IEP Board Update – Current Projects, Partnerships and Promotion
By Scott Parkin FIEP, IEP Chairman
After another successful IEP Board Meeting, last week, I am pleased to give you an update on what we are doing and what progress has been made.
Public Policy, Government, Regions and International
The IEP continues to raise its profile across governmental departments with activity surrounding the consultation from the DWP on its Merlin Refresh.
We are making good progress with our Employability Apprenticeship Trailblazer with almost all of the premier employment support delivery organisations now actively involved in the development of these standards. We are also expecting support in the near future from the Skills and Apprenticeships Funding Agency.
Discussions have continued to take place around how we may have specific products or offers for devolved regions, specifically in Scotland and Wales and potentially the Republic of Ireland.
There has been some progress made with Jobcentre Plus (JCP), culminating in a partnership proposal. This proposal has gathered lots of support from numerous organisations across the sector and is seen as a very positive industry wide initiative. It has become really useful for discussions in Greater Manchester, a devolved City Region, and with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority who are taking a lead role to gather support. The proposal will include memberships for JCP staff and also non-employment support specialists in local authority settings. This would be a significant step towards IEP’s mission to become truly ‘sector wide’ and will be very positive in developing relationships and understanding across public, private and charitable sector delivery in the region.
Since the last Board Meeting, there has been good progress with our initiative to support the potential development of a ‘Saudi Arabia IEP’. Discussions are now underway, with the support of Working Links, and with other UK based providers that support delivery and policy development in Saudi Arabia.
Finally, a delegation from the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs is visiting the UK this week to conduct a series of interviews with individuals involved in the IEP. This will build a case study example of the work that the IEP does and they will learn lessons from senior industry practitioners on ‘what works’ specifically around disability assessments and the support that is needed.
Campaigns for 2017
Increasing numbers of Corporate Affiliates are stepping forward to hold local networking events and the list is growing.
On the back of the Employability Apprenticeship Trailblazer work, there is a larger initiative to build an updated Career and Skills Map (Career Routeways) to promote the work of the sector amongst higher education institutions and other areas where candidates could be accessed. This also adds real benefit for those already working in the profession in that they can use this to career plan their own journey.
Training and Development Campaign
The IEP were delighted to be able to award 5 bursary places across three organisations for the IEP / ERSA ‘Working Towards Better Mental Health’ Conference in Birmingham providing evidence of a key member benefit and an opportunity for those lucky members to develop their own CPD. We have a further 8 bursaries being offered for the forthcoming IntoWork Convention, reflecting the need for an increase in overall activity and the benefits of engaging IEP Members to share knowledge and understanding.
In addition to the IEP’s training Webinar, that was held in partnership with Seetec’s HR team, enabling members within Seetec an insight of how to use the full aspects of their Membership, we also completed a series of Webinars for and with the Serco Supply Chain. Working closely with Stewart Holdsworth we developed a Webinar presentation for Serco’s IEPinfo which was aimed at supporting them to use the resources of the IEP website, often for the very first time, for independent training, learning and development. Given its success and the immediate increased awareness of the IEP’s training, learning and development capacity we will now be offering this service to all other Corporate Affiliates.
We are pleased that Carley Consult are carrying out a strategic review and refresh of the IEP Mentoring programme, and have developed a survey for Fellows in order to get views on how these services can be improved. It is expected that they will collate the responses and provide feedback in August.
Over the last two months, and through discussions with Remploy, Skillsmatch, Seetec and other Corporate Affiliates, the Executive has developed a proposal to refresh the ‘Endorsed by IEP’ programme. The proposal aims to develop a Learning and Development Committee which will build a network and living map / directory of training opportunities offered across the country. Through this programme Individual Members can access learning that interests them and would be useful to their role, thus taking control of their own CPD.
The IEP executive team continues to provide bespoke support to smaller Corporate Affiliates, analysing their business aims, to provide whatever support the IEP can to deliver enhanced learning.
The Corporate Affiliate Programme continues to grow at an excellent pace with the number of Corporate Affiliates now at an all-time high of 30 organisations.
The ‘Endorsed by IEP’ programme will form part of a wider qualifications review expected to take place over the course of the next six months which will help employability professionals to see the IEP as the primary source of information on career progression within the sector. This fits well with the Careers and Skills Map being developed as part of the Trailblazer, and will provide good, clear guidance on how Individual Members can progress in their careers.
The IEP has appointed 4 new fellows over the course of the last two months and an additional application is currently being processed. The most recent IEP’s Fellows’ Dinner, supported by APM, was a great success and we look forward to hosting events in Manchester and London before the end of the year.
We aim to utilise IEP Fellows on Employability Day in June, organised by ERSA, to highlight the importance of the Employability sector and the work it does across the country. A special edition of EP will be devoted solely to this day and partners like Emsi have some exciting and innovative ideas on what we could do.
Partnerships and Promotion
The IEP were delighted with the turnout of last week’s Working Towards Better Mental Health Conference which we held in partnership with ERSA. We’ve had some great feedback from delegates and look forward to working on future events.
The IEP, alongside partner Empowering-Communities, sponsored the ‘Team of the Year’ Award at this year’s ERSA Awards, congratulations to Radian: Employment Support and Training Team and all the other winners and finalists.
In partnership with Remploy, the IEP is supporting the development of a ‘Disability Confident’ Ambassadors initiative. The Disability Confident Ambassadors will be hosting a ‘breakout’ session at this week’s IntoWork Convention with the support of IEP. This programme aims to support the Disability Ambassadors to build the skills so they can share their experiences in order to promote disability awareness amongst employers.
Finally, we will be presenting a session with Deborah Tillett FIEP at the IntoWork Convention this week. ‘Top of the Pops’ aims to share best practice and shape the future of staff training in a fun and engaging way, come along and join us.
The next IEP Board Meeting will be held on 10th August and I look forward to letting you know what we are up to shortly after.