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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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