Central Eastern careers service rated Good by Ofsted

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Central Eastern careers service rated Good by Ofsted

The National Careers Service (NCS) in Central Eastern England, which is delivered by the not-for-profit social enterprise Futures Advice, Skills and Employment, has been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted.

This is Ofsted’s first inspection of the service since Futures Advice, Skills and Employment began its three-year contract in October 2014. In partnership with a range of other specialist organisations, Futures delivers support and advice to people in:

  • Hertfordshire
  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • Norfolk
  • Suffolk
  • Milton Keynes
  • Northamptonshire
  • Luton and Bedfordshire.

The National Careers Service provides impartial careers advice to all adults aged 19 plus and 18-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) and/or registered with Job Centre Plus.

The service supports in excess of 35,000 customers each year at one of 110 sites including Jobcentre Plus, library and community venues across the region.

As part of its assessment, Ofsted looked at the:

  • effectiveness of leadership and management
  • quality of information, advice and guidance
  • personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • outcomes for customers

Ofsted rated each of these ‘Good’.

In its findings, Ofsted were particularly complementary about the increased numbers of jobseekers who had benefitted from the service. In 2016 alone, 7665 jobless adults were supported into employment. Ofsted said: “The National Careers Service in the region has significantly increased the proportion of customers securing employment or learning outcomes. The number of customers with whom the organisation engages has also increased thanks to the use of both individual and group advice sessions.”

Based in Nottingham, Futures Advice, Skills and Employment is a social enterprise that provides a range of jobs and skills advice, training and apprenticeships to support young people and adults into work or training. As well as managing the NCS’s Central Eastern England contract, it is also the prime contractor for the NCS service across the East Midlands.

One customer to have benefitted from the service is Emma Hunter (25) from Bedford, who had been out of work for some time due to illness. She said: “I was out of work for six years and in that time a lot has changed in my life and within the world of work. As much as it pains me to admit this, the thought of starting from scratch was a little daunting and overwhelming to me. That is why I asked for help, which is not something I do very often because I'm stubborn! But I had reached a major turning point in my life and it’s great comfort to know that there are people like my careers adviser who can help guide me through each step of my journey back to work.”

John Yarham, Chief Executive of Futures Advice, said: “I’m delighted that our hard work and dedication to providing high-quality careers guidance services to those who need it most has been recognised by Ofsted. This is thanks to the professionalism of all front-line advisers who work tirelessly to support individuals back into work, those behind the scenes who refine our working practices and the quality of the organisations through which we subcontract our delivery. Building on this latest inspection, we will continue to learn and improve our services to ensure the best possible outcomes for all adults who need our support and help.”

Anyone in need of careers advice because they’re out of work, facing redundancy or wish to change careers, should call the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900 to speak to an adviser (8am to 10pm, 7 days a week).