Work Zones starting around Bristol

The pilot came about in response to the city-wide challenge encountered by individuals, communities and agencies working in training and employment.

Background

The idea to develop a Work Zone emerged from the ‘Bristol Ways2Work Strategy 2016-2020’; a plan developed by Bristol Learning Partnership. This strategy focuses on six priority areas, one of which is the development of localised ‘Work Zones’ in priority neighbourhoods.

It is a response to some of the city-wide challenges encountered by individuals, communities and agencies working in training and employability.

Employment, skills and learning support being made accessible to individuals and communities who experience barriers to formal learning and work is critical to tackling entrenched worklessness.

The historic pattern of service offers from organisations to support people to get back into work has not always been joined up and can appear confusing and unhelpful to some customers who need support to get a job. There are a number of agencies and organisations using a variety of funding streams all offering part of the solution, but there are limited tools to help the customer navigate the journey. The Work Zone will take a person centred approach to help people build the confidence and acquire the skills necessary to compete effectively in today’s competitive job market.

What is a Work Zone?

The concept of a Work Zone is to bring employability and skills providers together in new ways to deliver a more integrated and coordinated approach to local employment support and learning. A working group of agencies has developed an operating framework for the Bristol Work Zone model. The remit of this is to:

Create a shared and consistent customer journey for workless adults that will include new shared diagnostic tools, a common approach to client segmentation and referral as well as a clearly defined core offer.
Establish a common set of protocols across into work service providers for cross referrals and core data collection.
Develop a coordinated marketing approach and provide an information source for users, employers and service providers through an enhanced and updated Ways2Work website.
Use a Charter Mark to underpin a “one team approach” for participating employment and skills providers.
Developing the Work Zone Concept for Bristol

Two organisations have been asked to pilot a Work Zone model for Bristol. These are:

United Communities and Buzz Lockleaze – to cover support across North Bristol.
HWV – to cover support in South Bristol and other areas of the city
These organisations will develop the principles required for a Work Zone and will work together to trial a new and innovative way of partnership working as well as providing a standard level of employment support across Bristol. They will establish ways of working that recognise individual needs and barriers to help each client with the level of support they need on the journey towards work and to support them to progress within work once employed.

The pilot will include both direct client support and joint working between partners to test and evaluate the proposed model, including shared systems, paperwork and databases. The pilot organisations will report into the project team quarterly and will recommend amendments and improvements where relevant as the Work Zone model is subsequently rolled out on a larger scale.