Posted in: Tenders
Provision of Training to Fife Council, Other Public and Third Sector Officers on Welfare Reform
The UK Government has set out a range of changes to the UK’s welfare benefits system through the Welfare Reform Act. These are designed to cut the size of UK benefits expenditure, to make the benefits system simpler, to reduce the dependency of the many on benefits and to make work pay. Changes are many and their interaction and cumulative impact is complicated.
Training is required to enable front line staff to better understand how it affects their clients, to actively communicate likely change to those clients and to subsequently advise and support those clients directly and to effectively direct them on to appropriate specialist support services if they are needed.
Another objective of running corporately-led training is that it provides an opportunity to pick up worker experiences to inform corporate planning and activity.
The training courses should also present the opportunity for local Fife input to inform staff on the measures taken by the Council and partners to prepare for change and to advise on the range of advice and support services available locally.
Training would build on awareness raising efforts to date in Fife. This includes a video of main changes and targeted briefings for front line staff. All awareness raising materials are available on the Fife website www.fifedirect.org/welfarereform.
It is envisaged that priority groupings would include contact centre and local office staff, social workers, community learning professionals, health visitors, community safety workers, employability workers, childcare / early years officers, family support workers, housing officers, teachers and those working with vulnerable clients from third sector partners. That is, a professional who works with low income clients but will not be advising on benefits him / herself.
It is extremely difficult to assess the demand for training because so many Fife Council and partner front line staff will have dealings with clients who will be affected by the changes and may have pivotal roles in either directly providing advice or support or signposting them to where it is best received. In addition, some services have already taken staff through training. However, this proposal sets out a definite number for training, capping provision to a maximum number of 400 for each of the two elements of the training.
A separate training course is also required for Fife Council elected members. This is required to enable them to engage effectively with those constituents who present their issues and anxieties and are seeking support. That training is likely to be most needed by those elected members whose constituents are in areas of highest welfare dependency but it will not be exclusive to them.
In parallel with these training events, services and partners would be encouraged to consider their own more specialist training needs (e.g. ‘an introduction to Personal Independence Payments’, ‘Carers – universal credit and other reforms’) or whether they would want small numbers of staff to go through more comprehensive training and become experts for their services.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Skills Partnership – Stakeholder Engagement
Loch Lomond and Trossachs Community Partnership wishes to engage a suitably qualified and experienced consultant to carry out stakeholder engagement as part of the development of a new Skills Partnership focussing on Tourism, Land-Based Work and Local
The Community Partnership carried out a feasibility study in 2012 into Education & Training opportunities for young people [16-25yrs] living in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The study proposed the development of a Skills Academy/Partnership for the Park.
The initiative aims to improve access to employment, skills and training with the National Park and to ensure that young people living within the Park have as equitable an opportunity to access education, employment and training as those who live in more urban areas.
Equally, that small rural businesses can benefit from a skilled local work-force. This will ensure that both young people and their potential employers are not unfairly disadvantaged simply by living and operating in a more rural location.
The Community Partnership has recently employed a part-time Project Manager to facilitate the delivery and implementation of the Skills Partnership. In addition to this we would like to engage the services of an experienced consultant to assist with stakeholder engagement, specifically within one of the three sectors.
The foundation of the project will be in the formation and development of the Skills Partnership group. This group will drive the initiative forward, identifying opportunities to provide training and employment support to rural businesses and communities with the National Park. Developing strong relationships, shared goals and aspirations will be crucial in securing a long-term future for the project.
The timescales for the work will fall into two categories:
(1) Initial Development and stakeholder engagement: May – Jul 13 -Report by 15 July 13
(2) Skills Partnership – co-ordination, support and development: May – Dec 2013