The Launch Group

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Launch Group's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Launch Group is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.thelaunchgroup.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | THE LAUNCH GROUP
Our participants at the end of
their four-week BAE Systems
“Movement to Work”
programme in Barrow-in-
Furness. A partnership with us,
The Princes Trust and BAE The Launch Group is a training and recruitment company
based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Established in 2014, it
specialises in supplying talent to niche industries such as
aviation, rail, engineering and defence. It operates a variety
of services for their candidates and clients including pre-
employment training, community engagement and corporate
and social responsibility programmes, access to collaborative
employer programmes, commercial recruitment, talent
acquisition and specialist commercial training services. Directors
Stefan Kiszel and Jonathan Boatman elaborate.
The Launch Group was founded without any financial backing, a £5,000 bank loan
and the faith that despite a challenging economic climate and competitive industry,
we could prosper with a solid business model and a positive and dedicated mindset.
Simply put, our objective is to provide individuals with access to a variety of
positions, from entry level to senior appointments. Utilising government skills and
employment funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency and our clients’
corporate and social responsibility budgets, we couple employer staff demands and
candidate employment desires to provide a platform for all to prosper.
A unique model
Today, 90 per cent of our operation focuses on pre-employment training. We
work with employers to develop a recruitment model or CSR-related community
engagement programme, aimed at enhancing the skills and employment prospects
of individuals of all ages.
FACTS ABOUT
THE LAUNCH GROUP
»Directors: Stefan Kiszel and
Jonathan Boatman
»Founded in 2014
»Based in Newcastle
»Services: Funded and
commercial recruitment and
training, responsible business
strategies or CSR
»No. of employees: 17
»TLG has helped in excess of
1,000 people to work over the
last 5 years
The Launch Group
37THE LAUNCH GROUP |
WORK & PENSIONS
Historically, we have delivered a
variety of ESFA-funded contracts,
which include Skills Support for the
Unemployed, adult education budget
and NEET contracts. Utilising the
above-mentioned funding streams,
TLG works in partnership with a variety
of employer organisations and offers a
recruitment service.
Forming a training company that
has access to government funding is
challenging. Naturally, colleges, local
councils and other large, established
prime providers draw down much of
the ESFA’s adult education budget
funding, with little option left for
smaller providers, other than to
subcontract AEB funding through
these groups.
This comes at a price, as subcontractor
providers then pay a management fee
of anywhere between 15 and 30 per
cent, therefore lessening the profit
margin and increasing the difficulty
of establishing a sustainable business
model. As an example, this current
funding contract year will see us draw
down in excess of £350,000 of AEB
funding. At 20 per cent management
fee, we lose in excess of £70,000.
Because we only hold subcontractor
status with the ESFA, our biggest
challenge has been acquiring enough
funding to capitalise on the huge
demand of our client employers. In
the past, we often found ourselves
without the required funding contract
value to fully support the industry’s
employment needs.
Facing strategic challenges
In the last five years and looking ahead
to the immediate future, we have
listed the main strategic challenges
we have faced and will shortly have to
address below.
»The delay of the SSR/SSU funding
contracts: Dovetailing funding
strategies rarely exist; instead
there are very long gaps between
one contract ending and another
starting. The previous SSR/SSU
contracts ended in approximately
October 2014, with the expected
next similar contract having been
anticipated for no later than 2015.
The new contract took nearly a year
to be introduced and momentum
was lost for many providers. Provider
relationships with employers are
strained when delays like this exist.
The faith of employers to rely on
sustainable funding contracts
helping them resource their staff is
lost, and many opportunities with it.
»The introduction of the
apprenticeship levy and RoATP:
Due to the introduction of the
apprenticeship levy, much focus
has been diverted from developing
other employment initiatives. Like
anyone else, we understand the
importance of upskilling and creating
opportunities for individuals aged
16 to 24. The average age of people
on our programmes sits at around
34 years old. Some employment
initiatives exist but are controlled
largely by establishments such
as colleges, councils, large prime
Four of our candidates
have recently moved
into employment for
Swissport at Liverpool
John Lennon airport
Our objective
is to provide
individuals
with access to
a variety of
positions
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | THE LAUNCH GROUP
Our participants at the end of
their four-week BAE Systems
“Movement to Work”
programme in Barrow-in-
Furness. A partnership with us,
The Princes Trust and BAE The Launch Group is a training and recruitment company
based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Established in 2014, it
specialises in supplying talent to niche industries such as
aviation, rail, engineering and defence. It operates a variety
of services for their candidates and clients including pre-
employment training, community engagement and corporate
and social responsibility programmes, access to collaborative
employer programmes, commercial recruitment, talent
acquisition and specialist commercial training services. Directors
Stefan Kiszel and Jonathan Boatman elaborate.
The Launch Group was founded without any financial backing, a £5,000 bank loan
and the faith that despite a challenging economic climate and competitive industry,
we could prosper with a solid business model and a positive and dedicated mindset.
Simply put, our objective is to provide individuals with access to a variety of
positions, from entry level to senior appointments. Utilising government skills and
employment funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency and our clients’
corporate and social responsibility budgets, we couple employer staff demands and
candidate employment desires to provide a platform for all to prosper.
A unique model
Today, 90 per cent of our operation focuses on pre-employment training. We
work with employers to develop a recruitment model or CSR-related community
engagement programme, aimed at enhancing the skills and employment prospects
of individuals of all ages.
FACTS ABOUT
THE LAUNCH GROUP
»Directors: Stefan Kiszel and
Jonathan Boatman
»Founded in 2014
»Based in Newcastle
»Services: Funded and
commercial recruitment and
training, responsible business
strategies or CSR
»No. of employees: 17
»TLG has helped in excess of
1,000 people to work over the
last 5 years
The Launch Group
37THE LAUNCH GROUP |
WORK & PENSIONS
Historically, we have delivered a
variety of ESFA-funded contracts,
which include Skills Support for the
Unemployed, adult education budget
and NEET contracts. Utilising the
above-mentioned funding streams,
TLG works in partnership with a variety
of employer organisations and offers a
recruitment service.
Forming a training company that
has access to government funding is
challenging. Naturally, colleges, local
councils and other large, established
prime providers draw down much of
the ESFA’s adult education budget
funding, with little option left for
smaller providers, other than to
subcontract AEB funding through
these groups.
This comes at a price, as subcontractor
providers then pay a management fee
of anywhere between 15 and 30 per
cent, therefore lessening the profit
margin and increasing the difficulty
of establishing a sustainable business
model. As an example, this current
funding contract year will see us draw
down in excess of £350,000 of AEB
funding. At 20 per cent management
fee, we lose in excess of £70,000.
Because we only hold subcontractor
status with the ESFA, our biggest
challenge has been acquiring enough
funding to capitalise on the huge
demand of our client employers. In
the past, we often found ourselves
without the required funding contract
value to fully support the industry’s
employment needs.
Facing strategic challenges
In the last five years and looking ahead
to the immediate future, we have
listed the main strategic challenges
we have faced and will shortly have to
address below.
»The delay of the SSR/SSU funding
contracts: Dovetailing funding
strategies rarely exist; instead
there are very long gaps between
one contract ending and another
starting. The previous SSR/SSU
contracts ended in approximately
October 2014, with the expected
next similar contract having been
anticipated for no later than 2015.
The new contract took nearly a year
to be introduced and momentum
was lost for many providers. Provider
relationships with employers are
strained when delays like this exist.
The faith of employers to rely on
sustainable funding contracts
helping them resource their staff is
lost, and many opportunities with it.
»The introduction of the
apprenticeship levy and RoATP:
Due to the introduction of the
apprenticeship levy, much focus
has been diverted from developing
other employment initiatives. Like
anyone else, we understand the
importance of upskilling and creating
opportunities for individuals aged
16 to 24. The average age of people
on our programmes sits at around
34 years old. Some employment
initiatives exist but are controlled
largely by establishments such
as colleges, councils, large prime
Four of our candidates
have recently moved
into employment for
Swissport at Liverpool
John Lennon airport
Our objective
is to provide
individuals
with access to
a variety of
positions
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
38 | THE LAUNCH GROUP
providers and welfare to work
companies. Funding is far too
hard to access, therefore limiting
opportunities and not stimulating
local economies to the greatest
possible extent. We have been
fortunate that the prime providers
we have partnered with have helped
us to develop our employer offer by
increasing our funding profile year
on year.
»AEB devolution: Further AEB funding
uncertainty is just around the corner
with the future devolution of the
AEB. In theory, this is logical as it
places local funding in the hands
of organisations that understand
the local skills and employment
landscape. The concern is that yet
another large-scale change is soon
to be placed upon the industry
when a period of stability is so
clearlyneeded.
»An uncertain political and economic
climate: As a result of the Brexit
referendum, the potential loss of
European Social Fund funding,
which largely contributes towards
existing streams in the UK for skills
and employment, will undoubtedly
change the current model of how
we support the unemployed.
This does, however, represent an
opportunity to create a more long-
term strategic solution without the
outside influence of the EU. AEB
devolution, in addition to other
initiatives, could be seen as a step in
the right direction.
»Register of training organisations:
When first applying to the register
of training organisations, you can
choose to apply to one of two parts:
due diligence and capacity and
capability. Due diligence applications
are typically relevant to smaller,
newly established training providers
that wish to subcontract over a
financial ceiling of £100,000. On
the other hand, completing the
capacity and capability requirements
enables providers to tender and
bid for direct prime contracts from
theESFA.
Continuing to fight our corner
We were successful in our due
diligence application at the third
attempt. Little was different between
each application and we attributed
our rejection to nothing more than
only having a small amount of delivery
history and our business being less
established than other applications.
At the time of entering the register,
we were not set up to deliver our
own prime contract and therefore
felt applying to bid at this time was
premature. Our intention was to apply
for this the following year when the
register reopened and we had a more
established business and processes
in place ready for a direct contract of
ourown.
Today, 90 per
cent of our
operation
focuses on pre-
employment
training
Our unique, funded, pre-employment recruitment model gives each
candidate
»A guaranteed interview with their chosen employer
»A nationally recognised qualification, specific to the desired sector
»An industry insight and presentations, workplace tours by our client
employers
»The exact skills needed and a platform to demonstrate their potential
A recent celebration
event from our
“Starting out in Building
Services” programme in
partnership with British
Land in central London
39SSAS PRACTITIONER.COM LIMITED |
WORK & PENSIONS
Managing Director PeterJones
Business flexibility and
retirement planning
SSAS Practitioner.com Limited offers administrative services
to small businesses and entrepreneurial clients engaged in a
SSAS pension scheme. The company provides clients with the
framework to structure investments to comply with strict HMRC
rules. Their SSAS model allows clients, who are typically small
business owners, to make use of their pension fund in a tax-efficient
manner. This allows the entrepreneurial spirit of clients to flourish
through the close relationship between business and scheme. SSAS
Practitioner has instigated a flexible working environment, with all
their staff working from home, which has contributed to a high
level of staff retention. Managing Director Peter Jones explains what
sets them apart from other firms and how they support government
attempts to clamp down on fraudulent pension advisers.
Small Self-Administered Schemes have been used since the 1970s. As they can
only contain up to eleven members, they are traditionally used by small, owner
managed businesses. A trading company is required to sponsor the SSAS for it
to be registered by HMRC. There is therefore a link between the SSAS and the
employer at the outset which can be extended through transactions between
the two, such as contributions to the SSAS from the employer which qualify for
corporation tax relief, a loan back of funds to the employer, and the employer
occupying a property owned by the SSAS.
SSASs therefore provide the ability for individuals to fund retirement without
relying on traditional investment providers. Crucially this means that clients can use
their pension to invest in their company to assist its growth.
FACTS ABOUT
SSAS PRACTITIONER.COM
LIMITED
»Managing Director:
PeterJones
»Established in 2009
»Based in Foxton, Leicestershire
»No. of employees: 8
»No. of SSASs: 600
»ssaspractitioner.com
SSAS Practitioner.com
Limited

www.thelaunchgroup.co.uk

This article was sponsored by The Launch Group. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster