June 2020

In response to the pandemic, Social and Community Capital have launched a £1 million Coronavirus Response Fund which is offering unrestricted grants to between £5,000 – £50,000 to organisations across the UK that employ people from vulnerable or disadvantaged groups.

The aim of the fund is to help organisations survive the crisis and continue to have a positive impact in their communities. The fund is open to a range of organisations including registered charities, community interest companies and unincorporated associations.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships has launched a call for evidence as part of its 2019/20 report.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on the UK’s economy and the APPG is looking to explore how the sector has responded and what further work is required to improve apprenticeships policy for the future.   The APPG’s call for evidence will look at what steps need to be taken to ensure that apprenticeships play a prominent role in the UK’s long-term economic recovery.

We have just heard that DWP has confirmed that it will continue to fund job coaches through Access to Work if they are employed to support learners on Supported Internship programmes. BASE warmly welcomes this decision and we await further details to clarify the decision.

DWP has published details of their new method for contracting employment support. The Commercial Agreement for the provision of Employment and Health Related Services (CAEHRS) will run for a maximum of 5 years with a value of £7.5bn. The new framework will replace the existing Umbrella Agreement which is due to expire in January 2021. CAEHRS is designed to support the provision of employment and health-related programmes and will be the default medium for contracting with the marketplace for national employment focussed programmes unless more effective routes to market are identified.

We have received revised guidance from the Department for Education about Supported Internships. Providers have been understandably keen on clarity about whether, and how, Supporterd Internships can continue into the next academic year.

We understand that the following text has been cleared by Treasury and Ministers for input into the FE operational guidance. 

BASE is organising a series of online workshops to take place over the early summer. These 1.5 hour events are open only to BASE members and will be delivered using Zoom. Places are limited to 50 attendees and can be booked through Eventbrite.