Youth Engagement Guidance and Directory
The Vale of Glamorgan Council has a responsibility to support the engagement and progression of young people in Extending Entitlement: supporting young people in Wales (2000) and the subsequent direction and guidance on Extending Entitlement services and support for 11-25 year olds in Wales (2002)
The Welsh Government set out its on-going commitment to tacking poverty in the Tackling Poverty Action Plan 2012-2016 and a key part of the plan is to reduce the numbers of young people not in education employment or training (NEET).
The Vale of Glamorgan Council has an objective to reduce NEET in its Improvement plan and elected members are regularly updated on the engagement and progression of young people who are or at risk of becoming NEET. The Vale of Glamorgan has developed a Youth Engagement and Progression Framework Implementation Action Plan in line with Welsh Government guidance.
Youth Engagement Framework
The Youth Engagement and Progression Framework (YEPF) sets out a new approach to developing support for young people who are at risk of or who have become NEET. The framework has six elements:
Identifying young people most at risk of disengagement
Better brokerage and co-ordination of support
Ensuring provision meets the needs of young people
Strengthening employability skills and opportunities for employment
Greater accountability for better outcomes for young people.
Stronger tracking and transitions of young people
There will also be two offers for young people through the framework:
The first is the allocation of a single point of contact (a lead worker) to the most at risk young people to help ensure that support is delivered in a joined up and co-ordinated way and that works to meet their needs
The second is the development of a proactive and positive youth Guarantee that will help to ensure that every young person has access to a suitable place of learning post 16.
Under the YEPF the Vale of Glamorgan Local Authority will provide the key strategic leadership responsibility for the Implementation of the Framework. There will be a need to work closely with Careers Wales and local training providers. The YEPF will have a senior LA officer in place to act as Engagement and Progression Coordinator (EPC).
The YEPF Action plan will require various internal council departments and external youth related organisations to work more collaboratively in a co-ordinated way. Schools and Training providers will have key roles and relationships with the Council to ensure schools and education provisions are effective, efficient and add value for money.
The level of NEET young people, the interventions being made, and outcomes for young people will be monitored by the NEET Strategic group, who in turn will provide feedback to the Corporate Management Team, and the Local Service Board. (Appendix flow chart)
Careers Wales will play a vital role in supporting the early identification of young people who are deemed at risk pre-16 and be part of the tracking and support services for young people post 16, they will provide Information advice and guidance on career option and engage young people in the Common Application Process (CAP).
They will also ensure that the LA has access to information on the Welsh Government 5 Tier model. The model supplies information on young people 16-18 years who are at risk or who have become NEET in several categories, it also indicates how many young people are in education employment or training.
The Vale of Glamorgan Youth Service has a critical role in the provision of lead workers and support staff to be part of the intervention package for young people at risk of becoming NEET.
There will be a range of other specialist education services and training providers included in the YEPF. This will ensure there is appropriate mix of provision available to meet the needs of young people.
The Engagement and Progression Coordinator (EPC) has the responsibility as the key conduit through which information will travel at a strategic level. They will coordinate the work between Careers Wales, Local Authority Education, Specialist Services, Youth Service and external training providers. They will also co-ordinate information on the Early Identification and give assistance with 1-1 support in information advice and careers advice
The Engagement and Progression Officer will play the vital role of ensuring that lead workers allocated are reporting on progress and outcomes for young people and ensuring that early identification data is used to its most effect. They will also work closely with the EPC to ensure that providers are providing outcomes and progression for young people into education, employment or training.
Specification for the ‘lead worker’ role
Lead workers will have a direct relationship with the young person, being a consistent point of contact and support as they move forward and helping them to build and develop long term resilience they need to succeed in education, training and employment. They may be learning coaches, LSA’s, youth workers, Education Welfare Officers, voluntary sector or training provider workers.
Alongside their existing role, professionals identified as lead workers will have a responsibility for keeping in touch with a young person and for formally reporting back to the Engagement and Progression Coordinator if the support package and interventions put in place around an individual are not actively helping re-engage and move the young person forward.
The specific responsibilities associated with the lead worker role are:
being a named individual for a caseload of young people as agreed by their host organisation with the EPC and wider partnership
providing support directly to the young person to help build resilience and/or coordinating support from a range of other support services
acting as a champion for the young person to make sure they are getting the support they need
providing feedback on the progress of the young person to the EPC to enable an assessment of whether support is having the desired impact
Lead workers will have access to details of a directory of provision, youth information services e-training, Career information, provider information and access to a monitoring and recording system.
Lead workers will meet regularly to share good practice and to look at current interventions and feedback on impacts and outcomes for young people.
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