SSG Education & Training Blog – March 2021

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Welcome to our new look blog. For a while now we have produced a newsletter celebrating our successes & providing a small highlight of what we’ve been doing. Having taken on feedback, this will now be in the form of a blog on the website which hopefully means it will reach a wider audience.

So many exciting things have been happening for us recently, so here is just a small selection. Don’t forget to follow our facebook page for regular news, videos, information and shoutouts!

Centre of Excellence

We were delighted to learn we have been nominated for the Excellence in Education award in the Bedford Independent Everyday Heroes Awards, recognising the work that we do to support young people aged 16-18 who are not in employment, education or training and are not suited to a large college environment.

NHS SWAP (Sector-based Work Academy Programme)

This SWAP was a short programme preparing individuals for interview within 2 specific NHS Partnership Foundation Trusts (PFT) for health care assistant roles across Hertfordshire. A small cohort worked towards interviews and we are delighted to announce 6 individuals have been provided with start dates for new roles with 1 awaiting the outcome. We have received very positive feedback from participants:

Matt and Sarah work very well together, I loved how they distributed their roles and how they delivered this course. This was my first time where I did not feel stressed and under pressure. Matt presented the entire course and assigned all my tasks progressively. I would love to come back and do another course.

Kickstart

Our partnership with the DwP and Kick-Start Scheme continues to thrive with brand new Kick-Start provision taking place, intended for young people to receive support in applying for placements where they may not have previously succeeded. Following the success of our generic kick-start programme, in the last month we’ve introduced a specific Digital Media Kick-Start programme following demand from the job centre and available placements. 13 young people have completed the programme and are now closer to the jobs market with some already entering work and others at touching distance and receiving additional support for progression.

Progression so far of candidiates on DWP work coach SWAP

Where are they now…?

Cheyenne is one of our success stories! She has shown massive determination to overcome personal obstacles to work hard and achieve her goals. During her time with SSG, Cheyenne developed her core skills and stood out as a strong leader. She was nominated Student Ambassador by other students at SSG and she represented her peers as the ‘student voice’. Cheyenne supported various events with SSG including raising money for charity and volunteering at local community events. She has been nominated for the Young Achiever award at the Bedford Independent Everyday Heroes Awards (see local media for details).

 

Having done 2 programmes at SSG, she completed a work placement at a school who were so impressed with her they offered her an apprenticeship. After completing this, she has now accepted an offer of full-time employment at the same school. We know she will continue to thrive in her chosen career and wish her the best of luck.

Service ‘Shout-Out’

In a new feature, we would love to introduce you to some of our partner service providers, this month starting with Direction for Bedfordshire:

Direction for Bedfordshire is a signposting, support and advice service for the vulnerable, the marginalised, their families and the professionals working with them; including working with people with offending histories. They work to connect individuals in Bedfordshire with the services they need to help them deal with any issues they may have. Interventions are centred around opening up conversations with individuals about pathway needs in their lives that could support their rehabilitation and reduce reoffending. Clients are empowered to engage with services that can understand their specific needs. This includes us at SSG!

 

These same resources can be used for individuals who have not officially been through the Criminal Justice System, but their lifestyle or circumstances may make them vulnerable to criminality – Direction for Bedfordshire can start these engagements early on to prevent this from becoming a reality.

 

Their website offers an online directory which can be found at https://directionforbedfordshire.co.uk/. This is a useful self-help tool to search all the different services available in Bedfordshire across various different pathway needs.

 

For more complex cases, they have a free phone number 0800 917 5579 and email info@directionforbedfordshire.co.uk where you can contact dedicated staff members who have the knowledge and capacity to deal with your query.

 

They also work to enhance partnership working in Bedfordshire and deliver Digital Networking Forums as a response to COVID-19 to bring different organisations and professionals together to stay connected.

MEET THE TEAM

Every month we’ll be introducing you to a member of our team. This month it’s Christina!

Christina Loveridge

How long you’ve worked for SSG:

Volunteering with SSG since Dec 2020

 

Favourite part about working for SSG:

My most favourite part of volunteering with SSG is supporting all the members of staff and knowing I’m making a positive impact. Also seeing the staff make a difference to candidates’ lives first hand. It has been so good for me being on a journey with SSG as a candidate and then having chance to volunteer and use my experience to help others.

 

GOOD NEWS

We are incredibly proud when we hear about the successes of our past candidates. Josh Howell recently landed his dream job at a London marketing firm following his completion of our Pre-Placement Programme & Core2Success Employability Course. We are so pleased that his experience with us has given him the skills & confidence to progress in his career & we look forward to watching him go from strength to strength. See his video on our facebook page!

A word from our MD (Dan Yusuf)

It has been a great month to reflect on just how far we have travelled in the last 12 months. OFSTED like us to reference the 3 I’s INTENT, IMPLEMENTATION and IMPACT. When I step back and apply that to the last 12 months, I can summarise it quite simply:

 

Our INTENT 12 months ago was to ensure that we continued to support the learners we work with through the most challenging period of their lives and not close our doors on them.

 

Our IMPLEMENTATION plan was to develop a blended combination of the best possible use of technology-based learning while maintaining the important ‘human’ approach our staff take through interaction and engagement.

 

The IMPACT of our efforts is now beginning to be seen. Our current learners are providing some of the most incredible case study and participant feedback data we have ever seen with record numbers moving on into employment or further learning and our waiting lists are full for provision both in year and for September starts.

 

I am proud to work with the passionate and dedicated team who have made all this possible. Hard work x good people = great outcomes.

Looking Forward…

Getting back in the classroom is the next exciting step for us. We have been so impressed with the high levels of engagement on all our virtual platforms but getting to see everyone face to face will take our programmes to the next level and we can’t wait to get back.

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