Transferable Skills Training

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Transferable Skills Training'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 Transferable Skills Training 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

transferableskillstraining.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | TRANSFERABLE SKILLS TRAINING
Founding Director NikkiMarkham
Adult Horticultural Group
community growing project
Transferable Skills Training is a multi-award-winning training
centre, created to provide innovative educational solutions
to complex social issues at community level. Founding
Director Nikki Markham tells
The Parliamentary Review
that for
those living in extreme poverty who are isolated through mental
health issues, life-limiting illnesses or with special educational
needs, Transferable Skills Training provides an alternative form
of education. She explains the importance of a community-
based approach and discusses how respect and excellence are
interwoven in all that they do.
Our success lies in our ability to understand the economic, social, emotional and
physical difficulties that many vulnerable people with complex needs experience,
and to provide a holistic approach to supporting learners throughout their
education and beyond. As a result, we have consistently been in the top ten for
retention and success rates among alternative education centres within England,
achieving a 91 to 93 percentile for the last three years.
Community based approach
We have developed a unique approach to education by providing innovative
educational programmes that address community needs, while being totally
individualised in order to support each learner and work around their barriers and
their needs.
FACTS ABOUT
TRANSFERABLE SKILLS
TRAINING
»Founding Director:
NikkiMarkham
»Founded in 2004
»Located in Merryhue Farm,
Callington, Cornwall
»Services: Vocational study
programmes, community
based learning, experiential
learning through volunteering.
Specialising in alternative
education provision
»No. of employees: 24
»No. of volunteers: 40
»TST provides social impact by
supporting the most vulnerable
within rural communities
Transferable Skills
Training
27TRANSFERABLE SKILLS TRAINING |
EDUCATION SERVICES
By adopting a whole community
approach to education and creating a
rural community hub, we are able to
offer a diverse range of educational
programmes which support different
sectors, from primary and secondary
school children who are struggling or at
risk of exclusion, to dementia groups,
to young people with specialneeds.
One of the key aspects that makes us
different from other alternative training
providers is the emphasis that we place
on the importance of volunteering and
of making a positive contribution. We
firmly believe that for an individual to
feel part of their community they must
first engage with it, and for many of
our learners this approach is vital as
they feel disconnected.
To ensure that meaningful volunteering
happens, we have linked up with over
30 other charities, trusts and community
groups offering a wide range of
volunteering activities. In some cases,
this can be as simple as supporting
the elderly to maintain their gardens.
In other cases, it involves providing
work experience, with volunteers
maintaining and creating paths, stiles
and footbridges for organisations such
as the Dartmoor National Park or the
Woodland Trust. On average, our
learners contribute over 9,000 hours of
voluntary work to their communities.
Respect and excellence
Respect and excellence are not just
words at TST: we strive to weave these
elements into every aspect of the
organisation, from day-to-day education
and training to the links forged within
our local communities. TST’s primary
educational provision is within the
14–25 alternative education age range
for young people with Educational
Health Care Plans. This is one of the
most challenging educational sectors,
where pass rates and retention rates are
nationally very low, being on average
in the 40 percentiles. We consistently
achieve in the 90 plus percentiles.
Many of the learners referred to us have
not had good learning experiences in
education. As such, we have to do a
great deal of restorative work, first in
getting learners to trust us and our ability
to help them, and second in helping
them to re-engage with education in
a positive manner, teaching them to
enjoy the experience of learning.
Staff and volunteers
At TST we understand the importance
of our staff and volunteers and have
invested heavily in them, providing a
comprehensive package of continual
professional development. We also carry
out an extensive skill audit each year
to ensure our staff are fully equipped
to work with the learners and with any
pilot projects we are conducting.
Any new member of staff is given
a comprehensive induction, which
includes shadowing all staff at TST over
a minimum period of one whole half-
term, for a total of eight weeks. This
allows them to establish working links
with the learners, staff and volunteers,
and helps to forge camaraderie across
all spheres of the organisation. It
further allows the senior managers
to assess what support and skills new
members will need to successfully
engage with the learners.
Agricultural skills –
tractor driving
We firmly
believe that for
an individual to
feel part of their
community they
must first
engage with it,
and for many of
our learners this
approach is vital
as they feel
disconnected
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | TRANSFERABLE SKILLS TRAINING
Founding Director NikkiMarkham
Adult Horticultural Group
community growing project
Transferable Skills Training is a multi-award-winning training
centre, created to provide innovative educational solutions
to complex social issues at community level. Founding
Director Nikki Markham tells
The Parliamentary Review
that for
those living in extreme poverty who are isolated through mental
health issues, life-limiting illnesses or with special educational
needs, Transferable Skills Training provides an alternative form
of education. She explains the importance of a community-
based approach and discusses how respect and excellence are
interwoven in all that they do.
Our success lies in our ability to understand the economic, social, emotional and
physical difficulties that many vulnerable people with complex needs experience,
and to provide a holistic approach to supporting learners throughout their
education and beyond. As a result, we have consistently been in the top ten for
retention and success rates among alternative education centres within England,
achieving a 91 to 93 percentile for the last three years.
Community based approach
We have developed a unique approach to education by providing innovative
educational programmes that address community needs, while being totally
individualised in order to support each learner and work around their barriers and
their needs.
FACTS ABOUT
TRANSFERABLE SKILLS
TRAINING
»Founding Director:
NikkiMarkham
»Founded in 2004
»Located in Merryhue Farm,
Callington, Cornwall
»Services: Vocational study
programmes, community
based learning, experiential
learning through volunteering.
Specialising in alternative
education provision
»No. of employees: 24
»No. of volunteers: 40
»TST provides social impact by
supporting the most vulnerable
within rural communities
Transferable Skills
Training
27TRANSFERABLE SKILLS TRAINING |
EDUCATION SERVICES
By adopting a whole community
approach to education and creating a
rural community hub, we are able to
offer a diverse range of educational
programmes which support different
sectors, from primary and secondary
school children who are struggling or at
risk of exclusion, to dementia groups,
to young people with specialneeds.
One of the key aspects that makes us
different from other alternative training
providers is the emphasis that we place
on the importance of volunteering and
of making a positive contribution. We
firmly believe that for an individual to
feel part of their community they must
first engage with it, and for many of
our learners this approach is vital as
they feel disconnected.
To ensure that meaningful volunteering
happens, we have linked up with over
30 other charities, trusts and community
groups offering a wide range of
volunteering activities. In some cases,
this can be as simple as supporting
the elderly to maintain their gardens.
In other cases, it involves providing
work experience, with volunteers
maintaining and creating paths, stiles
and footbridges for organisations such
as the Dartmoor National Park or the
Woodland Trust. On average, our
learners contribute over 9,000 hours of
voluntary work to their communities.
Respect and excellence
Respect and excellence are not just
words at TST: we strive to weave these
elements into every aspect of the
organisation, from day-to-day education
and training to the links forged within
our local communities. TST’s primary
educational provision is within the
14–25 alternative education age range
for young people with Educational
Health Care Plans. This is one of the
most challenging educational sectors,
where pass rates and retention rates are
nationally very low, being on average
in the 40 percentiles. We consistently
achieve in the 90 plus percentiles.
Many of the learners referred to us have
not had good learning experiences in
education. As such, we have to do a
great deal of restorative work, first in
getting learners to trust us and our ability
to help them, and second in helping
them to re-engage with education in
a positive manner, teaching them to
enjoy the experience of learning.
Staff and volunteers
At TST we understand the importance
of our staff and volunteers and have
invested heavily in them, providing a
comprehensive package of continual
professional development. We also carry
out an extensive skill audit each year
to ensure our staff are fully equipped
to work with the learners and with any
pilot projects we are conducting.
Any new member of staff is given
a comprehensive induction, which
includes shadowing all staff at TST over
a minimum period of one whole half-
term, for a total of eight weeks. This
allows them to establish working links
with the learners, staff and volunteers,
and helps to forge camaraderie across
all spheres of the organisation. It
further allows the senior managers
to assess what support and skills new
members will need to successfully
engage with the learners.
Agricultural skills –
tractor driving
We firmly
believe that for
an individual to
feel part of their
community they
must first
engage with it,
and for many of
our learners this
approach is vital
as they feel
disconnected
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | TRANSFERABLE SKILLS TRAINING
The pressures on teachers should not
be overestimated. We have therefore
created a work environment where
all staff have access to counselling
and supervision should they require.
We also provide opportunities within
the timetable for staff to carry out
all necessary paperwork within the
working week – no work is to be
taken home. This approach has
reduced staff sickness, ensured staff
retention and promoted the quality of
educationaldelivery.
Challenges
By far the biggest challenge to us has
been the introduction of the Educational
Health Care Plan. We are situated on
the Cornwall and Devon border, and
Plymouth, our nearest city, is a Unitary
Authority. Each council has its own set of
paperwork for conducting reviews and
costings, each has a different approach
to taking proposed educational
provision to the Special Educational
Needs Teams panel for approval, and
each has different referral systems.
More often than not, due to the
complexity of the EHCP process, young
people come to us with incomplete
paperwork or EHCPs that are either
outdated or not fit for purpose
because they are so badly written. As a
result, young people can be forced to
wait for approval for months while we
track down all the missing information
or hold new EHCP reviews to ensure
they are usable.
To overcome this, we have adopted
a prolonged taster where the young
people can engage with us but not go
on the register. This allows us to carry
out full diagnostic tests for each learner
and collate information to assess their
EHCPs. If they are not up to standard,
then we will call a review and re-write
them so that they reflect what the
young person needs to do in order to
successfully engage witheducation.
Relevant learning
Much of our success is in making our
educational programmes relevant at
community level. This can mean many
things, from ensuring all vocational
training links to local employment
opportunities to creating educational
programmes that meet community
intergenerational needs, such as
training to help support carers of those
living with dementia to establishing
forest schools for primary schools.
TST is a small organisation and
as such can be very proactive in
addressing community learning
needs quickly. We have developed a
reputation for designing, piloting and
assessing a wide range of educational
programmes, such as the national
practitioners’ qualification for nature-
based therapy or intervention. Over
the years we have won a number of
awards for innovation and continue
to punch well above our weight,
writing new accredited educational
programmes to address gaps in
educational provision. We are
confident this will continue.
We also
provide
opportunities
within the
timetable for
staff to carry
out all
necessary
paperwork
within the
working week
– no work is
to be taken
home
Reindeers used in animal
therapy

transferableskillstraining.com

This article was sponsored by Transferable Skills Training. 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 Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development