SSG Education & Training Blog – June 2021

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Welcome to our April blog! We have so much happening in the Education & Training dept at SSG so here’s just a few highlights. Don’t forget to follow our social media for up to date information & announcements!

Being able to interact face to face with candidates, local businesses, schools & other organisations means that we are finally feeling like we can get back to a degree of normality in the services we provide & the work that we love. Here are some highlights of what has been going on in the department last month…

Work Placements

Here at SSG, we are firm advocates that young people should be given every opportunity to develop experiences within a real employment environment to build on their confidence, prepare skills for work and get a taster of ‘real life’ industry experience. Current candidates on SSG’s study programmes have been diving into work experience opportunities within the local community over the last few weeks & we have seen huge successes in the personal development of candidates. We are pleased to be working with so many local businesses providing valuable experiences for our candidates, who could potentially turn into future employees off the back of their placement.

This year in particular has been challenging with COVID-19 restrictions, however with the reduction of restrictions and with employers opening their doors for young people to experience employment in their industry, many of our young people have been able to showcase themselves in the best way possible. We are so proud of the work that has gone in and it is always our favourite part of the programme to visit candidates on work experience and see their hard work in action.

We are always looking for employers to jump on board with SSG to provide future candidates with opportunities. If you are interested in supporting this, please get in touch with SSG.

Here is an example of one of our recent candidates who had a placement with SSG’s Business Support department:

Candidate’s comment:

“Hi, my name is Farhaan and I have been studying on the Foundation Skills course. I have been doing my work placement with SSG and I have had the best experience ever! The team here are really friendly, amazing and are always there whenever I need help. I will never forget my experience here. It has been great.”

Employer’s comment:

“Having a work experience placement student has been a very rewarding experience for the team. I was great to see first-hand the benefit that young people can bring to an organisation & the innovative ideas they may have. Over the 3 weeks in which we had Farhaan with us, his personal growth was phenomenal, learning new skills with real work-based application including social media content creation & scheduling on Canva. We wish Farhaan all the best in his new role in Birmingham & know he will achieve great things.”

Mental Health Awareness

We have been spending some time at SSG working on our wellbeing and received some great feedback about our Wellbeing Wednesday activities and workshops that we run in partnership with Bedfordshire Wellbeing service.  We are looking forward to our next block of wellbeing workshops and introducing new activities as part of our Together Vision. 

We also wanted to highlight to our readers the following services:

  1. Work It Out coaching is a free service available for women aged 18 to 30 in England to support them to think about the future.

​Through Work It Out you can book up to 6 free ​sessions with your coach. Your coaching sessions will be over the phone, but can be arranged to be delivered over email or WhatsApp if that’s better for you.​

Coaches are flexible, so you can speak to them in the day, evening or at the weekend too.​

Your coach can help with ​

  • Figuring out your next steps;
  • Working out what your skills and strengths are; ​
  • Staying motivated​;
  • How to be your best in job interviews; ​
  • Building confidence and strong mental health; ​
  • Dealing with anxiety;
  • Making a plan for the future; ​
  • Talking through relationships with family, friends and partners. 

More information can be found on their website: Coaching | Young Women’s Trust | Charity (youngwomenstrust.org)

  1. The Bedford CCG digital bookshelf, which is full of self-help books/leaflets to help manage and improve your health and wellbeing. All guides are available to watch as a video or download to read or as an audio and can be found here .​

New SWAPs

We have 3 exciting NEW Sector-Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) currently live:

Megan’s Restaurants SWAP

  • Megan’s have opened a brand new restaurant in St. Albans and have vacancies for front and back of house.
  • Megan’s are a growing hospitality restaurant that are expanding out of London to the Hertfordshire area.
  • We have 3 candidates that have trial shifts at Megan’s coming up and another intake of referrals.

B&M SWAP

  • The distribution centre in Wixams, Bedford are looking for hard working individuals to join their warehouse team.
  • Candidates are currently doing their CPD certificate in Manual Handling Health & Safety at Work to support sustainable progression.

  • We’re on our 7th and 8th intake of training new work coaches for roles with the DwP.
  • The programmes are currently being delivered and we so far have a success rate of 86% getting to the interview stage! Lots of work still to do to support candidates through the next stages of interview but we are seeing great potential.

MEET THE TEAM

Every month we introduce you to a member of our team. This month it’s Matt!

Matthew Vine

Job Role:

16-18’s Tutor

Favourite part about working for SSG?

Started with Activities in 2013 & my current role in 2018.

Favourite thing about the job?

Seeing the progressions of candidates, when they come for a short visit after they finish or if you see them in work, great sense of satisfaction!

A note from our MD (Dan Yusuf)

Over the last month we, like many providers and colleges across the UK, have been eagerly awaiting the outcomes of various tenders and applications for the continuation of funding or new funding for the next academic year. We are trying to plan & ensure availability of fantastic, engaging and innovative programmes for the young people and adults we work with, whilst constantly worrying that a sudden change of direction or end to funding rules or values may mean a complete re-work. 

Fortunately, our team at SSG are can-do, positive problem solvers and I have no doubt that our provision will continue to offer people viable and sustainable skills pathways and employment opportunities for many years to come. I only wish we could plan with certainty further in to the future…. it really would make the world of difference to our learners’ experiences!

Looking Forward…

June is PRIDE month so look out for photos from our competitions & activities in next month’s blog… it’s going to be colourful!

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