What we’re doing in skills and employability

Our new Skills and Employability work in the past few months has seen us continue to deliver our contracts as well as implement new pilots and new business. This included:

• Implementing two new European Social Fund (ESF) funded projects, deploying our flexible approach with employees so they can learn at a time which suits both their employer and them:

A contract to deliver skills support to individuals successfully going through the Work Programme in four areas: Merseyside, South Yorkshire, the West Midlands and the South West. This will be a four to six month personalised programme for each customer, with the expectation many of them will progress to an Apprenticeship programme.

Providing support to help improve maths and English in the workplace in Yorkshire and Humber, Cornwall and the South West. Smaller companies, those with 250 staff or less, are eligible for financial support for the first three employees trained. This support is to help them cope whilst their employees are undertaking their training during work hours.

• Putting together everything we need to start delivery of a Supported Job Search pilot in the West Midlands which went live last month.

• Preparing the 18-21 maths and English pilot for jobseekers in the South West. This is a new approach to make sure everyone aged between 18 and 21 gets those crucial – for both work and life – maths and English qualifications, whether that’s GCSEs or Functional Skills. This pilot will mean anyone in this age range who registers with Jobcentre Plus and who doesn’t have a maths and/or English GCSE at grades A-C will be mandated to do courses towards these from day one.

• Getting ready to launch our New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) contract delivery across much of the West Midlands and Derbyshire. We’ll be helping Job Seekers Allowance clients from day one to develop their enterprise idea into a viable business plan and then launch their business with specific support for the first six months of trading. We’ve already help a number of people start their own business including Ian, whose story you can read here.