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Minor Changes to the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers
The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers supports businesses offering 16 to 24-year-olds employment through apprenticeships. Business that have recruited an apprentice in the last 12 months are not eligible for the grant. The AGE Grant continues to be available for eligible employers, and remains at £1,500 per new apprentice.
There are some minor changes for 2015. For example, from January 2015 to December 2015, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees can claim up to five grants. Last year companies with under 1000 employees were eligible. Overall, the changes are unlikely to affect the hairdressing sector.
For further information, please visit the National Apprenticeship Service website.
Trailblazers Standards Released
There is confusion in England between the new Hairdressing Standards (see article 2) and the Trailblazer Standards. The two standards are entirely different, the Trailblazer (which does not affect Scotland) will be introduced within the next two years. However, the new Hairdressing Standards are to be introduced later this year. The timing of the development of these awards is unfortunate, however, the new Hairdressing Standards must be introduced because there is a time limit on all NVQ standards.
The Trailblazer Standards form part of the government’s reform of apprenticeship and are quite ground-breaking in their approach. The most current information on the Trailblazer qualification is as follows:
- The actual qualification to be used for the Intermediate Apprenticeship has still to be confirmed. However, we believe that the majority of the units will remain at Level 2 so that the Functional Skill level can remain at Level 1.
- The higher qualification (currently the Advanced Apprenticeship) is to be confirmed.
- The assessment strategy will be reviewed to allow for asynoptic test (also known as a final assessment) and an independent assessment (which both form part of the new Standard) at the end of the qualification.
- Awarding bodies may also consider combining current NVQs and VRQs in order to produce one type of qualification.
We will keep everyone updated on any further changes, in the meantime, a copy of the new Trailblazer Standards are attached to this e-Update.
Minister Hints at Scrapping Cash Contribution
Skills Minister Nick Boles has admitted to being “nervous” about proposed employer cash contributions towards apprenticeship training costs. Addressing the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) conference in Birmingham, Mr Boles agreed employers already contributed to their apprenticeship programmes in ‘a million ways’ and said he was still considering whether mandatory cash contributions would be a good idea.
Nick Boles feels the government is right to pilot its apprenticeship reforms, which include a requirement that employers pay one third of training and assessment costs, but said it would not necessarily work for all businesses. “I think we should all be honest and observe that the employers involved in delivering apprenticeships under the Trailblazer pilot are employers of a particular kind with a particular depth of resource and the apprenticeships involved are a particular kind of apprenticeship, they’re not necessarily typical. “I would like every employer who is creating an apprenticeship to want to dig into their pockets to contribute in cash as well as in all of the other million ways they contribute towards the success of the programme, but the question is, do you require it? I am nervous, I think, about the effect, particularly on all those employers who do not currently do apprenticeships, I am nervous about the idea of an obligation to put in cash.”
These comments were made after Mr Boles admitted that the task of getting apprenticeship starts past the 3 million mark by 2020, which was set for him by Prime Minister David Cameron, had made his ‘stomach turn’. The percentage of employers providing apprenticeships was still ‘tiny’, and Mr Boles added: “We don’t need 10 per cent or 15 per cent of employers doing apprenticeships, we need 40 per cent, 50 per cent, 60 per cent, and that is the really important challenge the Prime Minister has set.
“I am very aware that one of the things that could be off-putting is an onerous financial burden, and another thing which could be off-putting is a very complicated administrative process. My own view is that obsessing about a particular cash commitment is slightly missing the point. What matters is that the apprenticeship standard is a standard which is demanding and developed by employers and that the assessment at the end is very vigorous”.
Important Apprenticeship Reform Update
The government minister responsible for apprenticeships has made some important announcements at a recent conference regarding the Reform of Apprenticeships which is currently being looked at. The minister, Nick Boles, has made it clear that the government now wish to continue using functional skills as one of two routes for learners to acquire good English and maths skills, previously the government had indicated that GCSEs were to replace functional skills. regional Training Advisor and Head Office team.
The minister further said that, although he would like all employers to make a cash contribution towards an apprenticeship, he was ‘nervous’ about actually requiring it. This looks like a major ‘step back’ from the original commitment that would require a £1 contribution from employers for every £2 the government invested in apprenticeship training.
The third announcement to come from Nick Boles is that the government are re-thinking the grading of apprenticeships. In the original review it had been stated that a ‘pass’, ‘merit’ and ‘distinction’ system was to be introduced, it now looks likely that this will not happen.
The government remains committed to apprenticeships but the 3 million target for the programme, which had been announced at the Conservative party conference, had made the minister’s ‘stomach churn slightly’ in terms of the size of the challenge. He went on to say that the government is aiming for much greater awareness among young people about the value of Apprenticeships, parents to be proud of their children doing an Apprenticeship and more employers to be on board
Ofsted - Cheynes Training Achieves Grade 2
Following the publication of the Ofsted report on the short notice inspection of Cheynes Training, we can now announce that we have achieved a Grade 2 from Ofsted. Eight inspectors spent a total of 35 inspection days visiting 24 of the salons and academies we work with to observe teaching and learning; they also visited a number of salons to interview managers and Candidates ‘on-site’.
Once again, we would like to thank everyone who was involved in the inspection, which was headed up by technical director Melanie Mitchell, and to congratulate everyone involved for the part they played – not just over the week of the inspection, but more importantly, during the 18 months of build-up prior to the event. Inspectors were extremely full of praise for the help they received by everyone they met; Candidates, educators, assessors, managers and the regional Training Advisor and Head Office team.
The lead inspector also made it clear that, once all of the new systems and procedures have become embedded, and with just a little more focus, there is no reason to believe that the programme could not achieve a Grade 1. This has raised our expectations and, attached to this e-Update is some information about just what each centre working with Cheynes Training would need to focus on in order to push us closer to achieving a Grade 1 result.
The official report makes very good reading and may be downloaded from the Ofsted website at http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/51142
Jon Redman on Stage at Salon International 2014
The Hairdressing Journal Stage is back at Salon for 2014 bringing FREE inspiring shows from some of the most exciting names in hairdressing including Jon Redman, Principal Tutor at Cheynes Training Academy – London, who will be presenting a total of three shows at Salon including one on the HJ Stage in combination with award winning hairdresser Desmond Murray, who has constantly pushed himself to achieve new heights and is recognised for his dedication, passion and creativity in both hairdressing and photography.
Jon may also be seen working alongside other stars from the Men's Hairdressing Federation at their stand (M200) which will feature the very best in men's hairdressing and barbering.
Apprenticeship Reform Update
The recent Government re-shuffle has produced yet another new minister in charge of Skills and Enterprise which includes apprenticeship training. The new minister is Nick Boles who replaces Matthew Hancock and by doing so becomes the third minister in the last four years. Surprise, surprise, Nick Boles openly admits to a lack of knowledge about apprenticeships, emphasising that he is “keen to learn”. Let us hope he learns very quickly.
One of the key arguments put forward by Nick Boles’ predecessor for the reform of the apprenticeship system is that employers are demanding more say in how apprenticeships are designed and funded. This is despite several surveys actually stating the opposite, employers are extremely happy with how the apprenticeship system currently works and yet another recent and very major survey has reinforced this view.
The latest Confederation of British Industry (CBI) survey, as it has regularly done in the past, has confirmed an extremely high employer satisfaction rating with private training providers. The satisfaction level was 93% across all CBI members, 88% of which use private providers as part of their apprenticeship training. In the survey report’s words, the rating for apprenticeship providers is ‘far ahead’ of universities and colleges.
Also, according to the CBI survey some 68% of employers now offer apprenticeships, this is up from 51% in 2009.This bears no relation to the figure of 10% being cited regularly by the government who uses the 10% figure as justification for pressing ahead with the reforms.
In response to the question of what might improve the Apprenticeship system, only 34% of employers of all sizes wanted direct funding. The corresponding figure for small and medium sized employers was 27%.We don’t know the figure for very small employers but we can imagine very few would opt for direct funding and all of the additional work that this implies. However, a much higher proportion of employers stated that they want more control over the content of the Apprenticeship.
Other issues covered in the survey include school leavers lacking basic skills and the quality of careers advice available for young people. For a full review of the CBI survey, please go to: http://bit.ly/VyByI2)
Apprentice Extra Card
All apprentices on the Cheynes Training programme are eligible to apply for the NUS ‘Apprentice extra’ card which offers unique access to a wide range of benefits and discounts in a number of shopping, entertainment and food outlets including Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Matalan, Cineworld, Superdrug, and many more.Apprentices may apply for the card by logging onto www.apprenticeextra.co.uk/
How to apply for an NUS Apprenticeship Card
To apply for a NUS Apprenticeship card please visit http://www.apprenticeextra.co.uk/ and follow the steps below:
- On the main page select buy your card now
- You will be directed to another page, again select buy your card now
- You will be asked to complete your email address, leave the radio dial selected at ‘no, this is a new application’ and select get your card now.
- You will be redirected, start to type in Cheynes Training at place of study, you will then see the name appear in the drop down select and continue. Fill in the remainder of the application to complete your registration.
Scotland's Modern Apprenticeship Awards
Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship Awards will take place in the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh on Wed 5 November and promises to be bigger and better than ever. The categories are:
- Apprentice Ambassador of the Year
- Level 2 Apprentice of the Year
- Level 3 Apprentice of the Year
- Level Higher Level Apprentice of the Year
- Micro Employer of the Year (for organisations with 10 employees or fewer)
- SME Employer of the Year (for organisations with 11 to 249 employees)
- Large Employer of the Year (for organisations with 250 to 4,999 employees)
- Macro Employer of the Year (for organisations with 5,000+ employees)
- Public Sector Employer of the Year
The closing date for online applications is noon, Wednesday 20 August. For more information and details on how to apply visit www.scotlandsmaawards.com
National Minimum Wage Set to Rise in October 2014
As widely predicted, the Government has announced fairly modest increases in the new National Minimum Wage rates that come into force on 1st October 2014. The apprenticeship rate rises by 5p per hour from £2.68 to £2.73, a rise of just 2% over the previous year. The rate for 16-17 year olds also rises just 1.1% from £3.72 to £3.79 per hour, a rise of 7p per hour for anyone not on an apprenticeship programme. The rate for 18-20 year olds rises by 8p per hour from £5.05 to £5.13 again for those who are not on an apprenticeship. Finally, the full rate for those aged 21 or over rises by 3% from £6.31 to £6.50 per hour, an increase of 19p per hour.
Employer Satisfaction Survey
In January we gave advanced notice of yet another important survey that we ask you to please take part in, the annual Employer Satisfaction Survey. This important survey is due to commence on 7th April 2014. You may have taken part in this survey in previous years and, if so, you may recall that this is a short survey about apprenticeship training conducted by Ipsos-Mori on behalf of Cheynes and the Skills Funding Agency.
All employers who employ apprentices and who are receiving government supported training will be contacted by Ipsos-Mori after 7th April and asked to take part in the survey - the subject of the survey is your satisfaction with Cheynes Training. You will be contacted by email or by post and asked to complete the survey which is a very important method for both Cheynes Training and the Skills Funding Agency to obtain vital feedback of your views on apprenticeship training.
We appreciate that employers are busy people but we urge you to set aside a few minutes of your time to complete the survey. We don’t believe in wasting your time, we would not ask you to complete this if it was not very important to us. Ipsos-Mori is also currently conducting a ‘Learner Satisfaction Survey’.
We will publish the results of both the Employers Satisfaction and Learner Satisfaction surveys and send you a copy as soon as the results are available. For further information on these surveys please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Learner Satisfaction Survey
The Learner Satisfaction Survey which is conducted by Ipsos-Mori, on behalf of the Skills Funding Agency is about to close. The last day that learners can complete the survey is Sunday 13th April. We urge all centres who have Candidates who have not yet taken part to encourage them to set aside a few minutes to complete the survey. We know from the interim reports that are now available that Candidates from a number of centres still need to complete the survey and we will contact some of you by phone to ask for your help in this important area.
All Candidates who are currently on an apprenticeship programme, and those who have most recently completed, are asked to take part. The survey is a very important way for salons, Cheynes Training and the Skills Funding Agency to obtain valuable feedback on apprenticeship training. We will publish the results of the Learner Satisfaction Survey on the Cheynes Training website and send out a copy as soon as the results are available.
If you have any questions about how to complete the Learner Satisfaction Survey please contact Pam on 0131 476 7100 or email email@example.com
New Employment Tribunal Laws Come Into Force
New rules aimed at further reducing the number of employment tribunals come into force from the start of the 2014/15 tax year on 6th April. Under the new rules both employees and employers will be required to consult ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, before they are given access to a full employment tribunal. This change means that employees wishing to bring a case of unfair dismissal or discrimination will now have to first notify ACAS to see if the dispute can be resolved. The government claim the changes are designed help avoid "stress, time delays and excessive costs".
The change in the law will also mean that if an employer loses a case brought by an employee or former employee, however, and is shown to have especially poor workplace practices; it could be fined up to £5,000 on top of any back pay that is due to the employee. The fines are intended to create a new incentive for employers to respect the rights of their employees rather than risk increased financial penalties.
The new changes follow previous government measures which included the introduction last year of fees for employees looking to take their employers to tribunal which led to a 79% fall in the number of applications but was strongly criticised in some quarters.
Jennifer Cheyne Awarded OBE in the 2014 Queen's New Year Honours List
The founder of the Cheynes Group of hair salons and training companies, Jennifer Cheyne, has been awarded an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, for her services to hairdressing and charity in the Queen’s New Year 2014 Honours List.
Jennifer says: “I am totally surprised, honoured and absolutely delighted to receive such a prestigious award.”
Jennifer Cheyne has had much to celebrate since launching her salon group, Cheynes Hairdressing, in 1976. Award-winning, multi-talented and an astute business mind, she is as well known across the UK for her six flourishing salons, a successful apprenticeship training company Cheynes Training that has successfully delivered over 8,000 apprenticeship awards; an advanced hairdressing academy called Cheynes Education and a professional colouring product, Clip Meche; as she is for her inspiring and motivational style of leadership.
Ofsted Learner Views – for Candidates in England
Ofsted, who many of you will know as the government inspection body for schools, colleges and for work based learning in England, has developed a new set of online questionnaires to support the new revised Common Inspection Framework which came into force back in September 2012. There are three separate questionnaires; these are for employers, parents and carers and for Candidates (who Ofsted refer to as learners). Questionnaires for parents/carers apply where the Candidate is aged under 18 years old.
The Ofsted Learner Views questionnaires may be completed anytime between now until 31 January 2013. We will contact all Candidates later in November to ask them to take part and let them know more about this important survey. Please would you give all of your Candidates maximum encouragement to complete go online and complete the survey? Your help is greatly appreciated.
We look forward to hearing the feedback from your survey; in the meantime, if you would like more information about Ofsted inspections please see the relevant section on the Ofsted website: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/adult-learning-and-skills/for-adult-learning-and-skills-providers/inspecting-adult-learning-and-skills/inspecting-further-educ-4
New Hairdressing Standards
A very different approach is likely to be adopted when the new National Occupational Standards for Hairdressing are introduced in September 2014. Several revolutionary changes are being considered following on from The Richard Review of Apprenticeships which was published 18 months ago and which seems to be finding favour with the government. As a result, the role of HABIA is changing and instead, the awarding bodies – including City and Guilds – along with employers, are to have a much bigger say on the contents of future hairdressing standards. Some of the key points from the emerging new Hairdressing Standards are:
- Last registration date for the current 3008 Standards is 31/04/14 – However, there is a possibility that the 3008 framework may be extended to 31/01/15 to bring future review dates in line with other parts of the apprenticeship framework, notably ERR and PLTS.
- The Richard Review could have a big impact on the new qualification. Doug Richard is suggesting that skills should be tested by Candidates completing work on models which is then assessed by employers and an independent body at the end of the apprenticeship rather than completing ongoing assessment as at present.
- Another major review, the Husbands Review of Vocational Education and Training, has just been published. This could also have an impact on the qualification structure.
- A Survey Monkey is currently being designed by City and Guilds to gain feedback by Centres on changes needed to the assessment strategy (this will be covered by a future e-Update article when we find out more.
- The changes may lead to England, Wales and Scotland having different hairdressing qualifications with different assessment strategies, Cheynes Training is currently looking into the impact this may have.
As with all major developments in our industry, Cheynes Training will very carefully monitor the situation and we will keep everyone fully informed through e-Update and ETB.
The 2013 Cheynes Training photographic completion will open from October onwards and the top six places will be announced on 31 December on the Cheynes Training website and in the January edition of e-Update. This is a terrific chance to get all of your young people even more motivated with their training. The rules of the competition are:
- Entry is free and open to all Candidates on the programme
- Each Candidate will choose a model and complete either a cut and style or a colour and style.
- The Candidate must complete all work but advice may be sought from the salon team
- Two digital colour photographs (front /side view) of the work must be e-mailed to Cheynes Training by the closing date of the competition – 30th November 2013 · 1st prize of an Apple iPad will be awarded to the best work completed
- The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence may be entered into
Please remember – it’s the hair the judges will be looking at - not the quality of the photograph – please encourage all of your young Candidates to search for models and start practicing!
2012 - Jade Goss - P Kai, Peterborough
Government Review of Apprenticeship Funding
As previously reported, the government is currently looking at ways in which apprenticeship programmes in England will be funded in the future and has recently made available a document entitled 'A Consultation on Funding Reforms for apprenticeships in England'.
Although at the moment there is no commitment to change the present system, in the consultation the government proposes that in future employers could be asked to contribute 30% of the cost of an apprenticeship framework.
If adopted the cost to employers could be between £500 and £1,750 depending on the age of a Candidate when they start their apprenticeship. The government would cover the remaining cost of between £1,250 and £3,500, depending on the learner’s age on starting.
It is the government’s belief that reform is needed to give employers much greater ownership of apprenticeship training and get them more involved in the recruitment, delivery and assessment of programmes. Clearly this is already happening here at Cheynes Training but in many cases most of the delivery and assessment is undertaken by training providers.
The government is proposing three possible approaches:
- Using an online system for making payments directly to employers to cover 70% of the cost of an apprenticeship. The employer then adds the remaining 30% and pays the training provider the full apprenticeship fees.
- The employer pays the training provider the full fees but reclaims 70% of the cost from the government using the PAYE system - the employer still pays 30%
- Changing the existing training provider funding system so that training provider collects 70% of the fees from the government and collects 30% from the employer.
All of the options involve employers making a 30% financial contribution to secure an apprenticeship placement, something which most employers currently do not do, those interested in looking at the consultation paper should click on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/223919/bis-13-1071-funding-reform-for-apprenticeships-in-england.pdf
EU Urged to Act on Home Hair Colour
A major review by the European Commission has found 36 hair colour chemicals ‘may not be safe for use’ which implies consumers are not ‘effectively protected’. The report goes on to say that since 2011, two British women have died in cases linked to the chemicals, which are present in home and professional products used by millions of people annually.
A top doctor has called for warnings to be put on the front of home colour packs because they contain chemicals that can cause serious allergic reactions, which in turn could prove fatal. The implication is that colours used in salons tend to be safer because professional hairdressers take precautions such as skin testing.
Dr Ian White, a dermatologist at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, undertook a comprehensive review of the chemicals. His report identified potentially ‘extreme’ or ‘strong’ skin sensitisers – meaning they could trigger allergic reactions to colour chemicals which can lead to burning sensations, an itchy scalp, flaking skin and rashes. In rare cases they can cause the face to swell up, hair loss and breathing problems.
The hair colour industry is worth millions of pounds in the UK, with products used 100 million times a year in homes and in salons, yet it is estimated that between one in 50 and one in 100 people who use hair colour suffers from an allergic reaction at some point.
Since November 2011, manufacturers have had to place warnings on the side of hair colour packs under European Union regulations. These say that each time a person uses a product they should carry out an allergy test beforehand. Some experts now call for safety warnings to be printed on the front of packs of home hair colour to ensure they are read.
The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association, which represents manufacturers, said all colouring products undergo extensive safety tests to prove they are not toxic or carcinogenic and that the existing warnings were sufficient. A European Commission spokesman said it was not the job of their scientific advisers to dictate how best to protect consumers