Tag Archives: work readiness

Full STEAMM Ahead

Grand Challenges - University of Exeter - June 2016
Grand Challenges – Tackling 21st Century Interdisciplinary Dilemmas Together at the University of Exeter – June 2016

Recently we have been discussing the complex and volatile world in which we live and work, and the increasing need for more interdisciplinary teams.

Locally, Innovation Exeter is focused on cultivating a City-region which is a world-leader in environmental data analytics.  This is an interdisciplinary area and results will be achieved by exploiting the presence of the Met Office, the University of Exeter, the Science Park, the Maths School and other critical assets. STEM∗ STEMM° STEAMM℘ are top topics. Naomi Climer, the president of the Institute of Engineers, values the mix of creative and technical skills in individuals. However, the skills and personal qualities which underpin and enable interdisciplinary working in these highly technical areas are vital across all sectors and at all levels. If we are to tackle the productivity challenge and be more fulfilled individuals we need to unleash confidence, communicate effectively, collaborate meaningfully and re-discover curiosity.

Our meeting of Employers, Training Providers, Facilitators and Funders on Friday 25 November explored the theme Full STEAMM Ahead! Interdisciplinary STEAMM teams with strong collaborative abilities are the way ahead. We enjoyed presentations from and discussions with:

Kerry Burnham Exeter Maths School Creative and interdisciplinary project work with the University, Exeter College and employers – the benefits of being stuck!
Louise Cole & Kevin Feaviour Imagine If – Assets for Success Soft skills in schools, colleges, universities communities and the modern workplace

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Rosie Bates Education Business Partnership STEAMM & the EBP – STEM Ambassadors, Big Bang etc

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Anka Djordjevic Grand Challenges – University of Exeter Grand Challenges interdisciplinary enquiry –led learning with leading academics and external specialists

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Jo McCreedie Careers & Employability – University of Exeter Internships & employability experiences

(Presentation to be added when technical glitches solved!)

Our main discussion points identified our need to:

  • Transcend silo mentality and cross boundaries
  • Ensure students experience breadth and develop interdisciplinary skills as study subject areas become more specific
  • Think beyond the immediate demand for STEM and not to fixate on ‘the now’
  • Focus on ‘Character, values and virtues’

We will need an interdisciplinary, creative, collaborative, innovative group to make this happen.

This was an interesting and informative start to what should be a Grand Challenge for Exeter and beyond.

Thanks to the Met Office who generously hosted this meeting.


∗STEM – Science Technology Engineering Maths
° STEMM – Science Technology Engineering Maths Medicine
℘ STEAMM – Science Technology Engineering Arts Maths Medicine

BEEP is best

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Eight young positive people greeted guest employers and their trained volunteer mentors at the first BEEP celebration event on Friday 21 October. Without doubt employers, mentors and the Motiv8-SW team were ‘blown away’ by the young people who have so far struggled to make positive steps towards work. Their presentations to the audience and their confidence in answering some challenging questions was impressive. These young people have gained more than the Health & Safety and First Aid Certificates they have grown in confidence, become a team, thought about their own skills and aspirations, and planned a positive future. Chelsea said “BEEP is the best programme – I felt that the team genuinely cared for me and my future … Rob (the trainer) is the best”.

These eight young people will have their trained volunteer mentors to support them from now on as they transition towards employment.

Be part of BEEP. Beep is a charity without your support more young people like these, (who are potential mechanics, barbers, hairdressers, farm workers and graphic artists), will be left behind.

 

 

World-class Work Experience

Cosmic Graduation Friday 22 July 2016
L to R: Kate (Cosmic), Clare (Industrial Cadets), Bethany (Honiton Community College) and Josh Elliot-Smith (Uffculme School)

 

World-class Work Experience Graduations!

Cosmic are the first of our employers to host young people on ‘World-class Work Experience’ accredited placements through Industrial Cadets as part of our pilot study. Both Bethany and Josh were awarded their Silver Level certificates which detail the programme they undertook, assure the quality of the experience against national standards and add to their sense of achievement. Cosmic believe in investing in young people and developing talent. They already run very successful and sought after work experience placements but these are the first as part of this pilot study. Thank you!

Josh Elliot-Smith from Uffculme School said:

Doing work experience at Cosmic has been a really interesting yet a challenging week for me. I’ve found throughout that I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone, and have come out the other side with new ideas and skills that I never would’ve thought I would get out of this week , and I’m sure will benefit me in the future. I would definitely recommend doing your work experience at Cosmic if you’re interested in any area of IT2.

 Bethany Jacobs from Honiton Community College said:

My work experience at Cosmic has been so enjoyable. I have achieved so many new and different skills meanwhile improving in my weaker areas. Everyone has been so nice, welcoming and helpful throughout this week. I really enjoyed this week and this has given me an insight to my future. I recommend Cosmic to students wanting to develop their skills in business and IT for their work experience.

The experience of quality Work Experience is invaluable. We know that the more real-life experiences of the world-of-work young people have the less likely they are to have difficulty entering the work-place. Work Experience brings benefits to the young people, the host employers and us all in the longer -term. This pilot will consider the value of the Industrial Cadets nationally recognised accreditation to the young people and the employers.

Tapping into ‘Untapped Talent’

160624-project-search Torbay graduates June 2016
Photo: Torbay & South Devon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Website – Project SEARCH graduate interns June 2016

Inspiration – Business Benefits and Positive Teams!

Ros Banfield, Equality & Employability Support Officer from  Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (top left in photograph) inspired all the participants of our ‘Tap into Top Talent’ Employer Breakfast on 5th July at the lovely Hannahs, Seale Hayne. Eight young people with learning disabilities from the local area have just graduated from the ground-breaking Project SEARCH internship scheme based at Torbay Hospital. Project SEARCH aims to remove the significant barriers faced by people with learning disabilities looking for employment and has had success all over the world. The business benefits a real desire to work, enjoyment of routine tasks, low absenteeism and especially for those living with autism close attention to detail and good levels of concentration. The positive impact of Project SEARCH has spread to the teams in which the interns work where mentoring, coaching and team identity improve and people ‘just seem sunnier’. This is the fourth year it has been delivered in Torbay by South Devon College, local social enterprise Pluss and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.

Practical Support and funding for individuals and businesses

Carolyn Horton and Jason Creed from the Department of Work and Pensions encouraged participants to consider the ‘Access to Work’ grant (up to £40,800 per year) to help with practical support to enable those with a disability to start or stay in work. The amount of the grant depends on need and eligibility but it can be used for taxi fares to work, adaptation or purchase of equipment, disability awareness training for colleagues or a workplace coach.

Marise Mackie from Pluss spoke enthusiastically about ‘Work Choice’ which is a government national programme delivered in this area by Pluss an organisation where people of all abilities are inspired and helped to achieve a career. Work Choice is for young people with disabilities between the ages of 18-24 and it can provide between £1137.50 and £2,275 per person to employers depending upon eligibility.

Thinking about Equality & Employment Law

Bethan Jones, from Michelmores provides HR support and advice on the full range of employment law issues, including unfair dismissal, redundancy, disciplinary and grievance procedures and HR policies and contracts. She was kind enough to talk about the key points to think about when employing individuals with Learning  Disabilities and Difficulties and she helped to alleviate some of the concerns participants may have had.

A place where disability is incidental

Debbie Slurman from Hannahs joined us to give us a potted history of Dame Hannah Rogers Charity which was founded in 1767 in Plymouth. Evolving through time the aim has been simple: to help enrich and empower the lives of children and adults in need. Debbie was inspirational. Although she confessed to not being practiced at the art of public speaking she had all participants wanting to know more and soak up her energy.

It makes so much sense …

The Employment and Skills Board believes in a ‘local world-class workforce where every individual matters’.  Apart from being the right thing to do, enabling people with Learning Disabilities and Difficulties or those living with Autism to work makes so much sense when we have almost full employment and individuals who really want to work and contribute.  Marise, Carolyn and Jason endorsed everything Ros said about the benefits to the workplace, the positive responses from the wider community and jobs well done.

We are grateful to Devon County Council for funding this event and we look forward to more ‘Untapped Talent’ events and positive outcomes in other locations!


Apprenticeships for people with learning disabilities

A taskforce on access to apprenticeships for people with learning disabilities, led by Paul Maynard MP has just published their recommendations all of which have been accepted.You can find the short report and response, ‘Apprenticeships: improving access for people with learning disabilities’ here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeships-improving-access-for-people-with-learning-disabilities

 

 

 

Untapped Talent: the employer benefits

Untapped Talent Logo

Untapped Talent: The Employer Benefits

Does your business require a high work ethic, low absenteeism and excellent attention to detail?

Despite many being keen to find work, more than 85% of people with learning disabilities (LD) or autism are unemployed. Many do not consider themselves disabled, some have mild disability issues, and the majority have untapped talents or skills that are desirable for employers.

Businesses that employ someone with LD can benefit from skills that include:

  • Reliability, conscientiousness and persistence
  • High levels of concentration
  • Accuracy, close attention to detail
  • Detailed factual knowledge and an excellent memory
  • Meticulous application of routine tasks

Traditional recruitment methods can often exclude those with learning disabilities, because individuals find it harder to communicate and understand. The Untapped Talent initiative is designed to help employers access this skilled and reliable workforce. This event will offer business tips on inclusive recruitment and answer concerns regarding employment law.

Fact: 7% of people with learning disabilities have a job. 65% want one.*

Untapped Talent: The Employer Benefits Business Breakfast 

Join us at this business breakfast for HR experts and business owners.

  • Tuesday 5 July 2016
  • Hannahs, Seale-Hayne, Newton Abbot, TQ12 6NQ07.30 – 10.30am
  • Free full sit down breakfast
  • This event is kindly being hosted by the Exeter & Heart of Devon Employment & Skills Board

PLEASE join us. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/untapped-talent-the-employer-benefits-tickets-25344309512

Untapped Talent: The Employer Benefits Booklet

Please click this link to find out more about:

  • The Business Benefits
  • Why employing someone with LD or Autism is good for business
  • ‘Work Choice’ and ‘Access to Work’ grants and funding
  • What is a Learning Disability?
  • Emplyment support available to business
  • Free support for employers
  • 3 steps to hiring someone with a disability
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Different ways to get involved – Apprenticeships, Supported Internships etc
  • Other support and helpful links
  • Glossary of terms

*For data sources view: http://www.autism.org.uk/about-autism/myths-facts-and-statistics/some-facts-and-statistics.aspx

 

http://www.learningdisabilities.org.uk/help-information/Learning-Disability-Statistics-/187693/?view=Standard

BEEP benefits from RWC2015 Legacy

Guildhall RWC2015 donation
Cllr Rosie Denham awards cheque to BEEP Trustees

BEEP received a very welcome boost thanks to the sale of Rugby World Cup 2015 banners and bunting used to promote the tournament in Exeter. Pin badges, lanyards, mini balls and other accessories donated by Rugby England 2015 were also sold to raise money. Three England squad players from Exeter Chiefs, Jack Nowell, Geoff Parling and Henry Slade supported the sale by signing two limited edition rugby balls. Councillor Rosie Denham, Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture, presenting the cheque said: “The legacy of Rugby World Cup 2015 is strong in Exeter, and the sale of memorabilia will support the tremendous work of the BEEP programme, part of which is led by enthusiastic volunteers in the business sector to mentor and support young people and give them the confidence to adapt to the sometimes daunting world of work. The project began as part of the Rugby World Cup 2015 Legacy programme and has seen so much success for the young people that it has been adopted by the wider business community. This donation will go towards the next 10-day course once funds have been raised from other sources.” The Exeter & Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board aims to help create a ‘local world-class workforce where every individual matters’  and encourages employers to help BEEP make a positive difference to the lives of young people so that they can become part of a skilled and committed workforce.

Ben Bradshaw backs BEEP

BEEP & Ben Bradshaw
Ben Bradshaw MP finds out about BEEP. (L to R Sandra, Matt, Llewellyn, Ben and Aaron) Photo: Matt Austin

Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter, met with young people and their mentors and employers at an event hosted by Everys Solicitors in Exeter to learn more about the Business Powering Employment Programme (BEEP). He said “It was great to meet Aaron and Matt and find out how BEEP is helping them. It’s really fantastic that they have moved into work and training and are doing so well, as they continue to receive support from their mentors”.

Mentee Matt Baker, 20, from Exeter, said: “The mentoring has been brilliant for me. I meet with Llewellyn quite regularly and it’s pushing me forwards. I’m at Exeter College, and know what I want to do next, to get the qualifications I need to help students with learning difficulties. I’ve got short term and longer term goals and that’s thanks to BEEP. It would be great if the programme keeps growing so more people can benefit.”

Llewellyn Nicholls, Head of Business Development and Marketing at Everys Solicitors and Matt’s mentor, said: “It’s been hugely rewarding being a mentor to Matt.  He has developed hugely over the past few months. His initial goals have now been realised and he’s firmly on the career ladder. His determination has really shone through.”

The programme (initially called REEP) used Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy funds and generous support from Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board partners but is now being expanded to support more young people across Devon. Support from businesses across Devon is needed if the programme is to reach its potential. Companies can support BEEP through a range of partnership opportunities, including sponsorship and mentor training, which supports the personal development of employees through becoming a mentor.

Ben Bradshaw said “It’s important now that companies get involved and support, because these are our future employees and have so much to offer if we can work with them and help them develop the skills and confidence to move forwards in their lives.”

Sandra Sampson, Director of Motiv-8sw, who has been helping to run the programme said “It’s transforming. Often the young people have been out of work or education for some time, have lost their confidence and are at a low ebb. The programme is already delivering fantastic results, genuinely helping to turn people’s lives around, but we really need to scale it up so we can help more.”

BEEP helps young people learn through performance coaching techniques and then on-going support from a mentor. Over 95 per cent of those who have been on the programme have gone on to secure work and training opportunities. As well as making a huge difference to the life of a young person, the programme provides benefits for mentors. BEEP delivers training to all mentors, equipping them with transferable skills which can be used in the workplace.

Organisations interested in getting involved and supporting the programme, should contact Sandra Sampson at Motiv-8sw on 01392 873939 and sandra@motiv-8sw.co.uk or visit BEEP.