Inspection finds careers service is changing lives

Cllr Motin Uz-Zaman with the Young WorkPath team

Young people in Tower Hamlets are receiving top class careers advice that is transforming futures, according to an assessment of the council’s Young WorkPath service.  

The team, which includes careers advisers and employability coaches, is now based at Watney Market after a move from Bow last year. It was recently visited by inspectors to determine whether it was performing well enough to retain its Matrix status – an industry recognised standard.

A report published following the visit found that it was - the support being provided to young people was pivotal to ensuring that they were aspirational, independent and that they had equal access to opportunities.

Inspectors found that the service was performing well at a time when councils are being asked to do more with less. And it had helped to shape a coordinated and all-encompassing approach to advice and guidance on employment and careers for residents.

Mayor John Biggs said: “We want to ensure the best start in life for our young people and I’m delighted that the Young WorkPath team has been recognised with this Matrix accreditation. As a council, we are guiding young people on the often challenging journey from school into further education, work or training, helping them to overcome obstacles and get on the employment ladder.”

Young WorkPath predominately works with those who are not in education, employment or training or who are at risk of joining that group. They are provided with support not only to identify future career opportunities but also to develop the employability skills needed to move into apprenticeships, jobs, training and education.

Some schools also commission the service to provide careers support to the broader pupil population to allow the school to fulfil its statutory requirement. One of the schools visited by the inspectors said they received “outstanding careers adviser support that exceeds our expectations.”

The inspectors spoke with a number of young people who had been supported by the Young WorkPath team and received the following responses:

“Our school careers adviser is so intuitive. She could see that I was shying away from certain career goals and helped me to see that I can aim higher. We broadened and then narrowed down options. She is awesome.”

“I left school with no interest in my future but meeting my adviser was eye opening. The staff helped me to see the skills within myself and the opportunities that were on my doorstep. And now, I love my apprenticeship.”

“Before I met my adviser, I was really lost and had been unemployed for six or seven months. The team here inspired me and helped me to find myself.”

The report found that the decision to transform what was previously the Tower Hamlets Careers Service into Young WorkPath, with its close links to the council’s wider WorkPath employment and training service, was a positive one.

Cllr Motin Uz-Zaman, Cabinet Member for Work and Economic Growth, said: “Whenever I visit the Young WorkPath team, I am struck by the commitment of our staff to the young people they support. Tower Hamlets is a borough of enormous growth and opportunity and we want to ensure all of our young people, including those from less advantaged backgrounds, achieve their full potential.”

Posted on Wednesday 5th June 2019