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13th Jul 2017

Against the Grain trainee Matt

14th July marks the second UK Employability Day following its launch last year by ERSA (Employment Related Services Association).  The day is an opportunity for organisations to promote the positive work carried out within the employment support sector.

Adviza focusses on supporting employability for people of all ages across the Thames Valley, promoting, supporting and running a variety of different projects.  Each project targets specific groups of people facing various challenges in securing employment.  Adviza has achieved some amazing results from these projects over the last 12 months helping numerous people into jobs and training and ultimately improving their employability.

Our projects address areas including: making young people more attractive to employers; retraining staff and giving NEET (Not in Employment Education or Training) young people better opportunities to secure employment, through training or work experience. 

Here is a selection of our employability projects:

Building Futures

Focussed on changing the lives of disadvantaged adults and young people across Buckinghamshire, it is part of the Building Better Opportunities programme and it is part funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

In February this year, we helped Sarah regain her confidence following redundancy, and through one-to-one guidance and emotional support with a key worker were able to help her secure a new position.  “The service has been so much help to me, I would definitely recommend it to other people and I wish more people knew there is help like this to access” says Sarah.

Against the Grain 

Against the Grain is a social enterprise, which gives NEET young people at risk a unique opportunity to enhance their employability and build their confidence by contributing to a successful furniture upcycling business.  

George, one of the current trainees, has almost completed his 18 month traineeship. Before starting with Against the Grain he was unemployed and initially his confidence and self-esteem were low. He has been working closely with a volunteer, Elliott, who is a graduate from Rycotewood Furniture College in Oxford.  Elliott has taught George hand carving and woodworking skills and together they have produced a number of hand-made items including wooden spoons and a workbench.  George is now looking to start a carpentry course at college and talks very positively about his future. Another of our trainees, Matt, is pictured above holding the Employability Day Poster.

Worlds of Opportunity (WOOP) 

WOOP is a major campaign designed to make sure talented people across Berkshire are aware of the huge career opportunities there are among the county’s 42,000 employers for people who have qualifications in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It will also help education and training providers promote and develop effective paths to STEM careers.

WOOP has run 20 hands-on events engaging young people and adults in practical STEM activities.This will help close the skills gaps between education providers and STEM employers ensuring that there is a pipeline of talent for the next generation. 

Adviza runs the programme in cooperation with Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Network and funding is provided by the Skills Funding Agency

Prince's Trust TEAM

The Prince’s Trust TEAM is a 12 week programme run in Reading and Slough for 16-25 years olds who fit the NEET category (Not in Employment Education or Training) with the aim of helping the participants gain work experience, qualifications and practical skills. During the programme they are involved in community projects, work placements and a residential week.  Over 70% of the young people go on to jobs, training or education within 3 months of completing the course and show a huge improvement in self-confidence and self-esteem.

National Careers Service 

Adviza is the prime contractor for the National Careers Service across the Thames Valley offering free, impartial careers advice to adults. Our National Careers Service advisers support people to identify their skills, understand the job market and search for jobs, courses and training. Ian, a user of the CV advice said: "I feel that the new CV is much clearer, more comprehensive and also illustrates my skills and experience in a better way than before."

Bucks Skills Brokerage 

The Bucks Skills Brokerage is a programme developed by Adviza in partnership with Buckinghamshire Business First and co-funded by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency. The main aims for the Brokerage are to upskill employees within small and medium-sized businesses in Buckinghamshire.

To date we have 1200 employers already engaged with the project and we are providing a comprehensive skills analysis within these organisations to identify their skills gaps.  We are working with them to fill these gaps by providing information and resources about training and development opportunities.

Find out more about our employability projects.


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