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NW Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce 29 July 2014 Chris Swaine

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1 NW Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce 29 July 2014 Chris Swaine

2 About emh group One of the largest Social Housing Providers in the East Midlands. 18000 homes, 1100 (approx) staff. Comprises: emh group HQ which provides shared services. Housing and Regeneration Division, trading under the name ‘emh homes’ (17700 homes / 500 staff) Health & Social Care division, trading under the name ‘Enable’ (new to group in 2014 and currently operating separately) (supports 350 clients with learning difficulties or needs / 600 staff) Midlands Rural Housing emh Sharpes – social enterprise gardening.

3 About emh group (cont’d) We are a 72 million pound business and through the bond markets, we are building 300 new homes a year. We now describe ourselves as ‘profit with a purpose’. Previously ‘not for profit’, and a ‘Social Enterprise’ but we think this better describes our re-investment back into our business and importantly – our customers. Not just about bricks and mortar – we provide a wide range of care and support services and invest in the communities in which we operate. Our Academy is one example. Variety of client groups and housing provision: older people; victims of domestic violence, homeless, BME communities, general needs.

4 About emh group Academy Launched October 2012. Academy now much broader – placements, Traineeships, Apprenticeships, undergraduate scheme etc Own charter which sets out our commitments. Range of frameworks. Awards: 4 TH Nationally in 2013 ‘Apprentice Team of the year’ run by the Brathay Trust and supported by the National Apprenticeship Service. Over 92 teams and over 800 apprentices. Runner up in national ‘Money for Life’ challenge – over 132 teams entered. One apprentice was runner up in 2013 Leicester Mercury ‘Young Achiever’ award. One student Loughborough Sept 13 student of the month. 2014 regional finalist in NAS best apprentice large new employer Official EU Apprenticeship Ambassador

5 Why have we got involved in Traineeships? With 18000 homes, this forms part of our social commitment to the communities in which we operate and our tenant customer base. Part of our talent management through bringing young adults into our business that we can nurture and bring on. To feed into the recruitment of our 2014 Apprenticeship programme. To ensure that ‘learning’ and ‘development’ is business relevant.

6 Traineeship key points Concept, Scheme design, materials, assignments, projects, assessments written and delivered by emh group. We approached local college which only required them to deliver Functional Skills element and draw down funding. Our 9 week Scheme is a costed model which recognised the real contribution that good employers make when delivering a high quality traineeship scheme. Funding drawn down allows us to reinvest in trainees and pay for ‘travel and subsistence’ at £7 per day; two day teambuilding event; cost of mini-busses and more focused staff time. All delivered within our own business – gives real meaning and context. You’re at work now…..

7 Traineeship comprises 8 key elements Employer rights and responsibilities (ERR). Currently a pre- requisite for all apprenticeship. It is tailored to the needs of our business. It is also mapped into the QCF Workskills Level 1 business units. Welcome to the social housing sector. Social housing is not an obvious career of choice – yet as a sector we house 5 million people across the UK and employ over 150k staff. This area introduces trainees to the world of social housing areas of employment and types of jobs that may stimulate trainees into thinking about areas/jobs in which they might want to work. Includes visits to other business units. Visits out to external businesses – increases their ‘map of their world’ about types of jobs and business working environments. Two day team building outward bounds. Building confidence, self esteem and team working is an essential area of work. Also keen to develop P2P learning.

8 Traineeship key elements (cont’d) Maths and English functional skills (we wanted to map into our financial inclusion needs to support Welfare Reform changes. For example; Universal Credit) About apprenticeships. Helping trainees understand what apprenticeships are all about; what a portfolio and good evidence looks like and also including registration on NAS site. Job skills training (CV writing, how to find, apply and interview for jobs + LinkedIn training) Review and reflection sessions.

9 Traineeship key elements (cont’d) Employability training - mapped to 9 QCF Workskills Level 1 business units so that our programme sits within a quality assured framework and targeting key areas that we as a business think are important to us. The key principle is that it is all delivered in a real business environment with all content wrapped around our context. Preparing for work Self management skills Safety in the workplace Communication skills Working in a team Searching for a job Applying for a job Preparing for an interview Interview skills

10 Using existing apprentices Our apprentices are at the heart of our trainees learning. They too benefit. We have done this by: Getting apprentices to create the marketing materials to attract trainees. Our HR apprentice has been involved in the full recruitment life cycle including; writing interview questions, attending open sessions, shortlisting, interviews and selection. Three apprentices have been involved in delivering training sessions on: attitudes and behaviours, individual profiling, arranging and organisation of meetings and events, prioritising etc. One apprentice is leading the trainees to arrange their own end of Traineeship event as part of her Level 3. Mentoring, support and role modelling.

11 Challenges we faced DWP DWP exclusion rule that 16-18s can not do over 12 hours week training or lose their JSA. We spent a large amount of time trying to sort. Government have decided to ignore, including Minister’s office. Fact omitted from all obvious NAS, BIS, SFA documentation. 41% of our applicants were 16-18 excluded. DWP unwillingness to engage to look at compromise solutions to 12 hour rule. Absolutely no referrals from local JCP, despite repeated attempts to engage with them. DWP staff saying to one trainee ‘I don’t believe you are on a course not funded by the DWP’ etc etc…. DWP advisors requesting trainees to ‘sign on’ whilst ‘at work’ on their traineeship. Still forcing trainees to apply for 6+ jobs a week – totally demoralising for them.

12 Challenges we faced Trainees Large range of issues – there are good reasons that these young adults are unemployed – it doesn’t mean they don’t want to work – but they do need that support from business. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs really does come into play! Poor functional skills – has the system let them down? They’ve done their ‘CV writing, application forms and interview skills at school and college – so why are they so bad? Many have been through a plethra of ‘low level’ training courses on job skills – so why are they so bad? Treat like a student – get a student. Context and meaning ‘you’re in work now’

13 Challenges we faced Others Local schools wouldn’t engage – are they too keen to keep students themselves now? Marketed in over 60 different locations; including traditional and social media routes and sending letter to all tenants with a 16-24 year old. Need to rethink the national message or use trusted intermediaries to sell Traineeships. Talent management versus social commitment Putting together a programme that takes account of the different ability range of ‘trainees’ and a dichotomy between social commitment and talent management.

14 Challenges (Cont’d) Working with FE College In the first 6 sessions; Functional Skills tutors didn’t turn up twice and it was up to us to chase why not. 7 different tutors. Some unprepared; turned up late. Never any discussion about contextualising Maths and English to how we use in our business – making it relevant. Learning needs assessment didn’t happen until half way through Traineeship. Programme revised 3 time to take account of college ‘term times’. College just not business aware. Need to wake up. Exams set ‘after’ end of Traineeship – need to keep business informed!

15 Working in partnership Great support from National Apprenticeship Service (but get your rules right guys!) and NIACE. Worked with Princes Trust and Whitwick Community Enterprises who brought possible applicants.

16 Use of technology We have actively encouraged BYOD and gave trainees access to WiFi for their mobile phones. Uses of technology: Google ‘speak’ – used with attitudes and behaviours, but also maps into Functional Skills English Dictionary Apps Google search. E.g. Doctors’ details!, research (higher cognitive) Trainees have setup their own closed Facebook group – their choice – to enable them to communicate with each other. One trainee is severely dyslexic so uses her tablet. Academy has its own Facebook page to promote to wider staff group as well as record the journey externally.Facebook page

17 Assessment & Evaluation Initial Recruitment and selection process. Belbin team role, Honey & Mumford learning styles and VAK learning styles – helping Trainees to reflect on ‘self’. Contributes to CVs, job applications and attitudes and behaviours exercises – it’s all about work context. Maths and English. Learning disabilities and difficulties (college did at week 4). Formative Evaluation against 12 key business competencies. Constant reminder to trainees. Trainees self evaluate weeks 1, 3, 5, 7 Academy Manager evaluates weeks 1, 3, 5, 7 Team managers evaluate weeks 2 and 4. Minimum of 2 reviews over 9 week Scheme.

18 Assessment & Evaluation Summative Maths and English Functional Skills Completion of employability qualification / competencies Review of week 1,3,4,5,7 and 8 evaluations from Academy and team managers. Managers all meet to discuss against 3 main criteria: Can they do the job? Will they do the job? Will they fit it? Offer of apprenticeship / another opportunity

19 Conclusions We have a Board and Executive Management Team who are committed to supporting young adults into work. Delivering all elements of Traineeship in the workplace definitely the way forward – every aspect can be given real business context – making it relevant. Like apprenticeships, trainees have given a real buzz to our organisation through their untainted contributions. CEO (Chan Kataria) spent over an hour and half with them – conclusion? Is the way we communicate and present ourselves as a business to our customers fit for the future – do we make sense to the next generation? FE college very poor and needs to ‘step up to the mark’ and recognise and learn about business.

20 Conclusions (cont’d) Technology can do more to support Traineeships; would really like to trial more innovative approaches. For example; Web conferencing ‘Maths Everywhere’ app (developed by NIACE, Bolton College and Modern English) Opportunity to use trainees as part of the organisational digital transformation would enable them to give return on investment and build confidence. Current Government funding a nightmare to understand – new proposals make sense.

21 Conclusions (cont’d) Traineeship delivered by competent staff real business meaning and context – we know our business and what we need. No-one could look at this Scheme and criticise it as one for slave labour. Need to develop a transparent and equitable future partnership contract with College. Too many funded schemes delivering low level ‘pseudo’ job skills training and ‘qualifications’. Question quality – is it just a cash cow for learning providers - why not real businesses do it?

22 Where could this go? Has potential to revolutionise L&D through more competence based training and assessment, linked through a quality assured competency framework. Managers as active assessors – TAQA – embedding measurable assessment of learning into the business. Training within a quality framework, leading to improvement, active participation and cultural change? The potential to blend FE tutors and CIPD L&D professionals to create learning, training and development professionals fit for the future and that have a depth of pedagogy and business knowledge.

23 Where could this go? Traineeship model could be used and extended so that progression for trainee could be onto an Advanced apprenticeship. Trainees (and apprentices) as digital transformers. Real opportunity to develop business clusters, thereby supporting local SMEs etc – danger that colleges drive Traineeships – we have already seen how many ‘students’ are leaving school and college without the skills that businesses need.

24 Where could this go? Extend to return to work (post childcare) / over 25s. Utilise ‘appropriate’ retired business community – they have been in work for a lifetime – could pass on key skills, attitudes and behaviours. Would like to model with perhaps Age UK? Emh group is very happy to share and support the business community and also host events.

25 And then….slam dunk After first engaging with the College’ over 5 months before starting the scheme ago and showing them our scheme (13 Dec 13) And: After getting UKRLP number; completing and signing all College PQQ questions, sub-contractor forms and a contract (originally for 10); Understanding funding draw down (allowing emh group to re-invest money into the scheme) Having all assessment materials formally ‘Internally Verified’ by the college for Edexcel; 5 ½ weeks into the actual delivery of our Scheme (20 TH May 14); Having a TAQA qualified (bar the shouting); qualified adult learning tutor and CIPD qualified L&D manager delivering the programme. The college decide that they can not now ‘sub contract us’ because SFA have now ‘clarified their guidance’ and that they can now not ‘sub contract us’ quoting: “ Whilst this information was checked in January when you first approached college, the guidance had not been fully clarified.” SFA say “ 166. If you are a lead provider and want to enter into a new subcontracting agreement for Traineeships, the provider must have an existing Ofsted grade of Outstanding (Grade 1) or Good (Grade 2). “ At best this ‘development’ is unhelpful, ‘very regrettable’ and flies in the face of the ‘business led’ concept’

26 In summary Despite the challenges and barriers we faced we still think that Traineeships are an excellent idea. The model we have designed needs some minor tweaks, but we think it is replicable – but we need pro-active Government to help us. We are very happy to promote Traineeships and host events for businesses.

27 But don’t listen to us…. Jay Before: End of Traineeship reflections: Andrea Before: End of Traineeship reflections: Jamie Before: End of Traineeship reflections: Tom Before: End of Traineeship reflections: Lauren Before: End of Traineeship reflection: William Before: End of Traineeship reflection: Voice of functional skills tutor on value of delivering functional skills in the workplace: Reflections from our CEO – Chan Kataria: Reflections from our Executive Director of HR – Maggie Mitchell:

28 But don’t listen to us…. Follow us on Facebook: Academy website:

29 The conversation with you How many of you have Apprentices? How many of you are involved in Traineeships? The world is changing – business at the heart of Traineeships & Apprenticeships – driving the learning provider – the worm has turned – but want’s the impact on local businesses? Can NW Leicestershire businesses work together to develop a local model and/or through business clusters where we support each other? Can we procure training more smartly to ensure we get value for money from learning providers? How can we build equitable partnerships with learning providers so that funding recognises employer contribution? Is there an appetite for an Autumn conference?

30 Further information Contact: Chris Swaine Email: Landline: 01530 276 000 Mobile: 07919 497 756 Twitter: @emhgroupacademy LinkedIn: Facebook: Website:

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