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Welcome to the December Newsletter. 2018 has been a busy year with lots of changes and we are looking forward to welcoming 2019 with lots of new events for both employers and learners.
In February, Prostart in partnership with Peninsula will be hosting an employer meeting (see Upcoming Events below for further details). Prostart will also be hosting its very first graduation – look out for more news about this in the New Year.
Prostart would like to wish all our employers, apprentices and partners a peaceful break over the holiday period and a Happy New Year.

Tip of the Month -

CPD/ Reflective Journal

Make sure you schedule in time each week to log your off the job training in your Reflective Journal. Off-the-job training can take place at an employer’s workplace or off-site (e.g. in a classroom, from home or at your workplace).
It is the activity, rather than the location that determines whether the training meets the 20% off-the-job requirement.
Approximately 6 hours a week should be spent on off the job training; this can include lectures or teaching sessions, role playing, simulation exercises, online learning, manufacturer training, practical training; shadowing; mentoring; industry visits and attendance at competitions. It can also include learning support and time spent researching and writing assessments/assignments. Don’t forget you need to reflect on what you have learnt in your journal.
Reflection 1
Reflection leads to:-
  • A better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses
  • Identifying and questioning your underlying values and beliefs
  • Acknowledging and challenging possible assumptions on which you base your ideas, feelings and actions.
  • Recognising areas of potential bias or discrimination, acknowledge your fears, and identify possible areas for improvement.

Industry News - Rates of Pay

Current rates, these rates are for the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage. These rates change every April.

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2018 (current rates) £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70
April 2019 £8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90
Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:
  • Aged under 19
  • Aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship
Example An apprentice aged 22 in the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £3.70

Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they both:
  • Are aged 19 and over
  • Have completed the first year of their apprenticeship
Example An apprentice aged 22 who completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £7.38

And…There will also be a package of changes to apprenticeships, including halving the contribution that smaller firms pay towards apprenticeship training in April 19 from 10% to 5%.
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Equality & Diversity- Antibullying

For a full list of awareness days: - Religious Festivals and Holidays:-

The Help
Book review. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Enter a vanished and unjust world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Where black maids raise white children, but aren’t trusted not to steal the silver …There’s Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son’s tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from College, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared. Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they’d be friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in a search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell …
This is a very easy to read book which I thoroughly enjoyed. The characters come to life quickly and their lives and how they entwine are fascinating. This is a very thought-provoking book to read which I would recommend. – Paula –Edit this to insert text.
Safeguarding & PreventLet’s Talk about Prevent, struggling to understand Prevent – take a look at this video produced by Luton Sixth Form Students
For further information go to

Up Coming events – Employer Meeting

1st February at Belgrave Rooms, Nottingham

Prostart would like to personally invite you to attend our unmissable event for local business owners at 9.30am on Friday 1st February 2019. Your staff are your most valuable asset and they need protecting – but so does your business. How do you ensure you have everything covered? Join our expert HR and health & safety speaker from Peninsula at this brief but invaluable event, which will enhance the way you run your business by giving you the knowledge and advice to resolve any employee challenge. Topics covered on the day will include:

  • Staff behaviour – such as performance, attendance, attitude
  • Contracts & handbooks – reviewing your documents of employment
  • Dealing with – sick pay, maternity leave, harassment and discrimination
  • Health & safety – risk assessments, fire & safety policies and procedures
Also on the day, a representative from Prostart Training will be discussing: ILM Apprenticeships These Apprenticeship programmes can be offered to all employees and on completion, you have the ability to register as full members with the Chartered Management Institute and/or the Institute of Leadership & Management. Passport to Success – Work Placements Prostart will be offering employers a £500.00 incentive for every 12-week work placement offered to our Traineeship learners. For further information about the event please contact Nina Ricci on 0115 9835837 or e-mail
Products & Services: Prostart Training offers bespoke training opportunities that are designed around your organisations’ needs such as minute taking, touch typing, dealing with distressed callers and many more. For further information contact Nina Ricci on 0115 9835837 or e-mail
Did you know…
  • There is enough fuel in full jumbo jet tank to drive an average car four times around the world.
  • It is physically impossible for you to lick your elbow.
  • 71% of office workers stopped on the street for a survey agreed to give up their computer passwords in exchange for a chocolate bar.
  • The largest ocean liners pay a $250,000 toll for each trip through the Panama Canal. The canal generates fully one-third of Panama's entire economy.
  • Almost everyone who reads this will try to lick their elbow.
Competitions and quizzes. Rate us on Google and Facebook before the 14th of December and be in for a chance of winning £20 love to shop voucher.
Frequently Asked Questions: Did you know you can reset your dropbox password? There is also a short video on Prostart’s website about using dropbox created by our very own Nick Malysz.
Health and Wellbeing - Diet and Mental Health
There is research to suggest that what we eat may affect not just our physical health, but also our mental health and wellbeing.

Eating well (i.e. a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables and nutrients) may be associated with feelings of wellbeing. One 2014 study found high levels of wellbeing were reported by individuals who ate more fruit and vegetables. A recent study found that a Mediterranean-style diet (a diet high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil.) supplemented with fish oil led to a reduction in depression among participants, which was sustained six months after the intervention. The importance of good nutritional intake at an early age is explored in multiple studies, including a systematic review in 2014, which found that a poor diet (with high levels of saturated fat, refined carbohydrates and processed food products) is linked to poorer mental health in children and adolescents.
However, there are a range of inequalities that can contribute to the development of mental health problems, and how these factors interact with each other to affect mental health can be complex. Factors such as poorer physical health, and living in poverty, or deprived communities, have been found to be associated with poorer mental health and wellbeing. Both these inequality factors have also been shown to have a complex relationship with poor nutrition.

Experience of a mental health problem may also be associated with poorer diet and physical health. There have been efforts to close the ‘mortality gap’ for people with severe mental health problems, who on average tend to die 10 to 25 years earlier than the general population. A number of factors may contribute to this premature mortality, including dietary and nutritional factors, among other things.

Poor nutrition can lead to physical health problems such as obesity, though there are a number of demographic variables that could affect the direction and/or strength of the association with mental health including severity of obesity, socioeconomic status and level of education, gender, age and ethnicity. The relationship between obesity and mental health problems is complex. Results from a 2010 systematic review found two-way associations between depression and obesity, finding that people who were obese had a 55% increased risk of developing depression over time, whereas people experiencing depression had a 58% increased risk of becoming obese.

While a healthy diet can help recovery, it should sit alongside other treatments recommended by your doctor. What should I eat? The Eatwell guide, is available on the NHS website, this provides detailed information on how to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.
Benefits and Discounts
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 and is valid for 12 months.
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To apply please visit the link below:
To see the latest Prostart vacancies:-

If you are interested in any of the positions above or need any further information please contact the Recruitment Team below:

Nina Ricci: 0115 9835837 /
Lawrence Turton : 0115 9835823 /

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