In a closed event on 14 September, the team behind Skills Launchpad Plymouth, the city’s one-stop-shop for skills, training, education, careers and jobs held a celebration event to officially launch their physical home within Barclays in Plymouth City Centre.
Led by Plymouth City Council, in alignment with Department for Work and Pensions, Skills Launchpad Plymouth supports those who are facing redundancy or changing careers through the Adult Hub aged 25 years+, and offering targeted support for our young people aged 16-24 years including those with additional needs through the Youth Hub. The intention of the ‘Skills Journey’ through the Launchpad is to put the individual at the heart – recognising that not one size fits all. We offer an ethical and inclusive front door, designed to help residents make independent and informed skills and training choices, leading to better access to real employment opportunities.
Reflecting on what has been achieved, just over 12 months after going live with the virtual Skills Launchpad Plymouth service, Emma Hewitt, Skills Lead for Plymouth City Council said: “The physical offer within Barclays, is very much led by the needs of local people and made possible by an amazing city wide partnership, co-investment by DWP and my growing team.
To date, we have been able to offer pre-booked 1:1 appointments with designated Work Coaches from the Job Centre, and advisors from the National Careers Service and CSW Group; but as COVID restrictions have eased, we have also begun offering lunchtime pop-up sectoral Job Shops between 12.00noon and 2.00pm – Building Plymouth to champion construction on Wednesdays, and Health & Social Care Job Shop opening on Thursdays; and there is also a weekly Adult Hub Education Drop-in with On Course South West, each Tuesday aligned with the Adult Hub delivery.
The next focus for Skills Launchpad Plymouth will be on launching our own in-house tailored Skills Journey taster sessions for both young people and adults to respond to growing demand for bespoke help. This will coincide with providing in-house support from mental health and well-being services, and support available for local people experiencing financial issues.”
Anyone looking for support in the city can access the services of Skills Launchpad Plymouth for free, either via the resources on the website at www.skillslaunchpadplym.co.uk; by signing up to become members to access 1:1 support for our Youth and Adult Hub Coordinators; visit the team in Barclays for appointments, events and activities; and very soon in the local communities as new Community Lead Coordinators start getting out in about.
Cllr Dave Downie, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills, and Children & Young People said:
“We recognise that the ongoing economic impact of the global pandemic has created much uncertainty surrounding exam grades, job security, and employment prospects, as well as impacting on our mental health and well-being.
We also identify a significant volume of jobs available in and around the city, with many local employers and sectors struggling to recruit the right skills they need.
That’s why the Skills agenda is so crucial – and through Skills Launchpad Plymouth we are helping people, both claimants and non-claimants, to gain the skills they will need through training, up-skilling, access to impartial careers advice and to become work ready, in order to help them transition into meaningful employment, ensuring no one gets left behind.”
Allison Cooper, Integrated Delivery Operations Manager at the Department for Work and Pensions said: “DWP are delighted to be working in conjunction with Plymouth City Council on this exciting Skills Launchpad Plymouth opportunity. By working together, we are supporting the local community with their transition into tailored educational and vocational opportunities - helping individuals to achieve their full potential. Being located right in the heart of the city centre means that the Launchpad services will be fully accessible to all, and the DWP would like to express their gratitude to Barclays for making this a reality. Having this fantastic space made available to us means that the city’s resources can come together in a truly focused way - with the aspirations of our citizens at the heart of all that we will do.”
David Podd, Barclays Plymouth City Leader, said: “The programme developed within Skills Launchpad Plymouth closely aligns with Barclays Life Skills which aims to develop individual’s employability skills to succeed in the workplace and move forward with their careers. As such, we are delighted to be hosting Plymouth City Council in this exciting initiative, as we continue our focus on helping young people in the city with their finances and money matters.”
Richard Stevens, Chair of the Plymouth Growth Board said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Plymouth City Council for taking the lead in creating such a compelling response to help local people through the impact of the pandemic. By joining everything up to support both young people and our adults, and putting individuals at the heart of delivery is leading innovation and transforming how we do Skills in Plymouth. This also offers a fantastic new service for employers to actively engage in this space, to run targeted job shops, host recruitment and career events which will really help us fill our urgent skills gaps and skills shortages.”