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Prostart Update

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Parents, pupils, teachers and students. Find out what step 4 of the covid roadmap means for you. - The Education Hub (blog.gov.uk)

Further guidance can be found on Prostart's website please click here
Feeling bored, flat and unmotivated? Here are some things that can help - BBC Bitesize
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Employer News

Applications for the increased incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice are now open.

Incentive payment for apprentices who joined organisations from 1 April 2021
  • Employers with apprentices who have an employment start date between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 and who also have a practical period (training) start date between 1 April 2021 and 30 November 2021 may be eligible for an incentive payment
  • Employers will receive £3,000 for new apprentices of any age
  • Employers must apply for these apprentices by the end of 30 November 2021
  • Employers can visit our guidance page for more details
In addition to existing apprentices, any new hires employers make between now and 30 September 2021 may also be eligible for an incentive payment.
How to apply
Employers can apply for the incentive payment through the 'Finances' section in their apprenticeship service account. For a walk-through of the process, employers can watch our support video.
Reminder: steps to take before employers apply
There are 6 steps employers need to have completed before they apply for an incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice:
  1. They need to have registered an account on the apprenticeship service
  2. If they do not pay the apprenticeship levy, they need to have reserved funds in their apprenticeship service account
  3. They need to have recruited an apprentice
  4. They need to have added their apprentice to their apprenticeship service account
  5. They need to have agreed a start date for apprenticeship training to begin with their training provider
  6. They need to have accepted the latest version of the ESFA employer agreement
If employers require support with any of these steps, they can watch our how-to videos, check the advice on apprenticeships.gov.uk or visit our help portal, where they can access help articles, webchat with an adviser, call (0800 150 600) or text (07588 690018) our helpline, or email our helpdesk.

Safeguarding & Prevent

CT Police Netmums campaign
Act early
CT Policing have launched an eight week digital partnership with Netmums (starting Tuesday 6th July 2021) to promote the ACT Early (actearly.uk) campaign amongst mothers.
ACT Early aims to encourage family and friends to share concerns about a loved one being radicalised. This is the first ever digital partnership focused on supporting Prevent’s work.
By focusing the partnership on reaching mothers, rather than family members more broadly, it will enable us to create the best possible campaign for that audience, tailoring content to them and their specific needs and concerns. Netmums is an established and trusted brand with a strong presence amongst mothers.
https://www.counterterrorism.police.uk/act-early-netmums-digital-partnership-partners-toolkit/

Learner of the Month

well done ribbon. well done round green sign. well done
Leonard achieved his Business Administration Level 4, overcoming multiple barriers to his achievement.
During the UK Lockdown, Leonard worked from home every day, in his role as Audit Assistant In the Major Trauma & Orthopaedics Audit Office within the QMC.
Leonard has overcome his own health problems to complete his entire program remotely, carrying out online training and tutorial sessions and completing all written submissions, some of which were over 10,000 words!
Despite all of these factors, Leonard was still able to complete his program 2 months ahead of schedule!

Employer of the Month


Learning & Development Coach Dave has nominated United Carpets as 'Employer of the Month'. Based in both Long Eaton and Worksop, Kevin and Dawn the franchise owners continue to provide young people the opportunity to take their first steps in the working world. They have supported the apprenticeship scheme through its various formats for over 10 years and have given many the chance to develop a career within their organisation. They give the apprentices the chance to understand all aspects of the retail sector through 121 support, before encouraging them to use their own initiative to deal with the experiences they are presented with.
United Carpets continue to support apprentices through difficult periods including progression after completion to give their apprentices the maximum opportunity to be successful.
United carpets

Congratulations

Congratulations to Jamie who passed his End Point Assessment just before joining the navy, this is his photo having just had his passing out parade!
Jamie (2)
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Health and Wellbeing

Mindfulness

No matter what kind of environment you work in - whether it’s an office, a construction site, or even your own home - it’s important to take regular breaks to prevent yourself from feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Fortunately, mindfulness is a simple yet powerful skill that can be practised by anyone to achieve moments of peace and calm, as and when we need it.


Mindfulness is a state of mind where you’re focused solely on what’s happening in the present moment.
Here are some of the ways practising mindfulness in the workplace can improve your wellbeing:

Wellbeing
Increased Positive Emotion
By using mindfulness at work to keep yourself focused on the present moment, you’ll be less likely to dwell on the past mistakes or future deadlines, which can significantly increase your positive emotion. Feeling more positive in the workplace can boost your confidence when participating in group meetings or presentations, and you’ll start developing more meaningful friendships with your colleagues as your communication skills improve.

Minimise Distractions
Mindfulness can help to declutter the unhelpful thoughts from your mind, which can be particularly useful if you find yourself regularly distracted or restless whilst at work. With the right techniques, like writing down your thoughts and experiences in a journal, you'll learn to identify whatever’s bothering you in the present moment. This can also improve your productivity and problem-solving skills as you begin to explore different ways you can minimise the distractions throughout your day.

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A Healthier Mind
Mental illness and behavioral problems are reported to be the primary cause of disability worldwide. Fortunately, practicing mindfulness can also be an effective method of treating and preventing mild symptoms of mental illness. Completing small mindfulness exercises at work, like focusing on your breathing for sixty seconds before an important meeting, can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
A Healthier Body
Mindfulness exercises can also benefit your physical health, too. With consistent practice during the day, scientists have found that mindfulness can help to relieve chronic pain, lower blood-pressure, and treat sleeping disorders - such as insomnia. Mindfulness meditation is also recognised to be an effective treatment for heart disease, after researchers discovered that just 15 minutes of meditation a day reduced the risk of a heart attack or stroke by 48%.
Practising mindfulness to improve wellbeing at work | iHASCO
Dr Vikki Barnes (Vikki is a Doctor of clinical psychology) and George Anderson (Fitness and wellbeing personal trainer) take us through a short meditation focusing our attention on our senses. Please click here to watch.

In this podcast George Anderson discusses “How to switch off at the end of the day. He covers 3 main questions which help to understand about switching off. Click here to listen.
It is ok not to be ok - please seek advice
Someone is always there to listen, If you are struggling to cope and need to talk please contact the below.
Please call 999 if:
  • Someone's life is at risk – for example, they have seriously injured themselves or taken an overdose
  • You do not feel you can keep yourself or someone else safe
A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical one. You will not be wasting anyone's time.

Equality & Diversity

Disability Awareness

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Disability Awareness means educating people regarding disabilities and giving people the knowledge required to carry out a job or task thus separating good practice from poor. It is no longer enough just to know that disability discrimination is unlawful.

There are 14.1 million disabled people in the UK.
Life costs an extra £583 a month on average if you're disabled.
8% of children in the UK are disabled.
Disabled people are almost twice as likely to be unemployed.


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In April to show their respect for the Royal Family in their time of grief National Rail and other train companies chose to temporarily turn their websites to greyscale
While done with good intentions, the change created accessibility problems for disabled customers. For many disabled people, it blocked them from accessing essential services and information.
Why does greyscale create problems when it comes to online accessibility? And why might some organisations be breaking the law by using it?
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Colour contrast
Greyscale can create problems when it comes to colour contrast. It can be very difficult or impossible for some people with visual impairments to read the information.
Websites need to have sufficient contrast with the background. This makes sure the text is readable and other elements are distinguishable.

It can interfere with accessibility tools and plugins
There are a wide range of tools and plugins available which can help make the web more accessible.
As well as causing contrast problems, some of these tools and plugins did not work with the National Rail greyscale “filter”.


Accessibility was an afterthought
Every public sector organisation’s website should meet a minimum standard for accessibility. This is now the law. In reality, many still do not meet this standard. And their websites have a range of accessibility issues that cause problems for disabled people.
The change to greyscale showed once again, disabled people had been forgotten.
Disabled people tell Scope they’re blocked from accessing vital services and information, as well as online shopping and entertainment, because of accessibility problems.
Far too many organisations do not consider accessibility as a priority at every step. They should be talking to and listening to their disabled customers. And everyone working on a website should know the basic best practices of web accessibility.
Source: Scope Home | Disability charity Scope UK

Learner Benefits – Did you know?

NUS
As an Apprentice you are entitled to various benefits and discounts through the National Union of Students’ Apprentice Extra discount card. This card has discounts available on travel, sport, books and DVD, technology, mobile and broadband, as well as fashion, beauty and going out. The card costs £11 for 1 year and £19 for two years, you get discounts from the likes of The Co-op, Amazon, Dominos, Alton Towers, New Look and much much more!
To apply please visit the link below:
http://www.apprenticeextra.co.uk/
Apprenticeships
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