Team of the Year – Hidden heroes – Sponsored by entitledto

entitledto’s Product Development Director, Dr Phil Agulnik says “Congratulations from everyone at entitledto to all those shortlisted in the ‘Team of the Year – Hidden heroes’ category for this year’s ERSA Employability Awards. In an extraordinary year, we know every one of the teams shortlisted has worked tirelessly behind the scenes supporting jobseekers towards employment. Being shortlist is to have your talent recognised and you are all worthy winners. We wish you all the best.” 

Working behind the scenes to enable services: IT/digital services, service design, research and evidence

  • BOOST Barnet
  • BOOST employability service supports all Barnet residents who face financial, digital, language, housing or wellbeing obstacles whilst searching for work. BOOST believes that without removing obstacles, creating stability and security in their lives, people will struggle to successfully apply for and maintain a job. This year BOOST organised a Job Fair, open to all residents, hosting 30 employers with 250 attendees. Every month BOOST is offering a virtual Job Club where people can see what kind of jobs are in the local area and how to apply for them. Every week BOOST sends out a Weekly Job Bulletin to all people who are registered with the organisation. Twice a week BOOST invites employers to Burnt Oak Library and hosts Meet the Employer event. To tackle digital exclusion, BOOST created a team, who are hosting face-to-face digital clinics for beginners twice a week, training digital champions to help wider communities, setting up workshops across all Barnet libraries and recruiting volunteers to help upskills others and deliver laptops to those who need to apply for jobs, but have no device. BOOST also takes active part in and signposts to Conversation Café sessions at Burnt Oak Library dedicated to people who struggle with English language. Additionally, BOOST teamed up with Barnet and Southgate College to organise English language courses. In order to help clients with cost of living and housing, BOOST’s advisors assist in the application for benefits, housing, appeals and submits household and winter grands for those in need. To be the most approachable and visible to residents, BOOST opened locations in local public libraries throughout Barnet. With 35 staff, including 30 advisors, from October 2021 to September 2022, BOOST successfully signed up 601 clients and helped 343 clients into employment.
  • HR Team, Itec Skills and Employment
  • Itec Training Solutions Ltd (Itec) is one of the largest and most vocationally diverse employee-owned work-based learning providers. In Wales holding Welsh Government contracts to deliver Apprenticeships and Jobs Growth Wales Plus (JGW+) and a DWP contract, as a provider of Serco, to deliver Restart. In England we hold ESFA contracts to deliver Apprenticeships. Being employee owned allows our employees to have greater engagement and ownership in the future growth and success of the business. We are passionate about our people and the collaborative way in which they work. We recognise that all our employees play a part in the success of our business, through helping each other and combining the skills we have for the benefit of the business. Having a workforce that is engaged is vital to us achieving our growth and innovation goals, central to achieving this aim is skills and wellbeing of our staff. Our HR Team are instrumental in ensuring the success of our business aims and contracts, through effective resource management, training and development planning and our reward, recognition and wellbeing strategies which effectively support operational managers and all employees to ensure our workforce have the skills, aptitude and behaviours to deliver a quality service for our customers. Over the last year the business has been going through a significant period of growth, with the expansion of existing contract and securing new contracts, this alongside the challenges in the recruitment market place and as we move out of the pandemic the continuing impact on our workforce and customers on areas such as mental and physical health the HR Team have been instrumental in supporting the business to manage change, support business growth and enhancing the wellbeing support initiatives to respond to the changes.
  • Shaw Trust Community Health and Wellbeing Team
  • At Shaw Trust we feel our Community Health and Wellbeing Team are a worthy nomination for Team of the Year – Hidden Heroes 2022. The Team provides a range of services helping people improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing. Working in partnership with Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups, the NHS, local and national charities, employers and the wider Shaw Trust delivery, the Team connect people with the services they need, when they need them. The work includes projects across the country working to improve community health and wellbeing including Live Well Kent, Suffolk Wellbeing Service, Aim4Work, Get Back on Track, Kent and Medway IPS Service and Thrive. In addition, they now support participants on all of our DWP contracts. Many participants accessing our health and wellbeing services struggle in their daily lives with a wide range of common mental illness or, for some, a more serious mental illness. The programmes and services run by the team, work with Primary and Secondary Care organisations, Housing Providers and a wide range of local agencies to ensure the individual receives the help and support needed to cope with the challenges they face. This support enables and helps participants to function better at work, home or in community environments, giving them a better quality of life. Through our various services the team deliver high quality employment focused support for individuals with varying mental health conditions, disabilities, and complex needs. The team are the definition of Hidden Heroes as the work they do not only impacts the individual participants accessing our services, but also their families and local communities. The team have now expanded the services they offer across all of Shaw Trusts contracted provisions as well as offering health and wellbeing support to our colleagues delivering these programmes.
  • JETS Team, The Growth Company
  • This year the Growth Company Jets team has continued to exceed all KPI’s. Our record of placing participants in to work has not slipped below 100% of our outlined targets. Over the last 12 months we have performed and average of +138% over profile for job starts, with the highlight being just last month where we achieved +160%. Due to our commitment to working closely with customers to find the right path and career for them our job outcome rates have been even higher. Over the last 12 months we have averaged at +202% of profile and are sitting at 211% for the contract to date.
  • The Fedcap Customer Success Centre (CSC)
  • The 28-strong Fedcap Customer Success Centre (CSC) team are the hidden heroes of our Restart contract in South Central.   The team is a crucial cog keeping the contract running; without it, we would not be achieving our top of the table Restart performance.  UK Operations Director Susan Paterson said: “The CSC is the backbone of our operations, they make everything run smoothly and are a fundamental part of the business.”  And they quite literally save lives!   Every member of the team has dealt with at least one call from a suicidal customer.   For example, when a lady called in saying life was getting too much, our Customer Service Adviser, Josh Parker, stayed on the phone with her for over an hour, keeping her calm and finding out as much information to pass to the police.  Together the team has developed a protocol for dealing with this type of situation, led by Katie Langhorne, an ex-police officer trained in communicating with people in distress.   The CSC consistently goes above and beyond what is expected of them.   For example, when our Engagement Consultants (ECs) were struggling to meet demand for Warm Handover (WHO) meetings – the initial engagement with a customer and their JCP Work Coach – the CSC stepped up.  The CSC team was trained in how to conduct WHO meeting appointments. And through its hard work and determination, the CSC went on to halve the wait for WHO meetings, and increased the programme start rate from 71.7% to 82.7%.    Paul Norris, CSC Delivery Manager, said: “We do feel a bit hidden away at times…but I’ve never managed a team who so visibly want to make a difference to people’s lives and who are so dedicated to finding ways to improve the way the business operates.” 

hidden heroes