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Careers HubLeicester College Careers Service has been under the spotlight as part of an OFSTED inspection of Futures East Midlands Advice, Skills and Employment.

The Careers Services at the College are leading subcontractors to Futures, delivering information, advice and guidance as part of the National Careers Service.

Futures Advice, Skills and Employment – the organisation responsible for the National Careers Service across the East Midlands – has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted.

As part of the two day observation, OFSTED looked at the:

  • effectiveness of leadership and management
  • quality of information, advice and guidance
  • personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • outcomes for customers

Ofsted rated each of these ‘Outstanding’.

Gretta Tharratt, Head of Learner Engagement and Equalities said:

“We’re proud of the high quality guidance provided by our advisers and it shows by the positive impact it has made to clients lives and employment chances. We are delighted that after visiting providers across the region including Leicester College Futures have been graded as ‘outstanding’.”

In its findings, Ofsted was particularly complementary about Futures’ attention to quality. It concluded that the organisation had an “unrelenting focus on providing an outstanding quality of information, advice and guidance for all customers……who make excellent progress towards successfully achieving their career aspirations as advisers are highly adept at removing barriers to achievement.”

John Yarham, Chief Executive of Futures Advice, said: “We are an organisation that is driven by a desire to achieve the best possible outcomes for customers. In 2015 we set ourselves a lofty ambition of becoming the first ever Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rated National Careers Service prime contractor. Thanks to the sheer grit, determination and professionalism of our staff, we have achieved this. We won’t rest on our laurels and will remain absolutely focussed on transforming people’s lives by offering quality services.”

Sue Husband, Executive Director of the Skills Funding Agency, which manages the National Careers Service said: “This extremely positive judgement from Ofsted is testament to the hard work and dedication of a range of people delivering the National Careers Service in the East Midlands. It offers tailored and impartial careers guidance to individuals, helping them to find jobs, develop their careers and fulfil their ambitions. Across England, National Careers Service advisers are making a difference to people’s lives on a daily basis.”

The National Careers Service is a publicly-funded careers service in England for adults aged 19 plus and 18-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) and/or registered with Jobcentre Plus. The support customers receive varies depending on their need includes:

  • job hunting and understanding the local job market
  • interview tips
  • writing application forms
  • CV preparation
  • courses and training opportunities
  • coping with redundancy
  • career change
  • planning and decision making

The responsibility for the delivery of the service sits with seven organisations (prime contractors) all of which cover different regions of the country. In October 2014 Futures Advice won a three-year contract to deliver the service across the entire East Midlands. Over 40,000 customers benefit from the service each year and receive advice and support at one of 74 sites including Jobcentre Plus, library and community venues across the region and at Futures’ own drop-in careers centres in Leicester, Mansfield and Nottingham.

Anyone in need of careers advice because they’re out of work, want to return to work, face redundancy or wish to change careers, should call the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900 to speak to an adviser (8am to 10pm, 7 days a week).

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