Local authorities are reorganising services to deal with the budget cuts. Increasingly, they are looking to partnerships and outsourcing agreements with the private sector, social enterprises and voluntary bodies to deliver a range of benefits, not just service improvements and cost savings but innovation and risk-reward sharing, as well as new service delivery models.
In this era of austerity, which is leading to high levels of unemployment among certain groups, particularly the young, there is a focus on raising employability and skill levels, so those out of work can compete better in the job market and take advantage of new employment opportunities.
On top of which, as welfare reforms impact on local residents, councils are having to act to support new entrants and returners to work, some from vulnerable sections of the community, by commissioning services from organisations offering specialist advice, guidance and placement expertise.
'Participation advisers successfully combine outreach approaches with visits to community venues to motivate and inspire those young people that are deemed hardest to reach.' matrix report, January 2016.
"Today's workshop has been ace. The adviser spent time helping us to become more self aware. We looked at opportunities for 17 year olds. I am feeling much more positive about my future thanks to the career person." Client interviewee, matrix report, January 2016.
Duties under the Education Act
Under the Education and Skills Act 2008, it is the statutory responsibility of local authorities:
- to encourage, enable and assist the participation of young people in education or training
- to assist the most vulnerable young people and those at risk of disengaging with education or work
- to have arrangements in place to ensure that 16 and 17 year olds receive an offer of a suitable place in post-16 education or training
- to assist them in taking up a place
These responsibilities have become increasingly important since the participation age was raised to an individual's 18th birthday.
To fulfil their duties, local authorities track young people’s participation through the Client Caseload Information System (CCIS) to identify those at risk of not participating post-16 or in need of support. Schools are also working with local authorities to record young people’s post-16 plans, offers received and current circumstances.
We understand and we deliver
We understand local authorities’ needs and deliver bespoke services and solutions that support their strategic objectives and local targets.
Partnership working, designed around council needs, is at the heart of what we do because it builds a sustainable company, maximizes business opportunities and delivers mutual benefits. This is how we have managed to maintain a successful long-term strategic and operational relationship with Calderdale Council and Kirklees Council, both metropolitan boroughs:
managing the Client Caseload Information System (CCIS) data on behalf of Calderdale and Kirklees Councils and providing strategic analysis
managing the local Area-Wide Prospectuses on behalf of both local authorities and delivering the Common Application Process in Kirklees
developing online information resources, for example Kirklees CLIK to promote adult learning and improve take-up of courses
creating apps to support young people’s entry to employment and training, in partnership with Kirklees Council and Looking Local, the council-owned and managed digital/mobile technology specialists, funded under the Customer-Led Transformation programme
We are working with the London Borough of Islington to provide the content for Izzy-info – an online information resource for young people of the borough.
We deliver the Barnsley Summer Internship Programme for Year 10 pupils, on behalf of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.
We delivered a large training programme to 149 delegates from 59 organisations across the Bradford district. Paid for by Bradford Council’s Working Neighbourhoods Fund, the aim of the programme was to enable community groups to provide high quality information, advice and guidance to local people, enhancing their learning and employment prospects, and raising their aspirations.
We have contributed to innovative delivery models across West Yorkshire, such as the Skills Regional Investment Plan, which provided bespoke support to individual community organisations to develop the skills of local residents and improve their economic wellbeing.
We have delivered accredited development training for East Riding of Yorkshire and North Yorkshire County Council children’s workforce services.
For further information:
Contact: Katren, Head of Business Development
Call: 01484 225500