Employment and support
Apprenticeships bring a number of benefits for both employers and their employees. For more information, visit the Apprenticeship pages on the Council's website.
If you’re considering becoming your own boss, then a range of support and organisations are there to help. Details of these can be found on the Starting a business page on the Council's website.
The Travel Choices project aims to improve access to employment and training by sustainable methods of transport. The project will be working with businesses and training providers to introduce improvements that encourage the use of public transport and increased choice over journeys. A range of travel maps have already been produced to help people plan their journeys.
If you are finding it difficult to get to work due to transport difficulties then the Wheels 2 Work scheme, part of the Travel Choices project, may be able to help. For a nominal fee, the scheme provides the loan of a scooter for up to nine months, Compulsory Basic Training, service and maintenance, and safety equipment.
Information on local bus operators and timetables can be found on the Public Transport pages of the Council's website.
Journeys by public transport can be planned on the Traveline website.
Learning new skills and gaining qualifications can help improve your chances of securing employment or changing career.
The National Careers Service website includes a facility for searching for local courses and training providers. It also provides information on funding for training.
Bedfordshire Adult Skills and Community Learning offer a range of adult learning opportunities locally, from support with English and maths to teaching and management qualifications.
There are a number of colleges and universities within and close to Central Bedfordshire. These include:
There are a number of other organisations (PDF 113KB) that deliver training, funded through the Skills Funding Agency, in Central Bedfordshire.
Careers advice, information on further study and a job search facility can be found on the Prospects graduate careers website.
A placement or internship can be a good way of gaining the experience that employers are looking for.
The Graduate Talent Pool matches graduates with internship opportunities.
Through the Step scheme, opportunities across a range of sectors are available. The Step website also features a number of useful resources for career planning and applying for jobs and internships.
The Prospects website also contains information on work placements, internships and volunteering.
The National Graduate Development Programme for Local Government is a two year management development programme. Graduates are employed with a local authority for two years during which time they undertake placements in various council departments.
Hire Me is a programme run by the University of Bedfordshire to support unemployed graduates into paid employment. The programme is open to graduates aged up to 24 from any university living in Bedfordshire or Hertfordshire, who have been registered as unemployed for less than twelve months. The programme involves bespoke training, mentoring and coaching.
A range of local and national programmes offer support for people who are unemployed and looking for work.
Bedfordshire Adult Skills and Community Learning run a number of work clubs across Central Bedfordshire. These provide individual support and signposting, help with CV writing and interview techniques, IT training and specialist workshops.
The Skills Support for the Unemployed programme delivered by TCHC and available to unemployed individuals aged over 19, provides job search support, job specific training and support with finding employment.
A number of projects aimed at improving skills and access to employment are supported across Bedfordshire through the European Social Fund. These include projects supporting self-employment and volunteering as well as projects that target particular groups, such as social housing tenants and young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET).
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)'s Get Britain Working scheme consists of a number of programmes for those claiming benefits, including work experience and volunteering programmes and financial support for those looking to start their own business.
Central Bedfordshire Council supports a number of training and employment projects aimed at supporting NEET young people.
Assistance is available for parents entering, or in, employment. The Central Bedfordshire Family Information Service offers a searchable directory of registered childcare providers as well as providing information and links to further detail on the support available to help with childcare costs.
Ensuring individuals with disabilities and work limiting illnesses receive the support needed to gain employment and to stay in employment, is a priority both nationally and locally.
The GOV.UK website has a section specifically around the employment support available for individuals with disabilities. The website also contains information on the financial support available to individuals who are unable to work due to disability or illness.
Central Bedfordshire Council’s Supported Employment Service provides supported employment opportunities for adults with disabilities. This includes help in finding employment as well as support once in work.
The Learning Partnership deliver the Pre-Apprenticeship Support for Adults with Learning Disabilities project locally. The project provides support, mentoring and pre-employment training to enable individuals to prepare for apprenticeships or employment.
The Learning Partnership also deliver the Healthy Steps to Employment project locally, providing support for those who are claiming out of work benefits due to work limiting illness to enable them to consider employment.
Facing redundancy or being made redundant can be worrying and frightening, but dedicated support is on hand to help.
TCHC and JHP deliver the Skills Support for Redundancy programme across the eastern region. The programme includes one to one sessions around skills and careers, training and support to secure sustainable employment.
The Citizens Advice Bureau, in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council, are running a new service for families experiencing a drop in income, including through redundancy. One to one sessions support sessions are available as well as a handbook of useful information. Local appointments can be booked via the hotline 01525 404715 available between 9.30am - 2.30pm weekdays.
The Learndirect website includes a section specifically on dealing with redundancy.
The Money Advice Service website includes information on managing finances when faced with redundancy. The Money, benefits and support pages on the Council's website include further useful information on managing money and benefit eligibility.
Redundancy can sometimes be the push that people need to start a new career or to become their own boss and it can be turned into a positive experience. Take a look at the Choosing a career and self-employment pages on the Council's website for inspiration.
The local economic information and policy pages on the Council's website feature a range of intelligence relating to skills and the labour market which may be of interest to providers, employers and individuals, as well as links to other sources of information.
A piece of work was recently commissioned by the Economic Growth, Skills and Regeneration team to look at the future skills needs of the local area. This includes forecasts for the occupations and sectors that are expected to grow. Further detail will follow shortly.
The Economic Growth, Skills and Regeneration team produce a bi-monthly Skills Flash email which includes key updates around skills.