Service Diversification to meet Local Labour Market Needs
Whilst running a training centre for people seeking work in Thurrock, I noticed some interesting trends that highlighted the importance of local labour market research in ensuring the services offered meet customer needs. The customer base was fairly evenly split between men and women, generally with few or no qualifications and all in need of a job. The training provision available was tailored to enable people to find work in any of the green highlighted areas in the second table; representing around half of the available jobs market. Looks sensible? Only when viewed in absolute totals. Look at the sectors covered, think about who is likely to want to apply to those sectors, and it won't shock you to learn that men were twice as likely to find and retain employment as women through the interventions on offer.
Failing to recognise this in the service offer cost the organisation around £200,000 per year in lost revenue, through failing to meet the needs of half of the customer base. We asked the women who were referred to us about their goals, researched what was needed, and implemented three new offerings - ICT Training, a Risk Assessment Qualification, and the Care Certificate; covering the base requirements of the amber highlights on the list and offering additional scope for entry into other roles in the green highlight list. We also bought employers into the centre to explain the demands of (for example) forklift truck driving, drawing attention to the fact they offer shorter shifts should people have other commitments at home.
The outcome of this was a boost in sustained employment for both men and women, along with a harmonisation of the numbers of each gaining and sustaining work.
Addressing the issue of equality of access to the labour market, with a broader range of choice for all within the service ended up generating upwards of £250,000 in revenue each year for the final two years of delivery on this contract.
The Benefit of a Diverse Workforce
Details to follow
Equality, Diversity and Improvement as a Risk Management Strategy
Details to follow