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'From the Top' is the place to find news, information and expertise from the key influencers at IEP. Entries are from members of the Board, Executive Team or Fellows.

 

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IEP Elections 2017

Posted By Scott Parkin FIEP, IEP Chairman, 07 September 2017

IEP Elections 2017

All of the nominations are in, use your VOTE NOW

 

We are delighted by the amazing response to our request for ‘nominations’ to stand for the IEP Board this year and look forward to an interesting and engaging election. 14 Members have answered the call, and are now your Candidates, all looking to support the iEP Board over the next three years.  The breadth of experience and diversity of people who want to represent their Institute and contribute to the future of our profession is really exciting, making this year’s choice the most difficult yet.  

 

This election provides the IEP with an excellent opportunity to involve a growing number of influential figures, operating at many levels, who are keen to offer their commitment and dedication to improve and enhance what the IEP does and to influence future strategic plans.  Many of the Candidates have worked on the ‘frontline’ over the course of their careers and are from a wide range of organisations including prime contractors, independent providers, subcontractors, charities and also those that work across various sectors helping to increase the reach of the IEP.

 

We are genuinely excited about the possibilities and benefits this brings to the IEP, and you as Members, and we encourage you to register your VOTE as soon as you can. We have made the voting process much simpler this year meaning that it should only take a minute to exercise your right to VOTE!

 

Deadline for VOTING closes at NOON on Friday 22nd September

 

Please follow the link here https://myiep.site-ym.com/page/CandidatesBios to read the Candidate's Biographies, Election Statements and to register your VOTE.

 

You can VOTE for up to four [4] candidates in this Election.

 

Please note that you must be an Associate, Member or Fellow of the IEP to VOTE in this Election. If you are not, and want to VOTE, you will have to upgrade your Membership.

IEP Membership


If you wish to become a member of the IEP and acquire voting rights, please visit this page and register to join the Institute

If you work for a Corporate Affiliate, use promo code electionto receive a £17.00 discount
 on your Membership

Existing individuals supported by IEPinfo can upgrade their subscription and become members and acquire voting rights via thePay my Membershippage

 

Read the Candidate's Biographies, Election Statements and Register your Vote NOW

 

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From the Top

Posted By Heather Ette, 30 August 2017

IEP Addresses the Housing and Employment Forum

The IEP’s Head of Operations, Thisara David was pleased to give a presentation at ERSA’s Housing and Employment Forum to update on the challenges ahead for employability professionals and the development of the Employability Trailblazer.

Speaking of the changes in the employability landscape Thisara said “The employability sector will become more diverse in the range of organisations and sectors responsible for delivering employment support services to customers which adds a level of complexity in line with the change in customers. We need to develop our people to prepare them for the challenges ahead.

“The implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy has created an opportunity for us to consider and reflect on the challenges faced by our frontline employees, the competencies that underpin our work and our desire to develop a solution that supports genuine career development and progression.  To this end, The IEP’s Employability Trailblazer Employer Group has been discussing and developing the standards for an Employability Apprenticeship Trailblazer which has the support of all of the premier employment support delivery organisations, ensuring that people with a range of skills and competencies are able to benefit and taking into consideration all of the core qualities that are needed to create and develop standards that are of real quality and more ‘future proof’ for the needs of our profession. 

“There is huge momentum around the development of these standards with representatives involved from Remploy, Maximus People Services, Serco, G4S, Salvation Army Employment Plus, Ingeus, Working Links, Pluss, APM UK, Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), Standguide, Reed in Partnership and London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The group is currently Chaired by the IEP and is supported by the AELP, ERSA and the Learning and Work Institute.

“The Group has been tasked with the importance of ensuring that standards are distinct enough to drive professional behaviour but also be flexible according to an organisation’s delivery model.  They need to be translatable across companies and the group needs to identify synergies with other ‘Case Management’ or ‘Practitioner’ type roles to enable both progression within our sector and movement across other sectors.

“It is clear when we have been talking about these standards that the employability landscape is changing considerably and that it now operates across many different settings and sectors.  These different types of organisations have different objectives, governance and operating principles but they will all share a common need.  Practitioners will have to remain or become highly skilled, energetic, creative and knowledgeable people with a strong focus on professional development.  These people will need to be empathetic, patient and understanding; less traditionally ‘target-driven’ and more ‘customer-focused’. They will also need to be agile and resourceful and be able to promote a positive mind-set in all interactions.

“Whether these people are in private, public or voluntary sectors, national, regional or local organisations and whether they work as part of an employability focused team or are the sole employability professional within a multi-disciplined team is not the issue.  They will all need access to up-to-date, relevant information, learning opportunities, peer connections and other general support that enhances their individual performance wherever they are.They will need to be able to work within an integrated service environment to provide joined up support for customers and be proficient in managing a wide range of relationships.

“They will need to engage, establish and build trusted relationships with customers to support them through their journey and have a good understanding of their individual skills, health issues and any complex needs and the knowledge to know where and when to refer for help.

“The development of our profession and the wider employability and skills sectors should encompass a shared understanding about the skills, training and qualification frameworks which are accessible by all those responsible for helping people move towards and into work, setting standards and building high quality services, delivering better outcomes. Whatever sector frontline staff are from, they need opportunities to share learning and resources so that they are all equipped with the same high level of expertise.

“The IEP are delighted to be working with partners such as Give us a Chance to provide learning resources, support and continuous professional development (CPD) for everyone working in employability support roles and look forward to telling you more about our joint agreement at the Live, Work and Learn Conference on 28th September.”

 

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Employability Trailblazer

Posted By Heather Ette, 25 August 2017

Please Give Us Your Views on the Employability Trailblazer

The IEP would like to get your views on the Employability Trailblazer Employer Group's (ETEG’s) progress to date and to test some of the Key Decisions that have been made so far. 

As you will be aware, this is a very important time for our profession and as such we need to think more innovatively about how we go about what we do. The ’employability sector’ is changing; it will become more integrated and, as such, those working within it will require knowledge, understanding and the ability to broker successful partnership relationships for the benefit of the customer. 

It will also become more diverse in the range of organisations and sectors responsible for delivering employment support services to customers, this I am sure you will agree, adds a level of complexity in line with the change in customers. We will need to develop our people to prepare them for the challenges ahead. 

They will need to be:

  • Highly skilled, energetic, creative and knowledgeable with a strong focus on professional development
  • Empathetic, patient and understanding; less traditionally ‘target-driven’ and more ‘customer-focused’
  • Agile and resourceful and able to promote a positive mind-set
  • Able to work within an integrated service environment to provide joined up support for customers
  • Able to manage a range of relationships, be a leader of local systems and speak with credibility and authority
  • Able to engage, establish and build trusted relationships with customers to support them through their journey
  • Understanding of individual health issues and complex needs and the knowledge to know where and when to refer for help - Connected 

Please find below a link to a short survey (it should only take 2 minutes to complete) where we want your views, and ask that you take the option to continue your support and input to this important piece of work in subsequent surveys. 

http://www.myiep.uk/surveys/default.asp?id=Employability_Trailblazer_1

Lastly we request that you forward this survey onto as many people in your network as you can, so we can obtain the widest range of views possible.

Please get in touch if you want to get involved by emailing thisara@iemployability.org 

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Calling All Fellows!

Posted By Heather Ette, 25 August 2017

Book Now for the Fellows Dinner South

The IEP is delighted to present its second annual Fellows' Dinner in the South, hosted in London, and kindly supported by Empowering-Communities. A not for profit social enterprise, Empowering-Communities have proven IT solutions within the employability profession that are revolutionising integrated approaches and enabling multi-agency collaboration to have a positive impact on people’s lives. 

Join your host Patrick Hughes FIEP to discuss key issues, network and share ideas amongst those at the heart of the employability profession.

 

The Time

Wed 27 September 2017 -19:00 – 22:00

The Place

The Betjeman Arms, 53, St Pancras International Station

Euston Road, London, N1C 4QL

For price, sample menu and booking information please click here

 

Here’s a few words about the Fellows Dinner held in June: “I had a thoroughly enjoyable and informative evening, sharing conversation about the challenges and opportunities in our sector with peers.  Having the opportunity to discuss thoughts with others in an informal environment was really welcome, and encouraged a degree of candid conversation that would likely not have been achieved in other environments. The diversity of attendees also meant the range of thoughts and opinions was fascinating.” Ayden Sims, Director of Business Development, Remploy

Should you have any enquiries about this event, do not hesitate to contact Scott Parkin FIEP at scott.parkin@iemployability.org.

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From the Top

Posted By Scott Parkin FIEP, IEP Chairman, 18 August 2017
Updated: 16 August 2017

Preparing the ‘Future Adviser’ For the Challenges Ahead

By Scott Parkin FIEP, IEP Chairman

[This article first appeared in The Skills, Employment and Health Journal]

This is a very important time for our profession and as such we need to think more innovatively about how we go about what we do. The ’employability sector’ is changing, it will become more integrated and, as such, those working within it will require knowledge, understanding and the ability to broker successful partnership relationships for the benefit of the customer. It will also become more diverse in the range of organisations and sectors responsible for delivering employment support services to customers, this I am sure you will agree adds a level of complexity in line with the change in customers.

These different types of organisations have different objectives, governance and operating principles but they will all share a common need.  They will need highly skilled, energetic, creative and knowledgeable people with a strong focus on professional development.  These people will need to be empathetic, patient and understanding; less traditionally ‘target-driven’ and more ‘customer-focused’. They will also need to be agile and resourceful and be able to promote a positive mind-set in all interactions.

Whether these people are in private, public or voluntary sectors, national, regional or local organisations and whether they work as part of an employability focused team or are the sole employability professional within a multi-disciplined team is not the issue.  They will all need access to up-to-date, relevant information, learning opportunities, peer connections and other general support that enhances their individual performance wherever they are.

They will need to be able to work within an integrated service environment to provide joined up support for customers and be proficient in managing a wide range of relationships.

They will need to engage, establish and build trusted relationships with customers to support them through their journey and have a good understanding of their individual skills, health issues and any complex needs and the knowledge to know where and when to refer for help.

The development of our profession and the wider employability and skills sectors should encompass a shared understanding about the skills, training and qualification frameworks which are accessible by all those responsible for helping people move towards and into work, setting standards and building high quality services, delivering better outcomes. Whatever sector frontline staff are from, they need opportunities to share learning and resources so that they are all equipped with the same high level of expertise.

We are committed to providing our frontline staff with knowledge, learning and the opportunity to share best practice and to understand the synergies in the skills and capabilities across other sectors so that we can ensure that we facilitate both vertical and horizontal career progression pathways across a range of sectors. 

The Apprenticeship Levy has created an opportunity for us to consider and reflect on the challenges faced by our frontline employees, the competencies that underpin our work and our desire to develop a solution that supports genuine career development and progression. To this end, the IEP is working with all of the premier employment support delivery organisations to develop an Employability Apprenticeship Trailblazer, ensuring that people with a range of skills and competencies are able to benefit. Taking into consideration all of the core qualities that are needed to create and develop standards that are of real quality and more ‘future proof’ for the needs of our profession.  Standards need to be distinct enough to drive professional behaviour but also flexible according to an organisation’s delivery model so it is important that those standards are able to be translatable across companies and one of the key outcomes of our discussions is the need to identify synergies with other ‘Case Management’ roles to enable both progression within our sector and movement across other sectors.

It is crucial that the work we do assists all levels of delivery supporting the overall development of the profession. This includes developing in-house learning and development programmes for continued professional development, commissioning high value learning and knowledge content, delivering opportunities for engagement and networking and promoting both wider recognition and an individual sense of pride for those committed to their careers in employability.

The services we provide as a sector are always necessary and should be highly valued as we assist greatly in creating a fair and thriving economy through genuine social and economic impact and the IEP will continue to promote the benefits of developing our frontline staff so that the ‘Future Adviser’ is properly equipped to provide the high-quality support people deserve. We welcome the opportunity to inform and influence the changes that are needed to support our vision; The IEP is dedicated to supporting the people who support others gain work, progress in work and retain work.

 

 

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IEP and GUAC sign new partnership agreement

Posted By Heather Ette, 14 August 2017

IEP and GUAC sign new partnership agreement to enhance tenants’ skills and employment prospects

The Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) and Give us a Chance (GUAC) are delighted to announce their joint partnership to provide learning resources, support and continuous professional development (CPD) for housing professionals working in employability support roles. This will help to enhance the skills and employment prospects of Housing Association tenants, residents and the wider communities that they serve.

Give us a Chance (GUAC) is the leading consortium of social landlords who are rising to the challenge of helping people into work. Their Mission is to transform lives by enabling housing providers to support people into employment. 

The IEP is the membership body for all employability professionals.

The agreement has seen the respective membership organisations sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together on strategic partnerships with a range of stakeholders, partners and government departments to raise the profile of their joint memberships and to seek national joint representation on areas of mutual interest. The MoU will also support the development of the Employability Apprenticeship Trailblazer and disseminate the new standards across the joint memberships after its launch. The agreement has been signed by IEP Chairman Scott Parkin (Fellow, IEP) and GUAC Chair Ian Simpson, from The Guinness Partnership.

IEP Chairman Scott Parkin FIEP said “Forging links with GUAC in this way will help us ensure that employability professionals operating in the housing sector are able to tailor the support they provide, to deliver holistic employment advice and support to Housing Association tenants that will help them gain work, progress in work and remain in work. We are very excited about the opportunities this partnership will bring and the benefits it will provide to employability professionals and tenants alike. There is much that can be learned by the wider sector from employability professionals operating in Housing Associations and I very much look forward to the sharing of ideas and the identification of solutions that can be used in other service settings. Through better integration and improved knowledge and insight we can continue to enhance the quality of service that employability professionals provide, and help to improve people’s lives through the genuine opportunity that sustainable employment brings”.

GUAC Adviser Lynsey Sweeney said “The IEP is the ‘go to’ organisation in setting high standards of service delivery for employment advisers, and has made great strides in the last few years to enhance the profile, professionalism and credibility of this important role.  The IEP maintain fantastic standards to ensure that all employability professionals work effectively and with empathy for their clients, and the development of new professional standards though the Apprenticeship Trailblazer are a welcome progression of their mission.  GUAC members carry out a great deal of advice and employment support services with our tenants, residents and wider communities.  The spirit of partnership, manifest in our MoU with the Institute of Employability Professionals, shows our commitment to developing and maintaining the highest standards of service delivery in the welfare and employment advice that our members maintain. We look forward to a productive, positive and fruitful partnership.”

 

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IEP Elections 2017

Posted By Heather Ette, 07 August 2017
Updated: 10 August 2017

Your Institute Needs You! 

The Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) is first and foremost a membership organisation. Its Members and Fellows can participate in a number of ways but it's especially important to get involved in deciding who runs the IEP on a day to day basis, and sets its strategy. As you will probably know that's the IEP Board. You can read more about the make-up of the current Board here. Every year a number of Directors complete their term of office and stand down and you have the chance to stand for election as a Board member; and to vote in the election yourself.

This year there are going to be four (4) vacancies on the Board so we want a good number of candidates to come forward and we really want those candidates to come from a wide range of backgrounds; you don't have to be a Fellow to stand for election. We would particularly welcome candidates from frontline delivery and frontline management roles and from a whole range of organisations to stand for election.

If you want to stand here's how the process works. We will send out a special note to our full membership on 11 August. This will confirm that if you wish to stand you will need to put yourself forward by midday on 1 September. There will be a simple template to complete setting out a bit about yourself, and saying what you would contribute through your skills or experience to the Board’s work. If you are thinking about standing for election it might be worth starting to think about what you might say now.

During the first week in September we put these candidate statements together in a pack with a voting slip and send them out to all Associates, Members and Fellows of the IEP. That's all done electronically and you must email your vote back to us by 22 September

We count the votes during the following week and notify successful and unsuccessful candidates, in confidence, at the start of October, we then formally announce the new Directors at our AGM on 5 October, and in Employability Professional (EP) shortly after.

So, it's not a difficult or painful process to stand for election. No speeches are required! and being on the Board is great development experience. It's a really good way of helping steer the IEP, and getting involved in some fascinating projects and activities. If you do decide to stand good luck, but above all, whether or not you stand do please vote: it's your Board and your IEP.   

 

Here's some feedback from our Board Co-optees Alex Parnell MIEP and Zoe Bradwick MIEP.

 

Alex Parnell

So far, I have found the experience of sitting on the IEP board very interesting. It’s definitely useful to get an insight into the inner workings of the Institute, how it works and what the challenges are it currently faces. The most difficult part of it for me was adjusting to not being representative of Seetec or the Work Programme. That has been my main involvement during my time in the sector and I found it hard to relate to some of the earlier conversations, especially around the skills agenda. This did prompt me to go away and conduct some CPD to bring my knowledge up to scratch.

I do feel that you have been very supportive of us and also very inclusive. I understand that you have been keen not to burden us with any formal projects or commitments as we have our day jobs, but I wonder if by doing so that would enhance our learning further.

Zoe Bradwick

This opportunity has been great for me as it has helped me gain confidence in my ability to communicate effectively at this level.  During my time in Working Links, I have experienced senior management and executive team level interaction before, but it has always been with the security of my manager being present, or involving a topic that I have particular knowledge/experience in.  It has been a really positive experience to be out of my comfort zone and contribute at this level.

What has been great is that I have never felt that my opinion is any less valued than anyone else around the table and I have really enjoyed hearing how our sector is viewed by such a cross section of people.  I’ve also really enjoyed contributing to submissions and feeding back to my team about what I’m doing and it’s been good to hear industry leaders give their take on the direction of this sector.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to present to the board about Welsh politics, especially as I’m used to discussing it with people who already understand and are involved with the political structure, so putting together a presentation with the right amount of detail took some consideration.

I think it has definitely helped me to consider my communication style and take myself out of my immediate role and experience to give a more strategic response. 

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From The Top

Posted By Heather Ette, 05 August 2017
Updated: 24 July 2017

Estonian Delegation Get New Perspectives From IEP

A delegation from the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs visited the UK recently to conduct a series of interviews with people involved in the IEP to build a case study example of the work that the IEP does and to learn lessons from senior industry practitioners on ‘what works’ specifically around disability assessments and subsequent support.

 

Speaking of the visit, Sabina Trankmann, Chief Specialist at the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs (top left) said “The connections from your network are very valuable for us and we will definitely use the material from interviews and the new ideas we collected in our future work. The honest viewpoints and shared experiences of the professionals we met gave us some new perspectives for our work. We wish your colleagues to know that their time spent with us was highly appreciated and they had a real possibility to contribute to development of Estonian Work Ability policy. We are very interested in ideas you might have about further co-operation with IEP.”

 

Scott Parkin FIEP, IEP Chairman said “It was a real pleasure to both arrange this visit and to meet with Sabina and Arne finally. We have spent the last few months planning who they would meet and what they would do and for me it really worked. The IEP believes in sharing best practice and supporting all those that help others with employment support to achieve even better services for customers and thus a tangible improvement in outcome performance. This transcends operational, organisational, geographical and cultural boundaries and I look forward to doing more with colleagues from the Estonian Ministry in the coming months.

 

“It was great to hear about the progress they are making in, what is, still quite a young industry and nation as a whole. I believe delegates from the UK were able to glean as much useful information as they were able to impart and for that I am grateful that the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs decided to partner with the IEP for this visit.”

 

Other IEP representatives involved in the visit were Patrick Hughes FIEP, Pat Russell MIEP, Natalie Ward, Richard Brooks FIEP, David Imber FIEP. Deborah Tillett FIEP and Stewart Holdsworth MIEP.

 

Salient Work’s Patrick Hughes FIEP said “This meeting with colleagues from Estonia was an excellent IEP initiative. From my perspective, we had a serious discussion about an important issue: in this case the design and delivery challenges of putting in place a service which contacts, assesses and tries to find work for people on long term inactive, incapacity benefits. It was striking how two countries, quite different in scale and history, had very similar problems.

 

“So, we were able to do exactly what IEP does at its best - sharing good ideas and lessons learnt across boundaries whether they be organisational, professional, geographical or even cultural. All in all, it was a great idea, and good fun too. I've agreed to stay in touch with these excellent colleagues and hope to meet them again to hear more about what they have done."

 

VRC’s David Imber FIEP said “Many thanks to all who contributed: this was a really informative set of discussions, showing the range of opinions, the complexity of the subject and the different contributions made by many organisations. Two things shone out: that the combination of welfare with disability makes a complex policy area with many competing demands and pressures; and that ethical judgements have at least as important a role as financial and economic efficiency considerations. Our visitors have said they found this a very helpful day, and no doubt their Ministers will be much enlightened, so thank you all."

 

Stewart Holdsworth MIEP from Serco said “The thing that struck me most was the similarities between the two countries, particularly the fact that citizens in Estonia more often than not define themselves by their disability or condition, and present it as the barrier/reason they cannot work, just as they do here. Similarly, to the UK this “view” is then reinforced by society at large. This is one of the key issues we share, although, I think it sounded like we had come further with how we (UK society) “views” disability possibly thanks to the Paralympics etc. although that may not be the case when it comes to Mental Health, but we know there is some focus on improving that now.

 

“We agreed that one of the key things required to enable citizens with health and disability needs to progress into work, was self-efficacy and an attitudinal shift to redefine themselves and reposition themselves towards a positive “can-do” approach to life and subsequently employment. Part of this “solution” threw up another key synergy around the need to engage employers as early as possible in the citizen’s journey towards self-efficacy and employment; Estonia, like the UK needed to drive a culture shift in the business community (particularly SMEs) around how they view disability and the benefits of more inclusive recruitment strategies.”

 

APM’s Pat Russell MIEP said “The Estonian officials were particularly interested in how we work with a range of public and VSC suppliers in our delivery areas as there is a lot of suspicion of possible private sector delivery in Estonia. The journey APM has been on with the eight London Boroughs in Working Capital was a great story to illustrate that it’s all about building relationships and working on the right values. I took the opportunity to press home how important it is for commissioners to be very clear about what they want and to work with providers to ensure that they commission what is deliverable.”

 

 

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Employability Day 2017

Posted By Heather Ette, 27 July 2017

The High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Jane Cranston, visits leading Oxfordshire Wellbeing and Employment Support Service for UK Employability Day

On Friday, 14 July, the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Jane Cranston visited OxForward, Oxfordshire’s leading Employment and Wellbeing Service for adults with a disability to celebrate UK Employability Day.

OxForward, run by leading employment specialists Kennedy Scott, in partnership with The Royal Mencap Society and Oxfordshire Sport and Physical Activity (OxSPA), marked the day with a tea party held at Wolvercote Young People’s Club in St Peter’s Rd.

Ruby, 21, (case study below), is one of 400 people that OxForward has worked with. OxForward is a wellbeing and employment service that offers jobseekers with a disability living in Oxfordshire a range of holistic support including CV and cover letter writing, courses and interview practice, activities to improve wellbeing and clubs to increase confidence and decrease social isolation.

The well-attended event celebrated with music, entertainment and sports activities including archery. An awards ceremony took place at the end of the day, following a games competition with prizes given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place entrants. Attendees were able to see first-hand the support OxForward, commissioned by Oxfordshire County Council, provides to local people and the efforts of the Service Users they work with every day.

UK Employability Day is coordinated by the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) and underlines the critical work that employment support providers do in helping to transform people’s lives, communities and businesses.

The High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Jane Cranston, enjoyed meeting Service Users and joining in with the games.  She said: “It is a real pleasure to see people with disabilities having such a good time.  The work done at Oxforward is clearly much valued by the participants many of whom have made a considerable effort to get to Wolvercote from all over Oxford to be part of such a cheerful and entertaining event.” She added: “Huge fun, please invite me again!”

Kennedy Scott CEO, Teresa Scott, said: “The day proved to be very popular. It was great to see such a well-attended event, enjoyed by carers, service users, OxForward staff and members of the local community. The aim of the day was to demonstrate the fantastic work that OxForward is doing in the local area, celebrate the hard work of our service users and encourage even more people to sign up to the project, which we are happy to say we achieved.”

Angela Barnett, Quality and Contracts Officer, Oxfordshire County Council said: “The day was a thorough success. It was a great event for people to come together, have fun and learn about an important service. Everybody had a fantastic time and enjoyed the day.”

Case study:

Ruby had previously never had paid employment. Having finished education four years ago, she was struggling to find work. She joined OxForward in February 2017, with the aim of improving her confidence, meeting new people and finding a job. Ruby joined in with centre activities like games club and group jobsearching sessions. She had support with interview skills and writing a professional, engaging CV. Ruby’s Caseworker arranged for her to do a volunteering placement with the OxForward centre, working as a Receptionist Administrator to increase her confidence and gain new skills and professional experience. Ruby has now found paid work as a Travel Buddy with a local self-advocacy organisation for people with a Learning Disability, which her Caseworker helped her to find. Ruby continues to help out at the OxForward centre and is enjoying the benefits of volunteering alongside employment.

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Employability Day 2017

Posted By Shaw Trust, 26 July 2017

Employability Day 2017 at Shaw Trust. A date with the Commissioner.

For Shaw Trust, Employability Day provides the perfect platform to showcase and drive awareness of what employment support really means on the frontline, the impact it is having on individuals and on local communities.

Shaw Trust is the largest third sector provider of the Department for Work and Pensions’ contracted welfare to work provision (Work Programme) as well as the largest prime contractor for DWP’s specialist disability employment provision (Work Choice and Specialist Employment Support). Our belief is that everyone has the right to engage in meaningful work that helps them to live independent and inclusive lives.

Across the UK our Employment Support teams work tirelessly supporting job seekers, some of the hardest to reach, into quality employment. Their needs and barriers to work are often complex requiring a very personalised and holistic approach, our competent teams provide a focus on health and wellbeing and a high standard of customer service to make our centres inspirational places that customers want to visit.

This year, to celebrate Employability Day 2017 we were delighted to host a visit from Ed Hawker, previously DWP Disability Employment Support Directorate, now at the Treasury and his two Treasury colleagues Ruby Thompson and Nina Delany. Shaw Trust’s Specialist Provision Manager, Liz Millington led the visit.

Ed, Ruby and Nina spent the morning at our Lewisham Community Hub listening to clients sharing their very positive stories of working with Shaw Trust. They spent time with our Employment Support Advisers gaining insight into some of the very real barriers our customers faced. They heard what Shaw Trust are doing to look beyond the standard employability training i.e. CV, interview skills practice, focusing on the wider health and wellbeing of the individual, seeing it as an integral part of building the emotional resilience and improved mental health required to sustain work and live more inclusive, financially independent lives.

Ruby and Nina then joined some of our customers for one of our volunteer led mindfulness classes held at our hub.

All in all, it was a great day.

Visit www.shaw-trust.org.uk for more information on our Community Hubs and the work we do.

Read our recent article “A day in the life of a rehabilitation case worker”. John* works on our CFO3 contract helping ex-offenders into employment. Having spent 5 years in prison himself, John* has first-hand knowledge of the barriers with criminal records face.

If you are interested in volunteering with Shaw Trust visit www.shaw-trust.org.uk/volunteer

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