11: Brighton, UK – Youth Employability Service (YES)
In 2011, Brighton and Hove City Council established the Youth Employability Service (YES) to re-engage 16-18 year old NEETs.69 The service provides free information, advice and guidance on employment and training opportunities and access to benefit payments. It also offers assistance with CV writing, job searching, completing application forms and interview preparation and provides support to young people as they are settling into new roles. The service has a number of drop-in centres across the city and uses social media, such as Facebook and Youtube, to share information. The service providers have also developed an app so that users can access information via their mobile phones.
In a year and a half it has reduced the number of disengaged young people from 10 per cent to 6.6 per cent. The programme’s success has been attributed to several factors, including: strong links with training providers, employers, Jobcentre Plus70 and the National Apprenticeship Service; input on how to improve the service from young people via the Youth Employability Panel; engagement via social media; and the monthly mapping of local provision.
The service prioritises the tracking of all young people to keep the numbers of ‘unknowns’ low and offer disengaged young people an adviser to provide tailored support. Social media platforms are not only used to communicate with clients and promote the service but also to track young people. It has enabled the service to contact young people they would not normally be able to reach. In 2011/12 the situation of 12.8 per cent of young people was not known; in 2012/13 this had dropped to 4.8 per cent.71
The council plans to increase support to more vulnerable learners with agreements to work closely with YMCA Supported Housing, housing associations, stronger family services, and Family Nurse Partnership practitioners.72