Archive for the ‘Press’ Category

Big Society Endowment launched

Son of Douglas Hurd helping the Big Society along…

Today Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd launched the new Community First endowment. The endowment aims to raise £150 million to be invested to secure the future of local community projects in England.

The Government will pay in up to £50 million, giving 50p for every £1 raised from individual, corporate and philanthropic donors. With Gift Aid tax relief, this is expected to create a pot worth in excess of £150 million. The money will be invested and the return, expected to be up to £12 million per year, will be used to provide grants to local community and social action projects from 2015 onwards.

From today, the Community Development Foundation (CDF), which manages Community First, will begin work with local Community Foundations in the Community Foundation Network (CFN) to raise money for the endowment.

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:… we know what he said don’t we?

… It’s time we invested in our future rather than borrowing on it. The Community First endowment will be a lasting source of money blah, blah blah ….

More interestingly;

This year yes 2012, the Community First fund will also pay out £30 million in small grants to community groups and local social action projects in the 600 communities in England which need the support most, through the Neighbourhood Match Fund. People are being asked to form local panels to distribute the funds themselves. Good old ASDA has pledged its backing through in-store promotions, by allowing communities to use its stores as meeting places for community panels and through its existing community investment strategy.

… and there’s more…

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Latest news from yesMinister


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Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Press release – 16 November 2011

Latest youth unemployment data


‘Many NEETS need preparatory training before starting an apprenticeship’, say training providers


The body that represents training providers who train over 70% of apprentices in England has released the following statement in response to the government’s announcements today on tackling youth unemployment and changes to the apprenticeship programme.


Graham Hoyle OBE, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), said:


“Independent training organisations have worked hard with employers over the past 18 months to significantly increase the number of young people taking up apprenticeships as well as improve the skills of the adult workforce.  We believe that today’s announcements represent a good response to the feedback that AELP members have been offering on what would persuade more businesses to sign up to the programme.  It is also important that we expand the capacity of preparatory training programmes to enable more young people who left school with few or no qualifications to embark on a full apprenticeship.”   


AELP has sent to BIS and the Treasury a pre-Autumn Statement submission on apprenticeships and in it, the association has pointed out that the apprenticeship programme, relaunched in 1994, was never set up exclusively for the benefit of young people as a form of job creation.


The submission says: “The apprenticeship brand must not be damagingly stretched by making it a programme for the non-employed or NEETs who are still too far away from meeting the often demanding selection criteria quite properly laid down by employers.  These individuals need flexible preparatory programmes to enable them to enter employed apprenticeships when both ready and employable.”


The submission also addresses other misunderstandings and misconceptions about the programme.


The full AELP submission can be read here:



Two additional points are worth bearing in mind, especially in the current economic climate when other indicators are either flat-lining or heading south.  Firstly, over 262,000 young people in the 16 to 24 age group started an apprenticeship in 2010-11 – a 15.9% increase on the previous year – and these apprenticeships came with a contract of employment at a local business.  Secondly, a record number of apprentices are completing their programmes.  The success rate is now approaching 75% which compares favourably with the best in Europe.




Contact Aidan Relf on 07710 305182


Notes to editors


1. About AELP

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is the leading trade association for vocational learning and employment providers in Britain.  The majority of its 600+ members are independent private, not-for-profit and voluntary sector training and employment services organisations.  Membership is open to any provider committed to quality provision and it includes over 50 FE colleges involved in work based learning.


Over 70% of Apprenticeships in England are delivered by AELP members.  More than 70% of the Work Programme prime contractors are AELP members with many other members delivering the programme as sub-contractors.   AELP providers currently engage with almost 300,000 employers across the country and last year they helped 117,240 learners complete an apprenticeship.  184,000 apprentices of all ages are currently on AELP members’ programmes.  182,420 trainees gained stand-alone NVQs and achieved basic skills on members’ programmes in 2010-11.  8,730 young people obtained jobs through the Entry to Employment programme, thanks to AELP members who currently have 24,190 young people on a Foundation Learning programme.


Web: www.aelp.org.uk

Twitter: @AELPUK



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Benefit Apps

An app is being developed in order to enable households applying for the new benefit, Universal Credit, to do so online. The minister for welfare reform Lord Freud has said that 80% of claimants, -more than 6 million households, will claim universal credit online by 2017.

The aim is to have half of all claimants online by 2013-14, instead of less than 20% at present.

The new plans represent a big shift away from paper-based claims towards a form of digital welfare.

“This is the most radical redesign of the welfare system since its creation and we are taking an equally radical approach to the design and build of technology to deliver it,” Freud said.

Freud admitted:

“It is one thing to have policy, but delivery is equally important. The current welfare system is broken.”

Universal credit will change the current system by integrating both in-work tax credits and out-of-work benefits.

Click here for the full article

welfare to work

work programme

welfare reform

 Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support


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Sayce report: Getting in, Staying in and Getting on

Maria Miller MP, Minister for Disabled People launched the Department for Work and Pensions Review of existing provisions to help disabled people back into work. 

Liz Sayce, Chief Executive of RADAR chaired the review said:

“I am recommending empowering disabled people and employers by opening up Access to Work, widening access to information and peer support and ensuring support can go with the individual, from job to job, equipping disabled people for the economy of today and tomorrow.  Young people do not expect a job for life – so we need to design support that can go with the individual, from job to job.”


The Sayce report has a strong focus on equality and the economy as support for disabled people via Access to Work initiatives would not only bridge the gap between those with disabilities’ and non-disabled people’s career choices but would also improve the national economy by £13 billion.


Each pound spent on Access to Work recoups £1.48 to the public coffers.


Maria Miller MP explained;

“This review is about spending money differently, not cutting it.  The amount of money going into employment services for disabled people is already being protected. 



A cross-government ministerial group will be introduced to steer the report’s findings and drive policy on employment for disabled people.


The core principles of the Sayce’s report are:

  •  Employment matters. Work is positive for health, for income, for social status and for relationships. Employment is a core plank of independent living and for many people work is a key part of their identity.
  • Public money should be used to deliver the best outcomes – for as many people as possible, on the most equitable basis possible.
  • There should be a clear recognition of the role of the individual, the employer and the State in achieving equality for disabled people.
  •  Disabled people should have choice and control over the support we need to work. Resources and power should be allocated to individuals who, where they wish, have the right to control that resource to achieve agreed outcomes.
  • There is a clear role for specialist disability employment expertise – as a resource not a world apart from mainstream support – available to those who demonstrably have the greatest support needs and/or labour market disadvantage, and also to those who support or employ them.


The consultation period ran from 2nd December to 28th February 2011.  Among the report’s contributors was leading learning disability charity, Mencap, whose Chief Executive Mike Goldring CBE welcomed the review:

“We can do much more to help people with disabilities into work in a way that directly benefits them and the wider society. Less than 10% of people with a learning disability are currently employed but we know that most want to. With modest help it is possible for many more people to work in open employment alongside their non disabled colleagues. This is the way that policy and practice should take us.”


Read the Report here:

DWP press room

Kuki Taylor

Research and Communications Officer

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news update…


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Read about it and visit

S.W.A.T Press Release

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