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'Employability Partners' is the place to hear about exciting work and success stories from organisations in the sector and to learn new ideas and innovations you can apply in your own workplace.

 

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Employability Partners

Posted By Heather Ette, 20 June 2018

Orbit Join IEP as Corporate Affiliate Partners

The IEP are delighted to announce that Orbit, one of the UK’s largest developing Housing Associations has joined the IEP as Corporate Affiliate Partners.

Orbit has 50 years’ experience providing more than 40,000 quality, affordable homes and a range of advice and support services to over 100,000 people across the Midlands, East and South East, including areas of London.

Their ethical approach to business means that they reinvest their profits into their mission of building communities, ensuring all generations can live in a home they can afford. This profit for a purpose culture enables Orbit to build around 2,000 homes a year, from market sale and shared ownership to affordable rent and independent living with care options for people aged 55-plus.

Orbit also work closely with partners to provide a network of support services to give people choice and opportunities through employment and training, health and wellbeing, digital inclusion and financial inclusion.

Their employment support service is available across the whole of the business and is designed to assist customers to reach their potential. This service can be carried out at home, over the telephone or from a mutually convenient place. Services offered include CV writing and interview techniques, job searching/applications, Apprenticeships, voluntary work/work experience, self-employment, education and training, confidence building courses and in work support.

Last year, Orbit supported 1579 customers to undertake employment related training and skills, helped 378 customers into work and 3,300 customers with their emotional and physical wellbeing.

Debbie Wilson MIEP, Employment Skills and Enterprise Team Manager for Orbit, said “Joining the Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) will be beneficial for both our Employment Coaches and customers alike. The IEP provide a number of benefits:

  • Webinars on issues such as mental health and employee engagement and;
  • A huge library of useful resources around the support we offer to our customers helping us to become more informed and knowledgeable
  • Our Employment Coaches will be recognised professional’s in their field which will help to increase trust been the customer and Coaches
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities including the chance to progress their career with qualifications
  • Access to a network of employment professionals to share best practice.

“Joining the IEP will give our Employment Coaches the professional recognition that they deserve for their extensive experience in this field. In addition, the links to other professionals and potential funding streams must not be overlooked.”

The 40,000-home landlord also launched its new ‘Build your Career’ programme in 2017, recruiting 20 graduates and Apprentices into a career in housing. Developing its employees and driving the right culture is a key focus for the landlord to ensure it can deliver high quality services for its 100,000 customers.

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Employability Partners

Posted By Heather Ette, 20 June 2018

Apprenticeships for all

By Matt Reed, Director of employer services, Remploy

At Remploy we value Apprenticeships as an excellent tool to recruit and develop fresh new talent into our organisation. If you are not already taking advantage then you are missing out on a huge opportunity. 

 Despite recent improvements there is still a lack of people with disabilities and health conditions taking part in Apprenticeships. At present, just nine per cent of Apprentices have a disability, while 19 per cent of working age people in the UK have a disability*, meaning that disabled people remain significantly under-represented at Apprenticeship level. The attainment levels for disabled Apprentices are, in the main, significantly lower than for those without. Businesses are missing out on a large pool of talent. 

Through our partnership with MAXIMUS Training we hope to change that with a new and innovative approach to delivering Apprenticeships for all. Our expertise and experience in delivering workplace adjustments has enabled us to create a simple assessment tool to identify potential, and often hidden barriers to success as part of the MAXIMUS Training Apprenticeship onboarding process. Where potential barriers are identified our expert Consultants will create an individualised support plan to not only suggest suitable adjustments, and signpost to existing support services, but also help access funding available to support those Apprentices who may require additional learning support.

We are taking a bold approach, putting wellbeing, health and disability at the heart of our Apprenticeship offer, providing expert training to Apprentice Coaches on disability, and tracking Learners’ physical and emotional health to identify if any additional support is required. When you couple that with high quality, flexible delivery this is a huge opportunity to make a real difference to our existing and new Employer partners

 Emma Shipstone, Head of Skills and Apprenticeships for MAXIMUS Training is excited too:

The solutions we have designed with our partners will ensure that Employers and Apprentices alike are able to take full advantage of the opportunities they have at their fingertips. We know that Apprenticeships work and feel that our approach will support achievement for all.”

If you would like to know more about this exciting new opportunity please visit our website for further information, or contact us and we will be delighted to speak to you. 

 

About Matt Reed

I have been with Remploy for six years. Our Employer Services team focus on helping employers to build disability confidence and create the kind of environments that enable all people to achieve their potential.

* RIDI and the Disabled Living Foundation, 2018

 

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Member Discounts!

Posted By Heather Ette, 08 June 2018

Exclusive Member Discount on Mental Health Training!

Remploy is offering a 10 per cent discount on their mental health training for all IEP members and Corporate Affiliate Partners.

Remploy is one of the UK’s leading providers of specialist employment support for disabled people and those with health conditions. All courses are designed to increase awareness of mental health issues, confidence and the skills needed to support employees in the workplace.

Courses include:

Mental Health First Aid

This two day internationally recognised training course is designed to teach you how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis. Non IEP member price; up to 12 delegates £2,250, or £2,450 for up to 16 delegates.

Mental wellbeing in the workplace

This workshop will give you the confidence and tools to effectively approach, support and manage mental wellbeing within your business. It can be delivered as a half day (four hour introductory/refresher course), or a full day workshop. Non IEP member price; half day £600, or £1,100 for a full day.

 

Resilience

This half day workshop provides a safe and open environment to discuss personal resilience. It explores the relationship between stress, wellbeing and performance, resilience drivers and the attributes of a resilient person. Half day workshop; non IEP member price £640. Please note that all prices are excluding VAT.

What businesses are saying about Remploy’s mental health training...

"Remploy tailored their Mental wellbeing in the workplace course to suit our organisation, taking the time to understand our policies, culture and challenges. Feedback from delegates has been excellent, with managers reporting much greater levels of confidence in supporting employees with mental health conditions."

Alexa, HR projects lead, Macmillan Cancer Support

"The Mental Health First Aid training has already had a positive impact, with a trained ‘first aider’ being able to support a colleague with their mental health. We’re now more confident in dealing with mental health and will be able to help and support even more of our staff in the future."

Kassandra, Health, safety and wellbeing administrator, Balfour Beatty

If you're interested in mental health training, or a summary of  everything else we can support you with, please get in touch with us at employers@Remploy.co.uk.

You can also visit www.remploy.co.uk/employers

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Employability Partners

Posted By Heather Ette, 01 June 2018

WISE are looking for mentors!

Over the past 2 months, the Support And Mentoring Enabling Entrepreneurship (SAMEE) charity has been delivering the ground-breaking SFEDI Awards Passport to Enterprise and Employment qualification in schools across Dorset by its Workshops Introducing Self-Employment (WISE) project team.

The cutting-edge Level 1 qualification is delivered alongside a range of truly interactive workshops, including one which introduces young people to the hospitality sector and is based on their creation of a fictitious hotel and the departments within.  Each workshop activity aims to develop young people's understanding of the world of work and the different opportunities available to them and encourages them to explore their skills and identify their key strengths.

As part of its work, educating young people about employability and entrepreneurship skills, the SAMEE charity is now searching for more volunteer business mentors to help support their expanding innovative work in schools.

CEO and IEP Fellow, Samantha Everard, explains "We encourage volunteer mentors to join us from the local community and support WISE workshops as the young people enjoy a variety of employer encounters and learn a lot from them.  The work we do ensures that all students are able to engage and access the learning points and, by bringing in volunteer mentors, we are able to offer real life examples of different routes into work"

The SAMEE charity team create all WISE workshops around the 8 Gatsby benchmarks, a measurement of career-related activity which all schools need to adhere to and are proud of the fact that each WISE workshop touches on all eight points of the standard.  Combined with the accreditation of Disability Confident Leader status at level 3, which is the highest standard an organisation can currently achieve, the SAMEE charity can provide true expertise when it comes to supporting people with disabilities.

The WISE project now offers a variety of enterprise-based careers support to primary and secondary schools plus colleges and is continuing to scale up in response to huge demand from educational establishments looking to fulfil their responsibility to provide a stable careers programme.  As a Teachfirst Innovation shortlisted project, the SAMEE team are proud of their achievements with WISE workshops and are looking forward to the future alongside growing support from businesses across the South.

SAMEE charity Head of Education, Ricci Colla, said "We are always grateful for the support offered to us from our growing team of volunteer mentors on our WISE workshops, and they provide a great personal development opportunity for staff as well as extra added value for the young people."

If any readers would like to explore volunteering as a business mentor on our future WISE workshops please contact Ricci on 01202 424477 or email wise@samee.co.uk

 

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Employability Partners

Posted By Heather Ette, 25 May 2018

Reflecting on the BBO programme

By CogniSoft

Last week saw CogniSoft hold the latest in our regular User Group meetings, supporting customers delivering BBO programmes throughout the UK.

Each of the organisations we work with is at a different stage of delivery and each has taken an individual approach to the programme, however there are many commonalities between them, not least the impact this unique programme has had on their participants’ lives.

Building Better Opportunities, funded jointly by the ESF and Big Lottery, is a unique employability programme.  Open to adaptation for any support that moves participants closer to employment or training, it reaches out to those furthest from the labour market who might not have engaged with other programmes. 

The scope is huge and the work is intense.  Providing one-to-one mentoring, support with a range of mental and physical impairments and guidance in everything from managing finances to building self-confidence.

The programme faces an uncertain future, with Brexit raising a question mark over the future of funding from the European Social Fund and the Big Lottery also considering its position.  However, two things are clear from speaking to the front line staff delivering these programmes:

1. Their belief in the programme and commitment to it is unwavering, and

2. The results they have achieved speak for themselves, prompting real change in the lives of people who most needed support from a dynamic and intensive programme.

Time will tell what the future holds for this programme, however for those who have benefitted from it, the impact will last a lifetime.

If you would like to know more about how CogniSoft can help with your programme delivery, speak to our expert team on 0161 7779200 or visit our website, www.cognisoft.co.uk.

 

NB. Cognisoft are long standing supporters of the IEP and they are joint sponsoring the AGM in October in Manchester

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Employability Partners

Posted By Heather Ette, 25 May 2018

Seetec’s support helps Gina to embrace management role

When mum-of-two Gina Loombe was promoted to Assistant Manager at busy Norwich toyshop The Entertainer, a tailored training programme spearheaded her development into the type of manager she wanted to be.

Thanks to a partnership between her manager and employment and skills specialist Seetec Gina was able to develop her skills on the job. A combination of observation, working with her manager and Seetec’s assessor, and out-of-hours study for her Retail Management qualification, was the springboard for her success.

Gina’s manager Rachel Willmott explained: “Gina showed massive potential but we needed to support her to grow her skills, experience and confidence and help her to develop herself.”

“Being Assistant Manager is not an easy job and Gina did extremely well to complete her qualification alongside in-house training for her role.”

Seetec’s Internal Quality Assurer Steve Bond was able to provide exactly the external support Gina needed – observing her at work during busy times, and taking her out of the store to the nearby library to work together on areas identified for skills development.

Steve said: “Gina didn’t initially exude confidence and has faced barriers on her learning journey, including balancing it with her family life. “

She’s worked really hard to get to grips with her job role. She initially struggled to pass her English and Maths, but she stuck at it. She really deserves recognition for her achievement.”

Gina, 31, who was recently presented with her Advanced Level 3 qualification (equivalent to 2 A levels in a vocational setting), said: “I feel very proud. It has been rewarding and has helped me to progress in my job. I’ve learned the skills I didn’t have and I’ve been able to use my training in my working life, giving me more confidence.”

Manager Rachel added that she now believed Gina would be able to share her skills and knowledge to help the store’s supervisor to develop. “There’s a massive difference in how far she’s come. I have faith in her ability to help upskill others in the team, which is a great benefit to the business.”

Employers interested in more information about accessing skills training and funding opportunities, should contact Seetec on 01702 208 270 or see www.seetec.co.uk/employer.     

 

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Mental Health Awareness Week

Posted By Heather Ette, 18 May 2018

Remploy encourages people to access workplace mental health support 

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 14-20 May, Remploy, the leading provider of specialist employment and skills support for people with disabilities and health conditions, encouraged anyone experiencing workplace stress or issues with their mental health to seek help.

It came as the Access to Work Workplace Mental Health Support Service, operated by Remploy, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions celebrated supporting over 11,000 employees to remain in work.

The free support service, which offers personalised support to help individuals struggling because of stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions, has a remarkable success rate with 93% of people who have used the service still in their jobs after six months.

The service, which is available across England, Scotland and Wales, offers free individual workplace support from an experienced mental health practitioner for a period of six months.

Sarah Newton MP, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, said: “Mental health is a real priority for this Government, and getting 11,000 people with mental health conditions the very best support to thrive in the workplace is an impressive milestone. It’s fantastic news not only for those individuals it’s directly helped, but their employers too. Creating an environment where employees can get the right support at the right time will help people with mental health conditions to reach their full potential.”

One in six adults of working age will be affected by mental health in any one year and it is the single largest reason for absenteeism from the workplace.

Fifty- four year old Professor Paul Tucker, a professor in Engineering at the University of Cambridge, thought being stressed and anxious most of the time was normal. “Eventually I realised that is it not normal to feel intensely anxious 99% of the time,” he said, “That’s when I sought help from Remploy.”

He added: “I was used to referrals taking a long time, so it was refreshing that within a week I received a call from my Remploy Vocational Rehabilitation Coach. She helped me to liase with my employer to make my workload more manageable, make them aware there would be a recovery period and talk about adjustments to help me in my role. Her support has been invaluable.”

Support can include introducing coping strategies; a tailored plan to keep them in, or return to work; ideas for workplace adjustments to help them fulfil their role; and practical advice and support.

Gareth Parry, Remploy Chief Executive, said: “I am so proud that we have helped 11,000 people facing mental health issues to stay in work through the service. We want to help change perceptions of mental health in the workplace and know that managing stress can be a big challenge for individuals and their employers, as well as other conditions such as depression. Increasing demand for this support alongside our free webinars for employers demonstrates how important workplace mental health support is.”

Gareth added: “ It is estimated that mental health is now responsible for 91 million lost working days each year, so it is a subject we should all be encouraging individuals and businesses to talk about to maintain employment for individuals and boost productivity for businesses.”

If you or a colleague would like support, get in touch on 0300 456 8114 or email

vocationalrehabilitation@remploy.co.uk. For more information about the service, please visit the Mental Health section of Remploy's website

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Mindful Employer Update

Posted By Richard Frost, Mindful Employer, 11 May 2018

Mindful Employer Update - Charter for Employers who are Positive about Mental Health Increases

Since MINDFUL EMPLOYER was launched in 2004, a total of 1,878 employers have at some point been a signatory to the Charter for Employers who are Positive About Mental Health.

Click here for the full list of current Charter Signatories

The Charter is not an accreditation, award or a set of quality standards - it is completely voluntary.

The Charter is about working towards the principles of it not the immediate fulfilment of them – signing up is a step along a journey not the end of it. Being a Charter signatory doesn't mean 'getting it all right' - but it does indicate a willingness to work towards better practice. Employers can be involved in MINDFUL EMPLOYER without signing the Charter but many use it as a tangible display of their commitment to improving the working lives of their staff. 

Nearly 90 employers have signed the  Charter for Employers who are Positive About Mental Health  so far this year, compared to 53 in the same period last year. This is a great surge of interest and continues to show how employers (contrary to some other publicity you might read…!) really are taking active steps to support the mental wellbeing of their staff. Recent new signatories are:

 

Assistants at Hand   Plymouth

Avtrade Limited Sayers Common  West Sussex

Catholic Care   Leeds

CFH Docmail  Radstock Somerset

Coach Forever Ltd   Milton Keynes

Coast to Coast Caravans Ltd  Milford Haven

Co-operatives UK Ltd  Manchester

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service   

DTP Group   Leeds

Enzen Global Ltd   Solihull

Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce   

IETG & 40Seven Ltd   Leeds

Imperial College London   

KnownFour Ltd  Harpenden Herts

Mentis Training and Consultancy Ltd  Wigan

Metro Centre Limited  London

MHFA England CIC London 

Missing Link Bristol 

Optix Solutions  Exeter

Pendle Education Trust  Nelson Lancashire

Pennine MSK Partnership Ltd  Oldham

Princess Alice Hospice Esher 

Selwood Housing Trowbridge 

St Luke's (Cheshire) Hospice  Winsford

The St Christopher School Academy Trust Leigh on Sea  Essex

UK Telematics   Wrexham

University of Huddersfield   

University of Plymouth Students' Union   

Winchester Science Centre   

Woughton Community Council  Milton Keynes

Zed Books   London

 

Any employer, any size, any sector, anywhere can sign this voluntary, aspirational commitment.  Click here  for more information.

 

Click here to read out recent Mindful Employer Update

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Employability Partners

Posted By Heather Ette, 03 May 2018

South London employers urged to help young people find work

Lewisham Deptford MP Vicky Foxcroft visited young Londoners to see how a skills and work programme is helping to boost their confidence and employability.

The 10-week programme, run by national employment and skills specialist Seetec in Lewisham, supports 16 to 24-year-olds in an area of high youth unemployment to gain qualifications and workplace skills and includes 100-hours’ work experience.

Shannon Lindley-Reseigh, 19, from Eltham, is one of ten students in the current group. She had switched between customer service, retail, hospitality and admin roles since leaving school at 16, before health issues left her seeking employment.

Shannon was persuaded to join the programme after meeting Seetec’s course tutor and says: “It was the best decision I’ve made this year. For the first time in a long while I feel I’m working towards a career, I know I’m comfortable in an office environment and I would eventually like to work my way up to office manager or work as an HR/Revenue administrator.”

Shannon has gained qualifications including Level 2 (GCSE-equivalent) English and Level 1 in personal wellbeing, progression and British values. She is completing her work placement in an Adult Training Centre where she has provided admin support and assisted students with their learning.

Shannon said: “The best thing about the course is the network of support provided by Seetec and my work placement. I’ve definitely increased my confidence, and my enthusiasm, and learned to be persistent and well organised. I’ve also learned the importance of punctuality and attendance in being respected at work.”

Shannon’s work experience manager Debbie Kiely said: “Shannon has been extremely polite and friendly to both learners and staff which has enabled her to develop great working relationships. She has grown in confidence and has shown initiative. Shannon is a very hard worker and will be a credit to any team she joins.”

Ewa Rusinek, 24, from Greenwich, has used the 10-week programme to retrain from a chef to an administrator by gaining qualifications in English and Customer Service. Ewa said: “The course has been good for me. The atmosphere at Seetec has been really positive, the work experience has given me so much confidence, I now feel ready to find my new career.”

Samantha Duce, Regional Skills Coordinator for Seetec, said: “We provide specialist support to a wide range of learners, the majority have low qualifications and lack confidence and experience, so they struggle to get into college or their first career opportunity.“

We help them gain qualifications but we need more employers in south London to guide and support them through work experience, to help them find sustainable employment in their community. Work experience helps to unlock their potential, and businesses are often keen to employ them afterwards or support them into apprenticeships.”

Sam urged more local employers to tap into to Seetec’s services, to meet their skills needs and work together to provide real opportunities for local young people.

MP Vicky Foxcroft said: "It was great to see first-hand how Seetec are helping young people with low qualifications, little or no experience and a lack of confidence to boost their employability. The young people of Lewisham have a huge amount to offer the workplace.“

I encourage all local employers to consider working with Seetec to offer work experience and support local young people in gaining valuable skills."

Seetec has over 30 years’ experience in helping people across the UK to fulfil their potential and will be running new programmes in Lewisham over the coming months. Young Londoners who are not in work, training or education who would like to participate should call 0207 407 4705 or email London.skills@seetec.co.uk Businesses who can provide work experience or apprenticeship opportunities should email employers@seetec.co.uk or call 0800 38 91 999.ends

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Employability Day 2018

Posted By Heather Ette, 02 May 2018

Employability Day 2018 - 7 weeks to go!

Why not show off your European Social Fund projects?

Employability Day on 29 June is the perfect opportunity to shout about your European Social Fund (ESF) projects.

This is expected to be the last EmpDay before Britain leaves the European Union next year, so it's vital we demonstrate the importance of the ESF for disadvantaged jobseekers that fall outside mainstream provision, such as people with mental health conditions, young people with learning difficulties or ex-offenders.

With Brexit now looming large, there's still a high degree of uncertainty about the current rounds of ESF and precious little information in the public domain about its potential successor, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

The ERSA / NCVO Future ESF Working Group has pressed the government to act urgently to avoid a gap in funding and potential cliff edge in services supporting disadvantaged communities. Last month, ERSA secured a Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry on the future ESF and has met with ministers and officials to support their work on the successor initiative.

So, if you have ESF projects, please use EmpDay18 to show off their amazing work to local stakeholders! And remember to fill out this form so we can map your activity, connect you with officials and help promote your event.

Please visit ERSA's website for more details and to download helpful materials. Feel free to email matt.byrne@ersa.org.uk with any questions and remember to tell us what you're planning!

 

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