Teacake Club Online meeting Fri 15 Jan – quick recap

Written by Phil Johnson, Opportunity Sheffield

Many thanks to the 39 members who joined the first Teacake Club meeting of the year this morning. We had a packed agenda with a variety of interesting presentations and Q&As – here’s a quick recap of what happened, in case you weren’t able to attend.

Kevin Owers – Opportunity Sheffield

Kevin introduced the meeting, welcomed everyone, and gave a brief overview of the Teacake for anyone new to it.

Joanne Balbirer – SYHA / Working Win

Working Win is supporting people who are employed or self employed with barriers within the workplace such as sickness, returning to work or any other issue employees maybe having. There are 100 places left on the programme and deadline for referrals is 31st Jan 2021, with support running till the end of March 2021. The programme can supply wraparound support from Citizens Advice, and Westfield Health for counselling services. All coaching support is 1-2-1 and ca\n help clients from anywhere in the Sheffield City Region. 

Marina Larios – Inova Consultancy

Inova provide high quality coaching and training, and are particularly passionate about breaking barriers due to diversity. Courses are ESF funded and due to Inova’s international presence, can link with offices across the globe to share best practice. When events are coming up Marina will share via the Teacake Club, and hopefully clients can be both referred into Inova, and also their clients can be referred on to the wider network.  

Ricardo Stewart – Babington

Babington provides courses for both the employed and unemployed. Making sure clients get on the right course for their individual needs and circumstances is a high priority, making sure the courses fit around clients lifestyle and commitments. Courses are both vocational and e-learning and all courses are free. Once lockdown is over their centres will re-open, but in the meantime all are taking place remotely, so clients will need access to a computer.

Joanne from DWP interjected that DWP can provide devices for unemployed clients if they require them to undertake training, but clients will need to ask their adviser. 

Jo Bushby – Total Training Provision

Total Training Provision currently has over 40 short courses available, delivered online, and have flexibility to fit around clients needs. Clients can be employed or unemployed. Courses take 8 weeks and are Level 2 certified.

They also run Apprenticeships, and Traineeships in vehicle restoration and creative digital design.

Their Forging Ahead course offers support to young offenders and those at risk of offending.

Quick Fire Round

Clare Higgins from Princes Trust informed the meeting about their Development Awards – a cash payment to young people of around £150 to overcome barriers to employment, education or training.

Pippa Atkinson from Endeavour spoke about their Covid response project which aims to support young people at risk of isolation during the pandemic.

Mark Powell from Yes2Ventures told people about ‘The Social’ , a new project that will be opening on Snig Hill in February. It will be a multi-person project including a deli, art gallery, place to sell items produced by clients, a micro-brewery and bar.   

Charlotte Moody – Big Ambitions

Charlotte gave an overview of Big Ambitions’ various courses to help clients gain and then retain employment. Courses are open to all unemployed or economically inactive clients based in Sheffield, and include generic employability courses and those designed specifically for clients with mental health and learning difficulty needs. Wrap around support is provided is provided via Citizens advice, and Westfield who provide a 24 hour help and advice line.

Big Ambitions employs a dedicated employer champion to work with disability confident employers to help source vacancies, and in work support is provided where necessary.

Gareth Urwin – Opportunity Sheffield

Gareth spoke about the new ESF funded projects that will be starting shortly.

The successful Building Block programme will be continuing and similar courses for the engineering, manufacturing, care, digital, logistics and fibre installation sectors.

The format will be a short intensive course to give clients the skills training and qualifications they need, followed by a placement with an employer, who will hopefully offer the client a job, or if not the project will look to source other employment.

These courses will be for work ready clients who have the right attitude and are keen to enter the sector.   

Jordan Martin – Nacro

Nacro provides alternative college provision, providing entry, level 1, and level 2 courses in catering, physical fitness, animal care, and motor vehicle. Courses include employability and are currently mainly remote, but with limited in person interaction.   

Sophie Short – The Source

Based opposite Meadowhall The Source is still open providing remote courses through workbooks and recorded teaching sessions. The Steps to Work for 16+ unemployed clients has 30 accredited qualifications, and wrap around employability support. AEB funded maths and English is available for those19+. Apprenticeships and traineeships are also available.

Online mock interviews have proved very useful and if anyone wants to get involved with this get in touch.  

Maria Smallwood – Zest

Zest is starting a ‘Zest for Life’ course which is part of the pathways behavioural change programme. All courses are on line (clients can apply for a grant for devises if needed), last 5 weeks and include confidence, motivation and healthy living modules. End session ends with a 1 hour fitness class suitable for any level. At the end of the course clients will be helped move onto some sort of progression pathway. Clients must be unemployed or economically inactive, but can come from anywhere in South Yorkshire.