Turning Point beats targets in innovative skills and jobs support scheme across Fenland and Peterborough
A scheme to help those in Peterborough and Fenland into good jobs or training at key periods of change in their lives has exceeded its targets for the number of people helped.
The Combined Authority bid successfully for Community Renewal Fund money from Government to deliver Turning Point – a project aimed at helping people when their work or education status changes. The programme, which ran from March to November 2022, was delivered through the Combined Authority and Business Board’s business investment, jobs and skills service Growth Works – a consortium focused on supporting businesses break down barriers to growth.
The Turning Point project aimed to help with the challenges businesses and individuals continue to face, including lack of finance to grow the workforce internally, as well as individuals looking to get into work, change jobs, or those who were unemployed and looking to either enter training or employment via an internship.
The difference Turning Point made to people’s skills and jobs has just been analysed, and was found to have beaten its targets considerably, summarised in the table.
|Outcome name||Contracted outcome target||Outcomes delivered||Outcomes delivered %|
|Employment increase in supported businesses as a result of support||64||69||108%|
|Jobs safeguarded as a result of support||20||72||360%|
|People in education/training following support||365||1071||293%|
|People engaged in job-searching following support||436||970||222%|
|People gaining a qualification following support||19||101||532%|
The scheme worked by giving individuals a Personal Skills Analysis to understand their needs and identify opportunities for upskilling and retraining. This was with the aim of either leading to a new job search or entering training or education. Opportunities to upskill and retrain workers within a business was also analysed. For some people, free short course training was offered, with £600 vouchers offered where no other funding available via other means. It supported the development of digital, net-zero, and management and leadership skills, as well as ‘work re-entry’ workshops to support transition back to work from unemployment.
Turning point also offered real-world experiences of work through 100 12-week funded internships. Funding of £5,000 per internship was provided to employers to provide new work opportunities. In addition, further support for businesses considering internships, including workshops and webinars on a 1-to-many basis on the benefits and opportunities of internships; and securing and matching 3 month paid internships.
Turning Point supported the Combined Authority’s economic growth objectives, particularly those set out in the 2021 Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Economic Recovery Strategy, which showed a north-south divide in the impact of Covid-19, with a greater risk of unemployment becoming embedded in the north of the region. This solidified the programme’s focus on the areas of Peterborough and Fenland.
Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson, said: “Turning Point was a great example of Combined Authority delivery in which we exceeded targets for the number of people benefiting from pathways into greater skills and new careers.
“Turning Point was another example of the Combined Authority bringing in more cash to the region, in this case to help people in Fenland and Peterborough – two areas identified as being particular at risk of further inequality and economic hardship after Covid-19. I’m delighted we were able to deliver real, tangible skills and employment opportunities to people as well as safeguarding jobs.
“The Combined Authority is investing in building a higher skilled region and helping people become more resilient to uncertain economic times, including through our innovative Adult Education programme, building the new ARU Peterborough university and rolling out Skills Bootcamps.”