

All this week the BBC is focusing on the lost generation of young people and what’s being done to generate jobs.

We have given some young entrepreneurs the opportunity to put their questions to a business professional.

Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal which has more than 100 million active accounts. He also made the first outside investment in Facebook, a social networking hub that now has more than 800 million active members.

Your questions

Victoria Coffey, Bangor, Northern Ireland asks: How did the ideas come to you? Did you purposely sit down and think of something that was lacking or that could be bettered?

PETER: Innovation is not mechanistic; it is rare. It requires a blend of intuitive leaps and thoughtful analysis. It’s hard to say exactly what that blend is, but it always involves a serious attempt to solve a problem that will improve the lives of many people.

Gareth Brookes in Leicester UK asks: Many start-ups fail. When running a business in its start up phase and faced with tough trading conditions how do you decide whether to call it a day or continue riding the storm?

PETER: Have a specific plan that aims to solve a real problem. It doesn’t have to be a great plan—a bad plan is better than no plan at all. As long as you’re honest with yourself with the feedback coming in from all information sources, you should be able to adjust your plan from worst to better to best.

The other half of the equation is just as important. If your company isn’t focusing on a real problem for consumers, then it’s time to move on and build something else.

Vaughan Johnson in Shenzhen, China asks: What role can the internet and social media have for small companies and how best can I tap into it?

PETER: The internet has lowered the barriers to market entry for many small companies. And that’s great. But one open question is whether the internet is more like the auto industry of the 1920s or the auto industry of the 1950s.

If it’s like the new industry of the 1920s, there’s space for competition and for small companies to make progress. But if it’s like the mature auto industry of the 1950s, then it’s going to be very difficult for small companies to make progress, because big companies can easily copy any incremental innovations.

Ntombenhle, Johannesburg, South Africa asks: What are the main focal areas and issues when trying to differentiate yourself from competitors?

PETER: You want to do something that is both new and not easily copied. But you have to be careful because it’s easy to persuade yourself that you’re creating a new market.

If you open the first Burmese restaurant in Springfield, are you creating a new market, or just competing with all the other restaurants in Springfield? To create significant value, you need to create something that is truly new.

Jacob Lamoureux, Ohio, US asks: I’ll be graduating from college in May and launching a social entrepreneurial venture in the area of education. Having a rock-solid team of diverse talent is essential to our chances at success, so I’m wondering if you have any advice on how to put together a dream team. Where can I find prospective partners and how should I recruit them?

PETER: There’s no right or wrong time in life to become an entrepreneur. Is a college credential worth delaying your project by six months? It may depend on the project, but probably not. If you’re passionate about your venture, turn your passion into a compelling narrative that inspires others.

If you have a great idea, do it now. That’s why we created the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship: to help young entrepreneurs get started immediately when they have ideas that cannot wait.

BBC News – German apprenticeships: A model for Europe?

German apprenticeships: A model for Europe?

What do you think Why not comment and tell everyone who may have an interest to comment too??

14 December 2011 Last updated at 00:03

Nigel CassidyBy Nigel Cassidy Europe business correspondent, BBC News, southern Germany Jascha FaussApprentice Jascha Fauss could be looking at a job for life at Mercedes-Benz

Jascha Fauss may be doing the kind of thing that nearly two-thirds of young Germans do when they leave full-time education.

Yet he realises that, by European standards, he’s lucky. Nineteen-year-old Jascha is almost at the end of a three year, on-the-job apprenticeship at the giant Mercedes-Benz factory just outside Stuttgart in southern Germany.

His trade is mecatronics – a modern combination of mechanical and electronic engineering. It will set him up for what may well be a job for life – if he chooses to stay with Mercedes, which the vast majority of apprentices like him do.

Every year, the Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler takes on around 2,000 apprentices – that’s about a third of the German car industry’s yearly intake.

One in five is a woman. Nine out of 10 of the young trainees will land permanent jobs. Others may be offered short-term contracts.

Training plans vary according to the industry, but are always delivered after close consultation between future employers, educators and the government, which picks up part of the bill.

What’s notable is that even though the European economy is flatlining outside Germany, the commitment to invest in the skilled labour force of the future is continuing.


Training to be a skilled motor manufacturer can take years, making apprenticeships ideal

‘Job opportunities’

When the BBC visits, Jascha is out of the classroom, spending time on the production line with his personal “training meister” – learning the ropes of C, E and S-class car production.

“In my apprenticeship, I’m getting a grounding in every single element of the car, including metal shaping, welding and the most innovative techniques such as hybrid engines and fuel cell propulsion,” he says.

“It will equip me to work in different parts of the industry, opening up a lot of job opportunities for the future.”

Jascha adds that he has also learnt valuable social skills, as he constantly has to work with different groups of people and his training has included contact with customers.

Wilfried Porth is a main board director of Daimler, the man in charge of human resources and labour relations across the entire group.

Wilfried PorthMr Porth says the German apprenticeship model cannot just be copied in other countries

His explanation of how the system works goes to the heart of another conundrum – why Germany’s model apprentice schemes have been less successful when transplanted to other countries, with the exception of the Netherlands and Austria.

“I don’t think you can just copy and paste apprenticeships,” says Mr Porth.

“You need a school system which supports it. We have this tradition in Germany of being loyal to the company. We also have a technology focus here in Germany. For that you need very skilled people.

“It’s a system supported by politicians and society – and needed by the companies.”

Medieval roots

Firms like Daimler – and much smaller ones – play a large part in designing the training, partly through their chambers of commerce, but Germany also has a string of technical universities, whose main role is to equip the country’s future labour force.

Hagen Kramer is an economics professor at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, a popular training provider.

He says that such apprenticeship schemes have their roots in the country’s medieval guilds. But they play a major part in the continuing success of today’s Germany – in spite of the continuing troubles besetting the eurozone.

“The German economy is quite export-oriented – and one of its strengths is high-quality, hi-tech products,” says Prof Kramer.

Mercedes plantMercedes, like many other German industrial firms, has an extensive apprenticeship programme

“But you do need a plentiful supply of medium and high-qualified labour to deliver these products. Germany has what’s known as a ‘dual system’.

“The apprentices must be given structured training by their employer, alongside the general and vocational education they receive. It all ensures Germany has enough labour to do the jobs.”

For soon-to-be-qualified apprentice Jascha, a lifetime of work at Mercedes-Benz could be ahead of him – a prospect which he relishes.

But what is abundantly clear is that there’s little point in other European countries creating tens of thousands more apprenticeships if there’s no commercial demand for the precise skills the young people are to be taught.

For apprenticeships to work for young people, for industry and for taxpayers, the trainees need to be fed into long-term successful businesses, committed to planning future products and investing in the workforce which will be equipped to produce them.

And for countries that have all but lost their industrial base, that’s a tall order indeed.

BBC News – Young people in Swindon face a tough fight to get work

Young people in Swindon face a tough fight to get work

14 December 2011 Last updated at 06:08

Dave HarveyBy Dave Harvey Business Correspondent, BBC West Dave HayneDave Hayne wants to run a boxing gym, but has been out of work for a year.

“I’ve been out of work for about a year now… I kept going to places handing my CV in, even begging the landlord of pubs, managers of shops, literally going down on my knees.”

But 19-year-old Dave Hayne has had no luck yet.

There are 1,430 people like Mr Hayne in Swindon, out of work and under 24.

That is 8.6% of the town’s young population, which is the average across the UK.

Mr Hayne is desperate to work, his dream is to run his own boxing gym.

He is studying for an NVQ Level Two in gym instructing, having already been through one of the many courses out there to boost his employability.

Jobs ‘just aren’t there’

Swindon College, he told me, had got him “back on his feet”, giving him work skills like first aid, plus social and personal development.

But courses alone won’t get Mr Hayne back to work.

BBC Economy logoHow the economy is affecting your household finances, job prospects and how you shop – three days of in-depth coverage on TV, radio and online

Swindon College’s project manager, Joanne Oxley, put it like this: “The jobs aren’t there for the people who don’t have the qualifications or experience.

“Even I’d struggle. So get your education while you can, while it’s free, get your maths and your English up and your work experience. It’s not great working for free, but in the long term you will get a job out of it.”

To give a flavour of how competitive the marketplace is here, you just have to go to B&Q’s new distribution depot. They advertised a few hundred jobs and more than 2,000 people applied.

Many of them came through employment agency Mainline.

Stella Weekes, the agency’s boss, said: “The level of people coming through the door is three or four times as much as it used to be.

“We’re also seeing a lot of people coming in who’ve been made redundant more than once.”

Youngsters with limited skills and experience are going up against much more skilled workers, fighting over a dwindling number of jobs.

Ms Weekes said: “Companies are frightened to employ permanently. They’re fighting to survive themselves.”

As we talked, a girl of 16 came in to sign up to the agency. Larissa Ayris had just dropped out of a course at Swindon College and wanted to work.

‘I’m too young’

“I’m confident, but it is tough out there,” she said. “I’ve been to some agencies – but they can’t find me anything as I’m too young.”

Spend time any time with young people in Swindon and despite the confidence and the evident goodwill to get them into work, it’s hard not to think that Larissa is on the path Mr Hayne once trod.

They sign up to agencies and training courses, before signing on to the dole and joining the official statistics.

Behind every number in the impersonal publications there are real lives, people like Larissa and Mr Hayne, fighting for a job.

Shipyard looks for new apprentices | This is Cornwall

Shipyard looks for new apprentices

WOULD-BE apprentices hoping for the chance to pursue a career at the award-winning Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth have attended two open evenings.

Over the past 13 years more than 120 young people have undertaken the four-year course and Pendennis is now recruiting its next intake of 12 apprentices to start in August.

  1. A group tours a dry dock during Pendennis Shipyard's apprenticeships open evening.
    A group tours a dry dock during Pendennis Shipyard’s apprenticeships open evening.

Coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week, it welcomed more than 400 potential candidates and their families to the yard over two nights.

Jill Carr, manager of the apprenticeship scheme, said: “In 2010, we received 14 applications for every space available and this year we expect the application numbers to be higher.”

The scheme also gives the trainees a chance to become involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, Royal Yachting Association sailing courses and local community projects.

At the open evenings Tristan Jones, one of the company’s first apprentices in 1988, said: “The apprenticeship scheme provided an amazing basis for my career to develop beyond tradesperson level.


“The company has continually provided opportunities for growth via the post-apprenticeship scheme, a variety of work-related training courses and constant career progression initiatives.”

Meanwhile, five managers from Cornwall College Business (CCB) and a director of the shipyard had the chance to get their hands dirty while spending an afternoon with engineering apprentices.

Pendennis’s sales and marketing director, Toby Allies, spent the afternoon helping Dan Buckland install a hot water system in a luxury yacht undergoing a refit.

Sue Alvey, head of operational support at CCB, and fourth-year apprentice Sam Parsons sanded prefabricated panels of decking ready to install on a refurbished boat, while Steve Hancock, head of work-based learning and a former helicopter engineer, enjoyed his time as an electrical engineering apprentice with Joe Chambers.

Liaison officer Brianna Murley experienced sanding the hull of a boat with paint specialist Ben Hitchens, and Darren Brogdon could be seen installing a new ladder with exterior apprentice Sam Fanelli.

Ron Champion, director of CCB, joined Dean Oliver and Sam Philps to weld up a vent for Pendennis’s paint shop.

The deadline for applications for Pendennis’s new intake of apprentices is next Friday.

Paul Champion
07540 704920

Linkedin Profile:

Twitter: @champouk

BIS appoints apprenticeships advisor | Taylor Vinters

BIS appoints apprenticeships advisor

A review into the benefits of apprenticeship programmes for SMEs is being carried out by BIS.

Published by Tim Hill

The Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) has announced the appointment of social entrepreneur and successful businessman Jason Holt as the head of a new employer-led review into the benefits of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) taking on apprentices.

It will entail Mr Holt leading an assessment of the businesses benefits offered by this group, with the aim of building on initiatives which are already being implemented by the government to promote the uptake of more apprenticeship schemes.

These measures include new employer incentive payments, the simplification of guidance for SMEs in the creation of apprenticeship programmes, removing Skills Funding Agency health and safety requirements on providers that go beyond regulatory requirements and reducing the time taken to advertise an apprentice vacancy to one month.

Mr Holt commented: “It is vital that we make the apprenticeship route as accessible as possible for SMEs.

“As the owner of several such companies, including an academy, I hope that I can use my experience to add value and make a positive and practical contribution to something so fundamental in the growth of business.”

The review is to be carried out over the coming months, with Mr Holt to present his findings to the government in May this year.

Skills minister John Hayes added that Mr Holt’s experience as head of the Holts Academy of Jewellery – a not-for-profit training academy – makes him the perfect candidate to head up this important review.

BIS also this week launched a new mentoring initiative for SME owners as part of the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative, with the department keen to see more mentors volunteering to help improve the performance one of the most important areas of the UK business sector.

In total, the scheme is keen to recruit 15,000 mentors to help SMEs across the UK to improve their businesses.

Please contact Matt Meyer, head of services for businesses, for further information or call on 01223 225292ADNFCR-2386-ID-801293929-ADNFCR

Paul Champion
07540 704920

Linkedin Profile:

Twitter: @champouk

Banks ‘invest’ in more than 1,500 apprentices | FE Week

Banks ‘invest’ in more than 1,500 apprentices

Three high street banks are launching new apprenticeship schemes to try and help young people launch a career in the financial services sector.

HSBC, Barclays and Santander announced they will be creating more than 1,500 places at a financial services sector round table held in Canary Wharf during National Apprenticeship Week.

Skills minister John Hayes said: “I am delighted that these banks are investing in apprenticeships which will help them secure the high-quality skills they need to create economic growth and provide new pathways to excellence for the brightest and best young people.”

Barclays is launching an apprenticeship scheme in April which will create 1,000 apprenticeship places for new employees only.

FE Week

is led to believe that the programme will be delivered by Elmfield Training, which claims to be the “fastest growing” vocational training provider in the UK.

It is also understood that Barclays will be contributing to the cost of training for all apprentices aged 19 and above.

“Barclays is providing the cost of training as well as the salaries, to make it clear that we are not deducting the cost of training from salaries or asking for a contribution in kind to cover those costs,” the spokesperson said.

“There is SFA money available to support apprenticeship training, but for those apprentices who are aged 19 or over Barclays will be providing funding.”

The spokesperson for Barclays added: “We want to support young people who don’t have existing qualifications and experience.

“So we are providing a full salary, and covering the additional training costs on top.”

Apprentices at Barclays will complete a framework in providing financial services and work towards a BTEC award in customer service, as well as qualifications in numeracy and literacy.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has emphasised that large employers are expected to contribute towards the cost of training.

A BIS spokesperson said: “Large employers contribute towards the cost of apprenticeships.

“Those with over 1,000 employees have a 25 per cent rate reduction for 19+ apprenticeships and are expected to contribute 50 per cent towards all 19-24 and 25+ apprenticeships.

“Depending on the delivery model, the NAS will negotiate further reductions to ensure that larger employers make significant contributions towards the cost of apprenticeships.”

HSBC, the first high street bank to launch an apprenticeship scheme last year, has a direct contract with the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and has promised to take on an extra 688 apprentices by the end of 2012.

The scheme, which offers apprenticeships in business administration, customer service and providing financial services, is only open for existing employees.

John Morewood, head of apprenticeships at HSBC, told FE Week: “People apply for an existing role with us and then we move them onto an apprenticeship – so we pay them the going rate for the actual job, we don’t change that. There’s this argument that if you put someone in an apprenticeship you only need to pay them a minimum wage, we don’t do that, they’re qualified to have a job with us, so we pay them the normal rate for that actual job.”

He added: “What we are then looking at, and again this is something for the future, is how we can enhance the apprenticeship framework. We’re looking at what additional things can we add in there from, say, our existing training.”

Santander is planning a programme for up to 50 apprentices, but is yet to decide on a third-party training provider.


Paul Champion
07540 704920

Linkedin Profile:

Twitter: @champouk