How to use this exemplar to improve practice
Consultation with young people and partners is key. What is being offered must be the young person’s choice and in line with what they plan to do beyond Activity Agreements. Clear lines of communication should be set up between the young person and the trusted professional.
Review schedules need to be put in place and if necessary changes made based on information from these meetings. Where possible, several placement opportunities should be allowed to support the success of the Activity Agreement.
- What are the current options to explore employability in your area?
- What is the evaluation process? For the young person? For partners?
- What partnership arrangements are in place to support the process?
- How do these arrangements meet the needs of the young person? How do you know?
- What guidelines are in place around Health and Safety procedures for the young people when they are on placement?
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What was done?
Inverclyde was part of the original Activity Agreement pilot which offered 1:1 Trusted Professional Support and progression into a specialist programme set up to provide support to break down the barriers highlighted by the young person this took place in a group work setting. Young people would choose which elements they would like to dip in and out of. Once complete the Trusted Professional would support the young person’s transition to their next destination until they established a trusted relationship with their key contact. Inverclyde More Choices More Chances (MCMC) Team (who work in partnership with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) schools, colleges and local business to support transitions for the young people of Inverclyde) now work alongside schools to support young people to break down these barriers in their senior phase and reduce the need for this service post school. The model is now very much based on 1:1 support with partners supporting the process.
Inverclyde’s referral process only comes from one source - Skills Development Scotland. The reason for choosing to adopt this method was to ensure that every young person was aware of and familiar with the national agency in place to support their needs. SDS carry out an initial assessment and then refer them to the Activity Agreement coordinator who then takes them through the EMA (education maintenance allowance) process if they are entitled to it and begin their Activity Agreement plan. The first couple of meetings focus on setting goals and agreeing activities to support young people’s goals. As part of the plan the roles and responsibilities for both the Trusted Professional and the young person are set up. Permissions to share data are put in place and processes with regard to absences are outlined.
The young person can be on an Activity Agreement for up to 6 months but this can be extended in exceptional circumstances. The Activity Agreement can include work placements, and these are all processed through Gateway which means all health and safety and risk assessments are in place to protect the young person. Specialised provision is commissioned to meet the needs of the young person if there is nothing available through the normal partnership routes. There is also support with literacy and numeracy provision and any health-related needs where possible are also met.
Once the young person has completed their Activity Agreement they are supported through aftercare in their next destination and regular meetings take place with partner organisations to update on their progression.
Why was it done?
There are young people who struggle to make the transition from school to post-school. The senior phase offer supports this process but there are a small number of young people who still require support to get them through this transition. Activity Agreements support this part of their transition.
What was the impact?
The initial progression rates were low due to the lack of provision at stage 2 of the pipeline which meant other options needed to be considered for young people who would normally take this route. Through regular reviews with the young person and with partners we were able to continue to help more young people progress to college and remain there and also to source local opportunities to support them into positive and sustained destinations. This is reflected in our quarterly returns and our own regular evaluation of the Activity Agreements offer.