IEP Board Update - Skills and Standards, Policy, Collaboration and much more
By Keith Faulkner CBE FIEP, Acting IEP Chair
I really hope that you are enjoying these updates from the IEP Board Meetings and that they help to explain what we are discussing when we meet. Much progress has been made over the past few months which was duly noted at last week’s IEP Board Meeting. Some significant achievements were highlighted and new developments have been agreed in line with our vision and 5 Themes for delivery for 2017 which I am pleased to share with you.
We have continued to develop our Fellows campaign, welcoming new Fellows into the fold since the last meeting in February and with a number of applications in the pipeline. We will be announcing dates for a series of Fellows’ Dinners shortly.
We are delighted to have secured the support of three new Corporate Affiliates; Parkhouse Bell, Red Cape Partners and Volition over the past couple of months.
We have submitted formal responses to the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper consultation, the Department for Education’s Online Survey about Work Placements in Technical Education and the consultation from the DWP on its Merlin Refresh, helping to build our influence in the sector.
The Institute of Apprenticeships have approached us to give our views on the Apprenticeship Levy and we recently met with Jobcentre Plus as part of an ongoing discussion about ways we can help support their workforce prepare for the new challenges ahead.
Our first Employability Apprenticeship Trailblazer meeting took place in March. It was a huge success and attracted an excellent turnout. We discussed the possibility of the IEP becoming an End Point Assessment (EPA) organisation or the quality assurance element of the delivery process. A second meeting is planned for 11th May where we will widen our invitation so that more organisations can get involved.
We are discussing ways we can extend the IEP’s reach across the whole of the UK, developing bespoke services for colleagues in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
IEP is supporting a visit from government ministers from Estonia who are here to learn how services are contracted and delivered in the UK with a particular interest in services for disability and health. We expect this will be the start of a positive new relationship.
Together with APM’s Pat Russell we delivered a Webinar for GUAC aimed at increasing collaboration between the housing and employability sectors and to discuss the role of the ‘future adviser’. As a result of this collaboration the IEP Board have agreed a MoU for IEP and GUAC to work closer together.
The IEP/ERSA ‘Working Towards Better Mental Health’ Conference has been confirmed for 16th May in Birmingham (bursaries will be available so watch this space). We have also secured 2 free ‘bursary’ places for IEP Members to attend the Work in Progress Conference in Birmingham in April. We were able to send over twenty IEP Members to a conference entitled Skills, Employment and Growth in Salford where feedback was good on their experience.
We held a training Webinar in partnership with Seetec’s HR team to provide Seetec employees with an understanding on how to utilise the IEP website more effectively and how to use all the available resources to maximum effect.
The IEP is developing its ‘Disability Confident’ initiative to promote disability awareness amongst employers.
CPD, Skills and Qualifications
In partnership with Working Links and Seetec and, through our Employability Apprenticeship Trailblazer, we aim to foster relationships with the Probation Institute to promote the transferability of skills required for employment support professionals and some roles within probation.
We are further developing our CPD initiatives with a trial soon to begin with Remploy to support their members in achieving learning outcomes.
In partnership with Serco, we are looking to improve resources for employability professionals who may be working on more ‘skills’ based contracts, extending IEP’s services.
We will be carrying out a skills and qualifications review to include the ‘Endorsed by IEP’ Programme, formalising the role we play in promoting career progression and adding value for members and providers alike.
Finally, we will continue to develop our training and development programme to match the diversification of the sector, providing and developing content which aids a wider range of employability professionals from the skills, justice, housing and other sectors to engage.
The next IEP Board Meeting will be held on 8th June after which we will provide you with a further update.