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Briefing paper – 14+ learning and skills projects


This briefing provides an overview of the work of our 14 + Learning and Skills Strategic Team, who are working closely with us and the National Apprenticeship Service to create a suite of projects to meet the skills and training needs of 16 – 25 years olds in Devon. The activity is divided into three strands:  Apprenticeships, NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training), and Skills. Within each strand there are a number of projects that we’ve just commissioned that are designed to meet the specific needs of these groups.


1. Apprenticeships

Devon has a good range of high quality apprenticeship provision, with 16-18 success rates (2011-12) higher than both regional and national levels. The aim of this strand of work is to further raise participation in apprenticeships in Devon and overcome the barriers that certain groups of young people face.

Unsuccessful applicants

Analysis of apprenticeship applications indicates that a number of young people across Devon are making multiple applications without a clear focus on occupation. A significant proportion of these young people are unsuccessful in gaining an apprenticeship position. To help we are setting up a coaching service with Careers South West that will provide 1:1 support for these individuals when completing their applications, as well as helping to improve their online skills and prepare for interview. This project will run until 31 July 2014. Contact –

Apprenticeship support for children in care

Analysis of Year 11 leaver destination data has highlighted a number of trends with regard to Children in Care (CIC) and Care Leavers (CL) in Devon. This group of young people form a significant part of the NEET group, and are more likely to become NEET. We have set up a project with Core Assets Children’s Services that aims to increase participation in Apprenticeships by CIC. This will include a package of 1:1 support to coach them through the application process, improve their online skills and help prepare them for interview. The project will run until 31 December 2014. Contact –

National Apprenticeship Week event

Set to run during Apprenticeship Week (3-7 March 2014), the Apprenticeships, Employment and Skills event on 5 March at Exeter Racecourse is aimed at providing young people and employers with the opportunity to understand more about apprenticeships, training and employment opportunities in an interactive way. The event, being run with the Education Business Partnership, will include a Business Breakfast for employers considering taking on an apprentice, as well as an interactive exhibition that will provide a range of ‘have a go’ activities for the young people so they get a flavour of what an apprenticeship entails. For more information contact –


2. NEETs

In general, the number of young people aged 16-18 in Devon who are NEET is low, in the region of 5%. However, data shows there are areas of the county in which the number of young people who are NEET is consistently high. Likewise, vulnerable groups such as teenage parents continue to be over represented in the NEET group. The aim of this strand of work is to reduce the number of NEETs in the top five NEET hotspots and engage specifically with the teenage parent group.

NEET hotspots

While the numbers of individuals may vary, the ranking of post code areas with the highest NEETs volumes is remarkably constant. This project with Young Devon will work with current NEETs data and create a bespoke package to engage with young people in the NEETs hotspots. The project will promote learning and help the young people to overcome the barriers that they face with the aim of enabling more of them to progress on to apprenticeships or a job with training. The project will run until 31 December 2014. Contact –

Teenage parents

As a group, teenage parents have shown very different aspirations and learning needs, however in contrast, they do have much in common as they take on their new role looking after a child. This project run with Superact will provide young parents with the support they need to further their learning, either through taking up an Apprenticeship or a job with training. When required childcare will be provided on-site free of charge. The project will commence in Tiverton, followed by Exeter and North Devon. The project will run until 31 December 2014. Contact –


3. Skills

The aim of this strand is to improve the support of young people in gaining employment who are both over represented in the NEET group, as well as facing particular barriers. This strand also aims to meet the training needs of the care sector by developing a new programme of study in the occupational area.

Employability Skills Project for LLDD/ YOS

Young people aged 16-18 with learning difficulties/disabilities or those working with the Youth Offending Service, often face very specific and significant barriers in becoming employed.  In addition, there is work to be done in preparing employers to work with this group and identify roles to which they could be suited. We have set up a work experience programme with Careers South West for these individuals which includes tailored support and coaching to meet their individual needs.  This project will run until 31 December 2014. Contact

Sector activity for Health and Social Care Sector

The health and social care sector is important in Devon in terms of employment and the needs of the older population for services. Analysis of apprenticeship vacancies shows high numbers of unfilled vacancies in these sectors. We aim to increase participation in the health and social care sector with a project with Venus Training. The project will develop and offer places on a Health and Social Care Traineeship which will enable progression onto apprenticeships or further learning opportunities. The project will run until March 2014. Contact –

For more information on these programmes either contact the contract holder direct or email