Review of the Teacake Club meeting – Fri 18 June

Virtual via Microsoft Teams

Kevin Owers, Opportunity Sheffield -Welcome & Introduction

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

Cllr Paul Turpin & Cllr Angela Argenzio SCC/ Green Party – Executive Member & Executive Adviser for Inclusive Economy, Jobs & Skills, Sheffiseld City Council

Cllrs Turpin and Argenzio introduced themselves and talked a bit about what they feel are the challenges and opportunities ahead. They are very keen to listen and learn from all involved in jobs and skills in Sheffield.

There is a need to work collaboratively with all partners in Sheffield – the council, employers and the voluntary and community sector.

Due to covid a lot of city centre business now lie empty – these building can be used to provide premises for multiple small businesses in an arcade style. They are very keen to see that the Covid Recovery Grants are fully utilised to boost the local economy. 

There is a challenge to train clients in skills that will be viable in years to come, not just to fit short term roles.

Sheffield is a City of Sanctuary, and we need to understand how we can best utilise the often high levels of skills and experience refugees pocess that maybe are under utilised due to poor English. 

Laura Brown, South Yorkshire Police – Local recruitment and increasing diversity

Laura spoke about SY Police’s need to recruit more police officers and staff, and how it is particularly keen to recruit members of the ethnic minority community who are currently under represented.

From 19 July the force will be recruiting for the Police Officer Degree Apprenticeship, which is a 3-year programme, and on completion will receive a Degree in Professional Policing Practice.

Applicants will need to have 97 UCAS pts, although those with 40-96 maybe able to proceed onto the course via an educational review with the University. 

A couple of initiatives on the horizon, which haven’t actually started yet are the Degree Holders Entry Programme – a 2 year course for those who already have a degree, and the Pre-join Degree – a 3 year degree course.

SY police are running recruitment events, workshops and digital platforms to help and support those who maybe interested in joining these programmes.

Francesca Veal, Learning Curve Group – Pre Uniforned Service Offer

In SY Learning Curve specialises in academies to work with clients on the Pre-Uniformed Service Offer.

This is a route for clients who are thinking about joining the Police, Armed Services, or Fire Service. The academy in Sheffield is based in the Army Reserve Centre at Manor Top.

Tutors are former members of the military and are able to pass on valuable experience. Courses are fully funded and the latest intake will take place from August with 30 places available. There is an Open day on 30 June open to all (clients, parents, providers).

If clients do not already pocess level 1 & 2 English and Maths, then clients will be supported to achieve these.

A lot of the training revolves around getting clients up to the fitness levels required by the uniformed services, to this end a lot of focus is on physical training and trips into the Peak District to undertake outdoor activities.   

Ithfaq Hussain, Maximus – Restart and Community Partnership Network

Maximum has recently been awarded the contract to deliver Restart on behalf of DWP in South Yorkshire.

In delivering this project the provider aims to focus on developing a wider wraparound system to focus on key barriers. Maximus’ Community Partnership Network was piloted in Wales in support of overall performance – it is a network of organisations including housing associations, VCS providers to help with local communities.

Ring fenced funding is available for CPN partnerships, to help build a strong network for their participants to support on all fronts. CPN advisory board will oversee the correct spending of ring fenced funds.

Maximus is also looking to do outreach work within those communities, multi layered relationship. Around 90 organisations have joined around the Sheffield area for a network to help with delivery.

There is a CPN brochure which is in the current newsletter.

Melissa Simmonds, VAS – Autism Project Co-ordinator

The Autism community is keen to improve access to employment, through support to the individuals, and developing more Autism friendly policies and processes among employers.

Melissa is working to develop the Sheffield Autism Partnership Network, which is seeking to develop links with Statutory, Voluntary Community private sector organisations and individuals with Autism.

She is currently developing a survey for individuals and organisations, which will hopefully grow and drive the network forward.

Ian Brown, Sky – Local recruitment

Sky is aiming to reach out to a bigger network in Sheffield and broaden its recruitment activity. Locally the firm is seeking to employ another 100-150 people, predominantly in customer service roles and will be launching a recruitment drive to this extent by the end of the year. Sky will be seeking to engage with local community providers to access talent and operating virtual recruitment processes.

Scott Parkin, IEP

Scott talked through the benefits of joining the Institute of Employability Proffessionals.

The IEP seeking to support and empower anyone involved in the Employment Support Industry.

Benefits of becoming a member includes: getting weekly updates on latest information, Webenairs and eBulletins, the ‘Knowledge Bank’ that contains thousands of articles, access to a mentor, the Journal which provides articles from UK and around the World. Through the IEP a certificate in Employability Practice can be obtained which the IEP hope will become the industry standard. This contains qualification from Levels 2-7 and would be appropriate for any level of experience.

Vill Powell, Opportunity Sheffield (Sector Routeways)

Vill Powell introduced Opportunity Sheffield’s new Sector Routeways programme, which involves bootcamp-style training for entry-level roles in sectors where there high levels of demand for staff. These include construction, care, digital and engineering/manufacturing. More information to follow next week.