1. Understand the role of the employment related services sector The role of the sector is helping, assisting and advising the unemployed back into work/employment nationally. During this economic downturn we know from labour market Information, which we receive via an email from the Jobcentre, that there very few vacancies for the amount of unemployed in our region, although this happens throughout the country, I work within a more localised area, being the south area of Sunderland where there are high areas of deprivation and high state benefit figures. However we do deal with more citywide projects and government based initiatives examples of these are Jobcentre plus, direct.gov, Job Linkage, Connexions, Gates and Sunderland North Community Business Centre, SES (Sunderland Enterprise service) and local training providers such as the CoSC to name but a few.
2. Understand the Programmes and services delivered in the employment related services sector There are many different employment related programmes available to the unemployed such as Mandatory Work Activity Programmes, this is an early intervention programme via the job centre. Clients are referred towards voluntary work for a period of 4 weeks for a min of 30hrs per week and travel expenses are paid for, this replaces older welfare to work programmes such as New Deals and Employment Zones. Although the Work Programme also offers long term commitment enabling the provider to build relationships with Clients and Contractors alike. Payments are released from the government on start ups, job outcomes after a period of 3 or 6 months and sustainment payments every four weeks when the Client stays in employment for up to a year. I also work in partnership with local Forums whereby representatives are invited to present to local groups and charities in order to get their support to sign up to the MWA as a business who will help the voluntary placements The Work Programme is being delivered by a range of private, public and voluntary sector organisations which are supporting people who are at risk of becoming long-term unemployed to find work.
It replaces previous programmes such as the New Deals, Employment Zones and Flexible New Deal and represents a long-term investment by government and its partners in seeking to help more people into lasting and sustainable work. Service providers are paid almost entirely for their results. Some benefit claimants are required to do the scheme where as some claimants this is a voluntary scheme. The scheme lasts up to 2 years. We (the Job Star Mentoring Project) also connect with statutory bodies such as the job centre whereby clients are referred to us to ascertain numeracy/literacy courses which will help them build confidence and qualifications for future job hunting. On completion of the course we provide the client with an appointment to pass a CSCS (Construction Site Certificate in Safety). The client is then invited back to gain the next level in Numeracy/Literacy to obtain the CSCS card. This not only assists the client with skills for the job market but assists our business hit targets with Learn Direct, our provider of basic skills.
3. Understand the primary frameworks that underpin effective practice in the employment related services sector I work with clients from all walks of life on a one-to-one basis and within a group environment via work/job clubs. We assist in job search, confidence building, CV advice and guidance, contacting local employers specific to the client and also referrals to alternative services. We work with Clients on a one-to-one basis to ensure privacy and discretion. All Clients details and paperwork are kept locked away in a filing cabinet within a lockable office. This ensures data protection guidelines are adhered to. We can also offer advice to the client regarding employment rights but would prefer for them to gain information from partners such as ACAS and Citizens advice. I have to process contractual paperwork in a timely manner to make sure payment is received via the funder (CRT) to the business. I also have to provide my manager with statistics such as number of clients seen in a month, job outcomes and referrals.
4. Understand labour market information for delivery of employment related services We also give constructive guidance to clients whereby their skills are not ideal for the vacancies that are available, we have to try and guide the client to alternative employment which maybe suited. Not all vacancies are suited to all people so some effective decision making and support with the client comes into practice. We deal with those that are unemployed and who are employed looking for alternative work or a change in career therefore having to support the client gain new skills via learning or voluntary work. We notice that in our specific targeted area trades such as construction, the care arena and production line operatives are quite prevalent (employers such as Nissan and local care homes) and from LMI this helps give me an insight into each individual industry and I can give clear advise to each client which may help them more directly back into the labour market. Contractually we have targets to hit for those living in certain areas of Sunderland as this has been highlighted as high unemployment so I understand although we help citywide I have to be aware that getting those back into work from the designated areas is helping with city statistics.
5. Understand how to improve service delivery by using the labour market information Within my role the business has been awarded to support clients give up smoking, it has been highlighted through national statistics via the NHS and the tobacco alliance and FRESH that those who have a high prevalence in smoking also has a percentage of those unemployed and it has been proven that those that cease smoking have different priorities, they have more available money for job search, clothes and travel. By using the LMI we can identify areas of training or re-education. From our point of view we try to appeal to those candidates in our area by running courses to gain their CSCS card, however on reflection we could re-educate a client in different sectors e.g. train in health & social care or Food Hygiene which can give the candidate the ability to open more doors to different opportunities in alternative employment.