The London Borough of Bexley has confirmed Prospects has retained the contract to provide services to young people across the borough. Prospects, the education, employment and training company, will work with young people and partner organisations to support young people to ensure anyone aged 16-19 has a place at a college, training provider or employer. Prospects will also support vulnerable young people to include those with special education needs/disabilities to make effective transitions into learning and work.
“Prospects have successfully delivered careers and education information advice and guidance in Bexley for a number of years and have helped to improve the outcomes for some of our most disadvantaged young people,” said Cllr Rob Leitch, the Council’s Cabinet member for Education. “I am very pleased that, following their recent successful tender, we have the opportunity to build on the progress already made to support Bexley’s young people.
The contract, worth more than £500,000 per year, will help young Bexley residents make the right choices for their futures. Although Prospects has delivered services for young people in the borough for two decades, the employment and skills experts will begin using a brand new approach which will provide young people with the digital skills they need for today’s job market and beyond. Young people will be able to earn digital accreditations with Prospects Digital Badge Academy in employability skills, giving them recognised learning that can be shown to future recruiters.
Young people furthest away from the labour market will be encouraged to seek help with augmented reality, using games like Pokémon Go to learn about education and employment opportunities locally. Augmented reality offers new ways to learn about education and employment opportunities locally. Prospects is also championing the use of virtual reality, offering young people a 360˚ feel for working with different employers, attending job interviews and accessing services in the virtual world.
The contract will run for three years from the end of this year. Judith Denyer, Prospects Regional Director for London, commented: “We are delighted to continue working with Bexley, where we have provided services since Prospects was launched 20 years ago. This latest contract sees new and exciting innovations to enable young people to succeed.
“In addition, we will be working to encourage and enable young people to participate in education and training, support young people with learning difficulties to move into adulthood, provide targeted support to vulnerable young people and those at risk of disengaging with education or work. We will support Bexley to meet their Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) targets, increase participation levels for vulnerable groups and ensure all 16-17 year olds have an offer, and are assisted to take up, of a suitable place in post-16 education or training.”
Prospects will be working with schools, academies, colleges and work-based learning providers across the borough to identify where young people aged 16, 17, 18 and 19 are studying or working. This is required by the government as part of the raising of participation age, the age young people can leave recognised learning, to 18.