From education to employment

Call to join the Institute of Employability Professionals

Since the Work Programme commenced in June 2011, the industry has seen a dramatic cultural and step change. Providers are now required to be much more innovative in their delivery and partner networks are key to ensure we provide a service that offers value for money. With large numbers of staff transferring between providers under TUPE, retention of team members is key to ensure consistency of service to our participants.

I’ve found that one of the biggest motivators for my team is both training and recognition, yet at the start of 2012, it was a challenge to find suitable courses that were relevant to the Employability sector. We were doing what we could to recognise and share good practice but this was very much specific to our local branch.

I was first approached by Declan Swan of the Institute of Employability Professions in February of this year and when we met, he shared his vision for what IEP meant for everyone working in the sector. He took a great deal of time to understand the challenges we faced in terms of delivery and also took the opportunity to consult with my front line team about what they would like to see from the IEP. My team were delighted at the prospect of having a voice, a platform to share good practice as well as links to other professionals within the sector. Whilst there are already platforms that do some of these things, this was the only institute that offered all of them.

My team have since gone on to achieve the Employment Related Services Award and are all now members of the Institute of Employability Professionals, which has in their words, given them credibility with their customers as well as a badge of professionalism.  When asked now if they are qualified to provide support to participants, they can reply yes with confidence.

The Institute is vital to showcase the good work that the industry does every day and my hope is that moving forwards, this will allow excellent working practices to be identified and shared across the country. It will promote winning behaviours through the code of conduct and Continuous Professional Development via the ERS award, which can only lead to improved performance.

As a membership organisation, run by the members for the members, it can’t do this without your input, so I would urge you to take a look at the website.

Angie Brothers is a business manager at Avanta

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