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THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET:     29TH JUNE, 2015

 

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING): 18TH MAY, 2015

 

“28    YOUTH ENGAGEMENT AND PROGRESSION NEET (DLS) -

 

The Lead Officer for Youth and Community Learning provided the Committee with a progress update in respect of the implementation of the Welsh Government Youth Engagement and Progression Framework and the current levels of NEET (Not in Education, Employment of Training) young people.  The Committee had received a previous report in July 2014.  The key milestones that had been achieved since that date were noted as

  • The Early Identification tool had been uploaded on to the Vale Learning Portal and implemented in all 8 comprehensive schools.  6 schools had provision brokered as a result of the early identification system and a total of 132 young people were being supported.  Appendix 1 to the report provided the details of the early identification model and a data summary for each year group across comprehensive schools.
  • Through dedicated youth workers in schools, 6 level 1 Certificates in Success with Employment, Education and Training (SWEET) had been completed in Bryn Hafren School; 5 Level 1 Award SWEETs and 4 Level 1 SWEET certificates were achieved through Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC). 
  • Bryn Hafren had a youth worker in place to work with cohorts of young people in years 9, 10 and 11, offering individual / group support.  Appendix 2 detailed various case studies.
  • In St. Richard Gwyn, 2 groups in years 9 and 10 benefited from the Guidance to Engagement project 2 hours per week for 10 weeks, 14 young people out of 16 benefited from this provision and no longer require it, one group will be accessing learning through the sports and play project and one cohort will be integrated back into mainstream classroom settings.  This is in addition to the young person’s school learning, as a tool to improve behaviour and engagement. See Appendix 2 case studies. 
  • In Barry Comprehensive 2 youth workers had been in place since early October delivering the Guidance 2 Engagement programme (G2E).  There had been positive feedback in the main whereby 3 young people had returned to mainstream education, 2 were referred to the PRU, a number of accreditations in BTEC level 1 have been achieved by year 10 students, and level 2 BTEC by year 11 students.  Young people were also completing BTEC in Sports and Leadership Awards.  Two young people had secured work placements since being involved with the G2E programme.  There had been an overall improvement in attendance, behaviour and an increase in soft outcomes such as confidence, attitude, and self-esteem.  The Youth Construction Trust was introduced to the school to set up a taster day in plastering, plumbing and carpentry where 10 young people at high risk of becoming NEET will be selected to gain hands on experience with a view to enrolling onto a college course in September.  
  • In Llantwit Major, there were effective in-house provision arrangements in place, however, the school had been given the opportunity to access alternative provision through LA Youth Services such as the Guidance to Engagement Programme ‘Can Do’ and Pulse projects.  ACT training provision was being utilised by the school to provide courses for high risk NEET young people to access mechanical engineering.  The Military Prep College is very successful in engaging this cohort of young people.  
  • Stanwell School had low numbers of young people at risk of becoming NEET, however, the Youth Service project Emojis was introduced to the school to provide a service to young people with poor attendance, low self-esteem, and confidence.  Young people take part in a range of activities to improve their communication skills, express their feelings, and form better relationships with their peers and families and gain emotional understanding. 
  • Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg had a youth worker in place and would be delivering part of the Guidance to Engagement accreditation courses to young people. 

A 12 week Prince’s Trust Programme had also been developed with the Council and the Engagement and Progression Partnership which had been fully operational in the Vale since October 2014.  A Careers Wales Learning and Transition Coach had also been working with post 16 high risk NEET young people, and the Local Authority had piloted a Lead Worker and Common Area Prospectus training with the first session having been delivered in November 2014.  A dedicated website had been created providing access for lead workers to a directory of provision for NEET young people.  As a result of collaboration with partners and closer monitoring by the Local Authority the Vale’s NEET figure for 2014/15 had reduced from 3.8% in 2013 to 2.76% in 2014.  Appendix 3 to the report illustrated the Welsh Government five tier data and the Local Authority’s performance targets for 2014/15 as well as actual performance for 2014/15.

 

In commenting on the report, Members stated that they welcomed the report and were encouraged by the developments that were taking place.  In referring to the funding for the Engagement and Progression Officer until September 2015 they acknowledged that the role was key to the brokerage of provision and that it was a pivotal one of linking schools, Careers Wales and training providers to the Local Authority’s NEETS strategy.  Members further considered that this needed to be highlighted to Cabinet with a request that funding be continued for such an important position. 

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)    T H A T the progress made to date by the Council on the implementation of the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework be noted.

 

(2)    T H A T the Committee receives further progress reports on a six monthly basis.

 

(3)    T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet in order to raise awareness of the funding position for the Engagement and Progression Officer post, it being the view of the Committee that this post was essential and should be continued to sustain improvement for the service by brokering provision and linking schools, Career Wales and training providers to the Local Authority NEETS strategy.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)    To apprise Members of progress.

 

(2)    In order that the Scrutiny Committee can continue to monitor the progress of Youth Engagement and Progression NEET.

 

(3)    For Cabinet to consider the funding position beyond September 2015.”

 

Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) - 18th May, 2015

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