Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas and New Year opening hours

If you’re planning to drop in and speak to someone at Connexions Birmingham over the holiday period, please note our holiday opening arrangements:
  • Up to and including Friday 23 December: normal opening hours
  • Monday 26 December: all offices closed
  • Tuesday 27 December: all offices closed
  • Wednesday 28 December: drop-in service at Broad Street Connexions Centre only (1pm–4pm)
  • Thursday 29 December: drop-in service at Broad Street Connexions Centre only (1pm–4pm)
  • Friday 30 December: drop-in service at Broad Street Connexions Centre only (1pm–3.30pm)
  • Monday 2 January 2012: all offices closed
  • Tuesday 3 January onwards: normal opening hours

Monday, December 19, 2011

What Next ? - Event Follow up

The what next? events which took place on 20 October and 3 November were a great success and appreciated by all those who attended.

The idea of the events was to help young people with LDD and their families find out about the range of support and provision available to help young people with LDD make a smooth transition to adult life. It was also an opportunity for those of us who support young people to update our information on the services that are out there.

We had nearly 30 different exhibitors at each event, including Mencap, Adult Social Care, various FE colleges and training providers, Carefirst, Autism West Midlands and many others.

Well over 300 people attended the events including a large number of young people, some of whom were brought by their school or college.

The feedback we received showed that people really valued the events. Young people reported that they didn’t think there was anything we could do to improve the event. When asked how useful they found it, 94% rated it Good to Excellent and the majority said they would come to a similar event again.

For most parents and carers, having the range of organisations and agencies available under one roof was what they valued. They felt it was useful to be able to talk to the professionals on the stands and collect a range of information to take home and look at.

There were a few comments saying that people felt the event helped them to put the decisions they were trying to make into a wider context, while others mentioned the presentations and workshops as the most useful part of the event.

Connexions Birmingham was one of the organisations that were specifically mentioned as being helpful. 100% of the parents/carers and professionals who completed the feedback form said that they would recommend the what next? event to others.

Professionals also valued the networking opportunity provided by the event. The professionalism and enthusiasm of the people on the stands was particularly commented on. Some professionals brought young people with them to the events and commented on how it helped them to understand what the young person was interested in and exploring options.

Once again Connexions Birmingham was specifically mentioned as being helpful. When things are difficult for us it is good to be reminded that what we do is valued and appreciated by the people we work with and running an event like this helps to demonstrate that to others.

Grateful thanks to all of those who helped make the events such a success.

Monday, December 5, 2011

How the new Education Act 2011 changes the way we work

Whether you are a young person still in education, a professional working in education, a parent, an employer or a young person seeking employment or training, your views on these changes and how we should shape our new service from April 2012 are important to us.

Connexions currently has a statutory duty (one laid down by law) to provide Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) to young people from the ages of 13 up to 19 years ( 25 years if a young adult has a learning difficulty or disability).

The service is delivered in partnership with schools and other learning providers as well as through drop in centres around the city.

The new Education Act 2011 will change the way that careers information, advice and guidance (CEIAG), is provided for young people. These changes will take place in schools from September 2012.

Department of Education guidance to schools advises that from September 2012, they will be responsible for ‘securing access to independent and impartial careers guidance for pupils in years 9-11’. This change moves the statutory responsibility for careers education, information, advice and guidance  undertaken by Connexions and places this responsibility onto schools. Connexions is currently exploring with schools what services they may require in the future to help them provide professional, impartial CEIAG for their pupils.

Department of Education guidance also recommends that ‘schools work in partnership with local authorities to ensure vulnerable young people receive the support that they need’. This recommendation means that from April 2012, Connexions will focus on providing a targeted service to pupils in schools and other young people not in education, employment or training.

Already a new National Careers Service (NCS) offers web and telephone based information and advice, with limited face to face advice for young people who are over 18 years , mainly through Job Centre Plus.

As a service, we have been through many changes and many names over the last 35 years but have always kept the delivery of an impartial careers information, advice and guidance service central to the service we offer.

The passing of the Education Act 2011 is by far the most significant change we have come across during this time. The new Act targets the support available from Connexions towards vulnerable pupils in schools and other young people who have left school and who are not in education, employment or training.

Feel free to comment below. Your suggestions and views will be fed into the consultation process.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Want to know what you can do after Year 12/13?

We’ve just updated our webpage on Year 12/13 Options for 2012. It tells you about your main options, where to get advice, and how to find out more.