News & Events

News & Events

Changes to Universal Credit Assisted Digital Support (ADS) and sharing best practice

The Employment and Skills team have been delivering digital support for Universal Credit claimants over the past four years. The team have ensured that there are immediate access points right across the borough with one to one support for those that need it. We have been an integral part of the LA’s Universal Credit Working Group that has maintained good relationships between partners to discuss and share information in a way that UC issues can be dealt with honesty and transparency.

In April 2019, the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) was awarded a national contract to deliver the entire support offer for UC encompassing Personal Budgeting Support (PBS) and Assisted Digital Support (ADS). Our team have been supporting the transition arrangements into this contract and have adapted our service delivery to complement the national contract. We now add value to the service by providing wrap around employability support for those making a claim. North Tyneside CAB are using the best practice demonstrated by the group to encourage their partner organisations to develop a similar group in their areas, with the Newcastle CAB already keen to take this forward.

Exams Time for Adult Learners

Over 180 local residents who have taken the opportunity to study for English and maths qualifications with the Adult Learning Service are sitting exams this summer. These examinations range from entry 1 qualifications, which assess the basics of reading, writing and numbers, through to GCSE qualifications. Many of these local people are taking exams for the first time, and Adult Learning tutors are providing coaching and support to help them through what can be a daunting experience. Following their exams, most of these learners will either gain employment or move on to further study.

Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers

The Adult Learning Service has recently submitted its application to reapply to the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers ensuring the continuation of our apprenticeship training service. This will now be an annual requirement with decisions issued by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) in June.

Recruit Silverlink celebrates its first year!

The Employment and Skills Team’s partnership project with Crown Estate, Recruit Silverlink, has been operational for over a year now. The project provides a coordinated recruitment and skills offer to the retailers on Silverlink Retail Park and wider retail employers. It has exceeded all of its targets over the first year. We have engaged with over double the anticipated number of residents (target 120; actual 311) and supported 32 into retail jobs (target 30). A number of other positive outcomes were achieved including training, guaranteed interviews and work experience opportunities.

The project has hosted several events over the year including a launch breakfast, its first jobs fair and employer drop in sessions for advice from the team. This year we will be appointing a dedicated Employer Engagement Officer to continue to build upon the successes of the project. The Employer Engagement Officer will eventually have a base on the Park as planning permission has been granted to create a management suite and some smaller retail units. Over the coming months, we will be continuing to fill short and long term vacancies with trained, local candidates who fit well within each of the businesses.

Family Learning Courses

The family learning team have been working closely with 7 of our local primary schools this term. The team have provided short courses/workshops that aim to support and develop the parents/carers confidence in supporting their child’s literacy and numeracy at home. The sessions have provided parents/carers with an understanding of how literacy and numeracy are taught in schools and how they can support at home through fun and engaging activities. Feedback from the parents has been positive and they are keen to continue similar workshops covering other curriculum topics.

Get into Digital Course

The latest “Get into Digital” course being run in partnership with Accenture started on the 26th April and has attracted 19 participants.

This course is always extremely well received and has been very successful in past years. The course offers those attending hands on experience of what it is like to work in the industry to include an excellent insight to the range and scope of careers available within the digital sector. Participants are spending ten days with Accenture staff in their state of the art premises on Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside.

There is an added incentive that Accenture will be looking for candidates for their next apprentice intake, anyone attending who shows an aptitude and commitment to the work may not have to go through the first phase of the selection process; the programme offered at Accenture is internationally accepted as one of the best in their field.

A presentation and celebration for those completing the course will take place on Friday 10th May.

Connexions at Whitley Bay High School

A Connexions adviser attended the Year 12 Higher Education and Apprenticeships evening at WBHS offering impartial information, advice and guidance on options after 6th form.

Students’ queries included ‘What higher apprenticeships are available using my A level subjects?’, ‘How do I decide which university course to choose?’ and ‘Where can I find out about the range of options open to me after year 13?’. The Connexions adviser discussed these and other queries with parents and students, as well as supplying factsheets, and signposting them to resources for further information. She also ensured that students were aware how to book a Connexions careers guidance appointment in school if they need more detailed guidance.

Moving on Tyne and Wear Performance in North Tyneside

North Tyneside Council, VODA and Mental Health Concern are the partners delivering the Moving on Tyne and Wear programme in North Tyneside. The programme supports those with health barriers back to employment.

The overall programme is now at 95% of target for the number of participants on programme, which is an increase of 9% since the last quarter and on target to meet outcomes by September 2019. North Tyneside Council have exceeded all contractual KPI’s with 246 participants against a target of 242 and is the highest performing team across the programme which covers Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.

We are currently working with Mental Health Concern to agree a two year extension of the programme taking it to September 2021.

Enrichment activities for SEND Learners

On 23rd April our Special Educational Needs Vocational Study Programme Learners attended the WWT Wetlands Centre in Sunderland.

This was arranged as part of their conservation project, where they have been constructing bird boxes, learning about wildlife and native birds and how to encourage them into their gardens. The activity was planned to support the learners in the development of their planning skills, how to communicate effectively with peers and members of the public. They also explored how they can contribute to the environment in providing these natural areas for insects, animals and birds to nest.

Feedback from the Park Ranger at the WWT centre was very positive and they also offered the learners to think about volunteering opportunities. This will be discussed with the learners during their reflection session.

Get into Digital Course

The latest “Get into Digital” course is being run in partnership with Accenture starting on the 26th April. This course has been extremely well received and successful in past years. The course will offer those attending hands on experience of what it is like to work in the industry to include an excellent insight to the range and scope of careers available within the digital sector. Participants will spend ten days with Accenture staff in their state of the art premises on Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside.

There is an added incentive that Accenture will be looking for candidates for their next apprentice intake, anyone attending who shows an aptitude and commitment to the work may not have to go through the first phase of the selection process; the programme offered at Accenture is internationally accepted as one of the best in their field.