How Wakefield Employment Hub boosts the local economy

How Wakefield Employment Hub boosts the local economy

Wakefield Employment Hub has now been operational for 6 months, so we thought now is a good time to reflect on the work we have been doing and note some of the impact of that work on employers and residents in the district.

Firstly, here's a recap on the 2 key services we offer-

1) To help employers overcome skills challenges

2) To support people aged between 15-24 into sustainable, appropriate employment

To make a difference we often partner with a wide range of training providers who deliver both pre & post-recruitment packages such as apprenticeships, traineeships, study programmes & bespoke Skills Service support. We often work with colleagues in other areas of the Economic Growth service at Wakefield Council too.

What does this look like in practice?

One of our first projects was to work with a company who manufacture wardrobe systems. They are going through a period of rapid growth with plans to radically alter the structure of the company in order to take advantage of modern technology and opportunities in the construction sector.

One of their issues was the senior director team was very time-poor which was limiting their progress.

At the same time our careers adviser team were introduced to a young man who had dropped out of university towards the end of his first year. It was clear that he is a very bright young man with a high level of potential, however he'd lost his way and become disillusioned.

One of our Employer Engagers recognised there was a potential solution for both the employer and the individual, so a meeting was arranged between the 2 parties. The individual was then set a number of assessments with deadlines to ascertain suitability. The individual passed with flying colours and was offered a Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship (supported by Leeds Beckett University) and began work in July this year.

This solution is allowing the company to progress more quickly with its expansion plans and allows the individual to become degree educated in a progressive environment without incurring the cost of that education.

This success then led to us working with his friend, who was working part-time in a supermarket but felt that his career options were limited. He wanted to find a solution that meant he could develop a professional career.

At this time we were working with a civil engineering contractor in the area which had grown rapidly over the last 4 years since its launch.

Their issue was that their operatives were required to completed Health & Safety risk assessments prior to beginning any work on site. This was slowing down their progress and wasn't an area of work their operatives enjoyed.

The solution was to offer a Health, Safety & Environment Advanced Apprenticeship. This solution has allowed the company to take the responsibility for health & safety issues off their site operatives and have someone who is dedicated on ensuring all matters are administered correctly. It has given the individual a clear, well-defined professional career path they can pursue in an area that will always be in demand across a wide variety of sectors and means that they could establish their own company in the future should they wish.

As you can see from the examples above, our work helps to grow the local economy here in Wakefield. Growing businesses provide more employment opportunities and slow down the 'brain drain' to other areas of the UK. We're currently working with a health centre, a tree surgeon, a range of engineers and manufacturers, construction companies, digital marketing agencies, software houses and hairdressers to help them overcome their skills challenges and provide career entry opportunities to young people in the Wakefield district.

Could we help you in a similar way?

If so, please do not hesitate to contact me on 07917000891 or via email at adrianbird@wakefield.gov.uk.