In a virtually hosted event, the Skills Launchpad Plymouth team has announced plans to open a one-stop skills shop in the heart of the city centre within Barclays Armada Way. This free face-to-face support for skills, training, education, careers and jobs, is for anyone - whatever their age - and will provide local people with access to independent information, advice and guidance to help them take their next steps.
The Skills Launchpad, which will open at the end of April when lockdown is lifted, is the latest measure by the Council to provide help for people affected by the pandemic and guide them as they take their next steps.
The economic impact of the global pandemic has created huge uncertainty about exam grades, job security and employment prospects and as part of the city’s Resurgam programme, the Council along with its partners, set up ‘Skills Launchpad Plymouth’ last summer.
The initiative aimed to help local people at risk of losing their income, facing redundancy, young people whose first career steps are now uncertain and students wondering what the future holds.
The Skills Launchpad virtual one-stop-shop for skills, training, education, careers and jobs is helping local people get the right advice and information, and has already supported over 10,000 people through its Youth Hub and Adult Hub.
Jon Taylor, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Transformation said: “Skills Launchpad Plymouth is an inclusive one-stop-shop for supporting all ages and backgrounds who are considering their next move.
“The support we have received from Barclays means we can now expand this service to offer face-to-face appointments when the COVID restrictions ease.
“The city has many sectors such as health and care, engineering and construction which are growing and expanding their workforces, creating opportunities and it’s been a fantastic partnership effort to bring everything together for the first time to transform support for school, college and university leavers, young people who are not in employment or training, local employers who are recruiting, and adults who we want to help gain the skills they will need.”
David Podd, Barclays Plymouth City Leader, said: “The programme developed within the Skills Launchpad Plymouth project closely aligns with Barclays LifeSkills which aims to develop individual’s employability skills to succeed in the workplace and move forward with their careers.
“As such, we are delighted to play our part in accommodating this crucial initiative working alongside Plymouth City Council to help local people have access to free face to face independent, advice and guidance and employment opportunities.”
Cheryl Ward, Integrated Delivery Operations Manager at the Department for Work and Pensions said: “DWP are delighted to be working in conjunction with Plymouth City Council on this exciting Skills Launchpad Plymouth opportunity.
“By working together, we will support the local community with their transition into tailored educational and vocational opportunities - helping individuals to achieve their full potential. Being located right in the heart of the city centre means that the Launchpad services will be fully accessible to all, and the DWP would like to express their gratitude to Barclays for making this a reality.
Having this fantastic space made available to us means that the city’s resources can come together in a truly focused way - with the aspirations of our citizens at the heart of all that we will do.”
Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said: “Our relentless focus as we emerge from the shadow of COVID-19 is on helping people to progress back into employment and move into work, and that’s why DWP is backing this partnership to boost employment and skills in Plymouth. Our Plan for Jobs is continuing to create diverse opportunities across sectors and communities as we push to build back better.”
Funding has been secured through DWP to support Plymouth’s Youth and Adult Hubs with Plymouth City Council contracted to lead the service delivery through working in city wide collaboration.
It is hoped that Skills Launchpad Plymouth will open for face-to-face service within Barclays Armada Way for pre-booked appointments only by the end of April 2021, but this is subject to any lockdown and COVID compliance. In the meantime, a virtual service is available so do browse the fantastic resource banks for the Youth Hub and Adult Hub or sign up as a member for a bespoke 1:1 service.
To view the presentation from today's virtual event, please click the link below, or alternatively to watch the event, click here to view the recording.