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Skills development initiatives providing opportunity across Southend

Published Thursday, 20th February 2020

A hand holding a sharpie pen writing the words around it learning, knowledge, experience, competence, skills, ability, training and growth

Skills, employment and training initiatives delivered by us and our partners have seen the numbers of young people in training, education and employment rising.

Projects and schemes such as SECTA and Connexions, as well as apprenticeship information events and recruitment fairs, have supported people in Southend-on-Sea and south Essex into training, employment or skills development. This success will be discussed by the council’s cabinet at their meeting on 25th February.

The South East Construction Training Academy (SECTA) has supported 852 clients so far. This has included helping 423 people complete construction training to allow them to work in the industry or further their career and aiding 118 people into employment in construction. Last year, SECTA also won the ‘Skills’ category award at the Housing Excellence Awards 2019.

Connexions, a provider of careers information advice and guidance for local young people, have contributed to the proportion of young people in Southend registered as NEET (not in education, employment or training) falling from 1.8% in 2018 to 1.3% in 2019. This 98.7% of young people in education, training or employment is significantly above the national and regional averages.

In order to increase the uptake and availability of apprenticeships in the borough, the Economic Development and Skills Team at the council have also delivered a series of large-scale events for employers and students to help secure local apprenticeship placements. These events have been well attended and have attracted over 400 students and 37 local employers to date.

As an organisation, the council also currently has 54 apprentices. This is made up of 27 ‘new starter’ apprentices who have joined the council to undertake an apprenticeship and 27 existing employees, who are using a ‘development’ apprenticeship to upskill and obtain a professional qualification.

Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said:  “I am very pleased to see some of the positive statistics from the skills development report, and such a large number of positive projects that have been delivered over the last year. I am particularly pleased to see a reduction in the number of young people not in employment, education or training and that we remain well above the national average.

“A range of stakeholders have been working hard to advance employment, training and skills development in the borough. I hope the positive work done by teams such as SECTA, Connexions and the Economic Development team at the council continues into 2020 and beyond, as we look to continue to create opportunity and prosperity for local people.”

The report can be viewed on our website.