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Posted By Heather Ette, 20 January 2017

IEP Extends Partnership Campaign With New ‘10 Things’ Guide

By Scott Parkin FIEP, Director

I was delighted to attend a lively and fascinating event last Wednesday to welcome the RNIB as our latest partner in our ’10 Things Guides’ campaign which is aimed at bringing a range of practical advice on specialist subjects to sector professionals.

Over the past year, the IEP has changed the way we work; significantly widening both the number of organisations we engage with, and the ways in which we do so. We periodically reach over 5000 employability professionals across the UK, and have worked with hundreds of organisations across the public, private and third sectors. This work was primarily possible thanks to the dedication of our 24 Corporate Affiliates and all of our valued Members.

The IEP strongly believes that this success is a direct result of our content focused approach. We are committed to delivering relevant, high quality content to anyone working in the profession; and then, utilising these resources in a way which supports them throughout the course of their careers. 

This is why the IEP launched its 10 Things Guides Series.

With the advent of the Work and Health Programme, we sought to identify what resources would best support employment advisers, and account for the changing needs of the employment support landscape; Specifically, in addressing the increased level of expertise required to support those with multiple and complex needs into employment. We concluded that part of the solution lay in developing short, practical guides utilising the knowledge of sector experts, and covering various needs that customers may have, and how frontline advisers can be accommodating in supporting these needs.

Since then, we are proud to say that the IEP has commissioned 40 guides and expect to commission many more in the near future, partnering with a huge network of organisations. The guides are designed to provide employability professionals with an understanding of the needs customers have; to build empathy and raise awareness. The format aids integration into a wide variety of employment delivery models and training programmes, ensuring high quality content and adaptability.

Most importantly, they are designed to support placing more customers into sustained and fulfilling employment. Yet to develop great content you need to approach the right people. You need to approach sector specialists, whose expertise is unrivalled in their particular field; in order to ensure that long term, the guidance we set out truly benefits those at the heart of the employment support sector; our customers.

To build these partnership networks, you need to first of all identify a community; a community which looks beyond commercial interest to what it can achieve as a collective, for those most vulnerable in society. You need to identify organisations which are open minded in their approach to relationships, who recognise the strength that partnerships can bring when tackling such complex and protracted concerns such as long term unemployment.

The fundamental aim of the IEP - the professionalisation of the sector - does not refer solely to professional development, though that is certainly an element. It refers to utilising the goodwill and dedication of employability professionals in sharing knowledge, contributing their expertise and fostering communication. It refers to building partnerships that allow organisations and individuals to collaboratively support each other and the wider employment support community.

Most importantly, it refers to helping to build a community that puts the needs of our customers first to enable real social transformation.

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