December 2017

Dear Colleague,

Here is the December 2017 edition of the Employment and Skills Bulletin, that contains updates on the Stage 1 Brexit negotiations agreement between the UK Government and European Union, consultations that have gone out from the Mayor of London such as his draft skills strategy, the London Plan, and economy strategy. Finally there are a number of useful resources available including free training to become a digital champion in your organisation, as well as how to grow your traineeship programme. 

I do hope you find the ebulletin of use, and if there is anything you want me to include for future editions, then please get in touch.

I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy 2018! 

All the best

Jonathan Slater

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ESF update

Stage 1 Brexit negotiations agreed

Both the UK Government and European Union reached agreement in principle across the following three areas under consideration in the first phase of negotiations:

  • Protecting the rights of Union citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the Union.
  • The framework for addressing the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland.
  • The financial settlement.

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Policy and News

Rights of EU Citizens after Brexit

One of the key questions arising from Brexit has been how to resolve status of EU citizens already in the UK and what kind of application process will be required for them to stay. The Government agreed this month to maintain the same basic rights after Brexit for EU citizens already living in the UK. But the detail of this arrangement remains unclear.

A new report by the Migration Observatory, looks into the practical and political challenges which are likely to arise as the Government implements this system.

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Skills for Londoners Draft Strategy

The Mayor, Sadiq Khan has today published his draft strategy for skills and adult education in London for consultation.

The Mayor’s vision is to make sure Londoners and London businesses get the skills they need to succeed in a fair, inclusive and thriving economy.

This can only be achieved through the collective effort and actions of a range of stakeholders across London.  The Mayor welcomes hearing your views on the draft strategy and how key challenges relating to skills in London could be addressed.

You have until 2 January 2018 to respond.

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Transforming children and young people's mental health provision: a green paper

The green paper sets out the Government's ambition that children and young people who need help for their mental health are able to get it when they need it. Have your say on children and young people’s mental health.
Closing date: 2 March 2018 (noon)

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Publication of the Draft London Plan

Mayor Sadiq Khan has published his draft London Plan, a broad-based plan to shape how London’s urban environment develops over the next 20-25 years.

The consultation on the New Draft London Plan begins on Friday 1 December.
From 4 December 2017 you will be able to comment on the plan online.
All comments must be received by 5pm on Friday 2 March 2018.

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Mayor of London's Draft Economic Strategy

The Mayor has launched his draft Economic Development strategy. It sets out his plans to grow London’s economy, support businesses, boost innovation and create a city that works for all.

He wants to know what you think about these plans and hear your thoughts on how we can protect jobs and prosperity in these testing times.

The draft Economic Development strategy has three main goals:

  • Opening-up opportunities – everyone should be able to benefit from all our city offers
  • Growth – ensuring our economy will continue to thrive and is open to business
  • Innovation – to make London a world leader in technology and a hub of new ideas and creativity

You have until 13 March 2018 to have your say.

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Joseph Rowntree Foundation

The standstill generation - poverty in the prime of life. This research examines trends in poverty over the last 20 years and found that poverty rates are consistently highest among children and their parents. The groups with highest poverty are lone parent families and families with three or more children. Poverty rates fell significantly for these groups over the last 20 years but has begun to rise again, largely due to reductions in the support offered by benefits and tax credits. Of the 12 million working-age adults and children in poverty, 8 million live in families where at least one person is in work.

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Publication of DWP's Improving Futures: the future of work, health and disability policy paper

This publication sets out the government’s strategy on the future of work, health and disability. We will take action across 3 settings – welfare, the workplace and the health system, to transform employment prospects for disabled people and people with long term health conditions. It includes the government’s commitment to see one million more disabled people in work over the next 10 years.

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Social Mobility Commission

The fifth annual 'State of the nation' report from the Social Mobility Commission has been published. This report assesses the progress that Great Britain has made towards improving social mobility.

It puts the social mobility index at the heart of the report and ranks all English local authorities into hotspots and coldspots, using a range of 16 indicators for every life stage from the early years through to working lives.

The capital’s formidable global economic strength and excellent state schools make it the index’s biggest winner: it accounts for nearly two-thirds of all social mobility hotspots. While London contains no coldspots, it does have entrenched pockets of deprivation which are among the worst in the country. High housing costs when combined with high levels of low-paid employment are major impediments to achieving even higher levels of social mobility.

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External Events

Disability Rights UK

Disability Rights UK is pleased to invite you to attend their seminar: Into Apprenticeships, Traineeships, and Supported Internships.
This event will be of interest to employers, Human Resources and other stakeholders and will include keynote contributions from National Apprenticeship Service, Access to Work, Disability Confident, local government, business representatives, training providers and organisations.
Delegates will talk about:

  • Funding reforms, the Apprenticeship Levy and additional payments for employers and providers
  • Advantages of being an inclusive employer and recruiting disabled apprentices, trainees and supported interns
  • Reasonable adjustments to make the workplace inclusive and accessible
  • Support available to disabled apprentices, trainees and supported interns including Access to Work
  • They will also hear stories from young disabled trainees/apprentices/interns 

This event will take place on:
February 6th 2018
10:00 am- 16:30 pm
Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road,
London N7 6PA
To register:

Training and resources

Digital Champions

For 21 years, Digital Unite has been at the forefront of a nationwide effort to tackle digital exclusion (often linked to social exclusion). They specialise in delivering highly efficient and sustainable digital skills training and support programmes to help turn an organisation’s staff, residents, communities and volunteers into effective Digital Champions. Digital Champions are people who can stimulate the take up of online services and promote the confident and continued use of the internet. Member organisations include local authorities, housing providers, social care associations, as well as charities. At this time, they have over 40 member organisations and more than 1600 digital champions.
Their current offers:
Thanks to a recent grant by the Big Lottery Fund, for a limited time only, they are able to offer access to their Digital Champions Network at a really low entry point, so this is a great time to get involved. To make the most of this opportunity, they advise organisations to apply before March 2018 to be able to secure a 2 year spot and to ensure there is still availability as spaces are filling up quick.

For Small Organisations:
They currently have some limited FREE places for smaller organisations on their Standard membership offer. This is a great opportunity for small charities or organisations who are running smaller projects and lack funding. Staff and volunteers will still be able to receive certified learning and gain access to an extensive range of courses and resources.
If you want to book a free place for your organisation then email either or

Charity Sector Offices to let

If you are a charity looking to move offices, Shakespeare Schools Foundation (SSF) has office space to sublet to registered charities in the heart of the City of London. They have up to 20 desk spaces available from February 2018 for up to 20 months at 140 London Wall. 
They are 5 minutes’ walk from Barbican, St Paul’s and Moorgate tube stations. Mansion House and City Thameslink stations are approximately 10 minutes’ walk away. The local area is attractive and offers plenty of amenities on the doorstep, including cafes, restaurants, bars, gyms and shops, as well as the famous Barbican Arts Centre and the Museum of London. 
Contact Laura Corney, Finance and Office Manager
020 7601 1800

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The Learning and Work Institute has produced a resource for traineeship providers who want to grow their traineeship programmes, and for providers who do not yet offer traineeships but who hope to do so in the future.

The aim of a traineeship is to help young people gain the skills and experience they need to get an apprenticeship or job. Traineeships are a highly flexible programme which providers can tailor to their local context, to the needs of particular groups of young people and to local employers. This enables them to address skills gaps, contribute to local growth and support young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) into meaningful and sustained work.

Over the last two years, many providers have grown their traineeship provision and are delivering these programmes to a wide range of young people. They consulted with some of these traineeship providers and asked them to identify the key success factors that had enabled them to grow their traineeship programmes. This resource presents their top tips for other traineeship providers.

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