Developing skills and employment potential
Conwy and several partners are involved in a wide range of activities to support people in developing their skills and employment potential.
• TRAC – Lead by Denbighshire County Borough Council, supported by European Social Fund (ESF) – supporting young people aged 11- 24 disengaging with education and at risk of becoming NEET (not in employment, education or training) to develop a skilled, agile and resilient workforce.
• AD TRAC – Led by Grŵp Coleg Menai, supported by ESF – supporting 16-24 year olds into education, training or employment who are NEET (not in employment, education or training).
• Communities for Work – Welsh Government operation, supported by ESF and delivered in partnership with DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) and CCBC – supporting and engaging those long term unemployed and economically inactive, hard to reach groups into employment in Communities First areas only.
• Communities First – Welsh Government operation, led by CCBC – to work with and within communities, identifying opportunities to support and engage residents from ages 16+ living in Communities First areas in Conwy County. We offer support with learning opportunities, work and employability-focused interventions, as well as targeting those with an interest in improving their health and well-being.
• OPUS – Led by CCBC, supported by ESF, to work with over 25’s, long term unemployed and economically inactive to provide intensive support and bespoke interventions to reduce significant levels of economic inactivity and improve employment levels for hardest to reach groups in all areas of Conwy except Communities First areas.
• Let’s Get Working – CCBC – to work with individuals aged 16+, living in Conwy with significant barriers to employment, supporting them into training, employment, further education or volunteering, providing one to one bespoke support. This was the umbrella for a number of projects that supported people with learning, upskilling and employment.
• Conwy’s Team Around the Family offer support for families ranging from information, support in accessing universal services, a multi-agency approach and one to one support with a co-ordinator, to an intervention with a Family Support Worker.
• TAF work closely with the Family Information Service. They offer a one stop shop for information and support to local family services such as childcare, play groups, debt helplines, counselling, dentists and free activities. The co-ordinator and Family Support Worker can help with family interventions such as parenting, budgeting, relationship issues and behavioural issues.
The teams provide innovative support around a wide range of issues affecting individuals who wish to access work, volunteering and training.
Our aim is to engage them through:
• Initial one to one meetings
• Group work activities to improve confidence and self esteem
• Training opportunities to improve skills
• Volunteering and work placements to gain practical work experience
• Job search and CV writing skills
• Interview techniques
All with the ultimate aim of reaching their potential and becoming economically active citizens.
There is no prescribed pathway as the service is needs-led and follows an individual action plan. This is developed between our advisors and the participant during one to one sessions and group work. The action plan is a tool to encourage and motivate individuals to fulfil their potential and attain sustainable employment. Our services are offered in English and Welsh, but we also support other languages through language line and translators have provided information in braille.
OPUS started in September 2016, and much of our work last year was the regional project development to support this area and part of the AD TRAC project, which will commence in June 2017. A large focus was to ensure that support available was equitable for all age groups and areas of the county. This work will continue to be a priority for 2017/18, along with aligning the TAF, the Flying Start models, and Rural Families First to the new zoning model, whilst also complying with the funding criteria and meeting the needs of the families in Conwy. We will continue to seek feedback from our clients to monitor performance, as well as collect qualitative and quantitative data for WG.
Our aim for 2017/18 year will be to support people into volunteering and work placements in readiness for paid employment.
Specialist Education Provision
We are also currently collaborating with Coleg Menai with the intention of developing specialised education provision within Conwy in order to prevent out of county specialist residential provision.
Supporting performance data for this quality standard
People reporting that they can do what matters to them
Only 46% of adults report that they can do the things that are important to them. The preventing factors include mobility issues (including access to transport), other medical conditions, and unsuitable accommodation.
Adults with a learning disability responded more positively, with 77% of respondents feeling able to do the things that they like to do. There are still challenges to overcome however, with the main preventing factor being a reliance on other people to accompany/assist with activities.
44% of carers can do the things that are important to them. By far the biggest barrier is finding the time to leave the person that they care for. Caring duties are all-consuming but the desire for carers to have time to do the things they enjoy is clear from the responses and comments.
82% of children can do the things they like, and are supported with hobbies.
People reporting that they feel satisfied with their social networks
85% of adults who responded agreed that they are happy with the support from their family, friends and neighbours. Even some of those who disagreed then went on to comment that friends and neighbours are helpful, so the response to this question is mostly positive from this cohort.
88% of adults with a learning disability feel happy with the people around them and very few additional comments were received around this question to add context.
This figure falls somewhat within the carers’ cohort, with 71% agreeing with the statement. The additional comments highlight an unwillingness to ‘impose’ on the good will of others and an acceptance that family members have busy lives to lead and often cannot afford the time to share caring duties. Family members living great distances away are unable to offer practical, daily assistance, and sometimes there is resentment that caring duties fall solely on the local/co-habiting carer.
93% of the children who responded are happy with their family, friends and neighbours and the few additional comments received were also positive.
- The percentage of children achieving the core subject indicator at key stages 2 and 4 is 42.31%
- The percentage of looked after children who have experienced one or more changes of school, during a period or periods of being looked after, which were not due to transitional arrangements, in the year to 31st March is 4.8%
This post is also available in: Welsh