It takes a team effort to inspire

We are a team of over 100 committed professionals all playing their part in inspiring young people and adults to maximise their careers opportunities. Our front line careers advisers are the most visible, but we also have a number of other teams that deliver essential work every day. Here are our five of our other inspiring teams that you might not be aware of:

1. Participation NEET Team

On behalf of Kirklees Council and Calderdale Council we proactively identify young people who are NEET, try to engage with them and help them to participate once again in learning or work. 

We deliver a service for 16-25 year olds to provide a package of support to help them develop a positive careers path. This is not always easy as there are many factors that can result in a young person being NEET – many of which are out of their control.

Our participation team use a multi-agency approach to identify and engage individuals and start the process of getting them on the road to success. In a similar approach to careers advisers the first step is to build trust and rapport. Participation Team advisers will try to meet with NEET young people in places where they feel comfortable, such as a community centre or a local café. Sometimes at home with their parents or carers.

This is difficult role and it requires constant communication with partners, support networks and other C+K staff. Advisers have to respond to the needs of the young person and this can sometimes mean evening and weekend visits, and responding to text or social media messages outside of office hours.

But the results and the success that C+K’s approach generates makes it all worthwhile. Calderdale and Kirklees have some of the lowest combined NEET and Not Known rates in the country – and despite the recent pandemic – the participation team continue to inspire young people every day.

2. SEND Team

At C+K we believe that everyone has a right to careers support and everyone should have the same opportunities to succeed.

We are one of the only remaining careers companies in the country to still have a specialist team of SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) careers advisers. We have maintained this team as we believe it is important to offer a wholly inclusive and equal service to everyone.

Inspiring young people with SEND is incredibly rewarding, but it is also very challenging. Just as all young people are different, those with SEND can differ immensely too.

There are many barriers that the SEND team must overcome including language difficulties, level of understanding, visual or hearing impairment, ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition) and heightened anxiety levels. Each of these can result in a number of challenges – particularly around behaviour – that can vary on a day-by-day or hour-by-hour basis.

The team have developed a number of innovative ways to support this group. Video introductions can help build trust, several staff have learnt to ‘sign’, and board games and comfy sofas replace computers and formal offices.

The real inspiration happens when an adviser brings a former classmate or colleague to come and share their experience. Just hearing how someone “like them” has managed to overcome their own challenges and go to college or complete an apprenticeship enables aspirations to be raised and instil a belief that they “can do it too”.

3. Employer Engagement

Employers play a vital role in how we inspire young people and adults. Without jobs, apprenticeships and opportunities, it is very difficult for an individual to achieve their careers goals.

We have a dedicated employer engagement team. Their role is to work with companies and organisations and inspire them to work with us and allow us to help them achieve their business goals.

We do this by building relationships and understanding their needs. The more relationships we can build, the more opportunities we can offer. Using our unique position, we can create events and activities that connect employers with young people and adults looking for employment.

Each year over 7000 young people across Calderdale and Kirklees leave school after completing the GCSEs, and on average around 5-6% of them go into employment. This is in addition to those that join the labour market after A Levels and university.

We connect employers and potential employees in a number of ways. We hold two major events – Get Inspired and The Apprenticeship Event – where organisations have the opportunity to exhibit and meet directly with young people, we support schools and colleges to run smaller events and activities such as ‘mock interviews’ and ‘dragon’s den’. We run ‘Recruitline’ which is part of our MyDirections career platform and offers the opportunity to promote vacancies to a potential audience of over 10,000 young people, and we have launched a virtual work experience service called WOW (World of Work) that enables pupils to find out more about an organisation without leaving the classroom.

In addition, we run a host of other inspirational activities such as employer presentations for young people, employer talks to staff and arrange 'Aspirational Days' where we introduce young people to a job sector they hadn't previously considered. 

Not only do we hope to inspire as many employers as possible, but every job vacancy, apprenticeship or opportunity helps us to inspire potential employees too.

4. Adult Services

We are predominately known for providing careers advice to young people but we also offer careers services to adults too.

Our expertise is easily transferrable to older audiences and for a number of years we ran an adult service alongside that for younger people. Unfortunately, changes in Government policy meant that this provision had to be reduced, but in recent years our inspiring work with young people has resulted in us being asked to support this area more and more. We now have a small dedicated team offering adult support particularly around developing employability skills.

It is impossible to underestimate the impact that technology has had in the workplace over the last couple of decades. Many people who have been made redundant or want to change jobs are often overwhelmed and intimidated by applying for new jobs or starting new roles.

Our Adult team are able to work with individuals and design a bespoke package of support that will help them get back into work or get a new role. Whether it’s help finding potential opportunities, completing an application form, providing training, developing interview skills – the team is able to set goals and help participants achieve them.

Inspiring adults is exactly the same as inspiring young people. We take time to understand their unique situation and offer solutions to help them achieve their goals

5. The staff behind the scenes

That poster on the school wall, up to date information on the website, the latest data on the number of young people in education, employment or training, processing the café receipt from a weekend careers session with a vulnerable young person - these are all tasks that take place behind the scenes, but are equally important in how we are able to inspire the people we work with.

Every day, activities happen within our organisation that people benefit from. From our executive team building national and regional relationships, through to our business development team seeking funding opportunities to increase the services we offer, to our office managers who keep the doors open to welcome anyone who needs our support, we are a committed team ready to inspire!

If you would like to know more about how we inspire young people or if you would like to know how we could possibly work together please contact Joel Robinson on 01484 242000 or email enquiries@ckcareers.co.uk

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