Fife Council and partners provide a wide range of services to Fife residents and employers. Through Opportunities Fife, Fife Council and its partners are committed to creating employment and training opportunities for young people and adults in Fife. They offer a large number of opportunities which combine experience, knowledge and understanding to help meet the needs of employers looking to recruit and those seeking employment.
The introduction of Developing the Young Workforce in Fife has created new opportunities to develop the way schools, the college and employability providers engage with businesses. Fife Council and partners work with long term unemployed individuals to overcome some of the obstacles they may face such as: mental health, substance misuse, homelessness/at risk, on their journey into sustainable employment. Fife Council and partners offer employment/bespoke training, volunteering opportunities and employability services throughout Fife.
The challenge for PDMS was to provide a fit for purpose, web-based platform, which provides a more user friendly employability hub that would operate as a single point of contact for local residents, employers and education providers involved in the provision of employability and skills services.
By utilising the one system, the aim is to allow employers and residents a ‘one point of contact’, thus improving reportable labour market intelligence.
This vision of a joined-up service had to work for everyone involved including local schools, the college, the employability team and most importantly local employers and residents. It also had to adapt to an ever evolving labour market to ensure it had a lasting impact throughout the lives of Fife Council residents. By enhancing provision, productivity and partnership, Fife Council knew they could deliver an even better service that would ultimately provide lasting benefit to the local economy.
To achieve these objectives, Fife Council worked with PDMS to learn about how we were joining up local employability initiatives in the Isle of Man, through the local implementation of the Platform, employed.im. After a period of discussing best practice with various stakeholders in the Fife Council area we implemented the SignedUp platform into Opportunities Fife. We also built a new Opportunities Fife website to make their front end content easier to manage and to improve the general layout and design. By implementing SignedUp this way we were able to populate the system with employers and residents who had an existing relationship with Opportunities Fife.
Although the overall purpose of this project is to provide a central employability platform for residents, employers and education providers, we chose a phased implementation approach. This ensures that the service is delivered from the ground up rather than the top down, which enables us to make sure we are delivering value to the users each step of the way, and provides us with vital information from those using the system, thus allowing us to shape future development of the Platform.
The team engaging in the first phase of the pilot was the Opportunities Fife team. SignedUp instantly replaced their existing jobs portal and provided them with a host of new and exciting functionality including customisable forms and workflow designed to stamp out unnecessary admin time. While the Opportunities Fife team were hard at work, key stakeholders across local high schools and the college were being trained on how they could utilise the system to manage the key activities they undertake. Over time several high schools and the local college enrolled students in programmes through the system. Work is currently ongoing to equip the college, high schools and other partners with more services and functionalities being utilised within the system.
The Opportunities Fife implementation is operating in an advanced pilot mode. Fife Council residents are engaging with local employers and multiple employment vacancies, Opportunities Fife staff are managing multiple job vacancies for local employers and the platform is enrolling more people every day. Similarly, employers have the ability to engage with residents in a way they never could before. The local high schools and college now have a state of the art tool to manage individual services end-to-end. This means programmes like work experience, events, CPD, apprenticeships and placements can all be organised from one location and in the same fashion. There is no need for multiple logins and different systems operating in siloes.