The Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is working with its partners, local authorities and education providers in the Humber region to provide opportunities to residents of all ages.
With more people in employment and our levels of unemployment reducing rapidly, it is imperative that we ensure that we maximise the potential of all our residents.
In this article we provide examples of initiatives that help people return to work and focus on apprenticeship and Returneeship programmes that help employees to upgrade their skills.
Words by Kishor Tailor, Chief Executive Officer of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) :
The latest labour market figures for the Humber show that we have more people in employment and our unemployment levels are dropping. The available labour pool is getting smaller and at the Humber LEP we realise the importance of supporting our residents who are not in employment, the chance to develop their skills at all stages of their lives.
We are committed to addressing the skills issues in our region, we have continued to work in collaboration with education and training providers throughout the Humber, to align skills training and support to the needs of our industry.
As we work to develop our Local Industrial Strategy, it is clear that delivering an appropriately skilled and productive workforce is imperative for us to improve the competitiveness and improving the productivity of our region.
This will be achieved by utilising our diverse assets of people, which is why a broad range of initiatives including the Returneeships Programme delivered by Release Potential have been developed.
A Returneeship is a programme designed to support more mature unemployed individuals, who are a distance from the job market, in taking positive steps towards employment.
We at the Humber LEP have seen first-hand the benefits of the Returneeships Programme, in providing those who have been out of work redevelop the skills needed to once again enter the labour market. One of the skills developed is confidence building
Members of the Release Potential visited LEP, to film and produce a short filme which mirrored features on national TV morning programmes.
With no media experience and only a short course of training, the programme participants were able to successful interview members of the LEP team, including our Chair, Lord Haskins and deliver a professional feature video.
Since completing their Returneeship, a number of participants have been able to re-enter employment, using the skills and training they received through Release Potential.
Matt Alty, North East Yorkshire and Humber District, Hull Market Place Jobcentre Plus, Department of Working Pensions said:
“Everyone in the Market Place Returneeship group was really positive about the experience and they commented on how different and innovative it was from the other courses/events they had attended in the past.
One participant secured employment e directly from the programme by securing a job with a company that offered work placement, stating “increased level of confidence of the attendee.”
We are also working with businesses to support the upgrading of skills of their employees, in recent articles we featured the good progress being made through a programme called Skills Support for Workforce. In this article I want to provide examples of opportunities provided through the use of apprenticeship programmes.
By making ‘Apprenticeships for Everyone’ HCUK Training have worked with companies such as Chaucer Foods UK LTD, allowing employees the opportunity to upskill and further develop skills that they have used in their role for years.
The oldest apprentice at Chaucer Foods is Valerie Griffin, 67 years old, who has worked at Chaucer for 13 years.
Despite being extremely competent in her role, Valeria was keen to take up the opportunity to develop her knowledge and skills further by enrolling on the Level 2 Improving Operational Performance apprenticeship.
“The apprenticeship has been very informative. Getting out of the workplace and discussing issues with other staff has been good. I’ve learnt new things about places to get information, the work of the unions, and some of the laws and rules that have changed and come into practice over the years.”
This is but another example of how employers can recognise potential in their current workforce, and in workers who are keen to learn and upskill at any stage of their career. Support is available to businesses to learn about the opportunities provided through the apprenticeship programme. Our region has much to offer. Thanks to the work of our partners, our education and training providers in the Humber we have a growing workforce and a growing labour market, particularly in sectors such as energy and logistics.
These strength are being noted as we produce and make steps towards the completion of our Local Industrial Strategy. We are looking forward to working with our partners, local authorities and with local businesses, as we continue in our work to drive growth and prosperity within our region.