More young people in Havering are staying in education or training at year 12 and 13. According to the recently published Department for Education scorecard 94.6% of young people, aged 16-17 in the Borough are participating in education and training, compared to the national average of 92%.
Havering has been scored in quintile one for reducing NEET (not in education employment or training) and knowing what local young people are actually doing. In Havering, just 1.4% of young peoples’ activity is not known and the NEET was just 2.1% leading to a combined performance of 3.5% against the national average of 6.0%.
Local authorities have a statutory duty to ‘track’ young people to confirm what they are doing in year 12 and 13 and where required provide support to those young people that need it. In Havering, this role is carried out by Prospects, the employment, skills, care and education company. Prospects has been delivering services on behalf of the London Borough of Havering since 2008, providing information, advice and guidance to young people most in need including those who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET).
This year Prospects has been in contact with 4525 young people in Havering. They use a variety of innovative approaches including virtual reality, and gaming to enable mentors to engage with young people and support them to achieve their potential. These new approaches are shaped by the involvement of young people in service design and delivery. Games consoles are enabling young people with anxiety or low confidence engage with an adviser while gaming. A youth board has been created to ensure they continue to meet the needs of young people, particularly those who are most disengaged from local services.
Young people from Havering have also been involved with Prospects’ Project 21. Inspired by the card game “21”, in which the player chooses whether to ‘stick’ with the cards they receive or ‘twist’ and take a chance on new cards, Project 21 encourages young people to 'twist' and try new things, rather than 'stick' with ‘what they know’.
The most recent Project 21 event involved a London employer based treasure hunt and lunch at Aqua at The Shard. The day enabled the group of young people who took part to develop team-working skills, build their confidence, raise their aspirations and think about their futures. Charlie from Havering commented: “I never thought I would have the chance to visit a place like this. My aim is to get to a place where I can bring people here myself.”
Prospects recently supported the ‘moving on’ event organised by the London Borough Havering, which was attended by more than 2000 young people from Havering schools and their parents. Visitors were able to meet with more than 50 organisations including local and national providers of Further Education, Apprenticeships and Higher Education. Prospects staff were able to support young people and their parents to understand pathways into their chosen careers by providing information advice and guidance,
Prospects is also commissioned by 13 schools and colleges to provide careers guidance in accordance with their statutory responsibilities to ensure young people make informed decisions regarding their futures.
Matt Joyce, Assistant Operations Director, said: “We are delighted to see how well Havering is performing. Participation rates in Havering are higher than the national average and increasing year on year. It is brilliant that so many of our local young people are taking advantage of opportunities available to them. At Prospects, we are always innovating to ensure we are engaging the young people we help in the ways which are best for them. We want young people to feel comfortable coming to see us so that we can support them to improve their life chances through gaining skills and experience.”
Councillor Robert Benham, Havering Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Learning, said: “We are proud of our young people and their achievements in education, learning and working. Prospects are a key partner in helping us identify the young people who are not sure what they would like their future to hold for them or don’t have the confidence to go after their ambitions. I’m delighted that so many young people are being supported in this way.”
Young people seeking information, advice and guidance about their future can email Prospects at Haveringenquiries@prospects.co.uk
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