Training courses deliver employability skills and jobs to adult learners

ITS Growth Co Collaboration

Independent Training Services, part of Barnsley College, has teamed-up with Manchester-based The Growth Company to expand the reach of its popular new pre-employment training courses.

The Growth Company is the primary contract holder of the European Social Fund’s ‘Skills Support for Employment’ funding for both Manchester and Sheffield City Regions. It subcontracts Independent Training Services to deliver Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) in partnership with Jobcentre Plus and local employers in Barnsley, the Dearne Valley, Chesterfield, Bassetlaw, Doncaster and Sheffield.

Sector-based Work Academy Programmes provide valuable skills, knowledge and qualifications that enable learners to gain employment in specific sectors such as security and care. This is in addition to transferrable skills such as basic IT, a lack of which has been identified by the Jobcentre Plus as a barrier commonly encountered by jobseekers.

Generally, courses are delivered within the community to small groups of adults with similar career aspirations. Programmes are supported by employers who offer an interview on completion of the course and candidates frequently receive job offers. The most recent security course held in Barnsley resulted in eight interviews, five job offers and three candidates on a shortlist for when further vacancies arise. The most recent Doncaster course resulted in 11 interviews and eight job offers.

Danny Phillips recently completed a SWAP designed for learners who want to work in the security sector. The programme provided him with the knowledge, skills, qualifications and SIA licence that is required by employers operating in the sector. Danny said: “Since completing my SIA course I have got a job with Constant Security Services. I never thought I would pass my exams because I didn’t think I was smart enough but now I can provide for my family and that’s down to ITS.”

“Since completing my SIA course I have got a job with Constant Security Services. I never thought I would pass my exams because I didn’t think I was smart enough but now I can provide for my family and that’s down to ITS.”

Amy Lees, SSE Operations Manager for Sheffield City Region at The Growth Company, said: “We are proud to work alongside ITS on our Skills Support for Employment contract across the Sheffield City Region. They have a strong Sector Based Work Academy delivery model that gives some real hands-on experience and has delivered some fantastic results since they joined our supply chain in 2019. They also have incredible employer links within each local authority, giving our learners the best chance at finding work. Together, we are progressing people from all walks of life, including long term unemployed, into sustainable employment opportunities. We look forward to a continued collaboration that will make even more of a difference across the Sheffield City Region.”

Steve Hepworth, Managing Director of Independent Training Services, added: “Our Sector Based Work Academy courses offer a competitive edge to job seekers in the form of valuable knowledge, skills, links to employers and employment. The courses are currently in high demand against the backdrop of a job market which is expected to become extremely competitive due to the economic pressures of the Coronavirus pandemic.”

If you are interested in enrolling on a Sector Based Work Academy with Independent Training Services, ask your local Jobcentre Plus for a referral to an information session. Jobseekers who enrol through Jobcentre Plus are exempt from job search obligations whilst they study and can access government funding to cover costs such as travel expenses and interview clothing.

Last updated: 14th October 2020

Originally posted on: 14th October 2020