This week we are celebrating three years of Skills Launchpad Plymouth, a service that was born out of a need to support the people of Plymouth to connect with opportunities whilst facing the immense pressures and changes that the pandemic presented us with.
Back in the summer of 2020, Plymouth City Council worked in city-wide partnership to set up ‘Skills Launchpad Plymouth’ as a new virtual FREE one-stop-shop skills service aiming to help local people stay informed and equip themselves with the skills and confidence that they would need to play a part in the city’s future, targeting support for young people through the Youth Hub and supporting those who are facing redundancy (or on furlough) through the Adult Hub. The intention always being to help local people to build the skills that local employers need both today and in the future to fill the jobs.
With thanks to the Department of Work and Pensions, we then secured the first of a number of specialist Coordinators to compliment the virtual support, with in person human connections. It was at this point that this service really started to come into its own, and we started being able to make introductions for our Skills Launchpad Plymouth 'members' with partners across the city, be that training providers, support organisations or employers. Our Coordinator then needed a central home, and that's where Barclays Plymouth stepped forward enabled us to utilise the first floor space where we continue to host the service three days a week. It worked so well in fact, that through C-Care and DWP funding we were then able to reach out beyond the city centre and into key areas of the city through the Skills in the Community programme.
Three years on, our website has now supported more than 39,000 unique visitors to access localised resources and information. In fact, our news and events page alone has seen more than 10,000 visits demonstrating the interest in our partner updates, monthly youth and adult opportunity posts, Apprenticeship Bulletins, good news stories and more. As for the human connection element, our Coordinators have now supported over 2,100 people with personalised 1:1 skills action plans to help them move forward towards positive next steps. Of these, more than 1,000 have gained employment, become self-employed or accessed training and/or education, and hundreds more have accessed pre-employability or mental health support.
Another highlight in the delivery of Skills Launchpad Plymouth has been hosting our 'Launched Awards' to celebrate the our Skills Launchpad Plymouth members and the people behind the stats. We were also proud to be Highly Commended for Innovation at the local Plymouth Live Business Awards 2022 and to be recognised as Finalists at the regional Western Morning News Business Awards 2022 and Plymouth City Council STAR Awards 2022 for Talent and Innovation.
From the outset, Skills Launchpad Plymouth has been a fantastic partnership effort. It was the first time that the schools, the employers, and the people in and around Plymouth were brought together in one space, and it supported the city to deal with the economic impact of Covid-19. The impact of 2020 is far from forgotten, but we are proud of what's been achieved in the last three years and will continue to ensure that anyone aged 16+, regardless of any other status, can access free impartial information advice and guidance, and signposting to connect them to opportunities for skills, training, education, careers and jobs.
Keep an eye on our social media channels @PlymLaunchpad on X and @SkillsLaunchpadPlymouth on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn this week, for more anniversary updates.