Careers Service set to bridge digital divide for the unemployed

‘Digital by default’ is the Government’s aim for getting all its services online. The National Careers Service is no exception. With an estimated 10% of the population never going to access the internet – how does Inspira ensure it is offering a digital service as well as catering for those who can’t and don’t use the internet? Laura Wellington, Contract Lead at Inspira explains more.

The National Careers Service is for adults aged 19 or over and can be accessed face-to-face, digitally or over the phone. As a company we deliver the service in Cumbria, Lancaster and Morecambe - helping customers develop an individually tailored Skills Action Plan by identifying and exploring their skills, and creating bite sized tasks to achieve their overall goals.

Customers can be someone who is unemployed, someone who has been or is being made redundant, or someone who wants a change of career or is returning to the workforce after an extended period.

From the initial interview, our focus is on moving people into jobs and learning by ensuring they have the right support, information and guidance.

With the Government’s focus on the provision of digital services, we are able to provide this initial meeting online or through the telephone service, but we also offer face-to-face interactions, and customers can drop into our centres too.

The service is customer centric so it is about which channel is best for each person. We keep in touch via email and phone to see how they are doing and we keep doing that until they have achieved their goals – ideally that is when they are in employment, education or training.

A number of our customers are referred from the Jobcentre Plus however, with the increase in flexible working opportunities such as part-time and working from home and the fact people can and want to work later in life, we also reach out digitally to potential clients who may be economically inactive or looking for a career change.

The working population locally is aging, so we also want to help keep people in work by upskilling them. Consequently, we work directly with employers to find out what skills they think staff will need to move forward in the future, e.g. IT skills, or a more complete re-training package. For example, we recently worked with some Level 5 NHS apprentices who had never done an external interview so we helped them prepare for and carry out mock interviews.

If you would like to find out more about how the National Careers Service can help your workforce, please get in touch.