NEET – Case Study Book - Essex Partnership Portal

\NEET – Case Study Book
While the case studies are listed alphabetically with a content page with hyperlinks for
easy access they have also all been indexed against the following issues: -
NEETs have reduced on a long term basis
Re-Engagement with School or College
Engagement with NEETs in developing a solution
Engagement with parents in developing a solution
Employer driven approaches
Transport Issues
Teenage parents
Youth offending
Care leavers
People with mental health difficulties
Substance misuse
Participation in learning
Special education needs
multi-agency work
with families
Reducing NEETs
Bath Education Trust
Experience in
preventing NEETs
NEET Statistics
Three pronged
approach cuts NEET
by 25 per cent in one
The Princes Trust
Bournemouth, Dorset
and Poole
Brighton and Hove
Cambridgeshire and
Cheshire and
Cornwall Council
NEET reduction
Kala Sangam
Equal Brighton and
Hove (EBH) –
Support for NEETS
integrated youth
service provision for
young people
The Alternative
Vision 21
Impress 4 Success
Chesterfield College
Freestyle Project
Tasters (Croydon
Beacon for Better
Brighter Futures
Positive Pathways
Greenlight Project
The Prince’s Trust
Barnardo’s Works
East Sussex
Good Practice
Engagement with parents in
developing a solution
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
Youth offending
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
Participation in learning
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Special educational needs
Special educational needs
Participation in learning
Participation in learning
Participation in learning
Participation in learning
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Youth offending
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Employer driven
Participation in learning
Opportunities for
Young People
Senior Practitioner
joint funded by LSC
and Connexions to
develop work on
Connexions One
Stop Shop
The Haringey
‘On Track’ Project
Working Herts
Integrated Youth
Support Service
RON (Real
Opportunities Now)
The ‘Break 4 U’
Hammersmith and
Isle of Wight
Kensington and
Participation in learning
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Re-engagement with
school or college
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Re-engagement with
school or college
Re-engagement with
school or college
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Teenage parents
Youth offending
Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
Sharing data to help
Sir Henry Cooper
The Xplorer
Activity Agreement
Route 17 Retention
and Progression
Liverpool Community
Yard Project
Working across
London boundaries
Reducing the number
Speed Matching
Direct contracting
between Connexions
Care leavers
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
Re-engagement with
school or college
Participation in learning
Re-engagement with
school or college
Participation in learning
Participation in learning
Participation in learning
Participation in learning
Participation in learning
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Participation in learning
FE programmes for
NEETs at Newcastle
Reducing the number
of NEETs
Engagement Project
Skills for
vTalent Year
Positive Activities for
Young People
Get Started with
Open Door Project
Fairbridge Project
Activity Agreement
and Learning
Agreement Pilots
NEET Action Team
North Somerset
Tower Hamlets
Understanding the
Risk Factors
associated with
Krunch Project
Route 4
Beacon for Better
Brighter Futures
NEETs a clientcentred approach.
Surrey Youth Matter Preventing NEET by
employability skills
amongst 10-14 year
schemes for
disadvantaged young
people in Teesside
Integrated Youth
Support service
Child Poverty
Information sharing
drives reduction in
young people NEET
Re-engagement with
school or college
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
Re-engagement with
school or college
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Participation in learning
Participation in learning
Re-engagement with
school or college
Re-engagement with
school or college
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Re-engagement with
school or college
Re-engagement with
school or college
Re-engagement with
school or college
Re-engagement with
school or college
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Re-engagement with
school or college
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
Participation in learning
Engagement with NEETs
in developing a solution
Re-engagement with
school or college
Re-engagement with
school or college
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
West Midlands
Leaps and Bounds
Beacon for Better
Brighter Futures
Re-engagement with
school or college
NEETs reduced on a long
term basis
Barnsley: multi-agency work with families - 4
A recent project in Barnsley – an area with significant challenges and high numbers of NEETs –
piloted a multi-agency approach to providing family-centred IAG in order to reduce the number of
young people NEET. It aimed at addressing the social inclusion, skills and employment needs of
young people and their parents in a holistic way. Running from January to June 2008, the project
involved identifying gaps in provision, engaging organisations that already work with young people
and their families, and developing teams to identify specific families with intergenerational problems.
The task team brought together a range of expertise from partners in the public, private and voluntary
sectors to develop a family support plan aimed at breaking down barriers to learning and
The Barnsley project was particularly successful at engaging known hard-to-reach young people.
Partnership working was key to this success. For example, personal advisers from Lifetime
Development – a private sector IAG provider – worked closely with members of the Forge
Community Partnership to develop community relationships and join up the Connexions role with
other, community-based services.
Barnsley: Reducing NEETs - 1
Barnsley is designated as one of the top NEET hotspots and the local authority has recently won an award for
their effective work. 11-19 Project Director, Meryl White puts this down to effective partnership working and a
range of strategies: “no one organisation can do this alone”. Barnsley has five priorities for making this happen:
effective tracking and sharing of information
provision of training and learning
working with young people already NEET
providing a good quality IAG service
An online 14-19 prospectus has been set up, as have partnership agreements with schools and Connexions with
progression targets. They have also implemented red/amber/ green (RAG) rating for the year 11 cohort, an information
sharing timeline, and improvements to careers education IAG. Ambition Barnsley has been established, this is a careers
fair based around diplomas for years 9, 10 and 11, helping them get experience
of provision available. There is a focus on the September guarantee. A borough-wide Common Application Process has
been set up and a referral and tracking group has been established. A clearing house event, Y11 engagement follow-on
programmes and summer activities are also offered. The LSC and the providers have regular group meetings. Flexible
provision is offered as are regular start dates to college programmes. Job clubs, open days, buddy schemes, and
incentives are also available. There is direct engagement with NEETs in localities.
Employers are also represented on the on the Work and Skills board. Training Pays is a work-based learning option. A
hundred and twenty employers in Barnsley from eight defined employment sectors have been involved and small
employers of ten people or fewer are targeted. Barnsley have taken a strategic approach and linked improving
participation to the 14-19 plan. They have also taken advantage of the new climate for joint working. Funding streams
have been used from the European Social Fund, the 14-19 Challenge Fund, local delivery projects to support strategy,
Connexions and the Area Based grant.
Bath: Education Trust - 1
In a rapidly changing world of work, it becomes increasingly important for students to be equipped with a portfolio of skills
and experience which helps them to stand out from the crowd. Evidence shows that it is the combination of academic
study, work experience and leisure interests, which helps to develop the broad range of skills and competencies that
employers seek. The Bath Education Trust Award offers students a framework to help them realise their potential in these
The BET Award is a certificated programme of transferable skills training and practical learning. In this rapidly changing
world it is increasingly important that students acquire the skills and experience challenges which will help to improve their
employability. Whilst the Bath Education Trust Award focuses on a six key skills the core skill they hope to develop is
This programme also offers a framework to accredit the skills and achievements of students not formally recognised
through the current qualification framework. Its focus is to provide students with access to the skills which will enhance
their future employability.
Birmingham: Experience in preventing NEETs - 1
The partners in Birmingham are on track to achieve significant falls in the number of NEETs through
the introduction of an action planning approach. This looked systematically at individuals’
development from birth to 19, and involved concerted effort from all key partners.
In 2006, NEET rates in Birmingham, of about 13 per cent of 16 to 19-year-olds, were significantly
above the national average. The council, Connexions, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and
other partners decided to map and review all service based activity in children’s services, following
the comprehensive approach of the DCSF’s “Building Brighter Futures” Children’s Plan.
The approach looked across the whole population, focusing on delivery from birth to 19, rather than
limiting the focus to the later teen years. Because the action plan had its origins in this developmental
framework, its full impact will not be measurable for some years, but already NEETs levels have
dropped to 7.3 per cent.
A key component of the success to date has been more robust communications between Connexions
and other providers. There has been substantial investment of time in improving tracking and
developing a single data exchange system, providing better intelligence to all the partners.
The comprehensive approach and concerted effort has secured a variety of benefits.
It has improved the partners’ ability to achieve additionality in NEETs provision, and target
extra funding effectively on hotspots.
The partners can now work on prevention with identified schools in high NEET catchment
areas: for example education welfare officers in partnership with Connexions staff can work
with children who are persistently absent from school.
Partners can now target programmes on young people in difficulty and develop a variety of
alternative provision which is set out in a directory given to all schools.
There is now a close monitoring and tracking system and better intelligence to inform the
Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole: NEET Statistics Report - 1
Sharing high quality data to promote a joint understanding of the NEET group amongst the Children’s
Trust and partnership.
“The production of these reports has significantly increased the awareness of the NEET group across
the whole Children’s Trust partnership. This has contributed to NEETs being regarded as a
Partnership rather than a Connexions issue. It forms the basis for more detailed interrogation of the
data to inform resource allocation.”
Martin Vowles, Business Development Manager
The Challenge
Maintenance of accurate, up-to-date information. This also requires default categories such as
“No Individual Circumstances identified” so that confusion is not caused by categories being
left blank.
The data should be naturally occurring as part of the Connexions Adviser’s normal work. This
needs to be monitored via CCIS reports and is part of Adviser reviews by their Team Manager.
The data extraction and collation of the reports requires about 2 days input from a member of
the Management Information Team per quarter.
A half day commitment for the identification of trends in narrative format.
There is also a cost implication in terms of production of hard colour copies (approx. £200 per
production – 40 copies). This is kept to a minimum with the majority of dissemination being via
electronic means.
Top 3 Project Successes
1. Awareness raising amongst Senior Managers in the Local Authority Children’s Services
2. Identification of quarterly trends
3. Identification of the need for further research into the trends identified, funded by the Local
Authorities and the LSC.
Impact on young people
This accurate and quality assured tracking ensures resources for young people can be targeted
effectively and efficiently.
Key Actions
To ensure that local Director’s of Children Services and their officers are regularly updated about the
current situation regarding the NEET Group through a detailed quarterly data report. The report
contains aggregated data covering:
The current situation regarding 16-18 year old NEETs
Participation in learning post-16
The numbers and percentage of NEETs in specified vulnerable groups – LDD, Care Leavers;
Teenage Parents; BME; Young Offenders
Breakdown of the NEET group by qualification level attained
Occupational aspirations of the NEET group
Occupational aspiration by qualification level attained
Identified Individual Circumstance categories (e.g. Housing; substance misuse)
Length of time that people have been in the NEET group
Number of times that young people have entered the NEET Group (i.e. “churn”)
The above are all broken down to broad geographical areas which can then be further disaggregated
to localities and districts as necessary.
The data should be naturally occurring as part of the Connexions Adviser’s normal work. This
needs to be monitored via CCIS reports and is part of Adviser reviews by their Team Manager.
However, the data extraction and collation of the reports requires about 2 days input from a
member of the Management Information Team per quarter.
There is also a half day commitment for the identification of trends in narrative format.
There is also a cost implication in terms of production of had colour copies (approx. £200 per
production – 40 copies). This is kept to a minimum with the majority of dissemination being via
electronic means.
Lessons Learned
The report allows the local children’s services teams to deploy Information, Advice and
Guidance and support services more effectively.
The occupational aspiration data allows the Learning Skills Council and Providers to look at
local provision, particularly in relation to Work Based Leaning in terms of what is available and
the location. This is particularly helpful in supporting implementation of the September
The report serves as a good starting point but should be used to stimulate further detailed
breakdown and discussion.
As a Next Step we intend to further refine the data available and its use in informing local
services and provision.
Bournemouth: Three pronged approach cuts NEET by 25 per cent in
one year - 1
“The ongoing high level focus on reducing the proportion of young people who are not in education,
employment or training (NEET) gave us the clout we needed to get all partners on board and start to
make a real difference. We have really helped some young people get the motivation and self respect
needed to do something with their lives” – Simon Thomas, Area Manager, Connexions,
Bournemouth – June 2008
Challenges Key I
• High levels of young people NEET
• Young people who are NEET being referred into the borough to take advantage of area’s
housing provision
Limited local options for post 16 learning provision
Key Actions
• Following council’s annual performance assessment in June 2007, three pronged attack
launched to tackle NEET involving Connexions, young people and partnerships – NEET
becomes a Local Area Agreement target
• Connexions - Personal Advisers (PA) re-deployed two teams - community and education to
increase focus/accountability
• All staff received Leading Empowered Organisations (LEO) intensive training – provides clarity
and fosters responsibility
• PAs allocated to specific multi-agency locality team (three in Bournemouth) – given
considerable autonomy and support
• Young people – allocated own PA responsible for building a clear picture of qualifications,
goals and work readiness
• A bespoke plan/EXCELER8 signed contract – young person signs up to a programme of
group activities/one to one work
• Links with Jobcentre Plus to tie in contracts with benefits
• Launch Motiv8 – intensive three day self awareness/motivation training in partnership with
training providers – involves young people who were NEET as peer motivators
• Engage providers e.g. Learning and Skills Council to identify provision gaps, shape
commissioning and remove barriers
• Partners – April 08 multi-agency event attended by senior managers with DCSF key note
speech - partnership strategy launched – reducing NEET becomes a key target for all
• Locality partnership events to evolve local strategy
The intensive triple approach has had a remarkable impact on Bournemouth’s NEET figures.
Between June ’07 and June ‘08, the percentage of 16 – 18 year olds who are NEET has fallen from
6.9 (243 young people) to 5.4 (185 young people) and the percentage of young people whose
education, employment or training (EET) status is not known has also fallen from 6.9 to 5.5. Between
December 1st and May 31st alone, 623 young people who were NEET were supported into EET. The
percentage of 16 – 18 year olds in learning has remained the same, mainly due to limited post 16
learning options. Of the remaining 185 young people who are NEET, the majority are not, according
to their PAs, ready for work. To understand why and to try and resolve this, research into the cultural
and social issues and barriers to EET has been commissioned. This information will feed into
multiagency teams and will inform Common Assessment Frameworks (CAFs) where appropriate and
the deployment of targeted youth support services to help address issues holistically. For the young
people helped, the work has made a real difference giving them the motivation and self-respect to
become and hopefully stay EET.
Bournemouth: The Prince’s Trust - 3
Theone Coleman
“Part of my life journey is accepting my past experiences. By sharing my story I believe that others
will see where I have come from, my personal growth and the developments I have made. I finally
feel that I can be myself and people like the person that I have become.”
Theone grew up in West London but when his mother left his father, he, his dad and brother moved
around a lot. This meant he attended a number of different schools and was the victim of racist
Theone sought acceptance from the wrong crowd. He started dealing crack at the age of 16, was
forced to leave home by his father and was moved into supported accommodation. Around this time
Theone started getting involved with people who were into taking and dealing drugs and it wasn’t
long before he was pulled in.
His lifestyle soon caught up with him and Theone was arrested and imprisoned for drug offences and
theft. By this point, Theone felt that his life offered no possibilities so he let go of his dreams and his
elf-confidence was at an all-time low. After nine months, Theone was due to leave prison with few
prospects and found himself unemployed. He didn’t want to get back into the same situation but
wanted to give something back to the community from which he had taken so much. Theone heard
about The Prince’s Trust and became determined to change his life. On release, he set about
drawing up a business plan and was introduced to a mentor from The Trust. His ideas developed and
he applied for a Community Cash Award to set up an extremely successful project delivering free
music workshops to young people in Bournemouth - Bourne 2 Stand Out. The idea was to offer
young people from Bournemouth a place to go to build their dreams. Bourne 2 Stand Out offers
music workshops in schools and youth centres, encouraging teamwork and breaking down barriers
between young people.
Theone developed his communications skills and recognised his ability to engage with young people
from all walks of life, and that his personality acts as a natural magnet for those around him.
As a result of his work, Theone went to Switzerland with the BBC to speak about using sport and
music to engage young people. Since then, Theone has been asked to speak about his experiences
at an international conference and is hoping to take his workshops on a tour of Africa in 2010. This
would involve visiting 12 venues, bringing music and sport to communities that have little knowledge
or chance to access these valuable opportunities.
Theone has also been offered a full-time job with a crime reduction charity and works part-time as a
TV/Radio presenter through the BBC. Theone has also, with help from The Prince’s Trust, set up his
own music recording studio as a business in Bournemouth (IPR studios) offering realistic, affordable
and qualitystudio time for local artists to boost opportunities and help more artists achieve their goals.
Theone’s work and any further information about him can be found at
About the Community Cash Award
The Prince’s Trust gives practical and financial support to the young people who need it most. They
help develop key skills, confidence and motivation, enabling young people to move into work,
education or training. Community Cash Awards are grants to help young people set up a project that
will benefit their local community. The cash award provides funding of up to £1,000 for 14 to 16 yearolds and £5000 is available for 16 to 25 year-olds. Support is also provided to the young person to
help them plan their project, research budgets and set goals to learn about their community.
To be eligible for the award the young person must be aged 14 to 16, and at risk of not achieving five
GCSEs grades A to C or aged 16 to 25 and not in education, training or work (or working less than 16
hours a week). The project must be run and managed by people between the ages of 14 and 25,
clearly benefit the local community, benefit the people running the project and be a new or
developing project.
Critical success factors
Practical and financial support.
Effective development of key skills, confidence and motivation.
For further information about The Prince’s Trust and the programmes on offer visit or call 0800 842 842.
Bradford - NEET reduction strategy - 1
The issue
Bradford has one of the highest rates of young people who are not in education, employment or
training (NEET) in the country.
In 2004, 13.1 per cent of young people in Bradford were NEET, compared to 8 per cent across the
country. The Bradford local area agreement (LAA) set a target of reducing NEETs to 9.5 per cent by
The district has ongoing concerns about the NEET rates for white boys from low socio-economic
groups, young people with ‘no identifiable school’ and care leavers.
Bradford has low attainment rates in national tests and examinations, although it is now making
significant improvements in achievement.
Overall targets for 2008 are to reduce the numbers of:
16 to 18-year-old NEETs from 10.4 per cent (2005) to 9 per cent (2008)
care leavers who are NEETs from 45 per cent (2005) to 33 per cent (2008)
year 11 students who fall into the NEET group from 7.4-7.9 per cent (2005) to 6.9-7.7 per cent
In an attempt to address the NEETs issue, Careers Bradford and Connexions West Yorkshire have
gone into partnership with Bradford Metropolitan Council and the local Learning and Skills Council
Other significant partners involved in the reducing NEETs strategy include:
Education Bradford (Serco)
Youth Offending Team (YOT)
Careers Bradford
Primary care trust
Colleges and schools
Centre for learning excellence (to promote the plus strategy)
Youth Services
Private sector organisations
Voluntary sector providers
In addition the partnership works with voluntary sector youth organisations such as the Bangladeshi
Youth Organisation, and a range of Bradford city project groups, such as the joint activities service.
What they did
Bradford’s NEET strategy is managed by Connexions West Yorkshire in partnership with local
organisations, particularly the council, the local LSC and Careers Bradford.
The partnership regards being NEET as a proxy for a range of other issues facing individuals and so
aims to involve a range of other agencies.
It offers a number of services to young people including:
providing information, advice and guidance about a variety of issues, such as careers and
health, to all young people aged 12-20 years
individual support to young people in vulnerable groups
opportunities for placement into work through employer liaison and a vacancy matching
the Connexions centre in Bradford and Connexions access points throughout the district
links with the local primary care trust
links with schools, colleges and pupil referral units (PRUs)
support from 102 personal advisers throughout the district
The partnership’s organisational work is carried out by a NEET coordinator. The coordinator is
employed by Connexions West Yorkshire, and who works with the personal adviser (PA) network
Monitoring young people at risk
A key feature of the partnership’s preventative approach is a comprehensive database of young
The database is run jointly by Connexions West Yorkshire and Careers Bradford. It has become the
‘eyes and ears’ of specialist services and allows them to intervene earlier.
Data analysis enables the targeting of specific groups of young people and tailoring of support to their
Data is collected from a range of sources including:
Pupil referral units (PRUs)
Leaving care services
The Looked After team
Youth Offending Team
Free school meals records
Personal advisers (PAs) then use the information to target support to those most in need and refer
them to specialist services where appropriate.
PAs maintain individual learning records and set targets for all young people on work based learning
(WBL) programmes.
Initial assessment and inductions ensure they are on the right programmes and monthly reviews
monitor progress.
Independent information, advice and guidance
The PA network begins preventative work as early as year nine. All students from year nine onwards
receive improved independent information, advice and guidance (IIAG).
The PAs also contact parents and carers to keep them informed and to support them in helping
young people make career decisions. From year nine, all young people have access to a personal
Outreach work and targeting NEETs
The partnership has a coordinated approach and all PAs and members of the wider network commit
to supporting the ‘summer fix’ programme.
This is an intensive programme which maintains contact with young people leaving school who are at
risk of becoming NEET and provides intensive follow up.
Project workers hold day and evening outreach sessions, including ‘NEET nights’, to contact young
people out of hours. These are organised by the NEET coordinator. The aim is to offer young people
the chance to meet advisers once they have their examination results.
Other special events such ‘get sorted’ are aimed at specific vulnerable groups such as care leavers
and young parents. Get sorted events are targeted career conventions involving employers, training
providers, and colleges and schools. One- to-one guidance and support is available through the
Connexions service.
Education and training
Young people who are NEET, such as those under 16 who are excluded from school, at risk of
exclusion or who have some barriers to learning, receive ‘personal development opportunities’
These are structured programmes, usually at pre-entry level or level 1, that give the young people a
range of activities aimed to meet their particular needs. The programmes range from full-time
intensive courses to evening sessions and often involve accreditation of their work.
Partnership working
A key feature of the partnership approach is the high level of commitment shown by the department
of children’s services to driving down the NEETs level.
Partnership working helps NEET programmes by:
setting all secondary schools NEET reduction targets of 25 per cent for Year 11 school leavers
providing an additional 500 places on full-time courses for NEET students at Bradford College
as a result of partnership work with local LSC to create more accessible entry points to
foundation level courses
the ‘go live’ initiative, a district-wide one-year post 16 course of blended school and WBL
the Plus strategy for a small group of young offenders, and those at risk of offending, to
improve their literacy and numeracy skills, and thus reduce the chances of these young people
being NEET
‘Choices at 16+’ courses delivered by Connexions in two schools
collaborative work between the partnership and three ‘Confederations’ - groupings of colleges
and schools - to identify and support potential NEET young people
integration of the NEETs reduction strategy with the developing 14-19 programme including
the role of the new diplomas
Measuring progress
The strategy team uses a number of measures to monitor and analyse progress including the:
numbers of young people who are in the NEET group after they leave school and at ages 17
and 18 years - this is broken down into a range of sub-groups such as boys, looked after
children, YOT supervised
numbers of young people engaged in learning
numbers of young people taking part in events to reduce the number of NEETS
comparative data from twelve other similar authorities
The impact
Attitudes and working practices
Project staff consider all of a young person’s needs and collect data from a range of sources.
A key feature of their approach is maintaining a comprehensive database of young people. This
includes data about their personal development as well as their academic progress, if they are in a
school or college.
Young people in work-based learning have individual learning records that contain monitoring
information such as targets achieved.
The main sources of funding:
Connexions budget of £5 million
Local interactive funding from the LSC
‘Pump priming’ with other services - such as innovative work with young people in relation to
sexual exploitation for which funding from Connexions was matched with funding from the
local PC
Connexions use their budget to subcontract NEET reduction work to a range of local services
including Careers Bradford and community based and private sector organisations.
Barriers, challenges and lessons
One of the main issues is making contact with ‘hard to reach’ young people who have in most cases
left school. The partnership has been successful in locating these young people.
To engage them in discussion about their future the partnership created opportunities for project staff
to meet those who were NEET as soon as possible after they left school. The expansion of places in
local colleges for those in the NEET group helped to show that there were positive steps the young
people could take.
For projects that aim to target young people who are in the NEET group over a period of time, the
following may be useful:
Young people often have complex needs for which a range of services need to work together.
Partners need to recognise the distinct contribution each can make and integrate it with other
Support for the young people concerned should begin as early as possible in their school
Schools should form a key part of the strategy and should have their own specific targets.
Improved information and guidance in accessible language for students and parents can help
to inform them of the available options.
In terms of overall statistics the data collected by the partnership showed, for the year 2006-07:
a fall in the number of care leavers who were NEET from 45 per cent to 38 per cent
a significant increase in the number of Year 11 leavers going on to FE
young people whose situation is not known fell to 6.5 per cent of the total group of 6000
a significant increase in attainment rates in national tests and examinations
an increase in the number of 17 year olds in education or in a job with training
In November 2004, 12.8 per cent of young people in Bradford were in the NEET category. This had
fallen to 9.2 per cent by October 2007.
For white boys with low socio-economic status, a particularly at risk group, the NEET figure fell from
9.8 per cent (November 2005) to 8.2 per cent by November 2006.
During the period 2006-07 Bradford Youth Service PAs helped:
over 100 young people from NEET into education, employment or training (EET)
provided additional support to 241 young people with critical needs
supported 250 young people with unknown destinations in moving into known destinations
In terms of overall numbers between November 2004 and November 2006 the number of young
people in the NEET category fell by 600. The partnership anticipates a further fall of 200-300 in 20078.
The FE activity survey showed a rise from 20.5 per cent in 2005 to 23.4 per cent in 2006 in numbers
of young people going from the NEET category to further education.
The LSC has allocated extra places to all three FE colleges for 2007-8 to respond to the needs of the
potentially NEET across the district.
In 2007, ‘go live’, a district-wide one-year post 16 course of blended school and WBL provision,
supported 137 Level 1 and 2 students who were potentially NEET with a retention rate of
approximately 80 per cent, up about 24 per cent on 2005/6.
Seventy-four young people who had been NEET for 20 or more weeks attended personal
development opportunities and 41 young people in jobs without training moved into learning
The YOT in association with Careers Bradford, Connexions, Education Bradford and a range of
voluntary sector providers has formally recognised 200 young people who achieved a literacy and
numeracy award or in some other way made progress in their careers.
Savings benefits to Bradford City Council are difficult to estimate but research into the costs of
NEETS gives some idea of what they might be.
According to government figures, the total estimated additional lifetime costs of being NEET at age
16-18 at present values (2000/01 prices) are estimated as £7 billion resource costs, and £8.1 billion
public finance costs at a conservative estimate.
Thus if 10,000 people, less than 10 per cent of the estimated population of the 157,000 NEET
population, were removed from the group of NEET or socially excluded young people, total current
savings would be £53 million. These savings are in resource costs and £55 million in public finance
costs nationally.
Bradford – Kala Sangam - 8
Sam Greenwood
“Before I would not listen to anyone who was trying to help me or get me to learn something. Now
that I have tried, I have enjoyed it and I am pleased with what I have achieved so I want to carry on,
get a job and be honest and proper so that one day I can have my own place and family. I know it is
going to be hard but I will keep trying.”
Sam is 16 years old and lives with his mother in Keighley, Bradford, one of the most deprived areas
of the UK. Whilst growing up, Sam’s father was regularly violent towards both him and his mother.
This experience has influenced Sam’s own behaviour, resulting in his expulsion from school. Sam
has also had problems with alcohol and has been involved in a string of alcohol fuelled criminal
In December 2008, Sam was arrested after being involved in an accident whilst driving a stolen car.
He was released on bail, but having breached his bail conditions he was arrested and taken to a
Young Offenders’ Institution for three days. Sam found the prospect of a custodial sentence upsetting
and frightening. As a condition of his court order, Sam has been admitted to an Intensive Supervision
Surveillance Programme (ISSP), administered by a dedicated NACRO and Local Authority run Youth
Offending Team (YOT) in Bradford. The supervision element of the ISSP involves a rigorous
assessment of the young offender’s background, behaviour and needs, which provides the basis for
an integrated programme of activities aimed at tackling offending behaviour. As well as being
supported to deal with individual issues such as family conflict, homelessness, drug misuse or mental
health problems, young people on ISSP access learning and training programmes through which
they can develop vocational and academic skills, an understanding of the consequences of crime on
victims and interpersonal skills.
Initially Sam was reluctant to engage with the programme of activities and had difficulty coming to
terms with the consequences of his criminal behaviour. However, six months on, Sam’s YOT support
worker considers him to have come a long way, not just in his willingness to engage, but also in his
determination to progress in learning, develop new skills and support other young people in similar
Sam participated in different taster sessions at Keighley College and has completed courses in
Painting and Decorating and Car Mechanics. In addition, as part of his ISSP Sam has also been
attending a programme for young offenders
at Kala Sangam, an arts organisation based in Bradford. The project promotes youth participation in
arts, to address offending behaviour. The range of activities include DJ-ing, rapping, poetry, circus
skills and film-making.
Working with different artists including poets, film-makers and photographers, Sam has learned to
express his emotions in creative ways and is aware that this has contributed to his personal growth.
Artists have helped him realise his own creative potential; despite lacking confidence in writing, Sam
has written poetry. He has also worked confidently both behind and in front of the camera.
For the future, Sam’s priority is to get a job and become independent. He has applied for a place on a
course provided by Barnado’s where he will be able to attend further training including a work
placement. Having worked hard at the college to complete his Painting and Decorating course, Sam
has secured good references, which he hopes will help him to progress.
About Kala Sangam
Between 2006 and 2008 Bradford achieved a 2.3 per cent reduction in the percentage of young
people not in education, employment or training or whose activity was unknown. As part of the local
authority’s not in education, employment or training strategy and a wider Yorkshire and Humberside
initiative designed to tackle youth offending through arts, Kala Sangam (a Bradford based South
Asian and Collaborative Arts Charity) delivers an innovative and effective programme for local young
offenders. Funded by Bradford City Council and NACRO, the programme runs throughout the year,
offering two-hour sessions, twice a week, bringing together small groups of young offenders and
artists. For most young people, participation in this programme contributes to and complements an
integrated programme of activities and support, designed to prevent reoffending.
Kala Sangam has recently expanded its programme to provide the opportunity for young people to
gain nationally recognised credits through the ASDAN accreditation scheme.
Critical success factors
Viewing the young people’s offending behaviour as an aspect of their identity, whilst using art
to explore their artistic and other potential.
Collaboration with the YOT and other agencies to promote an integrated programme of
For further information please contact Aaron Christie,Youth Arts Coordinator on or telephone 01274 303340.
Brighton and Hove: Equal Brighton and Hove (EBH) – Support for
The issue
In spite of its general prosperity, Brighton and Hove has unemployment rates above the national and
regional averages, while earnings are below the national average.
The city contains areas that are ranked within the five per cent most deprived in England. Brighton
and Hove has a growing prime working-age population. Only 21 per cent of residents aged 19 or
under, which is below the national average.
Unemployment is a pressing issue. At 15 per cent, the number of people of working age claiming a
key benefit is above the national average, and far exceeds the South East figure of ten per cent.
The proportion of 16 to 18-year-olds not in employment, education or training (NEETs) stands at 11
per cent.
Although many of these are either looking for work or between jobs, service providers find that they
are often helping young people with serious issues including disrupted home circumstances and drug
Equal Brighton and Hove (EBH) is an initiative which co-ordinates the efforts of more than 50
organisations to fund services which supported local people into work and training.
EBH took an innovative, co-ordinated, city-wide approach to tackling worklessness.
Along with targets to reduce overall unemployment in Brighton, the local strategic partnership (LSP) 2020 Community Partnership - set out specific targets for helping NEETs into employment. The work
of Equal Brighton and Hove aligns with the LAA theme of ‘developing a prosperous and sustainable
What they did
The Equal initiative was put into place to support the development of policies to combat
discrimination and inequality in the labour market.
In order to achieve this aim, EBH draws on the expertise and resources of all its partners (Activity
Providers) to deliver a comprehensive programme to address the needs of the city’s unemployed.
EBH supports projects by enlisting the support of local businesses – the partnership has a specially
created employer engagement project, and helping project leaders monitor and evaluate their
Through strategic co-ordination the partnership put together tailored programmes that provided
appropriate support according to the individual circumstances of those in the NEETs group. EBH set
up procedures for collecting and analysing soft outcomes data in order to monitor and evaluate the
effectiveness of programmes, especially for the hardest to reach.
EBH created and maintained eight programmes aimed either exclusively at helping young people into
employment or education, or aimed at several target groups including NEETs. Brief details of some of
the projects are given below.
Run by Creating Futures, a charity with more than 120 affiliated youth groups, this project offers 1625 year olds the opportunity to learn basic skills and motor vehicle maintenance in a practical
Young people can gain Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN)
Constructing Futures (City College Brighton and Hove)
Constructing Futures helps young people into employment by focusing on key skills and practical
skills across construction trades including brickwork, plumbing, and painting and decorating.
The young people build individual portfolios that include photographs of completed practical tasks,
references from course tutors, and a Passport of Learning and Achievement.
20:20 catering project
The 20:20 café catering project aims to improve the employability of refugees, people with
disabilities, and NEETs through work placements and support in achieving key catering and food
hygiene competence skills.
Young People’s Centre
The Young People’s Centre scheme takes a more personalised approach to supporting NEETs.
Key features of the scheme include:
A user-led forum that helps to design and deliver the project
Intensive vocational support sessions
One-to-one counselling, guidance and support sessions
Weekly feedback sessions and discussion for reflecting on progress and sharing planning for
future design and evaluation of the programme
A training programme for volunteers
Reducing the barriers clients face in getting jobs and training, by working closely with partners
to provide appropriate taster courses for placements
At each stage of the programme the project team provides the information and support clients need
to make decisions for themselves. This helps ensure that they are in a better position to make
informed life choices about employment and training options.
Other programmes include one run by drug and acohol action team which uses peer mentoring of
young people on drug misuse programmes by those who have successfully completed a programme.
There is also the Brighton and Hove Community Initiative Aspergers project which is designed to
provide intensive vocational support to unemployed adults in receipt of disability/incapacity benefits
It was tutors’ attention to specific problems with individual learners – such as dealing with frustration,
or knowing when and how to ask for help - which helped them to move on.
Participating young people also valued being in alternative learning environments which were
different from school.
The impact
EBH - a partnership of over 50 organisations including City College Brighton and Hove, local
community and voluntary organisations– has funded services which support local people into work
and training.
EBH takes an innovative, co-ordinated, city-wide approach to tackling worklessness.
The partnership as a whole is managed by the Equal Management Partnership, which comprises key
stakeholders, including the local Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and Jobcentre Plus, and is
chaired by Brighton and Hove City Council.
The lead partners include:
the council
Community projects such as Brighton and Hove Community Initiatives, Business Community
Brighton Housing Trust
Educational providers including City College Brighton and Hove , WEA, Varndean College
Creating Futures Ltd
Associations for the deaf: RNID, Sussex Deaf Association
Sussex Connexions Ltd
Where several organisations work on a project, one is designated as the ‘lead’ partner and holds the
project contract. EBH organisations also work closely with local employers – involving them in
programme design. EBH asks them where their skills gaps are, and seeking their views on the best
way of supporting the hard to reach back into employment.
The costs for the delivery and dissemination/mainstreaming phases of the project have been
approximately £10.4 million.
Half of the funding has come from ESF, and the other half from a range of sources including among
others the city council, Primary Care Trust, and crime reduction initiatives.
Barriers, challenges and lessons
Research carried out by EBH identified a number of significant barriers to NEETs in Brighton
accessing job opportunities.
These included: lack of confidence, a sense of isolation and negative previous experience,
particularly in education. Consequently the partnership set out to focus not only on hard outcomes,
such as achievement of qualifications, but also on acquired ‘soft’ skills, such as, developing a clear
telephone manner.
Such skills were identified as of key importance to employers and also enhance a young person’s
chances of finding a job.
The partnership identified a number of key lessons for others who might want to carry out similar
programmes. These include:
engaging as diverse a range of partners as possible in order to be able to map skills coverage
and vocational context against the needs of young people who are NEET in your area
building on already existing organisations if they are currently engaged in activities that
support those in the NEET group
spending time exploring the views of other partners so you can create a shared understanding
for planning and implementation
being prepared to learn from the good practice of other partners and to share it with others
investing time (and resources) in developing accurate and up-to-date data collection
processes in order for you to be able to focus more closely on the specific needs of young
people who are NEET
More than 3,000 people have accessed EBH’s services to date (end 2007), of whom about 600 have
taken part in projects specifically aimed at NEETs.
With about 200 young people enrolled over an 18 month period, Constructing Futures is the largest of
the NEETs projects.
Of the 114 participants who completed, 40 went into employment and 18 into further training. The
cost per learner for this programme was approximately £2,500.
EBH project staff assess both the hard and soft outcomes relating to young people. Hard outcomes
refer to courses completed and qualifications gained. Soft outcomes, on the other hand are more
about the distance travelled by the participants in terms of increased confidence and readiness to
(re)enter the labour market.
Soft skills include communication skills and timekeeping.
The group work and supportive, non-traditional learning environment are examples of the project
taking a more user-led, tailored approach that offers young people the opportunity for personal
Involvement in the user forum is an example of empowerment, which was a guiding principle of
Case study: integrated youth service provision for young people in
Bromley - 1
In the London Borough of Bromley, Prospects Services Limited provides a multi-agency, one-stopshop in central Bromley and outreach projects in Orpington and Penge. Although the borough has a
lower proportion of young people NEET than some areas of London, one in twenty young people are
not in education, employment or training and Bromley has areas of significant deprivation. The
integrated support offered to young people includes:
• Careers guidance
• Writing CVs and job applications
• Health information and advice
• Advice on drug use
• Legal help
• Access to health workers
• Access to the internet and IT
• Access to job vacancies
• Housing help.
All staff – including youth workers, personal advisers, administrative and managerial staff – are based
at the one-stop-shops and employed by the same company, which allowed development of common
work practices and codes of conduct. Joining up the youth service with Connexions resulted in a
larger staff base which enabled the service to be provided until late every evening and on Saturdays.
It was also easier to cover staff sickness and annual leave as youth services staff was able to help
out elsewhere in the centre. Joint purchasing of equipment and combining mail shots allowed for
significant efficiency savings.
Bromley has consistently met or exceeded its NEET target. Between 2004 and 2007, the proportion
of 16-18 year-old NEETs was reduced from 5.4% to 4.7% – a net reduction of 13%. The success of
the Bromley one-stop-shop model has led other local authorities to request integrated service models
as their preferred option. Prospects have recently won contracts to provide an integrated service for
young people in Gloucestershire and Milton Keynes.
Bury: The Alternative Provision Programme - 12
Kelsey Wike
“APP has made me motivated to do more. They treat you as an equal and don’t judge you. I’m a
much better person now. It’s made a massive difference.”
Kelsey Wike is 16 years old and joined the Alternative Provision Programme (APP), a pupil referral
unit in Bury 2006. Kelsey had been living with her mum but mainly fending for herself. Kelsey has
been out of education since the age of 13. She now lives with her father in a one bedroom flat,
sleeping on the couch. Her father encourages her to attend APP. Kelsey realises what she has
“I never really went to school, I found it hard to concentrate. Mum tried to get me to school but not
hard enough. I think it’s stupid now. I missed out a lot, 2 years if not more. I wish I’d concentrated
more on maths, science and English. I had lots of friends. There were about 15 of us didn’t attend
and we’d all meet up and drink and have fun together”.
Kelsey had previously attended a number of schools; four primary, two secondary and the Moss
Centre before coming to APP. She describes the course:
“It’s easier here – here you can choose, do an hour on maths, you’re not forced to do it, you do it
because you want to do it and not because you have to do it. You get to have brews. It’s better than
Kelsey has made a decision about what she wants to do in the future:
“I want to work in an old people’s home. I have done that before and I really liked it. I’m a caring
person. I’d just got my head down with my work experience when mum kicked me out. I loved it - an
old lady gave me a Christmas card.”
Kelsey is studying for GCSEs in English and maths. She attends on Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursday and has been offered a place at college to study a Health and Social Care programme.
When asked why she thinks she has managed to commit to learning this time Kelsey says:
“I just got up one day and decided to change. I feel I’m a nicer person, a lot more confident because
I’ve stayed here. I’m on the right track. With my dad, I know I’ll have to come. He encourages me to
About the project:
APP is a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) based in Bury, Greater Manchester. The Unit caters for up to 70
year 11 students who transferred to APP as a positive decision prior to a possible exclusion from
mainstream education because of significant behavioural difficulties. APP’s aim is to continue the
young person’s engagement in education. APP is funded by the Local Authority and managed by the
Community Education Service. APP currently employs seven Youth and Community Workers, two
part time teachers and a learning support assistant.
Critical success factors
An attractive curriculum offer – young people chose a vocational area.
Good relationships between staff, the young people and their families. Staff act as advocates,
mentors and befrienders.
Responsive to the needs of individuals with an individualised timetable.
For further information about APP, please contact Chris Neary on or telephone
0161 764 6873.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough: UProject - 3
Using positive activities as an opportunity to build young people’s skills deliver high quality
Information Advice and Guidance and re-engage them in EET.
“We are delighted to be able to work with young people during challenging time in their lives where
they can experience success during positive activities. This provides new self confidence and opens
communication routes to enable youth leaders and Connexions advisers to better understand their
needs and offer support for future plans"
Ian Downing Manager of UProject and Head of Grafham Water Centre
The Challenge
To ensure young people remain engaged with all 3 aspects of the programme.
Ensuring the funding is available and used creatively.
Transportation of young people to venues in a wide geographical area
Planning staff time to enable them to fully participate in the programme
Top 3 Project Successes
1. All young people attending the full programme have completed the ASDAN Activities Award
2. In 2007 and 2008 94-95% continued into education, employment or training and follow up
suggests they remained engaged.
3. All young people completing the project reported they would recommend the experience to
other young people.
Impact on young people
For many young people participation and achievement is a positive experience. Young people are
able to broaden their horizons, experiencing often for the first time a sense of achievement. They are
able to build up strong relationships with the project workers who are able to support and engage the
young people. Feed back from young people completing the project was positive. Young people said
they would recommend the project to others and thought they had a new positive self image and had
enjoyed the experience.
Key Actions
Pre sessions – To engage and prepare the young people for a 3 day intensive residential
• These pre-sessions focussed on breaking down barriers, putting in place an individual action
plan, preparation for the residential element of the course, setting ground rules and an
introduction to accreditation.
• All of the young people then took part in a 3 day residential course.
• This was activity based, focussing on building teamwork, communication, self-esteem,
leadership and trust. Young people on the course built a portfolio showing what they had
achieved to be used when applying for education, employment or training.
• Post sessions – To celebrate success and ensure the young people remain attached to
education, training or employment
• The project was delivered through some key partnerships:
1. With the Outdoor Education team, who delivered the activities on the residential.
2. With Youth workers and Connexions workers – who tracked young people, referred
them onto the programme and supported them to move into EET.
3. With Information Advice and Guidance staff – For Post 16 advice and guidance the
Connexions PA is the lead practitioner, for more personal issues the youth workers tend
to lead. To ensure this happens an action plan is completed with each young person
during the pre work to find out what plans they have post 16 and what stage they are at.
This is reviewed on a regular basis throughout the programme and followed up post
residential to ensure each young person is on track for the most suitable post 16 option.
There is also a section in the action plan to look at personal gains for each young
person this is also reviewed regularly on a 1:1 basis with a project worker. Throughout
this work, high quality advice and guidance is offered by the project workers to each
young person.
4. With Schools and Children’s Services, Social Services and the Youth Offending Team
– who were able to refer the young people onto the programme
Young Person Case study
John had been a constant underachiever at school, he had no idea what he wanted to do after year
11, all he really enjoyed was playing football. He took part in the UProject in 2007 and decided to go
to a local college to attend a sports course. He finished the first year but he had struggled with some
of the content and hadn’t got on well with his tutor. In 2008 John was asked back to be a Peer Leader
on the UProject programme. He attended a day’s training and was included in staff planning
meetings. He did a fantastic job as a Peer Leader, motivating and supporting the young people.
Through discussions with the instructors on the UProject residential, John applied to do an outdoor
education course. He has been given a place and is now attending College.
Lessons Learned
Have a strong project plan in place but be prepared to be flexible to meet the needs of young
Even young people who drop out can be encouraged back by project workers offering support.
Funding may come from differing sources each year - be proactive and strive to demonstrate
the success and cost effectiveness of the programme.
Cardiff: Vision 21 - 13
Leon Hendrickson
“We did just normal stuff, it helped me with my confidence, made me feel better. They treated me like
an adult and encouraged me to get more involved. It’s really good. It’s made me who I am today.”
Leon is 25 years-old and has borderline learning difficulties. He lives independently and travels by
train to Vision 21. Leon’s home and work life has been unsettled throughout his teenage years,
moving from living with his mum to his auntie’s flat and struggling to hold down a job. Leon found it
hard at school. He had dyslexia and dyspraxia but only found this out about three years ago. He
couldn’t understand why he struggled to co-ordinate and do things that other people found easy. This
led to a lack of motivation, feelings of isolation, poor eye contact, limited peer interaction, poor time
and money management and low self-esteem. Leon says:
“I left school at 15 with no GCSEs. I didn’t get the help and support I should have had. I really wish I
had learnt IT skills.”
Leon dipped in and out of education. He spent some time at Act, a work based learning provider, but
left before he finished the course. At 16 years-old he went to Coleg Glan Hafren and studied
Foundation Leisure and Tourism. He found this easy and finished the course with an NVQ1
“I liked going to college, I got more help and was treated like an adult but didn’t really know what I
wanted to do. I was interested in IT. Then I met a careers adviser and he told me how to get into IT. I
did a BTEC First Diploma in IT. Unfortunately, I got distracted and didn’t finish it”.
Leon has had a number of jobs but has not managed to maintain employment. Some of this has been
due to his learning difficulty and dyspraxia and lack of understanding from employers. Leon’s aunt
looked for somewhere he could attend that would help him to improve his confidence. She heard
about the TAM (training and mentoring) project at Vision 21 which offered an eight week induction to
Vision 21’s vocational courses. The course was tailored to individual needs and offered one to one
support in a variety of subjects from basic life skills to work skills and helped young people with
learning difficulties to move on.
Leon started by doing woodwork which helped him to coordinate his hands. He has become aware of
how he learns best:
“I like getting stuck in and doing things with my hands. We’ve made bird boxes, wooden benches, a
wishing well.”
Leon attends Vision 21 three days a week and has a care worker to come to his flat to help him tidy
up and cook. He has progressed to working as a volunteer and mentor to young people who are new
arrivals at TAM. He is studying for an OCN accredited mentoring certificate. Leon says:
“I was shy when I first came. I wouldn’t have looked you in the eye but now I’m quite outgoing.”
Leon recognises that the main things he has got out of his time at Vision 21 are an increase in
confidence, good communication and practical skills and friends and colleagues he can trust.
About Vision 21
Vision 21 is a registered charity and was founded in 1987 by Barry Shiers MBE who, with a
background in Social Services and as a Quantity Surveyor, was aware of the lack of vocational
training available for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities. The charity has 17
projects situated in various locations across Cardiff, Newport and the Vale of Glamorgan.
All of the projects provide learners with paid or voluntary work opportunities and include ICT and
office work, catering, woodwork, horticulture, pottery, creative choices and crafts, a retail gift shop
and animal husbandry. Vision 21 employs 60 full and part time staff. In conjunction with Cardiff
County Council and the football club at Leckwith, Vision 21 is currently developing plans to
regenerate a large site to provide for local community use. The site will include a healthy eating
community café, a reclaimed timber workshop linked to the Parks Department, supplying wooden
benches, amongst other goods, with a total focus on sustainability embedded throughout the site.
Critical success factors
Keeping young people engaged by treating them as equals and providing an initial induction
Being flexible and providing a choice of courses that are accredited. Lots of short courses are
run and there are good links to schools and Social Services.
Every member of staff works above and beyond the call of duty. They do everything possible
to support a young person emotionally and practically to maximise and retain the students’
enjoyment in learning.
For further information about Vision 21, please contact Ed Synan on 02920 621194 or e-mail
Cheshire and Warrington: Impress 4 Success - 13
Supporting young people to make informed career choices and a smooth transition to education,
employment or training.
“An excellent example of working in partnership in order to improve the outcomes for young people
with special needs “
Norma Guest, Director of Operations
The Challenge
• To engage with and deliver to a group of young people in targeted schools who displayed
challenging behaviour and learning difficulties/disabilities
• Working with young people in their last year of education including holiday periods
Overcoming issues around the sustainability of funding, staffing and time allocations
Top 3 Project Successes
1. We supported young people in two schools who had additional needs and required
targeted support, to achieve elements of the ASDAN Career Planning Award. As a
result, 82% left the project with an offer of education, employment or training.
2. Team working – young people were able to influence their own learning activities
leading to higher levels of confidence.
3. The project involved family members in celebration events and individual work to
address barriers to learning and progression.
Impact on young people
82% of those young people on the project left with an offer of education, employment or training.
Young people gained valuable experiences together with more basic skills and a growth of
confidence enabling them to approach the transition from school to EET in a more positive way.
Key Actions
• Identification of schools and individuals to be involved in the project delivery
• Identification of partner agencies to support and provide delivery
• Clear communication with schools involved of the expectations and outcomes of the project
• Planned programme of activities to meet individual group members’ needs including group
activities, off site activities and one to one interventions
• Support from individual schools to enhance learning and skills development
• Support for off site activities, including use of school transport and support staff
• Partnership working was an important part of the project. In terms of being able to deliver and
promote a wide range of activities that developed the young people’s skills and gave the
opportunity to try out ‘new’ activities in a safe environment. This helped develop confidence
self esteem, team working and reflective skills
• The involvement of high profile organisations in the town such as Warrington Wolves RLFC
enhanced the profile of the project
• The Personal Advisers each worked with the school and individual young people to identify
any barriers to learning and self development. Learning needs were identified and support to
enhance individual learning agreed with the school. A planned programme of activities was put
in place for individual young people
• This included planned group and individual interventions with the PA and Phaze team (drug
and alcohol team) to manage substance use issues. Through education and information and
young person display in school
• Partnership working with the Youth Offending Team to support young people on YOT orders to
address offending behavior and to look forward in planning goals for the future including
making a positive transition into EET from school
• Throughout the project the use of partners with experience of delivering with the target group
was key in being able to meet the individual needs of the young people accessing the project
and providing them with a range of activities outside the normal scope
• Graffiti Art Project was designed to engage young people in activities which were associated
with street credibility in a positive way
• Photography project offered new skills, confidence, self esteem, work experience and
development of job/careers knowledge
Lessons Learned
Build upon existing services where possible, in this case the ASDAN Career Planning Award
within the Connexions range of services
Delivery can be within the current curriculum , this programme was delivered as an
enhancement to the current personal, social and health education delivery in both schools
Partner involvement in delivery such as PAYP in Warrington delivered by Positive Futures
work related activities with local employers, has raised the profile of the young people and
enhanced the experience of all those participating
Chesterfield College - 12
About the organisation:
Chesterfield College is a large general further education (GFE) college serving Chesterfield and
northern Derbyshire. It was awarded Learning and Skills Beacon status in April, 2005.
The college was formed in 1984 as a result of the merger of Chesterfield College of Technology and
Chesterfield College of Art and Design. In January 2003, it absorbed the former North Derbyshire
Tertiary College, based at Clowne. The college is located on three main sites and offers courses at
20 outreach centres.
It offers a broad range of programmes from pre-entry to higher education and professional courses.
Since 2002, the College has focused curriculum development on cross-college initiatives to support
disadvantaged learners. For learners aged 16-19, it has a cross-college Entry Level Skills for
Working Life programme and Level 1 'Routes' provision. In September 2006, adult full time 'Gateway'
programmes were launched targeting adults without a level 2 (GCSE grade A*-C) qualification.
The college sees itself as the hub of its local community with an agenda that includes increasing 1618 participation, widening participation, social inclusion and social and economic regeneration. It has
an open access policy that involves not excluding students from courses on grounds of previously
inadequate education if the college believes they can benefit from the courses on offer.
The college has developed innovative programmes to re-engage the NEET cohort in conjunction with
Connexions and has also introduced a pre-NEET programme to support those Year 10 and 11 school
pupils who are at risk of dropping out of education.
At the 2008 inspection, provision to meet the needs and interests of learners and the college's
response to educational and social inclusion was judged to be outstanding. The college has been
very successful in widening participation of learners with few educational achievements and of the
most vulnerable and challenging.
College success rates for 16-18 year olds on long courses are at 75%; well above the national rate
for general further education colleges.
The college continues to have strong quality improvement strategies with both accurate self
assessment and clear and challenging targets for improvement set across the college.
The college has Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) status in design practice and logistics.
Beacon activity:
Chesterfield College has extended its work with four other colleges and acts as a lead co-ordinator
for an east midlands peer review and development group. This has resulted in the establishment of
an annual schedule of events across the group that includes themed reviews in each college,
validation of each partner's curriculum SARs, and development work such as self assessment
training and an A Level sharing good practice conference. Similar work is planned to continue in
The college has developed a programme area scorecard in response to the Framework for
Excellence and has shared expertise with other colleges. The self assessment report writing
guidance used at Chesterfield College has been included in a recently published QIA case study on
good practice in self assessment and is to be found on the Excellence Gateway.
Recently, the college has been successful in bidding for support to develop a project on embedding
personalisation through assessment for learning and will be looking to work with local partners on
taking this strategy forward.
Cornwall: Freestyle Project - 12
Freestyle:My Future
This project will provide young people aged 14-16 who are at risk of NEET with flexible learning
opportunities in a variety of settings. The project aims to motivate this group of young people to
participate in education and training with a personalised programme of support from several agencies
and to facilitate progression of learners into further learning or employment with training.
Freestyle: Best Start for Young People Project
This project will provide activities and specialist support to young people aged 14-19 years within the
target groups who are NEET or at risk of NEET and enable them to engage in learning in an informal
setting with individually tailored learning plans.
Young people will have a wide choice of activities e.g. outdoor education, vocational and
motivational/social development, all tailored to individuals’ needs, with a view to moving them
towards a positive destination i.e. FE, employment or training.
Freestyle: ELF (Extended Learner Support Fund)
The aim of this project is to provide additional, specialist financial support to individual young people
aged 14-19 years within the specification target group to enable them to engage, remain in and
remove barriers to learning through a flexible learner support fund. The project will engage the target
groups and provide them with a variety of support including transport, equipment, clothing, training
grants, learning materials, etc, with a view to reducing the NEET population in Cornwall and ensuring
that individuals already engaged in learning, but who may be at risk of becoming NEET, are enabled
to remain in learning.
Freestyle: Equality and Diversity
This project will provide activities and specialist support to young people within the target groups to
enable them to engage in and remain in learning in order that participation of disadvantaged and hard
to reach groups is increased, access barriers are overcome and the gap in success rates is
reduced. The project will provide three innovative areas of activity to improve the provision to the
target groups:
- a learner support fund aimed at removing barriers to learning for those who are hardest to reach
- anti discriminatory training workshops to raise the awareness of equality and diversity issues
- a dedicated fund which will support a small number of projects that are involved in working with the
equality and diversity agenda for young people.
Croydon: Tasters - 12
Using tasters to support young people to make an informed decision about their next steps and
smooth transition into further education or training.
“This area of work demonstrates the commitment of the College to widening participation in the
Borough and partnership work to benefit young people in South London."
Mariane Cavalli, Principal, Croydon College
The Challenge
• Croydon has the highest proportion of year 11 leavers moving into NEET in South London.
• Croydon has areas of deprivation where there is a cycle of underachievement.
• The problem is deep-rooted with several generations experiencing these issues.
Top 3 Project Successes
1. High rates of recruitment, retention and progression.
2. Increased take up of college and work based learning by year 11 young people.
3. Sustained positive outcomes whereby the young people stay out of the NEET group.
Impact on young people
Young people have been able to experience personal challenges and gained confidence through
shared experiences. They have mixed having fun with a raised level of aspiration which has broken
down gender stereotypes and brought out the best in them. One of the participants said: “it’s a good
experience for everybody and I would recommend it to anyone”.
Key Actions
A strong Borough partnership has been built, with Croydon College managing the tasters.
Strategic and delivery partners including the two other sixth form colleges in the Borough
(John Ruskin and Coulsdon College), Local Authority, Connexions, Croydon 14-19
Partnership, NEET Reduction Group, September Guarantee, YMCA, Croydon Schools, LSC,
Croydon Enterprise.
Target Audience for projects vary and target either or both of the following groups; Year 11
leavers from Croydon Schools, who are identified as at risk of not progressing to post-
compulsory education, employment or training or those within the NEET group identified by
Connexions PAs and other agencies.
Projects have included; Summer Learning (prevention - for Year 11s at risk of NEET), Spring
Learning (intervention – for 16-19s in the NEET group), Autumn Learning (intervention – for
16-19s in the NEET group), Summer Skills (intervention and prevention for Year 11 leavers at
risk of NEET and 16-19s in the NEET group, Autumn Skills (intervention – for 16-19s in the
NEET group)
Young people on the tasters receive a one to one PA Meeting and intensive IAG, 3 Vocational
Tasters Experiences from a menu on offer, a Personal Challenge Activity Day and incentives
such as a £10 phone credit and 2 cinema tickets.
Tasters have included, Dance Physical, Beauty Therapy, Brickwork, Graffiti Art, Catering,
Plumbing, Web Design, Carpentry, Construction, Hairdressing, Motor Vehicle and Childcare.
Recruitment, retention and progression have been very high. Led young people to aspire,
broken down gender stereotypes, brought out the best in the young person, shared
experiences, overcome personal challenges and they have fun! Quotes from some of those
having been through the events:
‘I think this is a good way of putting students who are unsure of what to study on the right path’
‘I now would like to continue my education as I know it gives me a better change to succeed’
‘It’s a good experience for everybody and I would recommend it to anyone’
‘I have decided to do plumbing as a career because I have done a taster in it’
‘I thought it was going to be boring – but it wasn’t!’
Lessons Learned
Clearer routes to funding need to be identified together with earlier notification of funding
availability – this should allow for longer lead times to implement projects and to attract a wider
target audience.
More flexible start dates other than September need to be available for mainstream college
courses throughout the year for young people to progress onto following these tasters.
The key to becoming EET is to raise confidence and put young people in a new social setting
with likeminded peers that is comfortable to them and thus they feel they can achieve progress
and change their lives.
Cumbria: Brighter Futures Beacon - 12
Authority overview
Cumbria is England’s second largest county and has four districts with the highest population
sparsity. Approximately 23% of the population are children and young people under 19 and this
proportion is due to fall below 20% over the next ten years.
Cumbria is a county of contrasts. The external perception of Cumbria’s idyllic Lake District rurality
and relative affluence belies a much more complex socio-economic mix. Twelve wards in Carlisle,
Barrow and West Cumbria fall within the 10% most deprived nationally.
The impact of this diversity can be seen in important performance indicators including those for
educational participation, attainment and progression of young people.
What has been achieved?
Cumbria 14-19 Strategic Partnership’s vision of ‘a personalised young person’s learning entitlement’
provides the rationale for Cumbria’s implementation of the government’s 14-19 reform programme
and forms the foundation of the 14-19 Strategy. Everything is planned and achieved through
partnership. Partnership activity is focussed on improving the life chances of young people in
Cumbria by:
raising standards of attainment
widening and increasing rates of participation in learning
improving the range and quality of the curriculum and qualifications on offer
enabling successful progression on to the next level of education, training and employment.
The 14-19 leadership infrastructure in Cumbria provides the framework for the organisation,
management, monitoring and evaluation of the Cumbria 14-19 Strategy and means that the local
authority is well placed to take on the new responsibilities heralded in the ‘Raising Expectations’
White Paper.
Success in developing and implementing the 14-19 reform programme can be demonstrated in
numerous ways. Recent success in the Diploma Gateway 2 outcomes is one example of our
achievements. The concept of a District
Top tips for service delivery
Learn from history – both local and national. Ensure authenticity of provision from the outset.
Measure partner’s levels of awareness and commitment and anticipate the potential impact on
ability to deliver the entitlement.
Capacity in every area and on every level is a critical success factor.
Be wary about contradictions surrounding issues including funding, performance information &
inspection and plan appropriate responses.
Encourage realism over collaboration and transport costs to secure long term sustainability.
Develop a comprehensive and inclusive workforce development strategy.
Develop common and agreed quality assurance systems, processes and definitions and
ensure a real role for learners in evaluation
Give the impartiality of information, advice and guidance priority in your strategy and ensure
that there are systems and mechanisms in place to secure and measure it.
Acknowledge the different skill sets involved in collaborative leadership and management and
plan to develop and enhance them.
Ensure coherence of activity with the Children’s Plan and Every Child Matters outcomes. Be
clear about accountability lines and specialist responsibilities.
Enable integration with Children’s Trust commissioning arrangements.
If it can’t be done in partnership – don’t do it!
Devon: Positive Pathways - 3
To provide truly personalised packages of support and provision to some of the hardest to engage
NEET young people, helping to progress on to more mainstream provision.
“Positive Pathways funding provided an opportunity to develop a truly innovative and effective
approach to commissioning individualized provision through a network of providers, each expert in
their own field”.
Jenny Rudge OBE Chief Executive Cornwall and Devon
The Challenge
To engage young people with very significant barriers to progression in informal activities and
semi-formal learning that will help them to make a transition into more mainstream provision
To design and manage truly individualized packages of activities, learning and support using a
wide range of providers.
Top 3 Project Successes
1. 76% of the 113 participants (between Oct 2007 and August 2008) worked towards a
recognized qualification. This is a very significant success given that these were some
of the hardest to reach young people, many of whom will have had very little previous
educational success.
2. Nearly all of the young people participating reported that the project had enabled them
to increase their confidence and self esteem, as well as giving them the opportunity to
gain accreditation.
3. 74% of participants completed their programme of activities and of these 44% moved to
a positive destination. Again, given the target group and their previous histories this is a
very significant level of success.
Impact on young people
The project often provided the necessary stepping stones that allowed young people to move on to
mainstream learning and work. It provided confidence and self esteem boosting activities and allowed
young people to feel a real sense of achievement, possibly for the first time. This was crucial to
enabling many of them to make a successful transition to education, employment or training.
Key Actions
Obtained funding through the LSC, originally ESF then LID funding.
Commissioned a wide range of activities, learning and support from providers, enabling a
bespoke package to be built for each young person.
Enabled Personal Advisers to offer significant levels of intensive support to build confidence
and move young people forward.
Ensured activities on offer included qualifications and a breadth of interest including arts,
media, sport and fitness, together with the appropriate levels of support and encouragement.
This meant that there was something to excite every young person.
The effective partnership between all providers enabled movement across differing sectors for
young people as they tried new things and narrowed down what they wanted to do.
Buddying support and mentoring opportunities not only provided support for the young people
involved but was a chance for the buddies themselves to develop new skills.
Strong transition planning and ongoing support for the young people made sure that their
move into education, employment or training was sustainable.
Individualised packages that met the needs of each young person were key to the success of
the programme.
Connexions and activity/learning providers cooperated to enable young people to access and
successfully achieve a positive outcome
Lessons Learned
The costs of this project were relatively high compared with more mainstream provision,
reflecting the high level of individual needs of the client group... Funding was provided via the
LSC (original project ESF funded, extension project LID funded).
The effective sub-contracting and management of a wide range of providers who between
them are able to provide a comprehensive set of activities, support and learning.
Engaging and sustaining the participation of young people often with significant multiple
barriers and who may have had few previous positive experiences of learning.
Dudley: Greenlight Project - 8
A job club and information drop-in supporting young offenders into education, employment or training
“The Greenlight Project is a true Partnership and is making a tremendous difference to vulnerable
young people’s lives. Through integrated working young people are moving on to successful
outcomes and succeeding.”
Helen Ellis Connexions Commissioning Manager, Dudley
The Challenge
• To reduce the number of young offenders not in education, employment or training (NEET)
• To engage young offenders after the school leaving age to raise awareness of the training and
employment opportunities available.
• To engage with training/employment providers to address their perceptions of these young
people and ensure that young offenders can access opportunities.
• To take a holistic approach to reducing the number of young offenders who are NEET by
addressing other related issues such as accommodation and health
Top 3 Project Successes
1. 34 young people have regularly attended the Greenlight project, since April. On average 8 to
12 young people attend the session on a weekly basis.
2. Training providers’ presentations giving information and encouragement have resulted in 6
Young People enrolling in training opportunities. 18 young people have signed up to complete
a Forklift training course and 3 young people are taking their CSCS Card training.
3. The project has resulted in real multi-agency cooperation, with partners working holistically to
support young people.
Impact on young people
As well as many of the young people attending the project going on to participate in education or
training, there has also been a marked improvement in behaviour amongst the young people. As a
result, the confidence of partners in the young people has increased to such an extent that they have
agreed to make additional IT resources available in the venue. We are considering expanding to a
second project in the south of the borough.
Key Actions
The Connexions PA seconded to Dudley Youth Offending Service has developed the project.
Keeping Young People Engaged (KYPE) staff, Resettlement and Aftercare Project (RAP) staff,
the Youth Offending Service (YOS), Youth Workers and the YOS Education Coordinator, have
all worked together as a team to support delivery.
Monthly meetings of staff monitor performance data and discuss specific cases. Barriers to
progression are discussed and improvement measures put in place to meet the needs of every
young person.
Connexions funded the project and YOS is able to use the facility free of charge every week.
The young people found the venue to be informal and a preferred option to attending the YOS
An average of 8 to 12 young people attend the session on a weekly basis to gain information
and learn
more of the training and other opportunities available, or to have help with job search and CV
Training providers have come to the venue to recruit young people in an environment where
they feel comfortable. They have enrolled 6 young people, with a further 18 signed up to
complete a forklift training course and 3 young people taking their CSCS Card training
Other partners work in a holistic way within the project. The YOS accommodation project
tackles issues surrounding homelessness and the YOS education coordinator offers basic
literacy and numeracy assessments
The project has been selected as a pilot for the ‘Virtual Campus’, allowing young people
access to the internet portal facilitating job search and access to training courses
A range of guest speakers attend the project to increase the scope and breadth of the young
people’s experience and opportunities.
Lessons Learned
The less informal environment and opportunity for young people to socialise with their peers in
a safe environment was conducive to offering advice and guidance
By using a youth club type of venue young people were more confident in communicating with
training providers
The support of YOS specialist workers has been essential to the success of the project, with
YOS case manager’s proactively encouraging attendance
Dudley: The Prince’s Trust - 3
Lora Leedham
“After completing college and meeting my Business Mentor, I felt so inspired that I decided to start up
my own jewellery business. My business continues to grow and I couldn’t have done it without The
Prince’s Trust. I’m happy to give back as much as I can as I wouldn’t be where I am today without
their support.”
Twenty-three year old Lora had a tough start in life, growing up in an area where underachieving at
school and getting pregnant at a young age were the norm.
Born and raised in Tividale, Lora attended a low performing comprehensive school which had a
number of issues including a high level of violence and single parent pupils. The school had to
employ security staff and was considering opening a crèche for the single parent pupils to use. But
Lora wanted something different from her life. She managed to find a part-time job working 12 hours
a week and started college. However she realised she wasn’t enjoying the subjects she’d chosen and
changed direction in the second year. Lora started making her own jewellery, which was well
received, and in her third year she spent some time with jewellery designers.
Lora left college with a BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design. She contacted Dudley Council who
put her in touch with The Prince’s Trust. She took a huge gamble and, with a business loan from The
Trust, set up her own jewellery company. As well as the financial support, Lora received the guidance
of a Business Mentor. He has a great deal of marketing and retail experience which was very useful
for Lora’s start-up business. Although the business was slow to take off in the early months, Lora’s
belief in her success never wavered,
and it was her mentor’s support that kept her confidence high.
Business is booming. Lora now has her own workshop in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham and
has 38 stockists across the UK and Europe. Lora’s jewellery has appeared in a variety of national
publications including Grazia, Vogue, Wedding Ideas and Look. She even designed a piece of
jewellery for HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
Lora was a finalist for the Enterprise Award at The Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success national event in
March 2009 where actor Michael Sheen presented her with a trophy. Additionally Lora appeared in
Inspired* by music, produced by The Prince’s Trust. The book features Trust Ambassadors such as
Al Pacino, Bill Nighy and Sharon Osbourne talking about music that has inspired them during their
lives, and Lora was chosen as one of six Young Ambassadors to be included.
About the Business Programme
The Prince’s Trust gives practical and financial support to the young people who need it most. They
help develop key skills, confidence and motivation, enabling young people to move into work,
education or training. Lora was able to start up her own jewellery business with help from the
Business Programme at The Prince’s Trust. The Business Programme helps people to explore and
test their business ideas, write business plans and start their own businesses or achieve alternative
goals in education, training or work.
The Business Programme is for people who have a business idea they want help to explore, are
aged eighteen to thirty, are unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week and who live in
England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
The Programme provides advice on employment options, business skills training, start-up funding
and ongoing support from a mentor. Access to a wide range of free and discounted products are also
available including a free legal helpline, sponsored by Barclays.
Critical success factors
Effective support and guidance from business mentors.
Access to marketing and retail enterprise.
For further information about The Prince’s Trust and the programmes on offer visit or call 0800 842 842
Dundee: Barnardo’s Works - 5
An innovative partnership between Dundee Council, Barnardo’s and Scottish and Southern Energy
(SSE) recruits NEET young people into skilled jobs.
“The sense of enthusiasm throughout the company about Youthbuild is palpable. From top to bottom
colleagues have embraced the potential of this Service – and we are in this for the long-term. We
owe it to the communities we serve, we owe it to our customers and owe it to the young people
Colin Hood, Chief Operating Officer, Scottish and Southern Energy
The Challenge
Developing a partnership across the public, private and voluntary sectors where each
organisation played to their strengths in moving young people into work.
Bringing young people straight into real work environments with enough support to prevent
them from failing.
Ensuring the complex needs of young people on the programme were met.
Key Actions
The chair of Scottish and Southern Energy’s board was invited by the city council to sit on the
NEET strategy group.
Opportunities to address labour market issues and invest in skill building in local communities
was attractive to SSE who realised they could take on young people with more complex needs
if they had additional support.
A partnership between Dundee City Council, SSE and Barnardo’s was formed, resulting in this
two year initiative that commenced November 2007.
Using funds from SSE’s Corporate Social Responsibility and the city council’s NEET strands,
the programme recruited 11 NEET young people with diverse needs for a 9 month
Each young person has a Barnardo’s key worker (who often works from the SSE site)
providing personal support –help with health, housing, personal finances, addressing
substance misuse and personal advice. SSE provides a mentor who is responsible for the
training, development and support given to the young person ‘on the job’.
Following 13 weeks of initial accredited training, the young people receive a work placement
with SSE for a further 13 weeks. On successful completion of this they progress to permanent
Impact on young people
All but one of the young people taken on through the programme are all still with SSE in real jobs. In
the case of one young person he is the first person in his family to have a job. While there was some
cash investment to the initiative, much input has been developed “in-kind”, e.g. SSE employees as
work mentors, office space and equipment, or has involved the Barnardo’s workers tapping
effectively into services already there. The company reports extremely positive feedback from staff
about the programme and employees involved as work mentors are choosing to continue in this role
after the young person has successfully completed their internship. SSE aims to try and roll out the
programme across the company by 2011.
East Sussex: Good Practice Guidelines - 12
Using best practice guidance to create a shared agenda and support schools and providers to
increase post-16 participation.
“These guidelines bring together good practice in post-16 transfer and transition from across schools,
colleges, training providers and Children’s Services in East Sussex. They will make a valuable
contribution to developing our commitment to ensure all young people are supported to stay on in
learning post-16 and achieve success”.
Fiona Wright, Head of Strategic Development (Quality, Learning and Skills)
The Challenge
Varying practices in place at over 27 different schools and educational providers across East
Sussex and a range of FE providers: 2 FE Colleges, a Sixth Form College, a Specialist landbased College, School Sixth Forms and Training Providers.
Ensuring collaboration between a wide range of educational and Connexions providers to
develop and support the implementation of the guidance; challenging perceptions within and
across institutions, helping to overcome some of the cultural differences between schools and
post-16 providers.
Overcoming difficulties of data sharing including what is permitted under the Data Protection
Top 3 Project Successes
1. Working in partnership, stakeholders were able to identify and produce the Good Practice
2. The development of RONI (Risk of NEET Indicator) produced as part of the project for use by
3. Young people were able to talk of their transitional experiences on a film commissioned as
part of this project.
Impact on young people
The Good Practice Guidelines were launched at a conference in October 2008, and we are already
seeing the benefits of closer collaboration between stakeholders in supporting learners. East Sussex
September Guarantee figures for 2008 show that around 93% of learners have received an offer of
learning or training which is an improvement of 8% on the previous year, our NEET figures have also
been reducing steadily from a high of 8% and we expect them to reach below 6% by the end of 2008.
Key Actions
The project is one of the initiatives identified by East Sussex CSA to reduce NEET and
increase participation in post-16 learning.
The project was set up to help reduce NEET in East Sussex; the focus of the project was the
prevention of NEET and ensuring that learners are supported onto appropriate provision post16. The idea for the project came from a similar project that the School Improvement Service
in East Sussex had already completed on Good Practice Guidelines for Transition from Key
Stage 2 to Key Stage 3.
The project was led by the 14-19/Connexions team in East Sussex CSA in close collaboration
with the School Improvement Service, other relevant CSA teams, and schools, colleges and
Connexions providers.
An initial stakeholders meeting was held in October 2007 where the original aims and
intentions of the project were discussed, stakeholders felt that rather than an audit of current
practice a good practice guidance document would be the most helpful way forward in
supporting transition. Though learners progress onto a number of post-16 providers in East
Sussex and out of the county, the majority of learners progress onto FE Colleges. This
project’s main focus has been to help both schools and colleges support learners in their
transition, though the good practice identified is also relevant to other providers
An important part of the project was the development of a tool to identify those learners that
are vulnerable and at risk of being NEET – the Risk of NEET Indicator (RONI). RONI is linked
to SIMs and is a report producing tool that uses a series of indicators to identify those that may
be at risk of becoming NEET, these include for example: attendance, SATs scores, whether
they are LAC (Looked after Children) or supported by other services or agencies. The tool is
designed to be used by tutors or Heads of Years and can be used at anytime during the child’s
education. The information gathered by RONI is then passed onto the appropriate post-16
provider to help them support learners as they progress
The Good Practice Guidelines are based upon the London Challenge five key transition
‘bridges’ and have been adapted for use within a school or post-16 environment. They include:
Administrative: the development of effective and robust administrative arrangements
to support transition, for example the transfer of pupil records including performance
data, administrative meetings between key school staff, common progression
procedures across a partnership
Social and personal: improving learners and parents/carers familiarity with the post-16
setting, ensuring that effective pastoral support is in place for all learners , and that all
learners maintain their place in post 16 setting
Curriculum: Providing a curriculum for all learners at appropriate levels; learning how
to learn in the new setting; establishment of a appropriate personalised pathway toward
‘career’ progression
Pedagogy: Improving the continuity of teaching and learning from KS4 to KS5
encouraging cross phase professional support and dialogue
Autonomy and managing learning: Ensuring that learners are seen as active
participants in the transition process and in their own learning
Lessons Learned
Next steps for the project are in monitoring the implementation of the guidelines throughout the
year, and ensuring that they are updated as necessary as more good practice is identified and
practices evolve. We would also like to explore in more detail how the guidelines can be
further developed for use with particular vulnerable groups, such as learners with Moving on
Plans, Looked After Children and those with English as an Additional Language.
Some developments are already taking place, for example a Protocol has been agreed by
teams across Children’s Services for the transition of Looked After Children and this is being
piloted in 2008/09 with a view to extend it to other groups as appropriate in 2009/2010.
Future steps could also include the use of RONI by Primary Schools too so that even earlier
intervention can take place to reduce NEETs.
Gateshead: Increasing Opportunities for Young People - 12
Using College tasters, 14-19 collaboration and work placements in social enterprises to give young
people the opportunities they need.
”At any given time in Gateshead there are up to 600 young people between the ages of 16 and 18
who are not involved in any form of education, employment or training. We are working hard to
ensure there are new inspiring opportunities that encourage our young people to take those first vital
steps towards meaningful learning and employment. These are just some of the examples of many
successful programmes we have introduced.”
Henry Edwards, 14-19 Manager, Gateshead
The Challenge
Recognition by Providers within Gateshead of a falling cohort prompted them to target young
people in both NEET and Jobs Without Training (JWT).
Young people in jobs without training form a significant proportion of the new joiners to the
NEET group as they drop out of short term or unskilled work.
Matching supply and demand in specific industrial sectors such as construction and
manufacturing in the Gateshead area.
Top 3 Project Successes
1. College taster courses - bespoke rolling courses specifically designed to appeal to young
people in the NEET group.
2. 14-19 collaboration- there are over 600 school based students on off-site vocational
programmes at Gateshead College.
3. Social Enterprise and the intermediate labour market – providing work and training to young
people at a range of social enterprise organisations in Gateshead.
Impact on young people
Significant reductions in the numbers within the NEET group point to the positive impact of this
strategy. The adjusted proportion of young people NEET has fallen by 3.6 percentage points since
January 06.
Key Actions
College taster courses – these are bespoke rolling courses in a range of subject areas
specifically designed to appeal to young people in the NEET cohort. The courses are in six
week blocks with students on the programme for 12 weeks. They give young people who have
reservations about further learning the chance to sample it without a firm commitment.
14-19 collaboration - there are now over 600 school students on off-site vocational
programmes courses at Gateshead College alone, giving them a chance to build up the skills
they need for the world of work. This is set to increase to over 750 for 2008/2009. A number of
the young people have been identified as being at risk of disengagement due to a number of
factors. The success of these programmes is demonstrated by their retention of young people
in learning with 75% accessing full time college courses in 2007/2008. The programme is
ensuring fewer young people are entering inappropriate pathways and ensuring they are less
at risk of dropping out
Social Enterprise and the intermediate labour market – Gateshead has a strong network of
social enterprises, including the Sage Gateshead, the largest social enterprise in the North
East. LSC has been working in partnership with RENEW Gateshead and a range of local
partners to develop a worklessness project based on the Regional Employability Framework
model. Recruits and trainees are recruited from young people who are currently NEET through
referrals from local Connexions. They are given a 6 month temporary contract paid at the
minimum wage at RENEW where they are trained in recycling white goods. They also receive
training in basic skills and a Level 2 in Performing Manufacturing Operations.
Gateshead has a high demand for Construction Apprenticeships amongst the NEET group,
and balanced against this is the difficulty in finding employer placements to support the
demand. In order to stimulate demand in micro businesses and Small and Medium Enterprises
(SMEs) LSC is working with Connexions, Gateshead College, Rathbone, and Gateshead
EBLS to access 50 Apprenticeship places in Construction for young people. This project is
being extended in 2008/2009 with further flexibilities based on lessons learnt as part of the
Lessons Learned
High numbers of young people in jobs without training tend to return to the NEET group and
more targeted action and support is needed to ensure they receive the skills and training to
break this cycle and enter sustainable employment.
College taster courses are highly effective at breaking young people’s preconceptions and
encouraging them to go into further learning – they have produced a 70% progression rate.
Aligning education and training to local recruitment, with temporary contracts to establish
suitability, can enhance the employment opportunities of young people.
Gloucestershire - Senior Practitioner joint funded by LSC and Connexions - 3
Putting partnership working into practice by developing a shared post
“This joint-funded post has greatly improved the links between the LSC and Connexions and has
enhanced provision for NEET young people within Gloucestershire.”
Tim Smithson, Partnership Director, LSC Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire has in place a stretch target of 3.5% on NEET to be achieved by 2010 (i.e. averaged
performance during Nov 2010 – January 2011). In response, the recently published National NEET
Strategy (2007-2013) and Gloucestershire’s County NEET Action Plan (2007-10) highlighted an
urgent need for closer partnership working if participation rates and positive outcomes for young
people were to be improved nationally and locally. This was further underpinned by the proposals in
the Governments ‘Youth Matters’ paper for a more Integrated Youth Support Model.
In addition, there was a very specific concern within Gloucestershire’s Learning and Skills Council
(LSC) and the local Connexions service to gain a more effective match between appropriate
provision and young people within the NEET group. This led to the creation of the jointly funded
Connexions/LSC NEET Development Personal Adviser post in June 2007 to carry out an initial
county review of provision, policies and practices and to make recommendations for future working
The role was overseen by a joint LSC and Connexions Steering Group and had a number of key
• To carry out a county-wide review of all E2E provision from a practical operational perspective in
consultation with the LSC, Connexions Personal Advisers, Training Providers and E2E learners.
• To produce an E2E action plan recommending and implementing identified improvements (Report
and Action Plan available on request)
• To produce a county-wide report on perceived gaps in provision for the LSC to inform future
commissioning (Available on request)
• To support joint-working in the September Guarantee Process
• To carry out designated analysis on the Gloucestershire NEET group using Connexions NEET data
to further inform LSC work (eg. characteristics of NEET group; drop-out analysis; not known group)
• To support individual advocacy issues for NEET young people presenting to Connexions Personal
Advisers (see case studies below)
Managing Change and Transition: Both the LSC and Connexions are and will continue to
experience extensive reorganisations and the changes involved in this have inevitably delayed
progress at times. We need to ensure that we continue to maintain close partnership working
during this period.
Achieving ICT access to Connexions Database: It was not possible to establish outreach
access to the Connexions database at the LSC due to certain incompatibilities. This has
meant that the PA has had to move between offices in order to obtain necessary data.
Case load: We decided that this post should carry a small caseload of young parents and also
have regular contact with other NEET young people (e.g. through focus groups).
• Improved Partner Communication - The review process enabled a great understanding of the
issues, constraints and cultural differences in working practices facing all those concerned, including
the NEET young people accessing the provision. This enabled an improved focussing of resources
on key areas of concern. Positive Outcomes for young people on E2E have continued to improve and
overall NEET figures have continued to fall.
• The Development of a new model of E2E Provision – The review showed that the more rural
areas of the county were disadvantaged regarding access to NEET provision (eg. Cotswolds and
Tewkesbury areas). However, due to the dispersed nature of these young people and the relatively
small numbers, setting up permanent provisions was deemed not economically viable. A more
flexible model of provision has therefore been devised and there is currently a move to have a
contract with one provider for a county-wide outreach provision that is flexible to move with demand,
and pockets of need. This is to be piloted in Tewkesbury and will have a direct impact on the levels of
• Employer Engagement - One area of concern raised by providers and confirmed by an analysis of
the relationship between work experience, qualification achievement and E2E outcomes, was the
difficulty in identifying and sustaining good work experience placements with local employers. As a
result the LSC identified resources for the QIA to provide an ongoing programme of support with this
for Providers. Since there is a positive correlation between good work experience opportunities and
achieving positive outcomes for young people, this will further help ongoing attainment of NEET
reduction targets.
• Individual Advocacy utilising a joint agency approach - It was useful for partner agencies and
particularly Connexions to have an identified person with access to LSC support to facilitate and take
forward individual young people cases who didn’t fit available criteria for provision. This was utilised
both for the overall NEET group and those within the September Guarantee Cohort (potential NEET).
For example:
The initial project was reviewed after one year and as a result continued for another with a different
emphasis. A number of observations were made:
• Key Objectives: The project began with specific and defined concerns. The key objectives were
met and ongoing action plans remain in place to ensure progress continues. In addition though, other
avenues of joint working were identified and explored. For example, the key concern about Employer
Engagement (as mentioned above) became more pressing from a number of sources, such as the
E2E providers, the education initiatives within 14-19, and more recently the forthcoming new National
Apprenticeship Service. This has become a new focus in the continuing joint post.
• Steering Group: Having an inter-agency steering group was the key to the success of the project. It
enabled clear objectives and boundaries to be set up and good systems of trust and communication.
By having confidence in the framework, the Personal Adviser was given great flexibility to work
between the two organisations. By establishing a Connexions presence within the LSC, this opened
up new lines of joint working and closer relationships at a number of levels. One example was
establishing closer contact with the wider Integrated Youth Support Services through the NEET
Partnership Forum.
There are two more detailed case studies of the impact on individual young people on the next
Case Study 1: Young Mother NEET (NB. The name of the young person has been changed)
Emily, a 17 year old young parent, had successfully completed an NVQ level 2 in Business and
Administration at college in 2006 and accessed the Care to Learn support to help achieve this.
However, when she progressed onto the Cache level 2 course in Child Care and Education she
experienced difficulties in coping. Emily had recently moved to live independently and this together
with the demand of the new course and her childcare responsibilities led to her to develop
depression. She subsequently dropped out from college and both Emily’s Connexions Personal
Adviser and Social Worker were contacted to provide additional support. Emily’s grandparents looked
after her child while Emily received appropriate treatment.
The PA identified the college’s E2E course as being a suitable re-engagement programme but
because Emily had previously achieved a level two qualification she was deemed not to meet the
entry requirements. The PA felt strongly that Emily would greatly benefit from the programme as her
experiences had meant she had become increasingly unfocussed about her future direction and she
also required help with level one maths.
The programme would also enable Emily to retain her benefits and EMA as well as sustaining her
Care to Learn arrangements. The PA therefore appealed to the LSC via the NEET Development PA
(a joint funded LSC and Connexions post) to argue the need for greater flexibility over the entry
requirements and help to secure Emily a suitable provision.
After consultation, the LSC Partnership Director confirmed that whilst Emily was not eligible for the
E2E programme, he felt that a tailor-made and more flexible programme was required, without the
usual time and outcome constraints. He suggested this was within the remit of the college to provide
and encouraged them to do so, offering further advice and support if needed. This provided the
necessary leverage and guidance for the college and they were able to put together a programme for
Emily, still alongside E2E so that she had a peer group, but more specific to her needs and still
retaining all her benefits, EMA, and Care to Learn support.
Emily is now progressing well and is recovering from the depression. She is continuing to receive
support from the College, Connexions and Social Care. She is continuing to live independently and is
gradually taking on more of her daughter’s care, with the aim of her taking sole charge in the near
future. The support and guidance from the LSC enabled a timely and innovative intervention that
enabled Emily to re-engage. The good communication and integrated working of the college with the
key agencies involved in bringing this about also played an essential part in ensuring a positive
outcome for Emily.
Case Study 2: Young Traveller (NB. The name of the young person has been changed)
Michael had missed a significant amount of schooling due to travelling with his family and
subsequently had been enrolled at a local secondary school a year adrift from his peer group to
enable him to catch up. However, the school were finding it hard to retain his interest and during year
10 Michael indicated that he would not be remaining on for year 11. With their permission, the school
carried out a Common Assessment drawing in support for Michael and his family and to help him
explore his options. Partner agencies included the School, the Education Welfare Service, the
Traveller Education service and Connexions at this stage. College options were explored and
Michael spent a few days at a local agricultural college where he discovered a real interest in a Rural
Skills course. However, the college raised concerns about funding a place for him in view of his being
in year 10.
The assistance of the LSC was quickly sought via the NEET Development PA. There was a legal
issue that needed to be clarified due to Michael’s birth date being September 1st. In consultation with
the EWS the LSC established that although Michael’s birthday was after the cut off date of August
31st it was before the start date of the school academic term (Sept 3rd). This enabled Michael to be
legally identified with his year 11 peer group and able to progress. The LSC contacted the college to
confirm their funding of a place for Michael on the Rural Skills course. One further obstacle remained
and this concerned financial support for Michael at college. The Education Maintenance Allowance
(EMA), available for those leaving compulsory education but choosing to remain in education, also
had a cut off date of August 31st and a case had to be built for an appeal. Evidence was gathered
and compiled within the LSC and sent off by the Connexions PA. Michael’s appeal was successful
and he is now looking forward to starting college.
Gloucestershire - Young Gloucestershire - 2
The 6-Week ACHIEVE project re-engages vulnerable NEET young people by enabling them to
develop skills, confidence and motivation to increase their employability.
Boosting confidence and raising self esteem are keys to unlocking the potential of many unemployed
young people according to Young Gloucestershire (YG), a voluntary youth work organisation.
The Cirencester based group runs the Achieve project which is funded by the Learning and Skills
Council (LSC) through the European Social Fund (ESF), for unemployed young people between 16
and 19 years old. It is a six week intensive programme run in a fun, active, hands on way to engage
young people, re-kindle their aspirations and support them through a National Open College Network
(NOCN) qualification in written information.
One essential aspect of Achieve is the opportunity for participants to go on a residential trip in the
Forest of Dean. They also manage an event to raise money for charity, improve their literacy skills,
produce a professional CV, make friends and explore their own potential and opportunities.
Hayley Stokes was in the same position as many programme recruits when she was persuaded to
join a YG programme. She freely admits that the course turned her life around. Now working as an
Achieve Team Leader, she is highly successful at passing on her enthusiasm and focus to new
recruits and genuinely understands the challenges they face.
Hayley said: “Our motto is “Everything is Possible” and we really believe this is true. Our aim is to
engage, support, and work to develop young people to make a difference in their lives and in the lives
of others.
“We particularly focus on developing specific key life skills including confidence, tolerance,
communication, motivation, leadership, problem solving, team work, caring for others and taking
“Achieve is brilliant. Even if it just gets a young person out of bed and into a routine again it’s worth it,
although for the majority it’s the beginning of a whole new life.”
For more information please visit:
Hammersmith and Fulham - Connexions One Stop Shop - 3
A single centre offering multi agency support to young people, including those who are NEET.
"The Connexions One Stop Shop is an innovation that has clearly made a significant impact on the
lives of young people in Hammersmith & Fulham. This popular, high street located Centre brings
together a number of agencies who work with Connexions to support young people and reduce the
number NEET in the borough."
Carole Bell, Assistant Director, Children’s Services
The Challenge
Development and promotion of a new model of practice and infrastructure that was fit for
purpose and consistent with the needs of young people.
Managing a major shift in working culture and external image.
Gaining stakeholder buy-in at the initial development phase.
Top 3 Project Successes
1. The development of a multi-agency Connexions One Stop Shop (COSS) model.
2. Effective partnership working and multi agency support with young people and for young
3. The design and development of a ‘fit for purpose’ infrastructure.
Impact on young people
Young people had the opportunity to be involved in the project and tailor the service to ensure it met
their needs in terms of being both user friendly and providing access to services appropriate to their
needs. An evaluation in June 08 found that young people valued the services on offer and found the
environment non threatening and that they were respected and treated as individuals with due regard
to their confidentiality.
Key Actions
Established a clear vision for change with the support of the DCS, and promoted this to key
Invited partner organisations to planning steering group to get their early buy in
Careful planning of the involvement of young people in areas where they can have a ‘real say’,
for example structure and design of the building, range of services to be offered etc;
Development of Service Level Agreements with external agencies and partners with clear,
consistent and agreed policies, procedures and delivery requirements with a time scale for
Established a clear induction process for all staff working from the COSS which outlined
service delivery expectations, working in a multi-agency environment, referral and tracking
processes etc
Established clear management, operational and communication guidelines for agencies and
front line staff.
Ensured clear roles/responsibilities including a project lead
Secured appropriate input from individuals with the right technical knowledge and know-how
early on in the project;
Liaised with key partners to ensure delivery requirements were identified and met
Secured a budget which also allows for contingencies and made sure expectations were
Ensured project plan allowed for flexibility and shifting timescales
Successful take up of the One Stop Shop by young people, including those with multiple
needs and those in the NEET cohort, has led to growing reputation of the COSS, leading to
fresh enquiries from new partners and work is now underway to look at possible delivery of
part time GP and Nursing services from the COSS
Regular, more informal meetings and exchange of information between COSS based Personal
Advisers and other professionals operating out of the COSS enables accurate tracking of the
NEET clients and is speeding up the process of supporting young people into positive
On going feedback from young people ensures services and provision can be reviewed and
Lessons Learned
Innovative promotion and marketing to all stakeholders, in particular young people and
potential new service providers through high impact publicity and road shows to potential new
service providers has proved effective.
The generic branding of the Connexions One Stop Shop promotes confidentiality and
anonymity and therefore encourages young people to engage with specialist services such as
counselling or sexual health without the risk of stigma.
Significant costs in the re-developing a Connexions Centre primarily focusing on careers
advice & guidance to a truly one shop stop model are involved and the sourcing of non-core
external funding to cover the expanded range of services is vital.
Haringey: Haringey Guarantee - 3
The issue
Haringey, in North London, has particularly high levels of worklessness.
These are believed to contribute to a weaker local economy, high levels of ill-health, crime,
substance abuse, low levels of attainment at school, and family breakdown leading to higher
demands for social housing and social services support.
The workless in Haringey are defined as those residents who are: unemployed claimants; those who
are actively out of work and looking for a job; and those who are ‘economically inactive’.
The economically inactive are people of working age who are not working, are not in full-time
education or training and are not actively seeking work.
Whilst Britain's average employment rate is a healthy 74.7 per cent, a record high, the employment
rate in Haringey is 66 per cent.
There are:
51,800 workless residents in Haringey
30,700 of workless are women
26,300 of workless are from BAME (non-white) communities
36,400 of workless live in Tottenham
12,500 people in receipt of Incapacity Benefit
8,521 people in receipt of Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA)
(Source: Annual Local Area Labour Survey/Annual Population Survey, Office for National Statistics)
Educational attainment and skills levels are very low in Haringey. Only half of school leavers reached
the level two threshold of five good GCSEs in 2007. Educational attainment is improving slowly but is
recognised that while Haringey may hit the national average of 56 per cent it is still a long way off
achieving the needs of a knowledge based economy.
In a knowledge economy 70 per cent of jobs will need NVQ3 or higher level skills. In February 2008
there were 439 young people (16-18) not in education, training or employment (NEET) in Haringey.
The adult population also have significantly low skill levels. People with low skills have difficulty
getting employment. It follows that geographical areas with high proportions of low-skilled residents
have lower employment rates. This is certainly the case in Haringey.
Forty per cent of Haringey residents have Level 1 and below skills. Most of these people live in the
less affluent east of the borough. Only 31 per cent of employers need staff with Level 1 and below
skills. There are fewer jobs for low skilled people than residents with low skills so local people must
gain better skills to get work.
There have been many initiatives in Haringey to tackle the two issues of worklessness and low skills.
Many of the projects that were started through short term funding initiatives were very successful but
inhibited by short term funding.
What they did
The Haringey Guarantee was designed to be a long term strategic commitment to tackling
worklessness and low skills. It is managed by the Haringey Council on behalf of the Haringey
Strategic Partnership (HSP).
The Haringey guarantee links employers, schools and colleges, skills training providers, employment
services, job brokers and local people. It is targeted at persistent areas of worklessness, the 12 worst
wards. The ‘guarantee’ is extended to the three main sets of people involved. Local residents are
guaranteed to receive good quality training and support to help them find work.
This even extends to guaranteed job interviews if they complete their action plan. Potential employers
are guaranteed committed, local candidates for jobs. Providers of services are guaranteed to be
providing quality services and also receive a long term funding commitment.
The process is independently and continuously evaluated to ensure all partners are maintaining the
expected standards.
HSP looked at the barriers that residents experienced to securing sustainable employment and the
experiences of the providers of advice, support and training. This research led to the forming of the
concept of the guarantee. The strategic partnership initially used a new element of Safer and
Stronger Communities Fund (SSCF) to pilot the Haringey Guarantee.
The Neighbourhood Element of SSCF was mainly intended to roll out a neighbourhood management
service but as they already had an extensive neighbourhood management service in Haringey it was
used to test an approach linking deprived neighbourhoods with the labour market and was originally
focused on the three most deprived wards.
A commissioning framework was developed and providers applied to deliver the different elements
within it and this then served as a pilot project.
After agreement of their local area agreement (LAA), funding could not be moved between different
‘blocks’ and SSCF had to stay with the Safer Communities element. They then used neighbourhood
renewal fund (NRF) to allow the successful pilot to extend to Haringey’s 12 ‘worst wards’.
They now use an allocation from Working Neighbourhoods Fund.
This original programme framework was made up of the following themes, each of which had an
overall budget and targets:
1.Young people
1a Schools
1b Employment Advice and Job Brokerage
2. Service users
2a Council services
2b Health services
3. Volunteering / work placements
4. Neighbourhood co-ordination
5. Evaluation
The various project elements that make up the Haringey Guarantee have since evolved
considerably. The projects are now as follows:
Creche at Keeping it Simple (KIS)
KIS training have been commissioned under the Haringey Guarantee to run a NCFE level two course
in developing skills and working with children and young people.
The participants work in the crèche but can also use the crèche facilities for their children while they
are training.
Employment Action Network (EAN)
Run by the neighbourhood management team, a neighbourhood employment officer is responsible
for the development of local actions and priorities linking into the main elements of the programme.
The project currently runs at Northumberland Park Neighbourhood Resource Centre, Wood Green
Central Library and Noel Park Children’s Centre (Shropshire Hall) and gives local access to
Job matching
Compiling CVs
Completing application forms
Job interview preparation
Help in finding affordable quality childcare
Benefit advice and assessments
Debt counselling advice
Accessing recruitment websites
Accessing resource materials, for example recruitment newspapers and magazines
There are also links with other agencies providing: Specialist support for single parents;
Business start-up advice; Employment support for refugees and asylum seekers
The neighbourhood management team also organises local jobs fairs.
From School Gates to Salaries
Women Like Us is a social enterprise that was developed to support women with children to make
the best choices for their working lives, while helping employers find and retain experienced, parttime staff.
Women Like Us help women with children find local work that matches their skills and interests and
offers the flexibility they need. The service is promoted through children’s primary schools, and ‘reps’
are recruited at each school to spread the word at the school gates, through coffee mornings, and on
school notice boards.
Individuals are assigned a coach that offers help with a programme of employability skills and
training, lasting for four to six months.
This will include drawing up a personalised action plan, and delivering a range of support from CV
writing, skills development confidence building, IT training, and job search and interview techniques,
to business start-up training. Participants are guaranteed a minimum of twelve hours’ direct support
as part of this programme, plus unlimited one-to-one support from the coach by telephone.
Once training is completed, Women Like Us will support people to apply for local part-time flexible
jobs that reflect their level of skills and experience, and suit their interests and childcare
commitments. Support continues for the first six months of employment.
Haringey at Work
This project is delivered by Talent At Work. Talent At Work is a nationally based regeneration
recruitment agency which specialises in helping people, particularly those who are often missed by
mainstream agencies into sustainable employment.
The project provides drop in support for job seekers and acts as a broker between the client, potential
employers and any necessary support agencies such as training providers. Clients also receive
support from job retention consultants who support and advise people making the transition from
living on benefits to full time employment.
Talent Employment Advisers operate from council settings – customer service centres, libraries etc –
providing a more comprehensive approach to service users. They offer job brokerage in response to
employer needs for specific skills. Local candidates are offered at least three interviews.
Moving forward
Moving forward is a project delivered by Positive Employment. This project delivers employment
advice and job brokerage for school leavers and college students under 25.
The programme works closely with the College of North East London (CoNEL) trying to add particular
value to employment-focused college courses.
Tackling Worklessness
Northumberland Park Community School is working in partnership with the College of North East
London (CoNEL), Haringey Education Business Partnership, KIS Training and Connexions to deliver
this programme.
This partnership provides enhanced and additional vocational training at Key Stage 4 and includes
work experience, work based learning and alternative programmes.
The project also provides additional support to students identified as most at risk of becoming NEET
and the project has contributed to the school’s overall GCSE results. The school is now working on
employability skills training and work placements with workless parents.
5E Ltd, a training provider runs this project. Pre-volunteering offers the chance to train for the newly
developed PVP qualification at Level 1, qualifying participants to work as a volunteer at London’s
2012 Olympic Games. The course runs for a total of 120 hours. Participants also benefit from one-toone support from advisers to develop an individual action plan and support with practicalities like
travel expenses and accessing childcare.
Everyone who successfully completes the training is guaranteed an interview to volunteer at London
2012 Olympic Games.
Ready Steady Work
Ready-Steady-Work is a training and job placement scheme delivered by Artikal Films, an
independent film, video production and training company. They work in partnership with employers
from the creative industries and media sector.
Trainees undertake an in-house work placement with Artikal Films where they learn about video and
film production while also receiving one-to-one information, advice, guidance and employment
support. Following this 12-week placement at Artikal Films, trainees then start a second placement
with partner organisations for a further 12 weeks.
Employment support programme
This project is delivered by Aidevian Consultancy. It focuses on helping people find work as retail
security guards. They help beneficiaries get Security Industry Authority (SIA) accreditation, a legal
requirement for security staff.
Working for Health
This project aims to help people who are currently claiming Incapacity Benefit into work, through an
innovative partnership that has been developed between GP surgeries, Healthy Living Centres and
the Primary Care Trust (PCT), which leads the project.
The PCT is supporting the project’s employment advisor posts which are in turn managed by the
Tomorrow’s People agency. Employment advisers are based in GP surgeries and health centres.
Work Placements for Employment
This is a collaboration between North London Partnership Consortium (NLPC) and Haringey
Association of Voluntary and Community Organisations (HAVCO). The project provides co-ordinated
volunteering work experience and work placements for 150 local residents.
The project assesses individuals and matches them with organisations and businesses in Haringey
providing a pathway to employment. The project aims to get 30 people into work. The project also
delivers employability skills training.
The Haringey Workstep project is part of Haringey Council’s Employment and Skills Team. It
provides support to people with a disability or health issue to help them get and keep a job, and
works to tackle barriers to work.
Workstep offers one-to-one support from a co-ordinator who works with the participant and any
current or potential employers to draw up an individual package of support. To those out of work,
Workstep offers support and guidance as well as additional support in the initial months of
employment to help with induction. They can offer training in the workplace to support employers and
colleagues get a better understanding of the challenges a participant may face in the work
Evaluation and monitoring
A consultancy firm has been commissioned to do an ongoing evaluation which feeds back into the
quality control process. Urban Futures, Haringey’s regeneration management company, is monitoring
financial and outcome returns on behalf of HSP.
The impact
The evaluation process involved a qualitative project level assessment in January 2008 and a whole
programme assessment in September 2007 as well as quarterly progress reports. Early programme
level outputs and outcomes are available. Wider impact assessment is more difficult. The programme
is still in early days and has been operating only as a pilot project for the first two years. The high
level impact, agreed by the HSP and Job Centre Plus is a reduction in claimant rate by 2010.
There are some indications from Job Centre Plus that the project has had a positive impact on
Incapacity Benefit claimant levels but this is anecdotal.
Significant changes have been made in the way the partners work together. For instance, Job Centre
Plus have instigated enabling measures to ensure that residents can do six weeks’ work placement
that does not affect JSA Claim.
Training directly led by the needs of employers has now been commissioned. A security and a
nursery care project have been developed. More work, investigating the needs of employers is due to
take place this April, hopefully leading to further commissioning.
Barriers, challenges and lessons
Initial engagement
The biggest overall challenge has been getting the effective engagement of workless people. It is
very easy to deliver employment services to job-ready people.
The partners are experienced and know that they cannot just fall back on the people that are
approaching them. Getting to the hard-to-reach people means being much more proactive and going
to where the people are.
The programme has purposefully been designed to move out of offices and into customer service
centres, GP surgeries, health centres and other neighbourhood venues.
Health barriers
The working for health project, in particular, learnt that many patient clients have very complex
needs, particularly since some had been out of work for over 20 years.
These clients were not ready for work in any way, so the project was not able to record job outputs
that it thought it might. It was agreed with the council that the project be changed and part of the
funding used to run a condition management programme (CMP).
The CMP is a package of healthcare and health promotion for people who want work.
It is an 11-week programme that helps people become more confident about work and manage their
conditions better.
A single advisor
The experience of several of the projects has found that the key to success is in allocating a single
one-to-one advisor. This single advisor then sticks with the beneficiary and guides them all the way
through their action plan. Feedback from the evaluation showed that this needed to be taken even
further, supporting the beneficiaries for a longer period while in employment.
Employers surveyed felt that people being referred by the projects needed to be given more support
in adopting the attitudes of the workplace and this is now being taken forward.
Feedback was received that there were initial problems with management of the programme, reports,
monitoring and claiming grant expenditure but that the Council had listened to the problems and
worked hard to improve matters.
Despite the work of the council it was felt that there was a tendency for the projects to work too much
in isolation and communication between projects has been made a subsequent priority.
The recent evaluation highlighted that there still “a substantial degree of uncertainty about future
funding for the programme” among the partners.
The programme has exceeded its targets in a number of areas.
Overall, slightly more people were helped than anticipated (357 beneficiaries, 27 more than
the target).
More people were in sustainable employment for over 13 weeks than expected (59 rather than
44 predicted).
110 people were guarantee ready and had secured full-time work of some sort, almost double
the target which was only 66.
The numbers accessing vocational training was also working much better than expected with
nearly 400 people benefiting where the target was only 250.
In other areas the programme has been less successful.
Only 60 per cent of the targeted individuals were Haringey Guarantee job ready (target 212,
actual 157).
The numbers of people in work placements was only 60 per cent of the target of 71.
Referrals to partner agencies in and out of the guarantee are less than 30 per cent of their
target level.
The evaluation reported that:
The projects were being appropriately targeted on and accessed by workless people.
The people attending felt that the support they are receiving meets their needs and would
recommend the programme to family and friends.
Eight out of ten employers surveyed said the service provided was good or excellent. Only
three businesses had actually recruited someone but they were content with the new recruits.
The project is still in early stages. The ongoing evaluation is providing essential feedback that allows
the project to stay on course and keep all the component parts operating effectively.
National indicators
NI 117: 16 to 18 year olds who are not in education, training or employment (NEET)
NI 153: Working age people claiming out of work benefits in the worst performing
Hartlepool – ‘On Track’ Project - 2
Ashley Aston
“My mum and dad are pleased about the apprenticeship and how I’ve changed. I’ve been doing
loads of decorating at a mate’s house and getting good at it. Before, I would just have been in the
house or in bed. I’m much better at socialising too, I never used to as I found it difficult, but now I’m
out much more. I’m just glad that I found somewhere that has helped me, otherwise it’s just a boring
Ashley Aston, 19 years old, has learning difficulties and attended Catcote Special School in
Hartlepool. He left the school at 16.
“I didn’t really want to go to school, I found it boring, so I was always a pain. I’d get into trouble by
following everyone else – but I’d carry on after they stopped. I was excluded a few times.”
After school, Ashley went to college to do a lifeskills course. He reports “That didn’t last long, it wasn’t
what I wanted to do. I’d asked to go on a computer course, but they wouldn’t let me. I felt knocked
back. They didn’t seem to want people from my school.” After much encouragement from a previous
teacher and his mother, Ashley joined the Hartlepool On Track programme.
“We did different things on the course. I got an ASDAN qualification, which showed that I could plan
and organise things, like a school disco. I also got certificates in food hygiene, first aid, literacy and
numeracy, and manual handling. They were my first national certificates. I also did practical things
like gardening and bike maintenance with the pupils. I helped them with reading, and that was good
for my reading too.
“On Friday mornings we had group sessions, where we looked at things that affected us. I was
drinking a lot and the workers helped me look at how I could change that. We looked at what alcohol
does to your insides, and we talked about resisting pressure. When I was at school we had lessons
about alcohol, but I didn’t take much notice. But I did on this course. I feel better now that I’m not
drinking so much.”
Ashley gained much from the programme. He enjoyed being treated like an adult and he gained
much from his placement. “The course has given me qualifications and lots more confidence. I liked
being able to help the kids, they looked up to me, and that felt good. Because I’d been to the school, I
could relate to them.” His achievements were recognised by others; a teacher nominated him for
Hartlepool Youth Service’s 2008 ‘Back on Track’ Award, which he won.
Ashley has now finished the programme and has successfully applied for a three-month gardening
apprenticeship with Hartlepool Council through its Connect2Work scheme that he hopes to take up
About Hartlepool ‘On Track’ Project
Hartlepool On Track (HOT) was developed in 2006 as a collaboration between Hartlepool Borough
Council and Connexions. It is now delivered as a partnership between the Council’s youth services
and a voluntary sector youth project, B76. It is funded through national regeneration funding.
HOT aims to re-engage young people aged 16 to 19 living in the regeneration area – particularly
those who are not engaged in education, employment and training opportunities. It works closely with
a wide range of providers, such as Nacro, and the council’s Connect2Work initiative which offers
young people aged 16 to 24 three-month apprenticeships to help them improve their basic skills and
gain experience and qualifications. There is a borough wide network of organisations and providers
working with young people not in education, employment or training, which meets quarterly to share
information and address local and national issues.
Young people involved with HOT develop individual progression plans with the workers, and the
project seeks to find them placements in response to their individual needs. Sometimes this means
encouraging young people to attend a youth centre to start the process of re-engagement.
Critical success factors
Partnership working and relationships with training providers.
Training providers interviewing young people immediately and then offering start dates. This
enables workers to move young people onto positive destinations once they express interest.
By commissioning other services, it is able to run additional projects, such as the Catcote
James Sinclair, Connexions Team Manager.
Tel: 01429 275501
Hertfordshire - Working Herts - 2
Energising NEET young people to work in the Energy Sector
“The training gave me valuable experience for finding a full-time job, like going to work every day,
working in a team and learning customer care skills. I’m now hoping to find work in a field where I can
use my energy advice training”
Scott Irvin, Trainee, Working Herts
The Challenge
Developing a programme that had dual aims of addressing NEET and environmental gains in
Ensuring the consistency of real industry work experiences for the trainees.
Meeting the challenge of competing effectively for contracts against commercial companies
and being a training provider.
Ensuring young people receive the right mix of support to be successful in a work
Key Actions
Launched in 1997, the charity Working Herts Ltd is the coordinator of the project. A delivery
partnership includes local authorities, specifically their housing, economic development,
environmental health, planning, regeneration and community safety departments. The LSC,
colleges and referral agencies are also involved.
An unusual funding mix includes contributions from the energy suppliers under their Energy
Efficiency Commitment (CERT)
The project has dual aims of improving energy efficiency of local homes, as well as target
NEET young people for training and development to do this work.
Working with partners, a list of properties was identified.
The energy-saving measures chosen for the scheme included insulation and water usage
reduction skills. All the tasks involve transferable skills that could be transferred such as record
keeping, health and safety and problem solving.
Training is provided on day release from local colleges with additional support from specially
recruited job supervisors
After 6 months training, trainees receive support to find permanent jobs.
The scheme is promoted to householders through the local press and energy advice centres
Impact on young people
More than 1000 properties a year are being insulated under the scheme and more than 3000
properties have been fitted with water-saving devices so far. Up to 80 trainees are recruited and
trained each year, many of whom have had difficulty in finding work in the past. Over 70% of trainees
have been helped to find full-time jobs on leaving the project. Working Herts won the Environment
Agency’s Water Award 2000 for water conservation activities and has expanded into new location,
including Luton and South Bedfordshire.
Hounslow – Integrated Youth Support Service - 3
Stacey Poulson
“The project has given me my confidence. The workers help you with everything, not just with getting
a job.”
Stacey, aged 18, lives with her mother and younger brothers and sisters. She has been
involved with Project 17, run by Hounslow Council, Youth Services.
“I didn’t really get on at school in years 7 to 10, and didn’t go much. But it got better in year 11. My
exams were coming up and I got help from my teachers, and that made me behave better and take
school more seriously. I was put in for some GCSEs and got a C in English and a D in maths. I didn’t
do as well as I’d hoped though.”
Stacey left school after year 11. She was at home for around six months being unemployed, “I spent
ages looking for work, I was answering adverts and leaving my cv with people, but it was useless. It
was really depressing because my friends had got jobs, and I was just hanging around the house and
my mum and I were getting on each others’ nerves.” During this period she was visited by Project 17
youth workers. “They came round to my house with information on courses and jobs. They talked to
me about what I wanted to do and found out more information for me. They helped with my CV and
job applications It was good that they came to my house, it made it a lot easier and my mum got to
know them as well. Then I got a job in a sports shop. But that was horrible, they treated me like
rubbish and made me do everything while the other staff were just hanging around.” She left after a
week. The youth workers managed to arrange another interview for Stacey. She got a place on a 22week childcare course with an Entry to Employment provider from January 2009, spending two days
a week on a work placement at a nursery, and one day a week at college.
When asked how Project 17 had helped her, Stacey was certain. “Confidence. Before I had none, I
hated going on the bus by myself or going down to the shops. I’d even get my friends to ring up about
jobs and interviews. But the workers set me tasks, like phoning up myself – they made me see that I
had to do things for myself, and the more I did, the easier I would find it.
“The youth workers helped me find a course, but they talked about lots more than work. They don’t
talk to you like a child, they treat you like a real person. My mum is really keen on the project, she
sees that I’m much happier in myself and I know what I want to do with my life. We used to argue all
the time, but that’s stopped. I’m much closer to her and my brothers and sisters, we’ve bonded more.
And I help around the house a lot more which makes mum happy!”
Having completed her course in June, Stacey is once again looking for work. She is realistic about
finding employment in the current climate. “It’s really hard at the moment, there just aren’t any jobs
around. So I’m looking to go to college to do more training in childcare. You normally do English and
maths there as well, so I should get better grades for them, which would be a big help.”
About Project 17
Project 17 was set up when it was realised that young people not in education, employment or
training after school were picked up, but that those aged 17 were slipping through the net. Now in its
second year, it is run by a part-time coordinator and three part-time staff, located within Hounslow’s
detached youth work team. It aims to find and work with young people whose position is ‘unknown’ to
Connexions, which provides the project with a list of young people to contact. The project also works
with young people identified through detached and centre-based youth work.
Staff start the process by a phone call followed by a visit to the young people’s homes, working in
pairs. “Essentially, we’re cold calling”, says youth worker David Henry ‘But we’re youth workers, we
make it clear that we’re not putting pressure on them or forcing them to do something. We let them
know that we understand what it’s like for them – I was not in education, employment or training
myself for a short time - and we can help.
It’s very rare that young people say they don’t need any help, most do want us to work with them,
though perhaps not from the first visit as they may be suspicious.” They talk to them about their lives
and what they would like to do, look at their needs and skills, help them build up their CV if needed,
and find appropriate courses or training. The range of options in the borough includes further
education, E2E, Activity Agreements and a young apprentice scheme offering placements within
council departments.
They also encourage the young people to get involve in positive activities such as music or sport,
which may be accredited through OCN or AQA.
Key success factors
Youth work skills and experience in developing relationships with young people.
A person-centred approach that looks at young people’s lives, holistically.
Home visits and continual contact combined with up-to-date, relevant information.
Qamar Khan, Deputy Head of Integrated Youth Support Service. Tel. 020 8583 2947. Email
Isle of Wight - RON (Real Opportunities Now) - 3
To engage the ‘hardest to help’ NEET young people in a short programme of
confidence building and motivational activities and taster sessions.
“RON provides an example of how often the best solutions to improve outcomes for young people
come from the young people themselves and those working directly to support them. All they need is
some time, some space and access to some resources. It is often the support for the first small steps
and changes that some young people need most which can be missing. This support is often
practical, personalised and a prerequisite for them to access the larger more established or more
formal or organised offers of ongoing support. Most of all, RON is a credit to all those young people
involved, those working directly to support them and those that believe in and continue to support
Simon Dear, Commissioner for Positive Activities, Isle of Wight
The Challenge
• A rural area with irregular transport links
• An area with seasonal work rather than permanent career pathways
• Many of the targeted young people had not been in learning for a long time
Top 3 Project Successes
1. 69.2% of the young people of the 89% that completed RON progressed on a positive
destination reducing the NEET.
2. The project had 41 places available and 36 young people took part.
3. The project had high retention – only 11% of participants left early.
Impact on young people
The engagement of long term NEET young people and subsequent support into a positive destination
has been one of the programmes main successes. While on the programme, young people can claim
a £30 voucher for a successfully completion of the programme as well as an additional £30 voucher if
they progress into education, employment or training after RON, in addition to other financial support
such as Care to Learn for teenage parents.
Key Actions
• RON was initially an LSC funded project with South Central Connexions Partnership; initial
funding was £19,200 for 40 places, plus Connexions providing one full time member of staff to
the project. Isle of Wight Connexions is now part of the Isle of Wight Council and RON is
continuing within the Commission for Positive Activities
• Each area was given a set number of places and asked to design a suitable programme of
• The Isle of Wight delivers a ‘Platinum Service’ programme, with a member of Connexions
allocated full time to delivery of the RON programme
• A two week programme was designed to run once a month, for 8 young people aged 16 - 18
• Referrals come from Connexions Personal Advisers, Youth Offending Team workers and
Looked After Children 16+ workers and young people themselves
• Week one- working in partnership with Challenge and Adventure a 3 day challenge
incorporating mountain biking, archery and kayaking
• Week two- Involves visits to training providers, HTP, Smart, Isle of Wight Industrial Group
Training and the Isle of Wight College to undertake taster sessions on their programmes
• Alternative first week activities can be provided to include ; National Pool Lifeguard
Qualifications, going on a Tall ship sail training or work experience with the Fire Service
Young people receive a £30 voucher and a bus rover for each week of attendance to ensure
compatibility with those receiving Educational Maintenance Allowance and to overcome travel
All young people receive intensive one to one support in sexual health, housing and referral to
other specialist services together with IAG including a twelve week follow up to the programme
using the Common Assessment Framework if required
Taster sessions while classroom based are interactive and intended to meet the needs of the
learners many of whom have been outside of learning for some time
The programme is intended to be tailored to the individual and has included attendance at
court, community service and hospital appointments where they are needed.
Every young person referred is invited to meet with the participation worker to talk in depth
about the programme and complete all the permissions required and answer any concerns, a
text message is sent to remind them of start times and places.
Case Study
S joined the March programme having dropped out of his plumbing course in December and is a
young father to be. S is currently serving a 30 hour community order for his offending and is a regular
substance misuser. S completed RON and had still not decided what he would like to do. S was also
able to access the Tall Ships Sail training and he was an excellent member of the crew. The staff on
the sail training spent a lot of time with S talking through his options and providing Advice and
Guidance. Also the training was over 4 days and S did not smoke cannabis over this whole time
which was a personal achievement for him and when we returned S decided to apply for Smart’s Pre
Apprenticeship course to help him become a trainee chef.
Lessons Learned
• Involving young people in the initial design and incorporating ongoing feed back has a positive
impact – in this case they named the programme RON
• Treating each young person as an individual and tailor making the programme with an
individual timetable overcomes some of the barriers to progression
• Acknowledgement of distance travelled in the form of a personalised certificate with a picture
of the young person has a motivational effect.
Kensington and Chelsea - The ‘Break 4 U’ programme – 7+8+9
The issue
Reducing the number of children and young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)
is a national priority. For the Kensington and Chelsea Partnership (KCP) this is a local priority –
particularly for:
teenage mothers
those leaving care
those discharged from youth offending institutes
Young mothers are falling into the ‘benefit trap’ in the borough. Similarly, the number of young
offenders leaving youth offending institutes who re-offend currently stands at 75 per cent.
The focus on NEETs developed in response to the Barnados’ report that criticised how authorities are
responding to the five Every Child Matters outcomes. The KCP is using its local area agreement
(LAA) to address a borough-wide problem that has knock-on effects to other areas of work.
This case study shares learning on the work the KCP is doing in respect of the teenage mothers
group who are accessing education, employment or training (EET).
What Kensington and Chelsea did
The KCP LAA has renewed an existing project - the ‘Break 4 U’ programme. This initiative is based
on the idea that it is too ambitious to expect young mothers to go straight into college once they have
given birth.
The project is guided by the principle that new young mothers first need support to develop the skills
to be confident mothers before they have the confidence to enter employment, education and
This holistic approach to supporting teenage mothers into EET benefits from the close partnership
working of the KCP. The aims of the project are:
NEET to EET – to encourage young parents to explore and undertake education, employment
and training opportunities.
Peer support – to encourage young people to create and facilitate their own support group in
order to reduce isolation.
Personal development – to nurture confidence and raise self-esteem within the group in order
to facilitate self-reliance
Positive parenting and family learning skills - to assist young parents to develop of the
necessary skills to raise their family in a positive manner.
The project’s programme runs three times a year, once in each academic term, and usually consists
of eight sessions. They run for three hours and refreshments are provided.
The content of the session is decided following a consultation with the young parents and the
professionals who work with them. Each session is usually split into two parts – positive parenting
and personal development.
As a result of the partnership’s LAA, the Break 4 U programme is now led by Connexions and the
target now owned by the Youth Support and Development Service.
Previously, the target was coordinated by the Teenage Pregnancy Project. However, mainstreaming
the work into the Connexions service was seen as a way of accelerating efforts and providing
sustainability to the work.
The Break 4 U programme involves leading a partnership of various organisations, teams and
agencies including:
Teenage Pregnancy Project
Careers Management Capital
Family Support Team
Andrew Provan House (supported accommodation for families)
Cheyne Children’s Centre
Each agency provides a specific role and is responsible for ensuring detailed referrals from within
their ‘cohort’ groups.This includes referrals from both voluntary and statutory services and from
teenagers themselves. This has led to a significant change in the baseline figure for teenage mothers
going into education, employment or training.
Prior to the LAA the percentage of teenage mothers known to Connexions that accessed EET and/or
accredited outcomes was 60 per cent. But with the LAA, and the increase in the number of referrals
resulting from the closer inter-agency working described above, the partnership now has a much
bigger ‘pool’ of potential young mothers to work with. The baseline for the LAA target is now 38 per
As a range of organisations and agencies are working together so the range of services available has
increased. New young mothers can now attend courses on such issues as:
Sleep patterns
Post natal depression
Assessing careers
Childcare and funding
Relationship and self
Cookery skills
Keep fit
Young mothers attend the courses with family support services and there is an interpreter for parents
for whom English is a second language. The sessions can take place anywhere but are typically held
within a children’s centre or a third sector residential family support centre.
As partner agencies are working closely together each course or session is linked to the wider
package of support available. These Break 4 U activities are funded through:
Family Learning Grant
Positive Activities for Young People Grant
Teenage Pregnancy Grant
Connexions Grant.
The project provides ongoing and rolling provision that seeks to work at the pace of its
participants. This means that some young people will only be in the project for a short time before
moving into EET, but for others the process can take longer. The project is therefore committed to
supporting all needs of a young parent.
Each young mother is given a keyworker – either a positive activities for young people keyworker or a
Connexions personal adviser. The young person and keyworker meet outside of the Break 4 U group
to discuss the young person’s aspirations and identify potential barriers to EET.
The increase in the number of referrals to the Break 4 U project now sees thirty young mothers
attending the group on a weekly basis across the borough. The target for this cohort group is to
support these women into education, employment or training and/or to help them achieve accredited
outcomes. One such accreditation scheme is the Duke of Edinburgh awards, which is used by the
Break 4 U project to mark young people’s achievements.
The scheme is based around a number of sections and in the Break 4 U project in the south of the
borough it was agreed that the young parents would be required to perform certain duties whilst on
the project in order to fulfill Department of Education criteria. Thus the young parents are required to
attend the whole of the parenting skills course in order to achieve the ‘skills’ section of the scheme.
Similarly, to fulfill the ‘physical activity’ section the young parents are required to walk to every
session - monitored by pedometers.
In the last year alone ten young mothers across the borough have achieved the bronze Duke of
Edinburgh award, ten the silver, and three are going on to take the gold. This is contributing to better
performance. The latest information illustrates that, from the 38 per cent baseline figure, more than
45 per cent of young mothers are now in education, employment or training.
Through joint working with other agencies and the ability to act on referrals, the partnership is
confident of meeting its 65 per cent target. This is contributing to the national NEET target, which is
progressing strongly and RBKC currently registers the lowest percentage of NEET 16–18 year-olds
on the National Connexions customer information system.
In the Break 4 U project in the south of the borough, all of the sixteen young parents involved
reported through a ‘distance travelled’ self-evaluation that the programme had had a positive effect
on their lives. Eight of the young parents have also enrolled in further education courses including:
NVQ hairdressing
NVQ travel and tourism
English as an additional language
A-Levels in psychology, accounting and business
NVQ Childcare.
The project has impacted in other linked areas. In performance management terms, information on
recorded outcomes - soft targets - is now shared throughout the youth support and development
service and with family and children’s services as a whole. Six-monthly traffic light reports are also
produced for partners to provide a clear overview of performance. Culturally the project has also led
to a greater understanding between partner agencies of colleagues’ priorities and methodologies for
conducting work. This has stemmed directly from the Break 4 U programme.
Lessons learned
Encouraging attendance to the group sessions is obviously of great importance. In the Break 4 U
project in the south of the borough, the project staff team sent emails and promotional leaflets to a
number of different teams for referral purposes. This included, for example:
Social services
Unaccompanied minors
School nurses
Education welfare officers
Youth projects
The youth offending team
As well as this material being sent out, a presentation was made at a mother and baby hostel.
Promotion continued by phone calls to all young parents on the teenage pregnancy officer’s database
and a further morning reminder call on the day of the session giving time and location details.
It has become apparent that a number of factors can influence the perceived success of projects
aimed at increasing the number of new young mothers moving into education, employment or
training. If the cohort group decreases by only two or three people, for example, performance
information can be skewed significantly. Both the Government Office and the Learning and Skills
Council take this into account and the partnership is looking at the relevant indicators and the
monitoring process.
More generally, one of the key learning points has been a collective acceptance across all partner
agencies to do things differently and to capture this approach in a service level agreement, which all
agencies sign up to.
More information
Current national and regional data demonstrates that there has been a decrease in the number of
young people entering employment. To buck this trend Connexions has applied to the Learning and
Skills Council to fund two new initiatives.
NEET to employment personal adviser
This initiative is aimed at young people not in education employment or training and involves a
personal adviser working with a caseload of 15 young people to better prepare them to compete in
the job market. The personal adviser will engage with large employers to arrange ‘taster days’ for the
young people and arrange pre-employment workshops.
Goals to achievement
This initiative is a ten-week course for NEET Young People aged 16–19. Candidates will participate
in the ‘preparation for working life’ course together with key skills, complete the expedition for Duke of
Edinburgh bronze award and work towards completion of three other components. The young people
will be placed within education, employment or training within eight weeks of completion.
Kent - Sharing data to help strategic commissioning - 2
Kent is one of the largest local authorities in the UK, with a population of 1.4 million. Average
earnings are relatively high but some areas of Kent suffer from significant levels of deprivation. Some
coastal areas of the county have pockets where over 50% of the working age population is
dependent on welfare benefits. Research undertaken by Oxford University in 2005 suggested that a
large proportion of public spending was going directly on benefits rather than driving economic
development. Analysis carried out by Kent County Council’s Supporting Independence Programme
recorded 2,200 young people NEET and 79,000 people on key working age benefits, of whom 74%
had been in this situation for at least two years and 13% were under 25 years of age.
Kent County Council (KCC) pooled vast amounts of data across local public sector agencies to
produce a strategic picture of the problems facing specific groups of people and the area as a whole.
The data was then used to define key vulnerable groups, allowing more targeted and strategic
interventions based on a comprehensive local evidence base.
The sharing of this data with the council’s partner agencies has led to a shared, multi-agency vision
for the area. Programmes for developing preventative measures among young people were put in
place, together with more targeted support for vulnerable groups. These two strands, focusing on
responsive and preventative measures, are now the bedrock for KCC activities in this area.
Kent Community Programmes work primarily with 16-19 year-old NEETs and those in danger of
exclusion. They are run in partnership with KCC and the third sector, offering participants the
opportunity to learn practical skills and attain qualifications to improve numeracy, literacy and life
skills. The programme provides an effective alternative to what might be inappropriate college
courses and the boredom of unemployment. For some it has provided the confidence and motivation
to find employment, and for others it has re-engaged them with the idea of employment and skills
Kent - Countywide Strategy Group - 1
Kent County Council has a County NEETs strategy group and an effective NEETs strategy –
these are all elements of the overall policy view to ensure that there are no more wasted
opportunities in Kent. The secondary school curriculum has been transformed to ensure a
broadening of the curriculum to allow diversity and choice whilst embracing technology to
deliver a radical and personalised learning agenda. Kent County Council’s aim is to create a
stimulating learning journey for 14-24 year olds - developing the necessary employability
skills fit for the 21st century by giving them real choice and diversity of provision appropriate
to meet their ambitions, aspirations and ability.
Kent has pioneered its own apprenticeship programme (Kent Success) on the basis that work based
learning is the appropriate path for a substantial number of young people, providing opportunities to
acquire industry relevant skills in the workplace supported by approved training packages. It aims to
have 1000 apprentices across the public and private sector in Kent by 2010. Through procurement
contractors make a commitment to provide apprenticeship and work-based learning, for example
linking apprenticeships to the Building Schools for the Future programme. This is complemented by
effective information, advice and guidance for all young people.
The County Council has set out its skills targets in its corporate vision. Its 2010 Skills Targets are:
raise the expectations and aspirations of our young people by giving all 13-19 year-olds the
very best careers guidance and by providing master classes presented by businessmen,
entrepreneurs and professionals;
expand our pioneering vocational 14-16 programme to more than 4,000 students, offering real
choice in a diverse and stimulating curriculum tailored to the needs of students and relevant to
the real world;
double the number of participants on Skill Force-type Programmes;
introduce a Kent Apprenticeship scheme, offering at least 1,000 apprenticeship opportunities
across the private and public sectors;
introduce the Kent Community Programme, building teams of apprentices to participate in
community projects;
build strong business-education partnerships that benefit both employers and schools.
Kingston-upon-Hull - Sir Henry Cooper School - 12
An 11-16 school in an area of high deprivation that successfully supports its students
to engage in learning post-16.
“At Sir Henry Cooper School we value our partnership with everybody connected to our community.
We strive at all times to work together for the benefit of our students and take pride in the
achievements of our students in whatever they do”
Mr David White - Headteacher
The Challenge
• To raise the aspirations of young people and particularly young women.
• Young people displaying lack of self esteem, self awareness and vision.
• There are few positive role models particularly in families with little or no experience of post-16
Top Project Successes
1. Sir Henry Cooper is the only school in the region to be involved in the Going for Gold Award, which
looked for evidence of good practice in promoting equality of opportunity.
2. Our work experience programme is highly regarded and has been used as evidence of good
3. The school is working towards the IAG Gold Award in Information, Advice and Guidance.
4. The school is involved in the development of the new 14- 19 Diplomas.
Impact on young people
We have seen significant improvements in the entry into EET (education, employment and training) 84% for 2005/06 and 86.8% for 2006/07. During 2007/08 the school is participating in a new
Common Application Process in conjunction with Connexions, CFL and colleges, which will have a
positive impact upon young people. Built into the PSHE programme it will ensure all pupils have
access to high quality support and guidance during transition and ensure a further improvement in
the EET figures.
Key Actions
• Heads of Year lead teams of tutors and from 2008 will take the year group through for the full
five years. The year cohorts are now in 6, rather than 5 mixed ability tutor groups to enable all
pupils to receive a greater level of support. Our highly experienced Achievement Support Staff,
together with Mentors drawn from the business community are also able to give individual
• Careers guidance is embedded within the PSHE programme from Y7 and linked to the local
community. Equality of opportunity is supported through the use of GERI materials. LMI
information is used not only to inform option choice at Y9, but also promote Work Experience
opportunities and 16+ choices. This information is also distributed to all staff. We work closely
with all of the local colleges and training providers.
• As a school we enjoy the support of experienced Connexions staff and offer all Y11 pupils at
least one interview. Pupils at our Offsite facilities are fully engaged in this process and in fact
are given priority interviews at the beginning of Y11. Support for pupils at 16+ is available.
• Our Work Experience programme is highly regarded and has been used as evidence of good
• We work with our local colleges taking Y9 and/or Y10 to them in the Summer Term for taster
days; Bishop Burton College, which is also one of our link colleges, runs a programme of
taster days throughout the year and individuals can opt to attend one or more of these. Also,
some of our local providers run taster days e.g. in engineering for girls
All options are open to both boys and girls. We have had boys achieving success in Health
and Social Care and girls doing extremely well in Engineering. Our Connexions PA Careers is
extremely skilled in supporting pupils in Careers choices
We are a mixed school, but we have approximately 2 boys for each girl in all years. Although
girls are in the minority we work hard to ensure that they make choices commensurate with
their ability
We encourage pupils to follow their interests irrespective of gender, race or religion.
This is also true of our ALO ( Additional Learning Opportunities)
We promote local and national trends and opportunities via Labour Market Information to
ensure that young people are aware of employment opportunities.
As a school we are active in developing the Diplomas, and have offered the Diploma in ICT
this year to 20+ pupils from a consortium of schools. A number of our staff are heavily involved
in work on developing diplomas.
We use both national and locally produced materials to engage pupils, parents and staff in up
to date information re the Diplomas.
Lessons Learned
• Increasing the number of mixed ability tutor groups will allow young people to receive a greater
level of support.
• Working closely with local colleges, training providers and community enables information and
communication pathways to be strengthened.
• The support and guidance offered through Connexions continues and is encouraged to
continue as young people make the post-16 transition. This enables the school to review the
ongoing progress of its pupils.
Kirklees - The Xplorer Programme - 2
A personalised, FE course offering three entry points per year aimed at young people who have left
their original post-16 destination
‘The College is continuingly looking for new and innovative opportunities to improve our offers to
young people. This programme is very much about personalised learning which has motivated each
individual. It has helped the College to harness its strengths through colleagues sharing a wide
variety of experience and expertise, working cooperatively and flexibly to shape the quality of learning
and training. Xplorer has now been adopted as part of Kirklees College’s mainstream provision. ‘
Chris Sadler, Principal of Kirklees College
The Challenge
• To prevent young people joining the NEET group when their original choice of post 16
destination was unsuccessful.
• To provide multiple access points throughout the year into effective learning opportunities.
• To ensure that the young people’s next progression opportunity was successful.
• To design a flexible programme that would be responsive to individual needs providing a holistic
experience not wholly prescribed by curriculum but offering meaningful qualifications.
Impact on young people
The programme increases the confidence and self esteem of the young people who become focused
on recognising and building on their strengths and successes. The learners achieve because they
feel and are valued by the Xplorer staff. A significant number of the young people rejoin education or
training at a higher level than their starting point. The learners are motivated by having the
opportunity to reflect on and explore different options leading to higher retention.
Top 3 Project Successes
1. The initial pilot programme has been developed as part of main college provision with three
entry points per year
2. Cross-college collaboration has seen the introduction of further in year provision offering
additional qualifications and training to enable young people to remain EET whilst awaiting the
start of their chosen progression route
3. Over 90% of the young people have moved into positive sustained progressions
Key Actions
• The pilot was designed as a 20 week programme. In response to the varying needs of the
client group Xplorer has been developed as a 12 week programme delivered three times per
• The programme is structured around vocational reorientation to enable successful
progression to an apprenticeship or full-time FE programme at Level 2/3.
• There is an emphasis on developing basic and key skills through embedded learning
activities to ensure learners have the opportunity to work towards the minimum levels required
for their identified progression route.
• Cross-College collaboration includes access to taster sessions; realistic simulation or workplacement experience; support from Work-based Unit Training and Assessment Co-ordinators
and additional IAG from the College Learner Support Team.
• The recruitment of a dedicated member of staff with experience of delivering to the client
group and a member of staff with IAG training and experience of delivering careers
programmes has been crucial to the success of the programme.
• Collaboration with College Curriculum Sectors and WBL providers who already are in
partnership with the College to secure progression opportunities for learners. This has
increased Apprenticeship offers and introduced an additional bespoke FE programme running
through the summer term to support learners on the second cohort who have secured college
places for September and enable them to remain EET.
Lessons Learned
• The young people value and are motivated by the underpinning qualification (ASDAN
Certificate in Career Planning) which encourages them to formulate their personalised
programme and has the flexibility to offer challenge through delivery at different levels
• The need to work closely with college administrative and support staff to enable them to
accommodate the programme within FE systems as the multiple starts and time scales for
each cohort delivery cut across the normal FE deadlines.
• The importance of establishing group identity to provide peer support as cohorts are recruited
to the programme when main stream courses are already running. Establishing a dedicated
programme team with a dedicated programme delivery area helped to create a specific
Xplorer ‘brand’ within the college.
Kirklees – Activity Agreement Pilot - 2
Rayyan Choudhury
“The programme has given me confidence and ability to communicate well. In the long term that’s
what’s going to benefit me most.”
Rayyan, 17 years old, lives in Dewsbury with his family. He went to a private school in Bradford,
where he did not get any careers advice or work experience and where he feels he underachieved
Rayyan achieved five grade A-C GCSEs and an IT qualification. Although his grades were good
enough to attend college he was confused about what he wanted to do and didn’t feel confident in the
education he had received. Rayyan applied
to college, but some of his GCSE certificates went astray, as they spelt his name wrongly. By the
time he had received his certificates it was too late to do A-levels.
Rayyan did not have many friends in the area, and spent most of his time in his room or at the library
or careers service finding out about courses and jobs. In March 2009 he was referred to the Activity
Agreement Programme.
By the end of July 2009, Rayyan had nearly completed the 20-week programme, based at Young
Dewsbury. He did a range of short courses in the programme’s three core areas: work-related skills
such as first aid, manual handling and health and safety; preparation for employment, covering areas
such as what employers want and creating a positive first impression; and effectiveness in work,
covering timekeeping, assertiveness and dealing with difficult behaviour. He also gained an ECDL
(European Computing Driving Licence) level 2 qualification, which he had started before joining the
programme. The programme also offers various group activities such as sports and recreation,
cooking and money management. Rayyan is due to attend Kirklees College in the Autumn to
complete a two year BTEC in business studies.
About Kirklees Activity Agreement Programme
Kirklees Young Peoples’ Service is delivering the Activity Agreement (AA) as part of a West
Yorkshire pilot initiative targeting young people aged 16 and 17 who have been not in education,
employment or training for at least 20 weeks. Supported by a Keyworker, young people can co-plan
and carry out an AA programme of up to 20 weeks duration – their activities are tailored to their
needs and designed to move them towards further learning or employment. Participants receive an
allowance providing they meet attendance and behaviour requirements.
Some 350 to 400 young people take part in the programme in Kirklees each year, supported by six
key workers. Approximately 55 per cent of participants have positive outcomes. AA is one of a range
of options which include E2E and Kirklees College’s ‘Engage’ programme, an LSC funded
programme which offers young people placements ranging from construction to positive activities for
12 weeks, with the aim of engaging them in mainstream further education.
The key worker, Ian also sees the £30 allowance, which unlike EMA is not means-tested, as a
significant element. ‘It provides an incentive for young people to take part in the programme, and
once they’re in, we can work with them to develop relationships, create structure and identify
activities and learning that suits them. It’s about breaking the cycle of exclusion.’
Partnership work is central to the programme and the AA manager sits on the borough’s not in
education, employment or training strategy group, which brings together a range of partners including
Calderdale and Kirklees Careers, Connexions, the Young People’s Service, voluntary agencies,
Kirklees College and Jobcentre Plus.
Critical success factors
Individualised programmes which meet young people’s needs and interests.
The relationships between key workers and young people, through which they build rapport
early on in the programme.
Locally-determined, targeted allowance.
Ian Stevens, Activity Agreement Key Worker – Dewsbury. Tel: 01924 324557. Email:
Leicestershire - E2E - 12
About E2E
E2E has been designed for 16 - 18 year olds who have left school with few or no qualifications. The
programme focusses young people on their future and helps them to progress into further learning or
work opportunities, with an entitlement to gain qualifications along the way.
Through the e2e programme young people will:
1. Overcome barriers to learning and progression.
2. Nurture skills that you enjoy using e2e.
3. Gain self confidence and esteem.
4. Take on a placement in an occupational area that you want to learn about.
5. Gain qualifications, new experiences and new skills.
6. Make new friends and earn some money.
Everyone who enters e2e will need to be doing at least 16 hours of activities a week, which over time
may build up to a full time 30 hours per week. e2e offers fun along the way but achieving goals does
mean working hard. e2e is a stepping-stone onto future things and will take approximately 8 - 16
weeks to finish, with possibility of extension. As e2e is all about progression, young people will be
prepared for Apprenticeships, Further Education or for entry into full-time employment.
E2E in Leicestershire
Leicestershire Youth Service has been running Entry to Employment (E2E) programmes for five
years. They currently run from three sites in the south of the county – Wigston (the initial site), Market
Harborough and Glenfield. While Leicestershire generally has a relative low rate of young people not
in employment, education or training – reduced from 5.5 per cent in 2006 to 4.4 per cent in 2008,
these areas were identified not in education, employment or training hotspots.
The programmes focus on personal and social development and most staff have a youth work
background. Learners stay on the programme for an average of 22 weeks, although this can be
extended where appropriate. Most learners have either left school before taking GCSEs or have not
done well in their exams. Learners are referred in a range of ways, including Connexions personal
advisers, links with schools, youth groups and other learning providers, the Youth Offending Service,
and self-referral.
Leicestershire Youth Service is one of a number of E2E providers in the Leicestershire and Leicester
City areas, with Leicester College holding the main contract with the Learning and Skills Council. The
service has close links with other local providers; there are six weekly meetings of all county and city
providers, which provide an opportunity to share information, negotiate placements for young people
with other providers, and develop partnership work with providers and other local agencies.
Critical success factors
A relaxed and informal environment, different from the classroom
Approachable, skilled and experienced staff
Relationships based on mutual respect and treating learners
Case Study James Payne
"Because of this project I can look forward to the future. If it wasn’t for E2E I’d probably be in prison."
James is 17 and lives with his parents, girlfriend and their two children aged two and one.
"I didn’t like school. At my first school I was the youngest in my year and got bullied. Others got
picked on as well, but then they picked on me. In year 9 I ended up beating up the main bully and got
excluded. I spent about five months just sitting at home and then went to another school. It was
alright at first, but then teachers started to dislike me for no reason."
James was accused of stealing a phone.
"Dad pulled me out of school as I didn’t do it. He wasn’t sure at first, but then he remembered that I
had never nicked anything in my life."
James left school at 15 with no qualifications. He spent months looking for work and eventually found
a job selling windows, however, this did not work out.
Meanwhile, he had maintained contact with his Personal Adviser. ‘He used to bug me by trying to get
me to do things I didn’t want to do – like E2E! Looking back I can see he was right. Anyway, he was
doing my head in, so I gave in and went to E2E at Wigston Young People’s Centre in January 2008.’
He gained levels 1 and 2 qualifications in literacy and numeracy, as well as sections of the Duke of
Edinburgh’s Award and the Youth Achievement Award.
James finished E2E in August 2008 and went to college to do a joinery course, but that didn’t suit him
and he left. He is now looking for work and trying to figure out what to do with his life. He’s interested
in science.
The next step for James is to go to college to get some science GCSEs. In the meantime, he’s about
to turn 18, and will have a wider range of employment options as he will be able to work nights.
The other major change that James identifies as a result of E2E is getting on with other people and
managing his temper.
James was a finalist for the E2E Achievement awards, Becky says, ‘I nominated him for “distance
travelled”, it was really rewarding to see the changes in him.’
‘I can get on with people better. I’ve not lost my temper here even when some people have done
worse things than when I did lose it. I can see that I don’t have to lose my temper, I’m more in control.
My parents have noticed a difference too. I’ve also learned not to be a muppet – before, if someone
suggested something I’d just say no, but now I think about it, give it a try, and if it doesn’t work out at
least I’ve had a go.
For more information, please contact Becky Smith, E2E Coordinator. Tel: 0116 2880980. Email:
Lewisham RollingSound - 12
An innovative multimedia bus that provides accredited programmes to targeted areas of the
“RollingSound's Lab has been a key part of Lewisham Council’s youth provision since it’s launch in
Nov 2008, and has so far worked with over 750 young people, 160 of which were NEET. The Lab
helps Lewisham achieve its National indicator target for the reduction of NEET by signposting young
people to EET outcomes and all aspects of the Integrated Youth Service. Its success lies in close
partnership between Connexions, borough-wide initiatives and the direct involvement of Lewisham's
young people in planning and delivery.”
Nick French – Lewisham IYSS and Connexions Strategic Manager
The Challenge
• Create a mobile unit that can target specific At Risk Young People and Super Output Areas of
Lewisham Borough.
• Build and brand a bus that was attractive to a disengaged cohort whilst still providing
accreditation, training and Independent Advice and Guidance.
Devise a strategy that targets all NEET young people in Lewisham and integrates with the
Youth and Connexions service as a whole.
Top 3 Project Successes
1. The Lab successfully engages, signposts and accredits over 130 young people per month,
engaging young people who are NEET and disengaged in their own areas and on their own
2. Creating strong partnerships with all other youth services – Youth Offending Team, Looked
After Children Team and schools, providing them with additional resources for their programmes
at no extra cost.
3. Word of the project has spread and a number of London and nationwide Local Authorities have
expressed an interest in establishing similar provision for their young people.
Impact on young people
The project has worked with more than 750 young people over the last six months, 140 of them from
the NEET group. When young people arrive at the Lab, their contact details are taken and this
information is shared with the Connexions service to support improved tracking. Young people taking
part in courses at the Lab receive full accreditation and further support and advice to continue on to a
positive destination in learning or work. The Lab is fully integrated into the youth support services on
offer in the borough and young people are signposted towards other suitable positive activities and
accredited courses within the area.
Key Actions
• The Lab has its own dedicated PA seconded to RollingSound from Lewisham Connexions
meaning we offer young people IAG on The Lab at times convenient to them.
• Working Closely with Connexions to ensure that we achieve targets based on their chosen
national indicators.
• The Lab can target any area of the borough including Super Output areas, areas where
crime has been a concern. It can also link in with the other events and festivals within the
• Building partnerships and Networks within Lewisham Council. Allowing other services to use
The Lab as a hub for young people in the borough.
• Providing Music Production and Video Games Design Workshops for young people as the
initial point of engagement in order to build rapport for future progression opportunities.
• Linking with Schools to target years 10s and 11s who are at Risk of becoming NEET working
with them after hours whilst also linking in with the Extended Schools programme.
• Providing a safe and positive environment for young people after School hours.
Lessons Learned
• Most importantly we have learned that NEET and At Risk Young People respond to activities
that are relevant to them and are available on their terms in a seemingly ‘informal’
environment. Once we engage young people in their areas and build up rapport and trust we
can then work towards EET outcomes.
• The Branding of the bus was vital, we did not use Connexions and Local Authority branding for
the Lab and created a look and feel akin to popular and relevant brands, meaning young
people were far more receptive to the concept.
• We needed more set up time to draw all the resources in Lewisham together. There are a
huge number of partners involved in supporting young people, so it took us some time to bring
everything we needed together.
Case Study
Eddie, 20 years old, NEET Young Person
Eddie has gained an AQA Unit Award and currently working towards a Bronze Arts Award. We
arranged for Eddie to visit Goldsmiths College to meet with the course tutor to discuss entry
requirements and further options. In the meantime he is on a work experience placement with
“The Lab looked like something for me… I don’t think I would have got on the bus if I knew it was put
here by the council”
Liverpool - Route 17 Retention and Progression Project - 12
Developing the ‘Collaborative Progression Worker’ to support young people at risk of
becoming NEET
“This case study illustrates that when significant resources and effort are directed at a very
challenging problem we can develop new approaches and create different opportunities for the most
vulnerable young people to progress to EET. To embed the work and continue to develop a multi
agency response to one of our most difficult issues we need long term dedicated funding and the
support of all partners”
Stuart Smith - Executive Director, Liverpool City Council Children’s Services
The Challenges
• To meet their challenging NEET targets for 2007/08, Liverpool decided to develop a new role –
the Collaborative Progression Worker.
• They hoped that this would provide a multi-agency solution to supporting young people at risk
of becoming NEET and improving the retention and progression of post-16 learners.
• They also wanted to use the project as an opportunity to build a long term collaborative
relationship with key employers
• The project team needed to work across Liverpool’s 14- 19 partnership Learning
Collaboratives, with a total budget of £1,177,200 (£636k salaries, £315k collaboration, £225
employer engagement).
Top 3 Project Successes
1. Significant improvement in retention rates for post-16 learning in schools and
consequently a reduction in the number of 17 year olds NEET.
2. Sustainable links established between sector specific employers and faculties in
Liverpool Community College, creating paths to employment for young people in the
3. Collaborative projects to support retention and progression established stronger links
between partners and providers from the private and voluntary sectors.
Impact on young people
The project met its ambitious target of 3500 young people receiving support. Feedback has been
positive from young people on the one to one support they received through the project, with 43%
experiencing high levels of satisfaction. Ongoing taster sessions with Liverpool Community College
and Work Based Learning Providers will assist a smooth transition to appropriate provision.
Sustainable links between agencies together with the legacy of individual support has resulted in
three Collaborative workers being employed by schools in the next academic year.
Key Actions
• Recruited a team of Collaboration Progression Workers in May 2007 and made sure that
everyone was CRB checked. The team became operational in July 2007.
Initial stakeholder engagement to recruit key partners to the steering group. Liverpool City
Council. LSC, Liverpool Community College, Connexions and Liverpool secondary schools
made up the Steering Group.
Two Collaborative Progression Workers were deployed to each of the seven Learning
Stakeholder management with Heads of 6th form in the schools to ensure that they were on
board and support the day to day operational management of the Collaborative Progression
Collaborative Progression Workers offered a varied menu of support to individual learners and
developed group work to address common themes.
A dedicated team of four Employment Engagement Workers were located at the college and
linked to different faculties,
High profile marketing campaign launched by the LSC attracted interest from large businesses
and the public sector
The Employer Engagement Team followed up campaigns making direct contact with
employers to source vacancies, work placements, work experience etc.
The Employer Engagement Team made links with small businesses and fostered links
between employers, Liverpool Community College, Work Based Learning Providers and
The Steering Group dedicated part of the overall budget for collaborative projects to build links
between different providers.
Bids were invited from organisations that focussed on vulnerable learners at risk fo NEET and
a directory of private, voluntary and charitable organisations with a strong track record was
made available to collaboratives to ensure projects were of a high standard.
Lessons Learned
• Make sure you set manageable targets at the beginning of the project - remember that it takes
time to develop the process, recruit staff and train them.
• It was naïve of us to suppose that the majority of young people would benefit from a short term
package of support when in fact many of them needed sustained support throughout their
course to remain on track.
Evidence of Impact
• In questionnaire responses, young people felt that the Collaborative Progression Workers and
Engagement Workers were instrumental in offering greater one to one support and this
resulted in greater retention rates.
• Young People felt they benefited from the workshops and in particular the mock interview.
• A significant number of Young People from low income families remained in full time learning
• Schools rated the Collaborative Progression Workers highly and three have been re-employed
by schools.
• Schools have made sustainable links with recruitment agencies, YJET and Shop for Jobs.
• Schools are delivering Liverpool City Council’s Customer Care programme.
• Working in partnership and offering taster sessions is encouraging young people to have the
confidence to move from one provider to another that better suits their needs
Liverpool Community College - 12
About the organisation:
Liverpool Community College is a general further education (GFE) college located in Liverpool,
Merseyside. It was awarded Learning and Skills Beacon Status in December 2005.
The college caters for around 21,000 learners with more than 6,000 full time and 15,000 part time
students. Courses offered include a range of vocational education and training, Skills for Life (SfL)
and higher education programmes.
It is located on six sites in the city centre, all of which are buildings constructed or refurbished since
1999. They include four purpose built vocational centres providing industry standard resources.
There are 19 neighbourhood Drop In Study Centres (DISCs) offering Basic Skills and Fresh Start
The college has Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) status in six areas: Media and Journalism;
Event and Performance Technical Management and Production; Tourism and Hospitality; Building
Services; Construction Crafts and Professional Trades; and Retail Skills.
Partnerships with the Merseyside Construction Initiative and the private sector through the Liverpool
Construction Craft Guild is contributing to the city's regeneration. Around 4,500 local employees
attended the College's Business Training Centre.
At its last inspection in 2005 the quality of provision was rated outstanding in four curriculum areas,
good in six and satisfactory in one. Leadership and Management were rated outstanding. The
inspection also highlighted outstanding Skills for Life (SfL) provision.
Beacon activity:
Due to a national reputation for excellence in SfL training, the college has led three Pathfinders on
behalf of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).. These have been in Basic Skills, English
for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD). It will share
outcomes in the DfES project Organisational Approaches to SfL.
It has also been involved in supporting other colleges and adult education services to improve their
Basic Skills and ESOL provision, as well as a project with the DfES in supporting underperforming
institutions in the SfL agenda.
The college has supported other colleges that have had poor inspection outcomes. It has worked with
the voluntary sector and with private training organisations and adult learning services to improve
quality assurance systems, observation of teaching and learning, and self assessment.
It is leading the expansion of vocational opportunities for 14 to 16 year olds to increase participation
of the NEET (Not in Education or Employment) group and is also part of a national pilot on self
regulation and peer review.
Lowestoft – Yard Project - 12
The Yard Project is a small Community Interest Company based in Lowestoft in Suffolk. The
organisation took over a derelict builders yard in Normanston Ward, a area of high deprivation
in 2005. This has been turned into an effective community resource and a refurbished building
with the help of a number of young people who had previously been NEET.
Three generations of trainees have worked on the building and have gained a tremendous amount of
experience. To date 57 young people have been involved in the project. 25 have gone into work
directly from the project, 16 have gone onto full-time vocational training, 4 have moved onto other
activities and 7 are still with the project. Only 5 young people have left with no plans. Key to the
project is the involvement in the local community, and there is a clear sharing of skills and expertise
between the generations.
The project works closely with Connexions and the Youth Service and takes referrals from both. As
one previous trainee explains the most important thing he has gained is confidence and he was
treated as adult and respected, a very different experience from school:
‘It’s confidence really: you’ve got to have a lot of confidence to find a job round here and there are
hardly any jobs around Lowestoft for people who haven’t got any qualifications and people who didn’t
do well at school. I didn’t do well at school’.
He enjoyed the vocational aspect of the programme and is now employed as a driver delivering fruit
for a local company.
Shane’s story
In 2006, upon release from prison, Shane moved into temporary accommodation at a dryhouse in
Lowestoft. It was at this point that Shane was referred to The Yard, a local voluntary and community
sector project.
At The Yard Project, Shane was actively involved in refurbishing a derelict building. As a result he
gained a wide range of practical skills and experience, such as bricklaying and plastering. He also
gained a number of qualifications and certificates, such as an AQA in bricklaying, a gardening skills
qualification and a first aid certificate. Whilst Shane values these qualifications and the credibility
associated with them, he also gained confidence and self-respect from the project.
The progress that Shane has made is attributable to the holistic support provided by The Yard
It is not simply about the transfer of practical skills (although this is important) – the project also offers
intensive one-to-one support. In 2007 Shane left The Yard project to find employment. Since this time
he has had a number of jobs, but has also remained in regular contact with the project, often
contributing on a voluntary basis. This experience has helped Shane to realise that he can make a
positive contribution.
London Working across London boundaries 1
“For a highly mobile group such as young people, tracking on a borough by borough basis has real
limitations. Now we will be able to track young people across the Capital and use this data to inform
local authority strategic and operational planning, helping them to effectively support the participation
of young people in learning” - Chris Heaume, Chief Executive, Central London Connexions,
November 2007
To implement the September guarantee (to support all year 11s with an appropriate learning
To reduce the levels of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)
To share information across borough boundaries – Connexions data is divided into five
London sub-regions, historically information had been communicated manually
To maintain cross-border tracking of young people – those concerned are highly mobile (up to
80% post 16 mobility, average 40%) across boroughs and sub-regions
Key Actions
Proposed the establishment of London wide Index to the Association of London Directors of
Children’s Services
Agreed structure to involve all CX MI Managers in design and development, plus buy-in from
system suppliers
Selected project lead
Secured buy in and funding from each local authority
Design/specification re database/applications completed
Technical infrastructure put in place
Cleansed data from the existing five databases prior to inclusion in the Index and agreed new
data codes (previous codes had been established to suit local need)
Constructed and tested database
Developed/agreed standardised reports, working, processes, protocols and procedures
The Index is to go on-line in January 2008
Future potential to link Index to other e-databases to provide more holistic support
Once launched, the Index will enable those working with young people in the Capital to electronically
track them across London borough boundaries as they travel from home to where they study/work.
Each borough will be able to identify residents who have become NEET after leaving, for example a
course in another borough, so that they can offer immediate support to help them re-enter learning or
work. The Index will show cross-border movement adding to local reports that clearly map
NEET/participation levels for vulnerable young people by borough or other specified area, so that
support can be targeted and co-ordinated.
Different Connexion’s Personal Advisers, working with the same young person, will be alerted to their
situation enabling them to develop a co-ordinated approach. They will be able to proactively target
young people who otherwise would have fallen below the radar. Early identification and intervention
will help young people to get the support they need and not get lost in the system as they move
between boroughs. From the initial idea it took nine months to gain formal agreement followed by a
further nine months to develop the Index.
Manchester - Reducing the number of NEETs - 1
In 2003 unacceptably large numbers of young people in Manchester were not taking part in
education, employment or training and were part of what is known as the NEET group. More than 17
per cent of 16 to 18 years olds in Manchester were not taking part in education, employment or
training despite an effective local Connexions service which is the government funded information
and advice service for 13 to 19 year olds.
Manchester City Council decided to give a high priority to reducing the number of NEET young
people because of the negative impact on the city’s economic development and social cohesion and
on the life chances and well-being of the individual young people. To align with the City’s wider
worklessness and economic agenda Manchester City Council was keen to tackle inter-generational
worklessness and to align the skills of their residents with the job opportunities in Manchester’s
increasingly knowledge-based economy. As a result Manchester City Council agreed a local Public
Service Agreement (PSA) target with the Government to reduce NEET levels in the city from the
baseline of 13.6 per cent in 2004 to 9.8 per cent in November 2008.
NEET Programme Management
To achieve the local Public Service Agreement target Manchester City Council funded a NEET coordinator and provided a small budget for local innovative activity. The NEET co-ordinator was
responsible for the development of a programme of NEET reducing activity and for bringing together
key partner agencies who were working with NEET young people and their families. The NEET coordinator’s role operated as a secondment from Manchester Connexions to ensure close alignment
with their delivery activities and management team.
Following the formation of the Children’s Board in Manchester, the initial multi-agency NEET
partnership, which was formed a couple of years earlier, was incorporated into the outcomes group of
the Children’s Board. Responsibility for the delivery of the local Public Service Agreement target and
the NEET programme of activity was transferred to the Achieve Economic Wellbeing Sub-Group of
the Children’s Board in 2006. Making the NEET programme part of the Children’s Board’s outcomes
has allowed a much wider range of activities to take place to raise aspirations and to improve careers
guidance in schools. The sub-group is chaired by the local Learning and Skills Council and includes
Manchester City Council, Barnados, the Community Network for Manchester, Connexions
Manchester, Excellence in Cities, Manchester Solutions and Manchester Metropolitan University. The
sub-group’s remit was to do the following:
1. Produce a clear analysis of the incidence of NEET in Manchester and an understanding of the
factors that create NEET.
2. Produce of a programme of investment and activity that addressed the analysis and evidence
3. Secure the alignment and joint commissioning of funding.
4. Raise aspirations and improve the engagement of the NEET group
5. Support the provision of better careers education in schools
Researching the incidence and causes of NEET in Manchester
As a first step to achieving their economic wellbeing outcomes, Manchester City Council and its
partners improved their understanding of the size and nature of the NEET group. Working with
partners to develop a shared understanding, a rolling programme of research was undertaken to
identify those schools and communities with the highest levels of NEET and to assess any linkages
with other issues of worklessness. This was undertaken by bringing together and analysing existing
data from the partners so the NEET incidence at ward, district and City Strategy levels could be
reported for the first time. The primary data source was Connexions’ destination survey which takes
place each November. The sharing of Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) data also allowed
Manchester to focus on issues around families and inter-generational claimants.
The research revealed the following characteristics about NEET young people in Manchester:
The group is actually very varied and “every story different”. At one extreme, one young
person had been through 19 different destinations, for example enrolling on a college course
or starting a job, in just two years.
There is considerable “churn” with young people moving in and out NEET status (for
example, only 41 of the 1,600 NEET young people in Manchester in 2005 had been NEET for
two years).
There are significant geographical concentrations (for example, 21 of the 41 long term NEETs
were found to be teenage parents living in just four postcode areas).
In addition to the known numbers of NEET young people, there are very high numbers of
“unknowns” who are also likely to be NEET and mask the true scale of the problem (for
example, Manchester “unknowns” were 17.7 per cent in November 2003). As all 16-18 year
olds are entered onto the Connexions database unknowns are young people who are on the
database but have no destination information. Destination information is confirmed and
updated every three months to keep the records current.
There are also different ways to measure NEET levels. Using a residency or non-residency basis can
significantly affect the NEET levels. For example Manchester’s NEET percentage would be much
lower with a non-residency base as the Manchester Colleges enrol young people from outside the
city. However, using a residency base gives a true picture of the real proportion of local young people
who are NEET and resident in the city area. This allows Manchester City Council to offer, integrate
and target other services at a specific location (for example Connexions Manchester can focus on 20
NEET young people in one ward and offer help with other needs such as housing if required).
As well as providing a detailed and geographical view of the NEET group the research found that
while the vast majority of young people are placed at 16 a support structure is required to help keep
them in their placement and to track their progress.
In response to this detailed evidence Manchester developed a distinct NEET programme of
investment.The Manchester NEET Plan 2005-08 described the proposals for reducing the number of
16-18 year olds who were not in employment, education or training. After the reviewing the existing
NEET plan Manchester also introduced an annual performance management plan. For example, the
Manchester Achieve Economic Well Being Performance Management Action Plan for 2007/08
adopted the following priorities to ensure the delivery of targets:
1. Exceeding current performance in reducing the numbers of NEET and “unknowns” by
identifying young people absent from classes, ensuring the alignment of funding and delivery
activity for the NEET group and providing flexible training and employment support.
2. Geographical targeting of NEET producing schools, of providers with the highest levels of drop
out and of key neighbourhoods with holistic family-focused policies.
3. Working with families to develop ‘early warning’ systems by extending data sharing to include
Sure Start and primary school information and identifying young people and families at risk of
becoming NEET.
4. Enhancing Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) and Labour Market Information (LMI) in
5. Reducing returners to NEET through post employment and placement support.
Aligning funding and joint commissioning
Manchester’s Achieve Economic Wellbeing Group then pooled funding from a range of sources and
aligned expenditure against the priorities identified and set out in the performance management
plan. Funding has included £295,000 from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF), £370,000 from
the Deprived Area Fund (DAF), £1.05 million from the Learning and Skills Council and £12,000 from
the Neighbourhood Support Fund (NSF). In addition to pooling discretionary funds Manchester’s
Achieve Economic Wellbeing Group exerted influence over the direction of mainstream investment
and activity in Connexions, school improvement services, regeneration, further education colleges
and services for 14 to 19 year olds.
To ensure the maximum impact from these pooled funds Manchester’s Achieve Economic Wellbeing
Group has aligned the procurement of NEET services to avoid the duplication of activity, to respond
to gaps in provision and to minimise conflicting terms and eligibility in the funding criteria. For
example, the local Learning and Skills Council and Manchester City Council jointly developed
tendering arrangements so the next round of European Social Funding supports the NEET priorities.
The commissioning programme has been managed by the NEET co-ordinator with financial
monitoring and procurement support provided by staff in the Economic and Urban Policy Group of
Manchester City Council. Where possible consistent procurement and financial management
approaches have been put in place. As a result Manchester has been able to fund projects from
different sources including the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, Deprived Area Fund and European
Social Fund.
The main indicator relating to NEET and adopted in Manchester’s Local Area Agreement (20082010) is National Indicator 117 (NEET - Proportion 16-18 Not in Education Employment or Training –
measured on the national basis). This indicator has been supplemented in the Local Area Agreement
by a local measure of NEET levels together with indicators for NEET levels in specific groups
including care givers, young offenders, those caring for their own child, young people with Learning
Difficulties or Disabilities (LDD) and school leavers.
Programme of activities for the NEET Group
Using these pooled resources, Manchester’s Achieve Economic Well Being Group then annually
commissioned the development and delivery of engagement activities for Manchester NEET
residents aged 16, 17 or 18 in November of each year and for those identified as at risk of becoming
NEET. The activities have been targeted on:
specific groups (e.g. young offenders, teenage parents);
areas (e.g. young people who are residents of one of the 17 priority wards); and
economic priorities (e.g. increasing entrepreneurship levels, training for identified skill shortage
All funded activity has had to achieve a number of common outcomes when engaging young people
including the use of PEARL (Personal Employability – Achievement and Reflection for Learning) to
assess beneficiaries, the development of an action plan for every beneficiary following a guidance
interview with Connexions Manchester and establishing a Manchester 14-19+ Webfolio for every
PEARL is the first “performance assessed” award in the UK for behavioural, learning and
employability skills which is recognised by the Qualifications Curriculum Authority. PEARL measures
the developmental progress of an individual in a behavioural sense (for example, social, emotional
competence and employability skills) and permits a focus on activity especially as assessment occurs
through observation and interview. In the past NEET initiatives were hampered by accreditation
frameworks restricting eligible activities and outcomes. The credibility of PEARL has been enhanced
by the involvement of Manchester College, the largest further education provider in the City, in its
development and assessor training, and by the adoption of PEARL by local employers such as Hilton
The Manchester 14-19+ Webfolio is a web based tool that young people can use to plan their
learning and record their achievements. The Webfolio is owned by the young person and other users
can see parts of it by invitation only.
The focus has been on activities services that move a young person from being NEET to being
ready, able and willing to engage in appropriate provision.
A wide range of engagement activities have been funded through this commissioning approach
Youth workers identifying NEET young people and engaging them through a variety of
activities including canoeing, cinema, bowling and mountain biking to a point where they are
willing to use statutory services.
The Volunteering to Employment project has engaged 30 young people who are care leavers
and/or NEET in volunteering, training, educational and personal development activities. In
exchange for their commitment beneficiaries are supported through an intensive one year
programme which leads to a guaranteed apprenticeship.
Focussed on three wards, the Contact Theatre project offered drama drop in, performance
skills, creative skills, stage management, set design and free style rapping.
A bespoke course to help teenage parents.
Support for NEET producing Schools
The original research has allowed Manchester to target the five schools which produce the highest
numbers of 16 to 18 years not in employment, education or training. The other 18 secondary schools
in the city and a range of primary schools in Manchester have also been involved to varying degrees.
The NEET programme has included a number of activities to help these schools tackle their NEET
problem including:
One-to-one planning, review and implementation meetings with the School Heads of the five
targeted secondary schools as part of a NEET support and challenge approach.
The production of NEET prevention guides for Head Teachers in both Primary and Secondary
Schools and for Senior Managers in Colleges. A similar guide for training providers is planned
once the new apprenticeship service is launched. Connexions Manchester are using these
guides to agree NEET action plans with all 23 secondary schools.
The production of Labour Market Information (LMI) for subject teachers in schools along with
training for teachers on the use of this information in the production of classroom materials.
Using a mixed package of activity, the Skills and Schools project raised awareness of post-16
educational opportunities and the world of work with children in the last two years of their
primary schooling and with their teachers and families. This activity has been focussed on the
19 primary schools that feed the top five NEET producing schools.
The engagement of young people in Year 9 and 10 who have been out of school for an
extended period of time.
The provision of additional Connexions Personal Adviser support to schools.
Implementing the NEET programme has also involved some changes in the service delivery roles of
organisations in Manchester. Connexions Manchester has moved to a “zero tolerance” of NEET and
this has required changes in their approach to performance measurement. In 2003 it was possible to
classify a young person as “not available” for opportunities but all Connexion clients are now
classified as “available”. This has ensured that Connexions staff focussed on the potential of all
clients for progression (for example, what support a teenage parent needs to start at college).
At the same time, it was also made mandatory that following a face to face interview with a
Connexions client two “submissions to opportunities” or a “referral” had to result and an updated
action plan had to be produced. Manchester also repositioned the role of voluntary sector as
focussed on engaging and referring NEET groups to Manchester Connexions which then had the
sole remit for moving young people into employment, education or training.
The impact
Manchester has halved the number of young people not in employment, education or training
(including “unknowns”) in just four years. The known NEET level in Manchester has fallen from 14.2
per cent of 16-18 year olds in November 2003 to 8.4 per cent of 16-18 year olds in November 2007
and the number of “unknowns” has fallen from 9.8 per cent of 16-18 year olds to just 3.7 per cent. In
total Manchester has reduced their known and unknown NEET level from 24 per cent of young
people in November 2003 to just over 12 per cent in November. The original local Public Service
Agreement target was achieved two years ahead of schedule.
In November 2007 the Annual Performance Assessment (APA) judged Manchester City Council’s
performance on achieving economic well-being as Grade 3 (Good). In relation to NEET, the
assessment reported that ‘the percentage of young people not in education, employment or training
is reducing ahead of the Council’s targets. The figures for 16-18 year olds not in education,
employment or training compare favourably with statistical neighbour authorities. Overall the figures
are a significant improvement and progress is good.’
The attitudes of School Heads have changed significantly in the top five NEET producing secondary
schools and other secondary schools to recognise the school’s responsibility for addressing NEET
issues and developing clear progression plans for all 16 year olds.
There has been a positive shift in the relationship between Manchester City Council and Manchester
Connexions and between different departments within the City Council including Children’s Services,
Economic Development and the Cultural Strategy Team, the latter two being part of the Chief
Executive’s Office
The commonly assumed linkage between attainment levels pre-16 (which are low in Manchester and
below the national average) and post-16 participation levels in education or work based learning
(which are now above the national average in Manchester) is being challenged. As a result pre-16
attainment levels are no longer seen as a predictor of post-16 participation levels.
The performance management approach used by Manchester’s Achieve Economic Wellbeing Group
with its evidence base, clear targets and output focus has the potential to be adopted more widely in
service delivery.
The lessons
Manchester City Council report a number of key lessons that have allowed a halving of their NEET
levels amongst young people in just four years:
There is a need for strong political support for NEET activities but this has always been a
policy priority for Councillors in Manchester. Locating the NEET programme at the centre of
the Sustainable Community Strategy and the Local Area Agreement and aligning it with the
City Strategy has further strengthened this political support. As well as alignment with these
key strategies, NEET reduction was a high priority within corporate policy development at
Manchester City Council and the Learning and Skills Council.
Clear linkages have been made between the NEET reduction agenda and the City’s wider
worklessness and economic agenda through the City Strategy by Manchester City Council’s
Economic and Urban Policy Unit and local regeneration teams (for example, the focus on
tackling inter-generational unemployment and training young people for current and future job
Obtaining a thorough evidence base at the beginning of the NEET programme has helped to
ensure a common analysis and understanding of the nature of the NEET problem and linked
together the agendas of different partners. The situation in Manchester was different from the
national picture so the local research was very necessary. This has been further enhanced by
increasingly well developed data collection systems and resulted in an emphasis on
preventative and targeted approaches which are intelligence-led.
Despite the pooling of funds, Manchester’s NEET programme has a continued reliance on
short term funding. This funding risk has been reduced by all partners having a common
understanding about NEET issues so agreed initiatives can be resourced from mainstream
funds and the commitment of schools maintained.
Developing an agreed strategic plan which is regularly reviewed and adopting a rigorous
performance management plan overseen by the Achieving Economic Well-being sub group of
Manchester’s Children’s Board.
Adopting a multi agency approach and avoiding relying on a single partner to reduce delivery
risk. For example, the NEET programme will have to continue to perform successfully during
planned organisational change such as the merger of MANCAT (Manchester College of Art
and Technology) and Manchester City College in Sept 2008 and the abolition of the Learning
and Skills Council in 2010.
Ensuring a clearly identified and pivotal role for the Connexions service in Manchester.
Alignment of a range of funding streams and securing significant investment from the local
Learning and Skills Council.
A common commissioning framework has ensured a focus on specific wards, groups and
types of activities to deliver commonly agreed outcomes and to avoid the duplication of
The importance of developing effective relationships and communication. While it has taken
time took for the NEET programme to identify effective contacts in all the necessary
departments and organisations the partnership is works together effectively in a trusted way.
By including personal development activities as part of employment, education and training
outcomes. Manchester see value in getting a young person onto an action plan and in doing
some positive activity even if it is a three week football programme. All staff and policy makers
need to share this view about being flexible in the how engagement works and realistic about
next steps for some young people.
The appointment of a dedicated NEET Co-ordinator with strategic responsibility for the
planning and implementation of the programme.
The capacity to share and benefit from good practice across the region via Government Office
for the North West networks.
In the future Manchester is further developing and embedding their NEET activities within the wider
economic programmes for the City to ensure sustainability (for example, as part of the Achieve
Economic Wellbeing Group’s forward plans and activities). Within this context planned future
developments include:
Researching the underlying characteristics and factors within the families of NEET young
people to develop a typology and an ‘early warning system’ to develop the preventative
measures necessary for a long term reduction in NEET levels.
Using Manchester’s Achieve Economic Wellbeing Group and the Public Service Board as a
foundation for the further alignment of public service activity. An initial step would be to assess
where young people and their families are shared by service providers (for example, housing
services, youth services and criminal justice services) and examining the potential for
streamlined approaches to delivery.
Planning the development of a Manchester curriculum with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA)
which would be competency based and draw on the cultural and work based traditions of the
Expanding the number of competency rather than qualification based apprenticeship
opportunities that are beginning to come forward from Manchester’s £700 million construction
by extending the approach to the whole of Manchester’s £1.5 billion annual budget through
effective procurement and contract management.
Milton Keynes - Speed Matching Event - 3
Giving young people the opportunity to meet employers and training providers for speed interviews
lasting 3-4 minutes
“The Connexions:MK speed-matching event this year, and the equally successful event of the year
before, was about giving young people a taste of job interviews and giving them an insight into the
local labour market, as well as providing local companies with the opportunity to meet young people
for a chat prior to arranging a further chat or formal interview. In this way, we were able to help
bolster young people’s confidence about career options and the working world, and help them get
into work or training, as well as helping to fill local vacancies.”
The Challenge
Engaging local employers who have suitable vacancies
Selecting young people who would benefit from the event
Finding the resources to run the event, which cost just under £1,000 in total
Top 3 Project Successes
1. All young people were matched with at least one employer or training provider on the
day, helping to enhance career opportunities and to boost their confidence.
2. All the young people who took part received valuable interview experience and were
able to enhance their interview skills in a ‘real’ but non threatening environment.
3. Out of the 15 young people who attended, 4 were employed after the event and 3
others had appointments to starting training. 2 further young people were offered
interviews and all young people gained valuable experience.
Impact on young people
The young people who attended stated they felt it was a positive experience. It enabled them to build
up their job-searching and interview experience, while giving them an insight into the local labour
market. It gave them an opportunity to perform well in an unfamiliar situation.
Overall it gave young people increased self confidence and an ability to explore possible vacancies
with local employers and training providers, in a non threatening environment.
Key Actions
This event ran smoothly and efficiently, building on the experience of the pilot event the
previous year. The employers, training providers and young people were all well supported
and the energy during the proceedings was high. The venue was excellent and provided a
friendly and efficient service, being flexible with timings for refreshments and extra tables
Feedback from the young people was all positive and they felt that they benefited from the
experience in terms of building up their job-searching and interview experience, as well as
having some positive leads for specific opportunities. It also gave them a better insight
understanding of the Milton Keynes labour market and an insight into what is required by many
The feedback from the employers and training providers was also very positive as they all
enjoyed it and were keen to be matched to a number of the young people with a view to
offering interviews and the opportunity of being offered places on courses and possible jobs.
Employers and training providers also came away with an improved understanding of the
services provided by Connexions
The Personal Advisers involved all enjoyed the event and felt it was a very positive experience
for the young people to talk directly with the employers and have the opportunity to ask
questions and talk about their aspirations
Providing not only opportunities for employment and training for young people but an
opportunity for local employers to become more familiar with the local Connexions Service
was a considerable additional benefit.
Every young person taking part was matched with at least one employer or training provider
Engaging local employers who had an appropriate vacancy at the time of the event
The young people who attended achieved a positive outcome just by taking part in the event,
giving them an opportunity to perform well in an unfamiliar situation
Lessons Learned
We ran a Speed Matching Event in 2007 and were able to draw on this experience and fine
tune some of the details. Working with the same hotel as a venue was a benefit
PAs were able to hand pick young people who were likely to benefit from such an experience.
PAs were present at the event to give support to the young people as required
A professional compere ran the event, have experience both with running speed dating events
and working with young people
The facilitator was able to put everyone at ease, including the employers and training
A number of Connexions:MK staff were on hand during the event to support the employers
and training providers as required
Some of the PAs had been involved in the project from the start, helping to organize
distribution of literature giving information about the event as well as liaising with the
employers and training providers
Ensuring that all employers and training providers are local to Milton Keynes and repeating the
event helps to build opportunities for interagency working and raise awareness of
Having a mixture of employers and training providers helped to ensure that young people were
matched as this broadened the range of opportunities on offer
As employers are invited to attend to have speed interviews with young people there is a need
to have current, appropriate vacancies. This narrows down the number of employers who are
likely to see a benefit in attending
Personal Advisers had approached young people who they felt would particularly benefit from
the experience
Milton Keynes - Direct contracting between Connexions and Milton
Keynes Schools - 12
A direct contracting model between Connexions and a consortium of School Head Teachers
“Connexions:MK has a unique contract relationship with schools in Milton Keynes, contracting directly
with the secondary schools through a consortium of Secondary Head Teachers. This provides a
dedicated, full time ‘intensive support’ PA in all schools with pupils in year 8 and above. This
arrangement has many benefits for young people, including being able to access Connexions
services throughout the week, whilst our PAs are in a better position to be able to carry out, and
develop their intensive support services more effectively.”
Peter Wong, Connexions:MK Manager
The Challenge
• To carve out a role for Personal Advisers as integral to schools yet maintaining their
independence and impartiality
• Connexions and schools working to different organisational policies and procedures such as
the level of confidentiality expected.
• Ensuring Personal Advisers have a clear line of day to day management.
Top 3 Project Successes
1. Direct sub contracting with secondary schools means a Personal Adviser full time in every
2. Personal Advisers integrated into schools with direct access to student information.
3. Personalised service for each school and the contract has been granted funding until March
Impact on young people
By having a full time Personal adviser dedicated to each school young people have access to the full
range of Connexions services throughout the week. Information, Advice and Guidance services
integrated into schools provide a high level of support for young people and the project has been
successful at keeping young people in education employment and training and supporting their
transition to post-16 learning.
Key Actions
Connexions teams were set up in Milton Keynes in 2001, under a sub-contracted model. The
Secondary School Heads elected to bid for the intensive support contract in schools, so that a)
they had some impact and ownership over the targeted support service in their schools, and b)
by adding resources to the grant provided, they were able to have a full time Personal Adviser
in each school. This has worked effectively now for seven years. Head teachers feel they have
some ownership over the contract, and therefore feel a greater responsibility and involvement
in the Connexions Service
This has meant that the service is relatively inexpensive to run, with schools often providing inkind contributions in terms of providing a dedicated office for the PA to see their clients, and
contributing resources like stationery, computers, training, and so on at no cost. This means
that the funding provided goes much further, and is an extremely cost effective method of
delivering the Connexions service as widely as possible. 16.5 FTE out of 18 staff in total are
direct delivery, making this a very efficient contract in terms of funding, resources and school
The PAs are an integral part of their school, and yet manage to maintain independence, in
terms of being an ‘outside agency’ with a different level of confidentiality from that of schools.
Schools and Pas will work closely together to ensure the working relationship works well, by
means of a Senior Management team member, or Connexions Co-coordinator
The terms of the contract ensure that each school identifies a member of the senior
management team to act as a ‘local manager’ for the PA, who meets regularly with the PA,
helps to identify referrals, assists with caseload management, and any issues which the school
takes responsibility for such as Health & Safety, Partnership Agreements, access to school
Good communication and clear delineation of roles has been the key to success with this
team. The MKS Connexions managers and school heads have been able to discuss and
negotiate any bones of contentions, and through this negotiation have always managed to
come to a solution
Connexions in schools are able to invite self referral and drop-in facilities, as well as having a
direct input with introducing outside agencies into schools, perhaps via an appointment
system, drop-in, joint project work, or simply by liaising between relevant people
A good working knowledge of the agencies and organizations in Milton Keynes who support
young people and their families, which is frequently updated by training, attendance at
conferences, inviting guests from agencies to attend team meetings, attendance at relevant
meeting around town e.g. Every Child Matters, Integrated Youth Support meetings, Young
Parents meeting. Managers have also been involved in projects and/or pilots, like the
Vulnerable Children’s’ Panel, Families & Schools Together.
Lessons Learned
Working closely with schools has overcome previous doubts and misconceptions.
A full time Personal Adviser in each school can integrate and maintain impartiality.
Schools are prepared to top up grant funding to enable them to have a full time Personal
Newcastle – FE programmes for NEETs - 2
The School of Business and Care at Newcastle College delivered a First Certificate in Childcare,
Learning and Development between
January 2008 and July 2008. The college liaised with Connexions and local schools and identified
fifteen learners to begin the programme. The programme was delivered specifically to meet the
needs of learners, all of whom were not in employment, training or education.
All learners undertook initial assessments to identify individual learning needs and appropriate
support was implemented where required. The programme focused on practical activities and
learners also completed 60 hours work placement in childcare settings which provided them with the
opportunity to progress onto further courses of study that would lead to employment in the field.
All were successful in achieving a First Certificate in Childcare, Learning and Development and in
completing a level 1 key skills qualification in Communication. Of the fifteen learners, seven
progressed on to level 3 childcare programmes, four progressed on to level 3 in health and care, one
on to level two health and care and one learner is being supported in actively seeking a modern
Newham: Reducing the number of NEET - 1
The issue
For many years reducing the numbers of young people not in education, employment or training
(NEET) has been a major concern for the government. Levels of NEETs in Newham and
neighbouring London boroughs are consistently above the national average, and we know that young
people who are NEET are also likely to display or develop other symptoms of disadvantage. There
are three distinct groups: the core with a range of family and social problems, floating NEETs who
move in and out of work, training and NEETs status, and transition or gap year NEETs. Much of the
work with NEETs only tackles this ‘churn’, leaving the hard core untouched.
In Newham, which has a relatively young and mobile population, is home to many communities from
around the world. About a hundred languages are spoken in the borough, with the largest ethnic
minority group, Asian, making up almost a third of the population.
NEETs levels had been falling year on year, but when in 2006/07, they showed an increase, the
partners recognised the need to take new action. In 2005/06 they had fallen from 10.8 per cent to 9.8
per cent, but returned to 10.8 per cent the following year.
What they did
The partners in Newham’s LSP had long recognised the issue of progression post 16 and the need to
work with young people before the age of 16 to devise effective post-16 progression routes. The
Local Area Agreement (LAA) offered an opportunity to make a significant contribution to young
people’s transition to adult life. The LSP set up a NEETs strategy group to develop a partnership
within the right strategic framework: this involved the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), schools,
Further Education (FE), voluntary sector providers, the Youth Offending team (YOT), those dealing
with looked after children (LAC), those dealing with 14-19s, and the council’s policy and performance
The emerging strategy for tackling NEETs is grouped under three headings: preventing NEETs,
intervening to hep those who are NEETs, and retaining those who are in education, employment and
training - EET.
Preventing NEETs
This element is the work with schools for young people aged 11-16 to ensure all young people
progress to appropriate and successful post-16 education and training. With two Catholic exceptions,
Newham schools do not have sixth forms, so pupils normally leave at 16. Those wishing to continue
in studies can attend the sixth form college or other FE institutions.
Careers staff are integrated into the Connexions shops, which are spread geographically around the
borough in four areas, offering a one stop service to young people attending the schools in each
area. The shops link advisors working within the schools with careers staff and others giving
information advice and guidance (IAG) under the common assessment framework (CAF). As well as
ensuring a comprehensive assessment, the process identifies a lead professional and supports
effective information sharing. This is developing into a system that can quickly identify those young
people who are most at risk of failing to make that transition when they reach 16 – and then respond
promptly. The framework helps develop individually tailored solutions.
The partners are working to develop curriculum alternatives for Key Stage 4 learners, so that whether
or not they are at school, there is full access to services. Strong links with voluntary sector
organisations are important to this process.
As part of this process the services are working to improve the young people’s softer employability
skills, recognising that many of them will be keen to get into paid work rather than training or
education. Some extended work experience has been developed with Community Links, an
organisation which has funding from the European Social Fund and experience in delivering New
Deal in East London.
The key factors of the approach with schools are:
Earlier (from Year 9) and more consistent intervention
A common assessment process
A commonly understood referral process, for example to Connexions shop or employability
A commonly understood tracking process.
While these are all underway, not all have yet been achieved. The first and most important part of the
process has been building understanding among the partners as to why these factors are important,
and while progress has been patchy, this stage has largely been achieved. Schools are not all
starting from the same point.
Intervening to deal with NEETs
Those who have become NEET are allocated to a Connexions shop on the basis of where they live,
and they can be tracked month by month. Partnership development, particularly bringing in the
voluntary and community sector, has been essential in building a quick response to young NEETs.
The Newham Youth Provider Partnership operates in the same areas as the Connexions shops, and
helps bring together the schools and shops with youth centres, third sector youth providers, making
assessment frameworks easier to develop. Youth providers also meet regularly.
Reducing NEETs further within this group relies on addressing three elements:
Is the curriculum covered in the borough sufficiently broad?
Is there sufficient volume of provision at the right levels? For example at Level 2 (the
equivalent of a GCSE Grade A-C) there may be an appropriate offer, but is there enough at
the more basic Level 1? Are there sufficient (and sufficiently varied) learning opportunities in
colleges or schools?
The nature of relationships in those institutions (college or school environment) where the
range of learning opportunities may not fit demand, for example Level 1 diploma for post-16s
or where more work opportunities are needed as some young people reject the idea of
college: they want to earn money and might respond to training once in work. Some are
already in the grey economy, and thus hard to engage, but are not immediately job ready in
the conventional sense.
With this group there is also a common system for identification and referral, for example to a local
youth centre, within each of the four areas, with a centrally provided, online digest, ‘Newham What’s
On,’ able to provide up to date information on what is available in each, by age group and by type. A
borough wide tracking system enables the partners to follow up on actual attendance by individuals.
Retaining those who are in education, employment or training and keeping young people in
learning and employment
The partners are increasingly aware that this third category could be a problem. Pressure is building
on schools to provide the September Guarantee. Introduced in 2007, it is, according to DCSF, “…an
offer, by the end of September, of a place in learning to young people completing compulsory
education”. So it is inevitable that they will enter over-optimistic information about individuals on the
system that cannot be sustained over time, and this will make retention an issue.
Primary responsibility for retention lies with the post-16 institution, because that is where the
resources sit. The institutions are also linked with the Connexions shops in their area, and have their
own careers staff. They need to be able to identify those most at risk of dropping out, for example
through personal crises, drug misuse or pregnancy, and to give those individuals appropriate support,
through the CAF system and appropriate contact points. The Newham Information Sharing Index (a
data-sharing agreement) makes it easy to see whether other agencies such as criminal justice are
involved, so the individual and the institution can get proper support and advice, with the systems to
record and respond quickly. For example, if a student becomes known to student support services, it
is easy for partner agencies to check whether there has been a CAF and complement what others
are doing to support the individual.
The NEET statistics continue to fall and Newham is on track to achieve its stretch target for 2010/11
There has also been increasing collective responsibility for this work under the strategic lead of
Newham Council
While considerable progress has already been made, the pace of progress varies around the
borough’s four areas (known as quadrants). This is often due to the starting point and subsequent
progress of individual schools and other agencies in the area.
The third sector has matured in Newham and started to understand its strategic role in each of the
four quadrants. In some cases third sector agencies have leading roles in quadrant partnerships,
including running two of the Connexions shops.
Barriers, Challenges, Lessons
Progress within local schools has been variable as not all schools started from the same point.
Population churn is an issue in Newham: the Year 11s leaving in any year could be different from
those joining in Year 7 by as much as 50 per cent. There are exceptionally high levels of movement
of families: in an average calendar year there may be 500 applications for a place in Key Stage 4,
including many arrivals from overseas. There are real difficulties in helping those young people who
arrive in Newham at Key Stage 4 and the current standard curriculum may not be the most
appropriate solution for new arrivals applying in January of Year 11, often with language barriers.
Work is in progress on developing an alternative programme for these new arrivals.
There have also been challenges in finding appropriate performance measures of NEETs, which take
account of the travel to learn patterns of individuals in and out of the borough (that is where local
young people go for their learning), and which can be translated into meaningful numbers for staff on
the ground. The 6.6 per cent in Newham’s target is an adjusted NEET figure, measured against those
actually in education and training in Newham. But according to London-wide statistics (Client
Caseload Information System), Newham is a net exporter of learners importing about 1,000 and
exporting about 3,000 – almost half of Newham’s school leavers go into education outside the
Performance measures do not adequately recognise young people’s desire for work rather than
learning, even if that is part-time work. The borough’s job brokerage programme, Workplace, only
deals with those aged 18 and over, and while there are work experience places on offer through the
Newham Education Business partnership and Department for Children, Schools and Families
(DCSF) engagement programme, more are needed.
The processes are now in place to meet their target but the services and projects to achieve ‘the
offer’ are not always there yet. Newham will need other changes to further reduce NEETs, including
addressing gaps and weaknesses in provision. The partners are looking at this under three headings:
The breadth of the curriculum on offer
The levels available: perhaps improving the Level 1 offer.
Relationships in the college/school environment – and the range of third sector learning
opportunities, particularly for those unlikely to want college or those already in the grey
More job opportunities are needed and employers (of which the council is the largest) need to do
more to offer more varied opportunities with prospects for development and progression.
Success factors
Key success factors have included the following:
Dividing the borough into manageable quadrants has strengthened the links and relationships
with schools and third sector organisations, giving a more personal service to individuals and
Integrating the third sector has been an important factor in providing credible and appropriate
alternatives to school or college. The process has been a gradual one, with training and
development, time to build relationships and trust in - and between - third sector bodies. It is
important to recognise that this process can take years.
It has been important to engage with all schools and help them to fully understand their role in
their students’ post-16 transitions and achievements. Publication of Post 16 progression data,
by individual school, is an important tool in driving up school performance in this increasingly
important measure.
Partnership development, particularly bringing in the voluntary and community sector, has
been essential in dealing with young NEETs, many of whom are far removed from the
statutory institutions. The third sector can usually offer a more flexible, individually tailored
There are three national indicators that apply to NEETs:
1. Under NI 117 the Local Area Agreement for 2008-11 states the following: the Connexions
average for the three months November 2007 to January 2008 was 8.7 per cent. The LAA sets
a target for 16 to 18 year olds who are not in education, training or employment (NEET) for the
same period in 2008/09 of 8.2 per cent; 2009/2010 of 7.5 per cent; and 2010/11 of 6.6 per
cent, with the London Borough of Newham. The 14 -19 Partnership and Children and Young
People’s Strategic Partnership Board all signed up.
2. The second NI is 79: achievement of a Level 2 qualification by the age of 19. The Learning
and Skills Council (LSC) figure in respect of those reaching 19 at end of 2006/07 was 65 per
cent, and the agreed target for those reaching 19 by the end of 2010/11 is 72.6 per cent.
3. The third is NI 110: young people’s involvement in positive activities. There has been difficulty
establishing a baseline and appropriate targets. It will be important to develop targets to
reduce the core numbers of young people who are not involved in any positive activities (thus
helping them to learn to manage social relationships) rather than having fewer individuals each
involved in more activities. Work is in progress to develop a database for activity in youth
provision that covers both the statutory and voluntary sector activity, to be run by the same
agency that runs the council’s CorePlus database. In time this will be rationalised so that the
partners will be able to see quickly whether individuals are attending the agreed support, youth
provision, courses etc, and challenge them early on when they do not.
There are some unhelpful data overlaps, in that schools provide NEETs data but the LSC provides
data on in-school learning. There are also some London wide data issues which need to be taken
into account which may not apply in more self-contained boroughs. This includes the population
churn and cultural factors in very ethnically diverse areas and travel to learn patterns, which tend to
be outwards from Tower Hamlets and Newham towards Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.
North Somerset - Fairbridge Engagement Project - 2
Supporting NEET young people through innovative reengagement provision
“The September guarantee process demonstrated that there were a number of young people in North
Somerset that needed engagement provision. Fairbridge and Connexions have worked together to
develop this, with an emphasis on young people progressing onto sustainable learning”
Nicola Burcham, Connexions Executive Manager
The Challenge
To engage the hardest to reach young people in the North Somerset area.
To develop the provision to meet the needs of all young people in the area.
To Ensure continuity of the project - funding for 08/09 has been through the local Connexions
budget. Project funding beyond April 09 will be sought through the central local authority
Top 3 Project Successes
1. Engaging young people in a ‘stepped’ approach and maintaining that interest.
2. To date (September 08), 9 young people have achieved the Access course award including
three ASDAN qualification credits and a certificate.
3. All of the young people who take part have action and development plans in place.
Impact on young people
The project allows for each young person to have an action and development plan which is reviewed
on an ongoing basis. These have provided the young people with a feeling of self worth and have
given them something many have not had in a long time: ‘Personal Goals’. Through this process
young people have been able to disclose personal information about themselves that have enabled
Fairbridge and Connexions to better understand their needs. Some young people have moved onto
College courses following the programme.
Key Actions
This is an activity based project that seeks to engage the interests of young people in the
NEET group and help them begin the journey back to education, employment or training. This
is therefore a first step re-engagement process specifically designed for some of the most
disengaged and disaffected young people.
As much of North Somerset is rural, the project also aims to improve the independence of the
young people by supporting them in the use of different modes of transport to encourage
Young people will attend a week’s access course (66hrs) followed by a personalised
programme (minimum 100hrs).
The Access course is a weeklong residential, and the personalised programme builds directly
on the experiences of the young people on the access course.
The project leads to/ towards a qualification.
Young people will be encouraged to experience Pre-e2e and e2e programmes as part of their
progression from this programme.
Young people will progress onto apprenticeships or other local learning programmes.
Young people need to believe in the process and we need to give them a chance to prove
themselves. This will raise aspirations and tackle ingrained behaviour, attitudes and build self
confidence and esteem.
The programme will help young people to develop pride in their local area and appreciate what
it can offer
This project has been funded for financial year 08/09 from our Connexions budget. We would
like to see this project continue and are attempting to secure the projects future with funding
from the Local Authority beyond this April 2009.
As this project develops we are working more closely with partners such as the Youth
Offending Team
(YOT). Around 40% of the young people on the project are working with YOT. We are hoping
to increase this as it is having a positive impact on our agreed LAA NEET target for young
offenders. Connexions and Fairbridge are jointly working to involve other agencies such as the
Youth Service, local supported housing projects.
We currently have 4 programmes running over the year, therefore capturing different NEET
young people at differing times of year. Once the young people have completed the weeks
access course, they can commence on the main programme. This is a flexible programme and
allows young people to choose when they attend. This means young people with additional
needs can still access other services whilst remaining on the programme.
Lessons Learned
There needs to be a clear referral process and plenty of time given to the identification of
suitable young people.
As with all new projects it needs the full support of the whole team.
Staffing implications need to be considered for certain times of the year. One our programmes
started at the beginning of September and left question marks over certain young people who
may have been going on to college.
Nottinghamshire – Skills for Employment - 3
Lisa Tilstone
“This project has given me a better chance in life of getting where I want to be. It’s opened doors”.
Lisa, now 18 years old, missed most of Year 9 because of a family move, and then found it difficult to
adjust to a new school. Lisa took 11 GCSEs, but her results were disappointing. She got a C for
English and citizenship and a D for maths. After leaving school in 2007, Lisa got a temporary
cleaning job, followed by a factory job which she had to give up after an accident. She then got a job
at a local packing firm, but was laid off. While looking for work, she was in regular contact with her
Connexions PA, who told her about the E2E programme offered by the Eastbourne Centre. Lisa
really liked the sound of the Painting and Decorating Course. As well as an OCN qualification in
painting and decorating the course also leads to qualifications in job seeking, communication,
application of numbers and ICT.
Lisa is also participating in the Youth Achievement Award and a citizenship programme. She’s
realised what she wants to do in the future:
“I now know I can get qualifications and do something I really like with my life. My family are proud of
me and I’ve proved I can stick at something.”
Lisa is now living on her own, although she has good contact with her family. Project staff have
supported her in finding a place in a hostel and now her own flat, and helped with independent living.
Lisa now has a place at West Nottinghamshire College to do a diploma in painting and decorating.
About Skills for Employment
In March 2009, two existing work-based learning teams in Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC)
Youth Support Service – Acorn Initiative and the Training partnership – merged to form the new Skills
for Employment Team.
The service operates from 13 sites across the county, based in areas of high deprivation.
Twelve of these sites – mainly based in youth centres - offer an E2E programme focusing primarily
on personal and social development. The remaining site, Eastbourne House in Sutton in Ashfield,
delivers vocational E2E programmes in construction, home maintenance, horticulture and painting
and decorating, and apprenticeships in health, public services and care.
Each learner undertakes an initial individual assessment, after which an individual learning plan is
developed. Their progress is reviewed regularly, including three way meetings between learner, key
worker and Connexions PA. Students are involved in evaluating programmes, including peer
inspection. They take part in a range of extra-curricular activities, including residentials, fundraising,
and social activities. These are seen as important in promoting team work, motivation and learner
retention. The project uses various forms of accreditation, and during 2007-08 learners gained a total
of 776 accreditations. The service works with a range of partners to engage specific groups of young
It works closely with the Connexions Service and with Children’s Social Care and the Youth
Offending Team to engage young people in the care and youth justice systems. It has developed
specialist provision for young people with learning disabilities and difficulties. It employs a specialist
worker to target BME young people, and links with specialist agencies enable it to reach other groups
such as young people with dyslexia, and those with substance misuse issues. It has also developed
alternative provision for disengaged 14 to 16 yearolds in Mansfield and Ashfield schools.
Critical success factors
An atmosphere in which young people feel safe and secure.
Additional LA funding to provide intensive support.
Focusing on a mixture of skills.
For further information, please contact Sara Platt, Service Manager. Tel: 01623 476830. Email:
Oxfordshire - vTalent Year - 12
During 2009-11, Oxfordshire County Council will offer 30 volunteers aged 16 to 25 full-time
placements for 44 weeks in children’s services through the vTalentYear programme. Volunteers also
take part in a learning programme – including fortnightly study days combining team-building,
challenge and fun - to gain a level 2 certificate in community volunteering. Volunteers receive a
weekly allowance while on the programme, plus advice and financial support to go on to further
education and training afterwards.
The programme coordinator is based in the Participation and Play Team of the Children, Young
People and Families Directorate. She believes that this helps it operate broadly across the council,
rather than becoming entrenched in a single service. The programme is also seen as an integral part
of the county’s final Integrated Youth Support Service plan, in recognition of its success in reengaging young people.
Volunteers are currently placed across the directorate, including youth services, Connexions,
children’s centres and disability and special needs services.
Critical success factors
Attention paid to matching placements to young people’s interests.
Ongoing support for young people from the coordinator and other adults, and from other young
people through a common learning programme.
Not giving up on young people – offering them a third and fourth chance providing this does
not put anyone else at risk.
Case Study - Linval Shepherd
“The foyer and vTalentYear took a chance on me. They’ve made me determined to prove that I’m
more than a criminal record.”
Linval, now 22, was brought up in London until he was 15. He has experienced various difficulties in
his life, and has been in prison three times.
'My mum was being beaten up by my sister's dad, and she took us to Oxfordshire, where she came
from. She didn’t tell me we were moving for good. Now I see she had to get away, but I was really
angry then, I'd lost everything I knew.'
Linval was out of school for several months, and then went into year 10, made friends and gained
seven GCSEs, including two Cs in science:
“I enjoyed science and got on well with the teacher, but I struggled with the written work. It was only
when I went to prison that I found out I was dyslexic. Before that I just thought I was thick.”
After school, Linval worked as a labourer and decided he wanted to become a bricklayer. He
completed an E2E course and then did an apprenticeship in bricklaying. But things were going
wrong in other ways. ‘I was mixing with the wrong crowd and drinking and taking drugs. When I drank
I’d get into fights, and I ended up in prison.’
He had nearly completed his apprenticeship when he went to prison for the third time.
“It was my fault but it was for something really pathetic. But I’d breached my tag, so I went back to
prison, and spent my 21st birthday there. I realised I could spend the rest of my life in and out of
By this time Linval's mother had died and he was homeless. He knew he needed to change and
gained a place at Abingdon Foyer.
“Abingdon Foyer took a risk and offered me a place on a final warning – if I messed up I'd be out. It
had rules about friends, so this helped me break away from my old friends. I made new friends,
people who wanted to do something with their lives. The foyer feels like a family.”
Once living at the foyer, Linval took part in a range of activities, based the action plan he developed
with his support worker.
“They help me work out what I want and what I need to do. They make me want to learn and change.
I've had courses to help me manage my anger and my drinking, and I can now have a drink without
getting into fights.”
His support worker encouraged him to attend an open day for the vTalentYear programme, and he is
now working as a full-time volunteer at Abingdon Youth Centre.
“It was awkward at first, because I used to come here and make trouble so I had a reputation. But the
staff have accepted me, and I feel like one of the team. Andy [the youth worker] realised that I wanted
to change.”
“I do different activities with young people, but can also use my experiences to help them. When I talk
about prison I’ll stress how boring it is, not that it’s scary, so they don’t think they’ll get kudos for
being hard. I’m not here as a mate, but as a worker. I’ll challenge them if I have to. I’m mixed heritage
and you get racism here, it’s ignorance, so I’ll help them think about things like language. I had to
split up a fight and was proud of how I did it. Being given responsibility builds up my confidence step
by step.”
Linval has already gained various qualifications through the foyer and E2E programme, and will gain
a level 2 qualification in community volunteering through vTalent. When he completes the
programme, he aims to get a job as a youth support worker:
“I’m well known in Abingdon, but now I’m known for the right things. If I can help someone not go
down the same path, then my experiences haven’t been wasted.”
Shelley Maxfield, vTalentYear coordinator.
Tel: 01865 256644. Email:
Redbridge - MY WEEK - 12
Delivering a short motivational programme to raise NEET young people’s confidence
and help them to take their first steps into a positive outcome.
“The MY WEEK course was designed by young people, Connexions Personal Advisers and Youth
Workers to combine personal development activities with experiences to prepare young people for
work, training or education. Working intensively with a small group of young people, really made a
difference to their motivation and self confidence. The programme has added to our successful
strategy of reducing the number of young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training.”
Susan Reeve - Area Manager, Redbridge
The Challenges
• Supporting Personal Advisers, Youth Workers and Young People to cooperate in planning
and delivering the course together.
• Working with a diverse group of young people who are from very different backgrounds, with
a range of barriers to progression and may have low motivation.
• Supporting young people who have been NEET for many months and whose motivation is
• Securing funding and Employers willing to offer Work Experience’s.
• Running a course which young people not only wanted to attend, but felt part of
Top 3 Project Successes
1. Work Placements with local employers for young people after the MY WEEK programme.
2. Funding for the pilot project was secured directly from Connexions, then through LSC
September Guarantee Voucher Scheme and subsequent funding has been through the Mayor of
London’s Youth Offer and with ESF.
3. Typical examples of the successes are the September 2008 MY WEEK programme. It
supported 7 young people of whom 3 went on to full time employment, 1 on E2E and 1 on the
Activity Agreement pilot or the January 2009 programme that helped all 10 young people straight
into positive destinations.
Impact on young people
During the programme, the young people show greater motivation and a sense of urgency about
getting into education, employment or training. Most of these remain positive and eager to progress
and after the programme, with many volunteering to become Peer Mentors. They attend a 1 day
training session and are involved in the planning and leading of sessions on the programme. This is a
positive self development experience for them and creates an encouraging role model for others
newly embarking on MY WEEK.
Key Actions
• MY WEEK is an acronym for Motivate Yourself With Education, Employment and Knowledge.
• The aim of the programme is to work intensively with a group of NEET young people for a
short period of time, (one week) to increase their motivation and self confidence and support
them into training, employment or education.
• The programme of activities is planned between Personal Advisers, Young People and Youth
Workers based on feedback from the previous programmes.
• The activities include team building activities such as wall climbing and caving, alongside
budgeting, job search skills, interview practice, how to dress and making a good first
• Young people register for an Oyster card which is topped up with funds so that they are able
to travel whilst on the programme and on their work placement, for free.
• Healthy breakfasts, lunches, drinks and snacks are provided whilst on the programme and
luncheon vouchers given for whilst on work placement.
• Young people gain an AQA in Careers Planning for completing MY WEEK and mentors work
towards an ASDAN in Peer Mentoring.
• Young people are offered a work placement with a local employer. This is Health & Safety
checked by an IOSH certificated person and monitored weekly during the placement. The
young people complete a work experience diary that can gain them an AQA in Work Related
• Local employers are welcomed to take part in the programme by sharing their own
experiences with young people and with practise interviewing.
• The young people are supported throughout the programme and this continues through to
their progression into employment, training and education.
• The Personal Advisers who have taken part in MY WEEK keep in regular contact with the
young people so that they are familiar with their needs and able to suggest relevant support
and opportunities for progression.
• In January 2009, we were able to have the project filmed to produce a short DVD that is used
to promote MY WEEK to other NEET young people.
Lessons Learned
• Initially offering progression vouchers to support motivation to move into a positive
destination, we found that some who needed the support the greatest were not able to receive
it. So recent programmes have been rewarding full attendance with driving lessons, gym
passes and clothing vouchers for interview clothes.
• Using computer software such as VT Lifeskills Pathfinder and an online personality quiz such
as Buzz Book ( to investigate and identify skills and qualities as they
impact positively with the young people. Keeping all this information and their certificates in
their personal MY WEEK file which already includes helpful advice on subjects such as
calming interview nerves, what to include on a CV and job searching tips.
• Asking the young people to write down their own rules and expectations for the week which
are then displayed and can be revisited if group behaviour or dynamics becomes an issue,
and also at the end of the week to check all expectations have been met.
• Ensuring that the Peer Mentors get support from Advisers through debriefing time after each
day to facilitate the sharing of concerns, feedback and ideas for the future. Acknowledging
their input by rewarding the Peer Mentors publicly at the end of the programme for all their
hard work and support.
Rochdale - Positive Activities for Young People - 2
Using positive activities to reengage young people and support them to make a
successful transition into education, employment or training
“Positive Activities for Young People (PAYP) Key Workers play an important role in reducing NEET in
Rochdale. Their flexibility and commitment to supporting vulnerable young people into positive
destinations, and the ontinued ‘wrap-around’ support they offer is key to the successful outcomes
they achieve.” Gary Kelly, 14-19 Participation Strategy Manager, Rochdale
The Challenge
Engaging hard to reach young people where there is a clear need for a multi agency package
of support.
Re-engaging young people where there may be a history of previous failed interventions.
Maintaining a focus on the soft skill outcomes for each young person (social skills, personal
development, confidence, resilience) as well as achieving the measurable hard outcomes
(NEET to EET, reduction in offending) as required by stakeholders.
Top 3 Project Successes
1. 75% post 16 young people supported from NEET to EET by the end of the intervention.
2. 97% of all school aged young people are maintained in, or supported back into education, by
the end of their intervention. PAYP Rochdale was highlighted as an example of good practice
at the 2008 national NEET conference because of the consistently good outcomes achieved
since 2002.
3. Re-offending rates amongst these young people are very low, typically 12% annually.
Impact on young people
Due to the success of this project, PAYP is being consolidated for a further 3 years using Positive
Activities funding. This will also allow PAYP to become an integral part of the delivery of Targeted
Youth Support (TYS) across the borough, providing quality one-to-one support, with exceptional
outcomes, for vulnerable/at risk young people. 150 young people benefit from this intensive support
each year. Last year 70% of all key worked young people achieved at least one accredited outcome
such as AQA and Duke of Edinburgh. These accreditations provide young people with a much
needed confidence boost to help them remain in, or return to, education, particularly after a long
period of non-attendance. Support is holistic and time is spent assessing the needs of each young
person referred as well as support needed by their families taking into consideration any previous
support that may have been offered.
Key Actions
PAYP is young person focused and the whole intervention is based around the specific,
identified needs of the young person and, where appropriate, their family
Young people are given a range of options and opportunities to gain a wide variety of
accreditations with their key worker, whilst taking part in the project. These range from gaining
practical skills (such as shopping, cooking, DIY) to sports, arts, sexual health, literacy and
numeracy. This approach ensures that learning remains fun and interesting. By the end of the
intervention young people have a portfolio of certificates which increases confidence and
willingness to learn and progress further.
Key workers identify and address the issues preventing a young person accessing EET.
Barriers to participation are addressed one at a time.
The support needs of the whole family are addressed so that the young person is supported at
the core by people most likely to influence them, which increases the likelihood of a successful
All young people referred to PAYP are identified and referred because of their risk of offending
or reoffending. The issues which lead to offending must be addressed quickly before a young
person can be supported to make positive, long lasting changes.
All factors preventing successful outcomes are swiftly identified including substance misuse,
housing, NEET, poor parenting and mental/physical health issues; referrals to specialist
support services are made to address these. Once these factors have been addressed, young
people are less likely to re-offend.
A similar approach is used with school aged young people as with post 16’s. An assessment
of the young person’s risk/protective factors is done using the CAF, referrals are made to
appropriate services and young people/families are supported and encouraged by their key
worker to engage with services.
Lessons Learned
A key success of the project is the PAYP Key Worker’s ability to engage the very hardest to
reach, challenging young people and their families. The recruitment of resilient workers is a
key factor.
Having good links with agencies and services ensures that referrals to the project are
appropriate and prevents duplication.
The diversionary activities programme is offered during school holidays and PAYP has
established excellent links with a range of voluntary sector providers. These organisations are
commissioned to deliver activities to targeted groups in hotspot areas of youth crime. The
organisations include borough wide groups such as Early Break (drug and alcohol support),
Rochdale Connections Trust (mentoring support) and Back Door Music (live music/recording)
alongside local community-based groups working in specific areas of youth crime/anti social
Rochdale - Get Started with Football - 2
Using positive activities for young people as a first step towards reengagement
“Our Get Started with Football project is part of The Prince’s Trust’s continued drive to improve the
prospects of disengaged youngsters from Rochdale. Our success in Rochdale demonstrates the
power of working in partnership with local councils, in helping to give young people a second chance
and get them into employment, education or training.”
Jackie Tyler, Regional Director North West, Prince’s Trust
The Challenge
To provide NEET young people in Rochdale with the Get Started with Football programme. The
programme aims to engage those furthest from the job market and motive them to take the first step
to increase their confidence, skills and employability. The specific challenges included:
Ensuring that the young people on the programme represent the wider community.
Recruiting young people from ethnic minorities.
Managing the expectations of the young people.
Ensuring adequate staffing to manage any issues, for example behaviour.
Availability of post programme support, and effective signposting of young people
Top 3 Project Successes
1. Project success has resulted in funding being secured through ESF to run 5 over the next 2.5
2. The Prince’s Trust long-term partnership with the Premier League, Professional Footballer’s
Association and Football Foundation enables access to professional/ qualified support.
3. A good range of referrals onto the programme: 100% underachievers, 7% in care/leaving care,
64% Offenders/Ex offenders, 7% BME and 29% Disabled.
Impact on young people
Young people on the programme showed an improvement in soft skills in terms of self esteem,
confidence and motivation. Positive outcomes include progression into jobs, volunteering and other
Prince’s Trust programmes. 81.2% of young people progressed into education, employment or
Key Actions
Established a short, five day programme aimed at engaging young people who are unable or
unwilling to participate, often due to lack of confidence.
Create a clear structure for the programme, involving young people in the design.
Used football as a motivational tool with sessions related to football but also teaching broader
skills such as coaching, refereeing, treatment of injuries, fitness testing and working as a team.
Every young person who took part completed an action plan so that they can clearly see their
own progress.
A final challenge involving the coaching of primary school children, enabling young people to
become role models and raising their self esteem, confidence and motivation.
Upon completion of the programme young people gained a Prince’s Trust certificate together
with other qualifications achieved during the programme such as the Junior Football
Organisers award, First Aid Certificate. These were presented at an awards ceremony at the
end of the scheme.
Key partnerships formed with Connexions and other local referral organisations
Lessons Learned
Recruiting young people from ethnic minorities was a big challenge for us – increased targeted
marketing in the community could have helped us to make more progress here.
We need to build our knowledge of post-programme support available in the area to best
inform and signpost young people onto their next steps.
Increase the level of support from the young person’s referral agency/ key worker. This can
improve the transition of the young person into the scheme and inform staff of that young
person’s specific needs.
Rochdale - Open Door Project - 3
Providing a flexible range of engagement programmes to meet the individual
needs of young people
“Rathbone’s Open Door project in Rochdale works to re-engage in learning young people most at risk
of long term social exclusion. Open Door is a great example of how the voluntary sector working in
partnership with local authorities can tackle some of the toughest issues facing young people today. I
am really pleased that Rathbone and Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council have worked so
closely over a number of years to create and sustain a project which really does make a difference."
Richard Williams, Chief Executive, Rathbone
The Challenge
Ensuring high quality services for young people to meet their needs, in terms of flexibility,
personal, social and educational needs.
Identifying long term funding to ensure ongoing provision for young people.
Doing a lot with only a small amount of resource – the project has only 2 full time staff.
Top 3 Project Successes
1. The project has been very successful at securing progression into education, employment or
training - 72% of participants went on to a positive outcome.
2. Providing holistic support to young people through strong partnership working.
3. Flexible tailored provision that suits the needs of each young person.
Impact on young people
The project provides over 70 places for young people in the NEET group. Over 94 young people
accessed the project in the year ending April 08. In the year to April 08 there were 39% achieving
level 1 or 2 in Literacy, 31% in Numeracy and 30% in ICT key Skills. Young people can choose to
access provision on a full time or part time basis depending upon their individual needs.
Key Actions
Able to provide courses that remove barriers young people face to progressing on to college/
training/ employment.
Able to provide essential one to one support.
Funding is very flexible so able to offer young people courses they want and need.
Partnership agreement with Connexions is updated regularly.
Services can access the provision at any time without the need to book appointments. This
helps with new referrals where young people need to see fast results.
Open communication between services and flexibility for young people to contact case
workers as they require when on the project. This provides fast up to date information
regarding any changes or issues affecting individuals and results in a faster response.
Flexible funding with wide boundaries as opposed to prescribing specific outcomes allows staff
to tailor provision to individual’s needs. General ethos of the project is to work on goals the
young people set.
This has also enabled more one to one time due to reduced paper work required by funders.
Working on young people’s own goals gives them a sense of control and ownership over their
own learning.
Flexible funding in terms of contact time with an individual allows young people to build up
their provision and skills whilst being able to manage appointments and other issues in their
lives. It also allows the project to work with smaller groups so individuals get more quality
teaching time.
Many young people in their evaluations of the project say it’s small size is a defining factor of
its success as they do not feel threatened and feel at home due to the relaxed environment.
Lessons Learned
We identified the need to reach more Asian young people , 93% of those accessing this
provision were White British
Need to market services to other agencies
Need to continually develop provision and accreditation - currently looking at ASDAN awards.
Countrywide – Fairbridge Project - 2
What we do
Fairbridge works with young people aged 13-25 that other organisations find difficult to
engage – giving them the self-confidence and skills they need to change their lives.
The young people often face multiple issues, ranging from school exclusion and homelessness to
anti-social behaviour, crime and substance misuse. They often lack family support and exist on the
margins of society.
We encourage young people by offering them a unique combination of personal support and
opportunity. Opportunity in the form of a wide range of challenging and structured courses and
projects. Support in the form a tailor-made action plan for each young person. And we do this in a
safe environment that challenges negative behaviour and recognises achievement.
Fairbridge centres are based in 15 of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK. Each year over 3,700
young people choose to engage with us. For many it is their first step back into education, training or
How we do it
A young person’s first taste of Fairbridge.
As we aim to work with some of the most marginalised young people, who have often struggled to
engage with anything positive, this is a crucial stage in helping to make sure that they feel Fairbridge
is something new, exciting and - ultimately - right for them.
At induction young people will find out more about Fairbridge and start working with the dedicated
key worker who will offer them one to one support throughout their time with us.
89% of the young people we engaged in 2008/09 had three or more presenting needs
The Access course
Every young person at Fairbridge has an Access course story to tell.
Designed to develop a range of personal and social skills, the Access course is where every young
person’s unique Fairbridge journey begins in earnest. The course is outdoor focused and includes a
number of challenging activities such as climbing, canoeing and caving - all designed to build
confidence, develop team work and challenge negative behaviour.
Having run Access courses for over 25 years, we know that outdoor activities – when delivered
correctly - are a brilliant vehicle for developing personal and social skills, amongst young people of all
shapes, sizes and abilities. Even if eight young people arrive on the first morning, hoods up and not
speaking – as they often do, by end of this amazing experience they will inevitably be encouraging
each other, communicating and working as part of a team.
Last year 85% of young people completed their challenging Access course
Our Programme
Having completed the Access course, a young person will sit down with their key worker to produce a
Personal Development Plan (PDP). Sounds formal - but it’s not. Tailor-made to each young person,
the PDP will map out a series of activities designed to build the skills of each individual.
Activities can range from digital film making and music production to employability courses such as
Learn 2 Earn. Sounds like a lot of fun... and it is. We know that young people learn more when they
are enjoying themselves. We call it learning by stealth.
75% of young people progressed on to the long term Fairbridge programme
Moving on
Fairbridge is a ‘first step’ organisation... we develop the core personal and social skills that a young
person needs to make a change in their life. Once these are in place and they have developed the
necessary motivation, confidence and skills, it is our job to support young people to make the next
This next step will be different for each young person. Some will go back to school better able to
communicate with their peers and teachers. Others will enrol at college, start a training course or get
a job. Last year we gave 3,728 young people opportunity and support to make a new start.
Fairbridge works.
Over the past 12 months alone 59% of the young people we engaged, and 78% of those
engaged in 2007/08, have gone on to achieve at least one positive outcome
Salford – Activity Agreement and Learning Agreement pilots - 2
What are the two pilots?
The National AA & LA pilots have been designed to research and test out new ways of financial
support for young people. The results of the pilots are likely to inform how all NEET 16/17 year old
young people (AA) and those in jobs without nationally recognised training (LA) will receive financial
support in the future.
When are they taking place?
The pilots started on April 1st 2006 and operate through to March 31st 2008.
What is the Activity Agreement (AA) pilot?
Within Greater Manchester, this is testing whether a financial incentives package of £20 paid to a
16/17 young person and £30 to their parent or carer will increase participation in an education or
training opportunity. In order to get the payment the young person will have to agree to sign an
Activity Agreement to take part in development activities that lead to progression.
What is the Learning Agreement (LA) pilot?
This is testing whether 16/17 years old young people who are currently in jobs but who aren’t
receiving any nationally recognised training will take up education or training leading to nationally
recognised qualifications if they and their employer receive some financial incentive. This pilot is comanaged with the LSC, whose role is to contract for the learning opportunities with both existing and
new providers.
Salford - NEET Action Team - 2
A small team working across the city to target hard to reach young people and reengage them in
education, employment or training
“Successful NEET reduction over a number of years has been supported by an approach where we
continually review our practice, adapt to changing local circumstances and talk to partners in the City
about how we can improve performance. This strategy has led us to adopt a more tenacious
approach to supporting young people who are harder to engage. The introduction of the NEET Action
Team in Salford has enabled us to build on successful tactics for tracking, intervention and support
and to support other Connexions workers and local youth support services to get better outcomes for
local young people. This approach also means that the engagement of parents and carers is vital to
maximising future success.”
Annette Hughes Connexions Manager Salford
The Challenge
To support young people who are hard to help and engage.
To work with young people who display issues around self esteem and anger management,
including many from vulnerable groups.
Top 3 Project Successes
1. The case study below highlights how a young person who was previously not engaging has
reengaged with the service and has completed application forms which led to enrolment at a
local college.
2. Working with parents, carers and families promotes a holistic approach and positive outcome.
3. 40% improvement in NEET 2003-2007 and 71% reduction in 16-18 unknowns 2003-2007. In
April 2008 over 150 home visits on successive Saturdays with a 60% success rate. More than
66% of those we made contact with were in education, employment and training but had not
responded to other contact attempts. Total number of interventions each year is over 30,000.
Impact on young people
Intensive flexible support significantly increases the potential of young people to engage in education,
employment and training. The individual case study below demonstrates the approach taken by
Connexions Salford in forming a small NEET action team is having positive effects on the life of
young people in Salford. Caseload Advisers regularly review their caseloads to identify young people
who are not engaging with the service and for those young people who struggle to maintain contact
with their PA/CA, we have a process of trying to re establish contact through a series of follow
up/tracking activities. These include phone calls at different times of the day, various follow up letters
and information about current opportunities, texting and home visits during the day, early evening and
sometimes at weekends
Key Actions
• In order to make further improvements to NEET prevention and reduction in Salford
Connexions have set up a NEET Action Team, this is a small team working across the City to
target the most hard to reach young people, many of whom are in vulnerable groups e.g.
teenage mothers and care leavers to offer activities to ultimately reengage them in some form
of education, employment or training
• The team has access to resources and discretionary funding through a combination of
Connexions funding, PAYP, ESF and Activity Allowance. NAT team members are also
encouraged to take more of a ‘life coach’ approach to engaging these young people and their
families, working alongside an experienced life coach/motivational practitioner
Case study
Personal Advisers from the Connexions NEET Action Team have worked with Jenny in an
attempt to engage her and offer Connexions services to include information, guidance, advice
and support. The short term goals were to remove barriers that prevented her from engaging,
with a long term goal of engaging her into EET activity. Prevention from disengagement with
retention in EET being the ultimate goal
Several previous attempts to engage with Jenny both in school and at the Children’s home she
was living in had previously failed, to the extent that Jenny jumped out of her bedroom window
on the arrival of a Connexions PA/CA on a previous visit. A referral to the NEET Action Team
was made by Jenny’s PA/CA as they were a team that could provide an immediate response
and who have adopted an ‘anytime, any place, anywhere’ approach to working with some of
the most challenging NEETs and undertake the majority of their work away from Connexions
Centres, meeting young people in Café’s, at home and other community venues. TheNEET
Action Team is tenacious and resolute, often coping with numerous setbacks from clients who
are inherently suspicious of them before they can gain their trust
After accepting a referral from Jenny’s school PA/CA and being identified as a potential NEET
young person the NEET Action Team visited Jenny without prior arrangement. Jenny was
again reluctant to see the Personal Advisers and greeted them with a very negative response.
The PA/CA’s gave a brief explanation as to what they could help Jenny with and explained
that they would come to see her again either at the Children’s home or somewhere else if
Jenny preferred
A couple of days later the PA/CA’s returned to visit Jenny, mentioning that they believed she
had an interest in art (information recorded on Jenny’s records on the Connexions data base).
They asked Jenny if they could see her art work, which she agreed to do and from there she
began to engage. It became apparent that Jenny’s art work was of a high standard and that
she definitely had an interest in this area of work. A careers guidance interview took place and
routes into art were discussed. Lack of immediate job opportunities in the art industry were
also discussed and she showed an interest in going to a local college which her friend
It was agreed that the PA/CA’s would return with information about all of the local colleges
offering art courses. Another appointment was made to visit Jenny at home and after further
discussion she said that she wanted to apply to Pendleton College. An application was
completed and it was agreed that the PA/CA’s would look at other art related activities that she
could engage with while waiting to hear back from college
Another meeting was arranged with Jenny and a PA/CA took her to The Lowry Theatre in
Salford that had guest artist exhibiting their work. The PA/CA also took Jenny to Salford Art
Gallery and Museum. Jenny said that she had never experienced anything like thisbefore and
that she had really enjoyed herself
Jenny then rang the PA/CA to let her know that she had received an invite to interview from
college and explained that she was really nervous. The PA/CA told her not to worry, that she
and the other PA/CA would come and see her to explain what would happen and that they
would take her to college and accompany her at interview
Jenny had her interview at college and was offered a place on to start in September. The
PA/CA took Jenny to enrol and she will be starting a ‘Skills for Working Life’ course with a view
to progressing onto the Foundation level Art and Design course in October if things progress
The two PA/CA’s have both managed to build up a great deal of trust with Jenny. They will be
taking Jenny to college on her first day
Significant progress has been made with Jenny, who regularly keeps in touch if she feels the
need for support from either of the PA/CA’s. Jenny’s PA/CA will also maintain regular contact
with her to ensure that she does not disengage from college or from contact with the
Connexions Service in Salford.
Lessons Learned
Early identification of potential NEET young people through tracking is important.
The ability to approach young people with a different outlook works.
The ability to offer flexible activities and engagement, such as home meetings, transport to
college or training opportunity together with intensive support information and guidance is a
key feature
Salford – Working Neighbourhood Teams - 2
Working Neighbourhood Teams are critical to the work of all public services in Salford. We want to
ensure that the economic renaissance of the city benefits all of its residents, and, critically, avoids the
further polarisation of marginalised groups and between the city’s neighbourhoods. It is also
important because the areas where concentrations of worklessness occur also present all public
services with their greatest challenges, with attendant costs to the public purse. The current
economic downturn presents further challenges to tackling the worklessness agenda. If we do
nothing there will be further polarisation between areas and people within Salford who do not benefit
from (or contribute to) the economic renaissance of the city. Already some areas have nearly half of
their working age population are out of work, the downturn might prompt a situation where almost no
one works in some the city’s most deprived localities.
To understand the way in which working neighbourhood teams will work together we have developed
the idea of a virtual department store of join-up support which will help people towards finding a job.
We know that people who are not in work are most effectively supported if the services they need are
offered as an integrated package in a way that makes sense to the user – rather than the
organisations that provide them. Additionally, for people who are some way off being ready to go
back to work, it is important that the support they receive is tailored to their particular circumstances.
Working Neighbourhood Teams (WNTs) are Salford’s ‘whole system’ response to this challenge.
People who don’t work (and their families) often face complex interlinked issues (sometimes rooted in
deprivation) which impact on their ability to find jobs. Many different agencies offer services and
support to people who are out of work and their families. Some, like Job Centre Plus and Salford’s
Skills and Work service, are primarily focused on helping people find work. There are a wide range of
others that offer key areas of support that unemployed individuals and their families might need.
These potentially include health professionals, community and youth workers, community sector
organisations, housing providers, and children’s centres to name a few. Working Neighbourhood
Teams will work with the core skills and work services alongside other agencies to improve people’s
chances of finding work and staying in a job. This will facilitate more effective outreach and
engagement with workless people. Barriers they face will be dealt with in an integrated way, with a
clear aim of improving employability and supporting people into sustainable employment. Working
neighbourhood teams are a whole systems response to tackling the problem.
Delivering the Department Store
Improving outcomes in skills, work, enterprise and child and family poverty is a major
shared priority for services and communities
Services are integrated where they need to be, and designed around a single view of the
needs of the individual, with clear ownership and coordination of customer journeys
Services are flexible and able to respond to local needs to remove barriers. There is scope
and support to enable local innovation.
Local communities and community and voluntary organisations play a central role in
Getting Customers to the Store
Excellent community intelligence and insight, and a clear view of local needs and
opportunities. This is informed by personal relationships as well as data and customer and
community profiles.
Strong collective capacity to identify and engage constructively with the people we aim to
support. We pool our knowledge and capacity to enable this.
Strong demand and desire for the services we offer, supported by clear incentives and a
focus on raising aspirations.
Excellent community and inter agency communications. Local communities and
community and voluntary organisations are at the heart of our engagement and outreach
Sandwell - Understanding the Risk Factors associated with NEET - 3
Developing a screening process to identify early young people at risk of
becoming NEET.
"A fascinating way of targeting our work"
Subat Khan Personal Adviser
The Challenge
To identify risk factors that may indicate that a young person is at risk of becoming NEET(not
in education employment or training)
To form a group of Personal Advisers together with a senior Educational Psychologist who
could develop a screening tool for identifying at risk (NEET) young people
The collection and dissemination of information on young people and the subsequent close
tracking of those in the high risk group
Top 3 Project Successes
1. This is an ongoing project that will be evaluated and developed with a new case study
produced in due course.
2. Working together the Sandwell M.B.C. Inclusion Support Service and Connexions developed a
tool to identify those at risk of becoming NEET
3. We have begun to use this information to screen young people in local secondary schools
starting in year 9
Impact on young people
With the use of this developmental screening tool Connexions in Sandwell can focus their tracking
and support at those potentially at greatest risk of becoming NEET. Those with the greatest number
of ‘risk’ factors will be most closely tracked and supported.
Key Actions
A senior educational psychologist has formed a group with a number of personal advisors from
Connexions who work in secondary schools in the Borough. The group has looked at
identifying risk factors in children which might lead them to become NEET.
The group took a sample of 40 17 year old young people who were classified as NEET and
compared them with 40 17 year olds who were in education, training or jobs.
They collected information about the following
o Accommodation issues (unstable accommodation, homelessness, living in squats)
o Low Motivation (unable to identify any job/career they wanted to participate in)
o Behaviour issues (School reports including exclusion)
o Unemployment in family (At least one family member currently unemployed)
o Poor Basic skills (Was on SEN register)
o Known to YOT (Youth Offending Team)
o School attendance < 80% (From school data)
o LDD (Formal category – Learning Difficulty or Disabled)
o Gender (M/F)
o Ethnicity (Using Home Office categories)
o Young carer (Caring for dependent adult)
o Known to DECCA (Drug Education Team)
o Not prepared to travel (Unwilling to travel more than 3 miles for work)
o Single parent (Self report)
o Travelling person (Self report)
o Looked After (Looked after by Local Authority)
Significant differences between the groups were found in:
o Accommodation issues
o Low Motivation
o Behaviour issues
o Unemployment in family
o Poor Basic skills
o Known to YOT
o School attendance < 80%
Non significant factors were:
o Gender
o Ethnicity
o Young carer
o Known to DECCA
o Not prepared to travel
o Single parent
o Travelling person
o Looked After
The group is using the information to develop a risk screening process to be applied to
children at the beginning of Year 9 in secondary schools. Young people will higher levels of
risk factors will receive increasing levels of support and attention and their progress closely
tracked. This will allow the different services to ensure that those young people who require
most support are targeted early and supported to make a successful transition rather than
becoming NEET.
Sandwell Krunch Project - 3
Krunch is a voluntary sector youth project operating across the borough of Sandwell. Its alternative
education programme has two main strands: preventative work with young people in schools who
have been identified as struggling or on the verge of exclusion; and a mentoring programme for
young people excluded from schools referred by the local education authority. Krunch also runs
programmes for specific groups of young people, such as separate projects for young dads and
young mums.
About 80 per cent of young people engaged through Krunch go on to positive progressions, with 95
per cent of those engaged through remaining in school. Krunch is part-funded by Sandwell Council
and has individual contacts with five of the borough’s secondary schools. It also works indirectly with
the other local schools through its links with the council’s Special Educational Needs department.
It works in partnership with a range of other statutory and voluntary partners, including West
Bromwich Albion and Christian and other faith groups. Together with Nacro, it is delivering an Entry
to Learning pilot programme, a new initiative to encourage local authorities to commission the third
sector to develop provision to re-engage young people not in education, employment or training.
Critical success factors
Informal, relaxed and accessible setting
Respectful and non-judgmental approach to young people
Looking at the barriers which hinder young people and, with them, devising solutions.
Case Study - David Colclough
“This project has given me confidence, help to think about what I want to do, loads of experience and
I’ve learned new things.”
David, aged 19, has a 17-month-old daughter. He splits his time living with his parents and with his
girlfriend who lives with her parents. David has dyslexia and became anxious about what other
people might think at school; this led to poor attendance and low self esteem. He did not receive
sufficient support on the course and believes he only achieved success because of his mother’s help
with his homework.
David then worked for a year with a window company, during which time his daughter was born. After
being out of work for six or seven months, he was referred to Krunch, a voluntary youth
project. Through his Connexions PA, David joined a 12- week course for young dads. The course
provided an excellent opportunity to socialise with other young dads and included activities such as
music and drama and workshops on drugs and sex education.
He also gained AQA accreditation in food and cooking. David was then referred to a course run by
Nacro, which focused on English and Maths. David now contributes to the project on a voluntary
basis, helping out at another young dads’ course and at a weekly youth club. He has relished the
chance to help and support other young dads, who recognise he has been through similar
David has just been appointed as a sessional youth worker at a Barnado’s project.
“I was really nervous about the interview, the night before was terrible. But I had talked to one of the
workers here, who just told me to sell myself – make sure they know everything that I’ve done. And it
must have impressed them, because I got the job!”
David now has clear aims for the future. In the longer term, he would like to qualify as a youth
“I’ve always had a feeling about working with people, but the staff here helped me think more, and
suggested that I volunteer to get experience. Now I’m looking at training, maybe even university. I
would never have thought about that, but now I can see that it’s possible. My mum’s pleased too, she
thinks I’m doing well. I’m not just sitting at home, I’m trying to get on with my life.”
For more information, contact Ed Knott, Youth Work & Volunteering Manager. Tel: B68 8RE. Tel:
0121 552 5556. Email:
Shirebrook (Derbyshire) - Route 4 - 2
Based in Shirebrook, the Route 4 project was set up in August 2005 in response to recommendations
made by the Community Economic Development Team at Derbyshire County Council, to address an
identified need for additional, specialist support for disengaged young people in the local area. The
project is part of the Council’s Adult Community Education Service. Since 2005 the project has
received funding from different sources including the Learning and Skills Council.
The project employs dedicated Young Adult Trainers to work with pupils in year 10 and 11 who have
been excluded or are not attending education, as well as young people who have left school and
have been assessed as not ready for E2E provision. The aim of the project is to prepare them for
positive progression into E2E programmes or into other education and/or employment
opportunities. The majority of young people accessing Route 4 want to progress into work.
Critical success factors:
• The project and the work placements are based within the community and can be easily
accessed by young people,
Qualified, multi-skilled and dedicated staff provide intensive support and give people repeated
Staff listen to young people’s ideas about what they want to do. This ensures that the
programme of learning and activities both relevant and interesting.
Effective partnerships with a wide range of agencies.
Case Study - Emily Rose
“I couldn’t wait to leave school but with the support from Route 4 I have been able to get into learning
and to cope with tests. I am proud of my certificates and I am going to get more. I know that it will be
hard work but I also know that I will enjoy it.”
Emily Hollybone is 17. She was born in Wales and for the past twelve years has lived in New
Houghton, near Mansfield. She lives with her mother, stepfather, brother and sister. A former mining
community, the area where Emily lives has high levels of poverty and deprivation. Her stepfather has
recently been made redundant.
Emily left Shirebrook Comprehensive School at the age of 16. She says that her poor GCSE grades
reflect her dislike of tests and disruptions to her school attendance, some of which was the result of
health problems due to asthma:
“I didn’t like tests; it felt like I was sitting there for ages not knowing what to write, but it was mostly
other students that made it [school] bad. I was bullied for being small and very shy. I had some
good friends at school, but I couldn’t wait to leave.”
Growing up Emily was very close to her grandfather who was a farmer in Somerset. Despite the
distance, she visited him regularly and helped on the farm. Although the farm work was hard, she
enjoyed it and her grandfather encouraged her to learn horse riding to become a jockey. Taking her
grandfather’s advice Emily planned to do horse care training, but this did not work out:
“When I went to the local college for an induction day, other people were very posh and talked about
their horses and riding. I felt out of place; I did not have a horse and I couldn’t ride so I left.”
In September 2008, her personal adviser referred Emily to Route 4, a pre-E2E project, where she
joined their twelve week learning and activities programme. She enjoyed the practical activities, such
as kayaking, bike riding and film-making, but most of all she enjoyed her work placement at K9 Cuts,
a local dog grooming service.
After becoming aware of Emily’s love for animals, the staff at Route 4 arranged for her to attend a
Small Animal Care course that was being delivered on the same site as the Route 4 project. this
gave Emily the confidence to enrol on the course. This is a decision that Emily has not
regretted. Despite starting six weeks into the course, Emily has successfully completed her work
placement and all of the associated tests and assessments.
Looking back over the past year, Emily is grateful for the support and encouragement that she has
received from Route 4. As well as being fun the project has given Emily the chance to learn about
different things and to gain new skills. But most of all Emily has grown in confidence and has proven
to herself that she can achieve:
“Staff at Route 4 understand people like me. Before I would not talk to people; I would not make eye
contact. I am still shy but it is much better. I am also better at tests; I can’t say that I like them now
but I can do them. I have many certificates like First Aid, Health and Safety and Getting
Emily is currently attending an Access course in preparation for an NVQ 1 Animal Care course in
September 2009. She has secured a paid work placement at K9 Cuts, where she has volunteered
since the completion of her Route 4 work experience. The progress that she has made and the
people that she has met have helped Emily to cope with family problems and a recent bereavement:
Emily feels much more positive about her future. She is developing a closer and more positive
relationship with her mum and is pleased and proud that she will soon be able to help her financially.
Route 4 - The Activities Programme
Creswell Crags is a limestone gorge honeycombed with caves, including Britain's only known Ice Age
rock art. The gorge is part of the Creswell Heritage Landscape Area and incorporates a Museum and
Education Centre. Since 2005, Creswell Crags has been delivering a pilot project to provide young
people at risk of exclusion from school with an alternative environment in which to learn.
The situation
The museum is one of a number of sites based within the Creswell Crags Heritage Area on the
Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border, a limestone landscape of considerable significance.
The museum had successfully undertaken projects with youth groups in the area, primarily those
within former mining villages, and wished to progress this work to find ways of involving hard to reach
The idea
The project offers an extra dimension to the alternative curriculum and takes the focus out of school
for students at risk of exclusion. Students would develop practical skills such as environmental
management outdoors during the tourist season, but would also experience the museum
environment out of season. Both environments have the advantage of not having a 'classroom' feel.
Developing self-motivation and initiative is an important part of the project, so students are not
pressured to turn up.
Making it happen
Derbyshire County Council's Community Economic Development team linked with Shirebrook
Secondary School to develop pilot project Route 4 for pupils on the verge of exclusion. A student at
risk of being excluded has worked at Creswell Crags for the academic year 2005/06 one day per
week instead of attending school.
The museum's Heritage Learning Officer has managed this pilot project. One of the Creswell Crags
wardens has acted as a mentor to the student, providing direct one to one support. The student
reports back to school every week. Creswell Crags is now preparing funding applications to develop
the work under the working title New Paths, as they have been approached by other organisations to
repeat the project, but currently have insufficient capacity. If this bid is successful, the site hopes to
host 6 students in total and to introduce a wider range of skills (for example ICT and presentation
skills). New Paths could also draw from a wider catchment across the limestone landscape area,
depending on the response locally.
How it was done
The funding for the pilot project, Route 4, was from Derbyshire County Council's Community
Economic Development Team, which has a base in Bolsover. Creswell Crags is approaching various
funding streams for New Paths. The new project would aim to build partnerships with more schools,
Connexions and other organisations such as local history groups.
The result
The outcomes of the project have included:
Helping to expand the education provision available through the museum and make it more
accessible to hard to reach students
An increase in confidence and self esteem for the student involved in the pilot project
Developing interest in and commitment to the heritage sector - for example, the student has
begun to be involved with events on voluntary basis, and has decided to spend his fortnight's
work experience there
Skills development, including environmental management, maintenance, team working,
interpersonal skills and work skills
Increased capacity for Creswell Crags, both through the development of in-house skills and
provision and through benefiting from the input of the student
A learning experience for Creswell Crags - particularly for the Warden involved as a mentor. If
New Paths proceeds then the Warden will be more directly involved in the recruitment of
The reasons for its success
Creswell cites the following factors as contributing to the success of the pilot project:
The site offers a unique environment in which to learn
There is a friendly, relaxed, welcoming atmosphere, which has helped to make the student feel
at home
Site staff are a close knit team with a strong commitment to outreach/community work
The project has offered a tailored programme providing the student with what they need –
close one to one mentoring, backed up by a programme of activities
Flexibility and enthusiasm of staff have been crucial to the project's success. There was a
willingness to be bold and open - and run with it!
For further information about Route 4, please contact Kath Weston, Programme Manager on or telephone 01623 747598.
Sheffield - Beacon for Better Brighter Futures - 3
Sheffield City Council
Authority overview
Sheffield Children and Young People Department leads a partnership including 27 schools, 5 special
schools, a further education college, 30 suppliers, Connexions, the Business Partnership and the
Learning and Skills Council. Over the last year the combined effort of the partnership have led to a
significant increase in 5 A-C`s, improvement in the level 2 target at 19, a big reduction in the number
of children and young people not in education, employment or training (NEETS), which exceeds the
local authority’s target and is well on the way to delivering the national entitlement.
Key challenges are:
• To constantly raise achievement and address skill sector needs in the local and national
• To tackle the harder to reach NEET cohort, building on recent success
• To implement the governments reform programme and particularly the 10 Diplomas that have
successfully gone through the Gateway. To plan for the machinery of government changes,
the raising of the age of learning and commissioning of Connexions and Business
What has been achieved?
The Learning for Life (LfL) programme has proved motivating and relevant for learners and has
grown annually. It is now one of the largest vocational programmes in the country with more than a
fifth of the Key Stage 4 cohort, or 2,600 + learners, now pursuing applied learning pathways for at
least a day per week, with workbased trainers or on employers’ premises. LfL is steadily achieving its
twin objectives of driving up pre and post-16 attainment and participation.
There is clear evidence that, through its contributory Vulnerable Young People’s Strategy, that the
achievement gaps for disadvantaged groups and those who become NEET are narrowing year on
The partnership has a reputation for working closely with businesses and has established Sector
Strategy Groups and local Diploma Entitlement Partnerships that bring employers and the
educational community, including Higher Education Institutes, together to plan for curriculum and
qualification reform. The result has been that Sheffield has well developed Diploma plans that
allowed it to secure Gateway permissions to proceed with more lines of learning than any other local
authority in Yorkshire and Humber. In addition, the partnership runs high quality 14-19 vocational
facilities in partnership with employers, including a retail training facility based at the Meadowhall
retail complex and a Construction Design Centre sponsored by national building firms.
The strength and experience of LfL in extending curriculum choice through partnership working has
been acknowledged by DCSF in commissioning the city to share its best practice in seven learning
visits delivered for over 250 delegates from 60 authorities and providers in making it a 14-19 Funding
and Organisational Pathfinder. In the latter role LfL has used its unique commissioning framework, its
robust quality assurance processes and its innovative model of pooled partnership funding to help
inform DCSF planning for the Diplomas. LfL therefore has four strands of excellent practice for which
Sheffield has gained Beacon status:
Well developed partnership working
Extensive and high quality 14-19 learning pathways and support systems
The Vulnerable People’s Strategy
Its innovative commissioning, quality assurance and funding model.
Build a strong network of schools and providers.
Invest in a 14-19 team.
Target key employers and identify intermediaries.
Run area wide consortia.
Develop a quality assurance model.
Pool 14-19 funding streams.
Commission the best provision.
With Diplomas concentrate on quality not quantity.
Communications with parents, school staff and employers crucial.
Target activity at specific vulnerable groups.
Authority contact details
Nick Duggan
Sheffield City Council
145 Crooksmoor Road
S6 3FP
tel: 0114 2296132
STOKE ON TRENT – NEETs a client-centred approach. - 1
The partners in Stoke-on-Trent have achieved rapid falls in the number of NEETs using an intensive,
pragmatic and client-centred approach.
This began in 2006, when the NEET rate for 16 to 19-year-olds was 16.6 per cent. The LSP’s
partners had recently been through a floor targets action planning exercise on worklessness. They
brought this experience to the process of identifying the individuals who were NEET, and establishing
how far existing services met these individuals’ needs. The partners formed a working group around
the leading Connexions officer, and involved colleges, private sector training providers, schools,
children’s services and the third sector.
The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF) provided £600,000 in 2006 to kick-start the process.
The key to their success is a tracking system which allows the partners to identify individual progress.
There are key trigger points in the calendar when the whole Connexions team focuses on those
individuals who have dropped out of the system, to locate them and try out practical ideas for
reducing NEETs levels.
The team noticed that every January records showed a surge in the numbers of 17-year-old NEETs.
They found that many students started to attend college in September, but fell away after the first
term. When one college developed a new course that started in January 2007, it found that most of
its entrants were from the NEET lists. This sparked an intensive process of listening to and
supporting learners during their first term, making sure they, as customers, were happy and on the
right courses for them, and this has since drastically reduced the drop-out rate, and thus NEETs
The overall numbers of NEETs dropped from 1,600 to 1,100 in one year – 16.6 to 13 per cent against
the LAA three year target of 11 per cent. The speed of success, achieved mostly by in-house staff,
has had a remarkably positive effect on the partnership and partners’ confidence, and the approach
is being adopted as a template for delivering other elements of the LAA.
Surrey - Youth Matter - 12
Preventing NEET by increasing employability skills amongst 10-14 year olds
“This is ongoing project work here for Trident from Edexcel in Surrey where we are committed to making a difference to
the lives of Young People for whom five days a week in School is not the answer. The Young People on Surrey Youth
Matter have shown that they can achieve given the required amount of support and enthusiasm from their Mentors”
Richard Tuxford – Regional Director South East – Trident
The Challenges
To intervene early, reducing the likelihood of young people becoming NEET by increasing their employability
To work intensively with young people not expected to complete Year 10 and 11 at school.
To improve the self-confidence of the young people involved.
Top 3 Project Successes
1. Established strong relationships between schools and employers/businesses.
2. Many young people stayed on in their work experience placements and completed units of OCN accreditation.
3. Reduced numbers entering NEET and details passed to Connexions immediately when young people dropped
Impact on young people
The mentor approach adopted by this project helped to build the confidence of young people on a one-to-one basis. The
majority of young people on the project were not predicted to achieve GCSEs, but with the portfolio they developed, they
can now approach employers and Colleges with confidence. The programme has expanded into more schools and a
neighbouring Local Authority are now considering taking up a similar approach.
Key Actions
Established an employability course for a small group of young people aged 10-14 in three schools.
The Employability course offered one session a week and an Extended Work Experience over one to two years.
Seven schools made use of an Extended Work Experience of between one and two days per week.
All courses were supported by Mentors/Assessors who visited the young people every three weeks.
All Young People were working towards the achievement of OCN units of accreditation.
Teeside – Employment schemes for disadvantaged young people - 3
A4e runs a number of schemes where young people can gain an insight into the skills and qualities
required to be successful at work and apply them practically through visits, meetings with local
employers, placements and jobs. In an effort to offer flexible provision, young people are given the
chance to take part in risk-free trials giving them a feel for the type of opportunities, expectations and
requirements before they commit to something and risk dropping out after they have become a ‘cost’
to a company.
The Routz2Work project operates in one of the most disadvantaged wards in Stockton-on-Tees and,
through neighbourhood-level funding, offers one-to-one support to 14-18 year-olds irrespective of
their employment or education status. This is having a positive impact on the local economy as young
people are being given part and full-time local jobs where previously employers were using
advertising campaigns to fill vacancies. In the 12 months to June 2008, Routz2Work has helped more
than 65 young people into training, work placements or full employment.
Also on Teesside, Fit4Employment and Chemical Reaction broker employment opportunities in the
construction and chemical industries and train young people in the general and specific skills required
to give them a head start in these two important local sectors. Through these programmes, A4e has
engaged with close to two hundred year 10 and 11 pupils in the past year, equipping them with
transferable employability skills coupled with industry specific skills and placing many in employment.
Torbay – Integrated Youth Support Service - 2
Will Bowles
“I didn’t become involved in UKYP to change my life, but that’s what has happened. I feel I’m now a
lot more prepared for the future, I have matured and my confidence has developed.”
Will, 18 years old, lives at home with his parents. He has had significant health problems throughout
his life, and his family has experienced many difficulties. He acted as an informal carer to his
grandmother when he was younger, and now helps care for his mother who is seriously ill.
Will missed a lot of primary school due to medical appointments, which led to him spending the first
two to three years of secondary school in a special educational needs unit. This played a key part in
his development and enabled him to take his GCSEs.
Will went to sixth form to do a BTEC in Health and Social care and an A-Level in Government and
Politics for one year. The next year, he was only going in for a couple of hours a week for an IT
course. Will was unable to decide how to progress and, despite the efforts of his Connexions adviser,
was still left confused.
Will heard about the UK Youth Parliament elections through the young carers’ support group he
attended prior to running in the Youth Parliament Elections. In 2008 Will was elected as Torbay’s
Member of Youth Parliament, and became involved in a range of projects supported by Torbay Youth
Service, from joining the Youth Opportunity Fund panel to being a member of the steering group that
secured funding for a new £5 million youth centre.
Will also stressed the importance of family support to his success, particularly from his Dad who
became a significant support factor in his life since his mum’s health has deteriorated after losing his
sister to cancer 2 years ago.
“I think many young people drop out because they don’t have families who support and push them to
achieve their full potential, sometimes I feel that other young people just think, why bother?”
Joining the vTalentYear project supported by Torbay Youth Service seemed a natural progression.
Will is also working towards a level 2 NVQ certificate in youth work, and hopes to gain employment
as a youth worker when he completes vTalentYear.
About Torbay Integrated Youth Support Service
There is a wide range of provision targeting disengaged young people in Torbay, many of which
involve partnership work with the voluntary sector, other public sector providers such as housing, and
employers. There is a strong focus on involving young people in determining provision, and on
building their confidence in their ability to succeed.
The volunteering and participation activities managed by Torbay Youth Service are seen as an
integral part of Torbay’s not in education, employment or training strategy. Torbay is one of 33 local
authorities delivering the vTalentYear programme funded by national youth volunteering organisation
v. It offers young people aged 16 to 25 full-time placements for 44 weeks in children’s services, and
at least 40 per cent of participants must be not in education, employment or training.
Critical success factors
The IYSS’s multi-agency ‘cluster’ teams give access to young people in contact with a broad
range of professionals.
Going at young people’s speed and offering support and challenge to meet individual needs.
Working with a wide range of agencies to provide a variety of opportunities.
Paul Savill, Participation Youth Worker/ v Programme Superviser. Tel: 01803 206485 Email:
Tower Hamlets - Skillsmatch: helping young people into employment and
training - 2
The issue
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets local strategic partnership (LSP) is keen to help young
people reach their full potential as citizens.
Tower Hamlets is a young borough, even by London standards. The proportion of the population
under 19 living in Tower Hamlets is 28 per cent, compared with 18 per cent for the rest of inner
London. By 2021 the number of 5 to 18 year olds is predicted to increase by more than14,000.
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has one of the highest rates of unemployment for
those aged between 16 and 24.
People aged between 16 and 24 make up over 30 per cent of all job seekers.
The transition from school to work or post-16 education is a particular problem.
Nearly 700 people aged 16 to18 are not in education, employment or training (NEET) - that is
around 10 per cent of the age group.
Although the number of NEETs is falling, the authority continues to focus on the issue as a serious
The growing presence of city firms around Canary Wharf, along with preparations for the Olympics
and Paralympics in 2012, means that there are many opportunities for work in the borough.
However, the specialist nature of many of the associated jobs can be a barrier to local people. Young
people report that, from their perspective, there are limited opportunities for them to gain the skills or
work experience that would make them attractive to employers.
One Tower Hamlets project, Skillsmatch, seeks to bridge this gap, by acting as a broker for firms
looking for skilled personnel. Skillsmatch helps young people apply and prepare for available jobs.
The nineteen member Skillsmatch team is headed by a manager and a principal placement officer,
and consists of:
client contact officers
placement officers
administrative officers
Skillsmatch is part of a wider partnership with Tower Hamlets College, Jobcentre Plus and the local
authority, which together form Employment Solutions.
Established in 2000, Employment Solutions has links with a wide range of commercial companies
and public and private sector organisations including:
Marks and Spencer
City and Docklands employers
Canary Wharf Group
CIS Security
Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital
The Metropolitan Police
What they did
Skillsmatch has a range of programmes to tackle unemployment issues among all age groups.
All programmes include the following core elements:
Advice, guidance and support through one-to-one interviews
Screening and matching job seekers to employer’s requirements
Tailored training to increase the competitiveness of local people in the workplace
A focus on target groups who face specific barriers to employment
Identifying and responding to barriers to employment faced by job seekers
Adapting the Welfare to Work agenda helping tailor national programmes to meet local need.
Three projects ensure that appropriate support meets the range of needs of the borough’s
Earn as you learn
For jobseekers in general (including NEETs)
This programme consists of:
Two weeks spent on a Pitman Bronze Certificate - enhancing business communication and
professional reception skills
An eight week work placement
Graduate placement programme
For graduates there is the graduate placement programme. This involves:
a comprehensive induction and job description provided by employers
a sixteen week paid work placement.
Skills ladder programme
For young people moving from education to employment there is the Skills ladder programme. This
Four weeks spent on a Pitman bronze certificate to improve skills in Microsoft Word, Excel,
email and internet
Soft skills development including confidence building, business writing skills and team work
A six week paid work placement.
The 10-week intensive Skills ladder programme is designed to assist school leavers with the
transition into employment.
The scheme is supported by local employers such as:
Law firm Clifford Chance
Corporate information consultant Williams Lea
Local hotels
Local retailers
Tower Hamlets
The scheme is limited to 20 places for each 10-week cycle. Candidates undergo a selection process:
Completion of an application form
An assessment of literacy, clerical and numeracy skills
Pre-interview preparation, during which a life skills coach provide the candidate with guidance
on how best to prepare
An interview with a member from the Skillsmatch team and a representative from Love and
Tate (the Pitman Training Provider)
While there are not enough places to accommodate all applicants, project workers use the process
as an opportunity to help everyone develop their skills. Project workers provide coaching in interview
techniques and contact unsuccessful candidates with appropriate feedback and advice on how to go
forward with their search for work.
The initiative is funded from a range of sources:
Adviser Discretion Fund (ADF) (under 25 cohort): £25,000 (2006/07), £30,000 (2007/08) and
£80,000 (2008/09)
New Deal Under 25 Programme: £1,200,000 (2006/07), £1,200,000 (2007/08) and £1,200,000
London Development Agency New Opportunities Fund: £500,000 (2006/07), £500,000
(2007/08) and £500,000 (2008/09)
Programme leaders are aiming to secure future funding from:
LSC Work based funds
Action Team for Jobs
Local Authority Mainstream grant
European Equal funding
The impact
The location of Skillsmatch within the development and renewal directorate of the local authority
means the team is able to keep abreast of employment opportunities on the horizon.
Skillsmatch works with developers, contractors and sub-contractors to introduce residents to work
before construction projects get underway.
Skillsmatch uses its intelligence about what businesses and organisations are moving into these new
developments to plan ahead and link them with appropriately qualified residents.
Being part of the Employment Solutions partnership along with Jobcentre Plus and Tower Hamlets
College brings several benefits for Skillsmatch.
These include:
Enhanced capacity to bid for funding
Reduction in duplication of activity
Access to a wide range of training resources
In turn, Skillsmatch is able to offer its partners a focused brokering service, and additional support to
clients in finding work.
Barriers and challenges
The particular challenge for the Skillsmatch team continues to be to persuade businesses operating
in the area to employ local people.
As many of the jobs these companies bring require high levels of skills, the project team has to both
make the case for taking on local people. The team must ensure the candidates it recommends are
equipped to meet the demands of the job.
Skillsmatch works hard to align itself with business priorities in two ways. At a strategic level the team
takes a steer from the LSP’s employment task group.
At the level of engaging with individual employers Skillsmatch models its service on that of a
commercial recruiting agency. Client contact officers spend time getting to know the companies they
work with, the nature and demands of the jobs they offer, and the type of person they are looking to
In addition, Skillsmatch is sensitive to the pressures on organisations to get the right person first time,
and builds flexibility into its service to help ensure this.
This includes:
Matching a company’s requirements against a caseload of local job seekers
Screening all candidates according to the requirements of the post before encouraging them to
Advertising where no suitable candidate is immediately available
Hosting open days on behalf of clients to raise awareness of the work opportunities they offer
Operating placement schemes to allow clients to trial candidates with no risk
One of the priorities of the Tower Hamlets Partnership local public service agreement (LPSA) is to
maximise the opportunities presented by business activity in the borough and increase the
employment of its residents.
NEETs strategies, including Skillsmatch, are aligned with this objective, and will contribute to
achieving the LAA target of bringing down the number of young people aged 16-18 not in education,
employment or training.
Skillsmatch is also designed to ensure that young people stay in employment once they have found a
position, and so avoid becoming part of ‘NEET churn’.
The project measures its success in part according to the length of time those it helps into
employment remain there. In this way it contributes to a further LAA target of reducing the number of
16 to 24 year olds in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance (and not on New Deal) helped into sustained,
paid employment for at least 13 consecutive weeks.
The Tower Hamlets Partnership has set itself the target of reducing the number of NEETs from its
10.3 per cent figure in 2004 to 7.5 per cent in 2008 and then to 7.0 per cent by the end of 2009.
Skillsmatch will also contribute towards achieving other CYPP targets, including:
Increasing the number of young people aged 14 to 19 achieving vocational qualifications at
level two
Reducing unemployment for young people aged 18 to 25 by 800 by the year 2009
During the period April 2006 - March 2007 Skillsmatch helped 560 local residents into employment.
Of these 77 per cent were from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and 61 per
cent were under the age of 25.
This has contributed to the percentage of young people in Tower Hamlets aged 16-18 not in
education, employment or training falling from 12.3 per cent in 2005 to 8.2 per cent in 2007.
The Skillsmatch team are also keen to assess the quality of the employment their clients go into and
the longer-term impact of its programmes.
Its annual report for the year 2006/07 showed that:
89 per cent of candidates were still in post after three months, and 84 per cent after six months
74 per cent of candidates achieved a starting salary of at least £12,000, 39 per cent over
£16,000, and 10 per cent over £20,000.
By regarding its work as one of job brokerage rather than focusing solely on the problems of
unemployed people, Skillsmatch is able to help local businesses fill their skills gap and so generate
commitment to the programme. Skillsmatch finds that in order to secure employer engagement it
needs to consult with local businesses to design programmes that address their needs.
Skillsmatch has a fine balance to strike between helping young people into employment and ensuring
local businesses receive candidates with the right skills and attitude.
Rejection for a post or participation on a scheme can be demotivating and contribute to a young
person remaining out of employment or education.
The team has been very careful to design the selection process to provide useful development, even
for those who do not make it, and prepare them for future applications.
York - Information sharing drives reduction in young people NEET - 1
“Information sharing is a cornerstone of effective multi-agency working. Our database, YorOK, is
helping us develop a truly integrated youth service in York. It’s getting services to talk and work
together that, before, had no contact to speak of” – Steve Flatley, Connexions local manager,
York, December 2007
Ensuring services input into and use the information sharing database - YorOk
Concerns about the security of information sharing and suspicion from families about its
Developing lead professionals and ensuring they are well supported and coordinated
The upcoming merger of youth services and Connexions and the coming together of locality
Key Actions
York chosen as Children’s Trust (CT) pathfinder
CT organises training across the authority on YorOk, the local version of Contact Point (2005)
York becomes targeted youth support (TYS) pathfinder. YorOk is important to TYS multiagency working
York is one of first councils to publish a children and young people’s plan, includes YorOK
YorOK board set up (children and young people’s strategic board) – meets every six weeks
CAF is piloted with a children’s centre and in York West
Connexions and CT set up an integrated-service one-stopshop in central York for young
TYS rolled-out across all three localities in the borough
Three TYS work groups formed to identify lead professionals to coordinate support and
activities for young people
Lead professional piloted with disabled young people
Next steps, the roll-out of CAF and the merger of Connexions and the Youth Service, tackling
young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)
YorOK has helped improve multi-agency working in York which has, among other benefits, helped
inform and drive the development of the one-stop-shop and five children’s centres. The improvement
in integrated working is already having an impact, with NEET figures for young people going down
from 5.4% last year to 3.9% this. Part of the reason for this is a greater willingness for agency staff
to carry out home visits as, due to improved information sharing and collaboration, agencies are more
aware of how they can support each other and help each other hit targets with the aim of improving
outcomes for young people. Connexions and the Youth Service are integrating particularly well into a
coordinated team.
York’s aim is to reduce its NEET figures for young people to zero. A NEET strategy group has
recently been set up to work on this challenge. Other challenges include developing the lead
professional role and rolling-out the CAF across the whole borough. This is vital to ensure the
common language and thresholds necessary for effective information sharing.
West Midlands – Leaps and Bounds - 2
Christina Reaney, Ballet Hoo!, Leaps and Bounds, West Midlands
“Leaps and Bounds have made a difference because they gave me the life skills and self belief and
ability to achieve. I’m not afraid of commitment, time, effort – I know I can do it”.
Christina Reaney is 22 years old. She was brought up in a traveller community and has moved
between many towns during her life time. Her attendance at school was patchy. Christina
acknowledges that her unsettled lifestyle affected her hugely, particularly in terms of educational
Christina never made real friends outside of her community. She was aware of the stigma attached
to being part of the traveller community. By the age of 15, Christina realised that she was missing out
on a lot of opportunities and experiences; at the age of 16 she walked into the local advice and
guidance centre. She had seen the office in town and realised that they helped young people with
education and work. Christina went regularly for two to three months. They helped her to work out
what she wanted to do and were able to provide counselling when her grandma died.
Christina began to attend 3es Multimedia City Technology College in Birmingham. There she did
English, maths, art and citizenship. It was here that she and two of her friends were introduced to the
Leaps and Bounds project. The greatest impact of the project on Christina was having a life-coach
who supported her throughout, no matter what the difficulty might be.
When Christina left the 3es provision she moved on to do a BTEC Diploma in Sport at Bournville
College, but she found it hard to engage with the course and left after six months. By this time,
Christina was 18 years old and was fully committed to the Ballet Hoo! project at Leaps and Bounds.
She was involved in a performance of Romeo and Juliet.
Rehearsals required equal commitment from the young people and the ballet volunteers involved.
The play had over 100 scenes and the work was intensive and demanding. Christina, as Juliet’s
nurse, was in most of the scenes. The young people appreciated the amount of time invested by the
ballet team and gave the same back.
The project ended with a performance attended by family and friends:
“My parents were so proud of me doing the performance. It’s not normal in our family. They are
happy one of theirs made a change”.
The performance was also attended by The Head of Sibford School, a Quaker boarding school in
Banbury, who subsequently offered Christina a scholarship. Upon completion of her scholarship,
Christina applied to join the Royal Navy; she starts in October 2009 as an Information and
Communications Specialist onboard a ship and is proud to say she will be using some of the most
high-tech systems in the world.
About the project
Ballet Hoo! was a unique partnership between the public, private, statutory, commercial and voluntary
sectors. In 2004, Diverse Productions (Television Production Company), Youth at Risk (a charity
offering personal development training), the Birmingham Royal Ballet and four local authorities in
Birmingham and the Black Country and Black
Country Connexions set about transforming the lives of 300 ‘at risk’ young people. The project
combined intensive personal development training with classical ballet targeted at 15 to 19 year olds
with particular needs, including young people not in education, employment or training, young people
involved with Youth Offending Teams, homeless young people or young people in care. Each young
person was assigned a lifecoach and the project culminated in a public performance of the ballet
Romeo & Juliet at the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre. 90 young people undertook BTEC
qualifications in Performing Arts. Michelle Bould (Youth co-ordinator, Sandwell) describes the work of
the co-ordinators:
“We were the hidden ‘glue’ that helped to hold things together. We gave whatever support was
required to enable these young people to access the opportunity. We sat in courtrooms, hospitals,
packed bags, went to clinics, bought food, clothes and toiletries, found housing, in some cases we
even taught them how to wash themselves!”
Critical success factors:
• A high level of strategic ‘buy-in’ from all partners, particularly the four local authorities – Sandwell,
Dudley, Wolverhampton and Birmingham, and also from Black Country Connexions. A partnership
made up of Chief Executives and Directors met regularly.
• Local volunteers, youth workers and teachers recruited 300 ‘at risk’ 15 to 19 year olds and all
received training in intensive coaching from Youth at Risk, which centred around key themes, such
as commitment, choice, responsibility and possibility.
• The intense and precise level of detail undertaken by the co-ordinators in supporting the young
• High levels of financial support to enable the highest quality of work to take place.
For further information about Leaps and Bounds, please contact Michelle Bould on 07891661001 or
Wolverhampton City Council - Beacon for Better Brighter Futures - 1
Authority overview
Wolverhampton is a compact urban authority with a determination to address the many challenges
across the five outcomes of the Children Act through the promotion of effective learning.
There is a determination to transform attainment, inclusion, participation and skills through learning.
We are building an area-wide learning offer and access to it through collaboration and partnership.
The city builds the collaborative culture by incentivising partnership and investing in change
management. Our work is increasingly articulated as a 2015 Learning Strategy to deliver entitlement
and raise participation for all 18 year olds by 2015.
What has been achieved?
The city has established a can-do culture, and a momentum to address the many barriers in the way
of the Reform Programme by investing in partnership development. The 2015 Learning
Strategy is ambitious but practicable. It is a celebration of achievement so far, and a platform on
which to build.
In Learning we have developed capacity to deliver all Diplomas, and our inclusion (Level One and
below) programme in KS4, called REAch. There is extended use of work-based learning, and very
high post 16 participation following significant improvement in attainment of Level 2 at 16.
For Access the city has full timetable alignment, and a suite of structures, systems and processes to
manage the learner in the multi-provider context. In Management the City has evolved strategic,
executive and operational capacity to deliver effective collaboration, with distinctive structures and
Top tips for service delivery
Invest fully in developing the aims and values of partnership, so partners are genuine
Promote the primacy of learning, entitlement, demand, promote pedagogy and experiential
Build partnership from the bottom up, having
identified potential partnership dividends for the stakeholders.
Build an area infrastructure with full timetable alignment as the foundation, giving specialist
providers capacity to deliver across the area, and affording learners access to that specialist
Establish effective leadership and management by empowering them to turn rhetoric into
reality, ensure meetings are empowered, and make decisions.
Ensure collaboration always promotes effectiveness, and never requires unnecessary
Do lots of small things, review them frequently, end failing projects without blame, and build on