Employment, education and training ( ETE) are key strands.
Our work includes projects such as running a Job Club
plus Building Better Opportunities Worcestershire.
Employment, education and training ( ETE) are key strands that run through all of our work. YSS has Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) qualified staff, teachers, vocational trainers and has many links with local employers.
Building Better Opportunities BBO (Worcestershire)
Building Better Opportunities (BBO) has a specific focus on those out of work and people who are most at risk of social and economic exclusion. This includes those who are either economically active or inactive e.g. receiving JSA (Job Seekers allowance), ESA (Employment and support allowance), IB (Income based JSA) . This includes, but is not limited to:
- male and female
- people with no formal qualifications or work experience
- people with disabilities
- people with learning disabilities or difficulties
- people who are 50 or older
- people with mental health issues
- people from black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities (particularly those from the Gypsy Roma and travelling communities)
Participants on the project will work with a dedicated job coach on a one to one basis, with the aim of progressing to become economically active, or working towards a qualification or moving into sustainable employment. Support available will include CV creation, Education and Employment Advice, Job search, interview preparation and benefits support. YSS, as a part of Worcestershire Fusion consortium for this project, has one job coach employed in YSS Worcester.
YSS facilitates a weekly job club from our Carden Street Training and Enterprise Centre. This is for any service user who has been referred into one of our Criminal Justice projects. The aim of the Job Club is to increase the service users employability skills, identify job opportunities, and where appropriate motivate and support them into work. YSS work in partnership with other agencies, such as Pertemps and CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau). Workshops on a monthly basis are offered on Disclosure, Interview Techniques and Job Searching and Finance Management.
Employment Support Programme as part of the Carden Street Experience
This is YSS’s latest project for offenders and ex-offenders. Amongst it’s goals are to break down barriers to employability with the ultimate aim of finding sustainable employment, and instilling hope in those we work with that their situation can change for the better. The Employment Support Programme will offer a ‘pick-and-mix’ menu of support tailored to meet the needs of the individual with the long term aim of breaking down the barriers to employment.
The Government’s 2001 Social Exclusion report found that the single most important factor in reducing reoffending was sustainable employment. YSS has pioneered new ways of supporting offenders/ex offenders breaking down barriers to employment, Based on our knowledge and experience of what works, Employment Support Programme,( as part of the “The Carden Street Experience”) will offer a unique opportunity under one roof where YSS will use their extensive network of partners to deliver joined up services to participants.
Carden Street is in Worcester City centre and therefore easily accessible. It is a customer friendly environment where clients feel comfortable and unthreatened. This is a holistic approach offering both practical and emotional support for those referred with a “pick and mix” menu all under one roof in a relaxed and informal setting.
- Work taster sessions will be delivered focusing on carpentry. These tasters will provide valuable experience of a fully functioning work place.
- The pic and mix element of the programme will include job club sessions covering disclosure, CV building, interview techniques as well as a range of interpersonal skills such healthy eating, debt & finance management & building confidence & motivation.
- Clients will also have access to mental health assessments and Moodmasters groups. Sessions are delivered by trained & experienced YSS staff, whilst being supported by external agencies.
- All sessions are run at our purpose built training & enterprise centre in Carden Street, Worcester. Sessions run on Wednesdays and Thursdays 10.00am til 3.00pm for six weeks.
- Wednesdays will focus on work taster sessions and Thursday sessions will involve classroom based activities.
- The Employment Support Programme is designed for ex-offenders who are currently living in the Worcestershire area and are motivated to find employment.
- On completion of the six week programme further support can be offered by YSS mentors, who will conduct 1:1 community based interventions. Whilst working to a support plan tailor made to meet the individuals needs.
The Employment Support Programme was first funded by The Department of Work & Pensions and now is funded by a West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner grant. All participants must be claiming either job seekers allowance, employment support allowance, incapacity benefit, income support or universal credit and the local Job Centre will confirm if they are eligible to participate. These checks will be made once we have the clients details. Clients MUST NOT currently be on a work programme.
YSS Carden Street Training and Enterprise Centre
Carden Street is a unique YSS Training and Enterprise Centre, located in the heart of Worcester city providing a range of services for YSS staff , volunteers, service users and partner agencies. The centre is in close walking distance of both of the Worcester train stations, bus station and city centre based services. Much of our direct local education, vocational training and employment development work for service users takes place here including 1-2-1 work and group work.
Carden Street is also used for volunteer training, volunteer support meetings, client counselling, staff meetings, service user days and partnership meetings.
The centre is 10,000 sq feet and has fully functional and equipped designated training areas including:
Purpose built construction hall able to deliver carpentry/ painting and decorating, and furniture recycling with a paint shop.
Within the site there is a Training room, Counselling room and Office accommodation. YSS Head Office is located here .
Work Programme for short sentence prisoners on their release into Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
The Employment and Skills Group, (ESG), a prime provider on the Work Programme, were awarded an additional payment by results contract in 2012 to work with short sentence prisoners. YSS were selected by ESG to deliver this work in Worcestershire and Herefordshire. YSS receives referrals directly from ESG (approximately 125 per year) and arranges to meet clients in the community after release for an initial assessment and action plan. We then meet each client at least fortnightly looking to support them into sustainable employment through a mix of face to face 1-2-1 support in the community (there is also significant additional telephone/text contact to provide motivational support) and advice and regular training programmes. The support continues for up to two years after a client has secured a job. Employment outcomes are closely monitored, as for all work programme delivery, but the Ministry of Justice will also be closely monitoring reducing re-offending outcomes for those accessing the service. They have committed to a payment by results model, if the cohort achieve an agreed reduction in re-offending in a 12 month binary period, using a control group as a benchmark.