Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

 
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Current activity and services

Raising economic participation levels is a priority for Bedford Borough.  More job opportunities are critical; however, market failures and barriers to economic participation prevent some residents who require additional support from taking advantage of the opportunities available. 

 

Work already taking place includes:

  • Launching The Jobs Hub Programme in July 2012 (link).  Funded by the Bedford Borough Partnership Board, Jobcentre Plus and Bedford Borough Council, The Jobs Hub works with employers, training partners and a network of volunteers to provide individual support to help residents into work, training and business.

 

  • As of 31st October 2016, the Jobs Hub had a total footfall of 26,870.  The Hub had recorded 1,468 customer outcomes: 1164 into work, 169 into training and 135 into self-employment.  Among the specialist services provided are NHS health checks, self employment advisors, as well as partners who work specifically with young people.  The Hub works closely with the CVS to support disadvantaged residents, including a network of volunteers to provide specialised mentoring and coaching.

 

  • Just a year after it opened on Greyfriars in Bedford Town Centre, the pioneering Jobs Hub received national recognition for the results it had achieved. The Jobs Hub won the ‘Delivering Better Outcomes’ category at the Municipal Journal Awards 2013.

 

  • Successful delivery of 9 European Social Funded Projects, through the local authority Co-Financing Programme between 2011 and 2015, which provided targeted employability and ‘barrier tackling’ support to a number of disadvantaged groups, with project activity including:
    • Supporting and Inspiring Young People (14-16 year olds)
    • Choices for NEETs (16-18 year olds)
    • Migrant Employment Support
    • Enterprise Coaching
    • Volunteering into Employment
    • Community Employment Support (residents of social landlords)
    • Work limiting illness support
    • Improving Employability for Adults with Learning Disabilities
    • Skills for Growth

 

  • A local Apprenticeship Delivery Group was established in 2011 with membership from Bedford Borough Council, the National Apprenticeship Service, and training providers to drive forward apprenticeship growth.  Recent activity includes business engagement, development of a local Ambassador scheme, the use of online/social media platforms, and a programme of annual events focusing on apprenticeships. 

  • Connecting those most in need to jobs by offering a programme of Back to Work events and Job Markets in partnership with training providers, employers, and the voluntary and community sector.

 

  • A new Strategic Partnership was established during 2012 to focus on increasing the economic wellbeing of 14-19 year olds.  Bedford Borough Council (Economic Development), the Federation of Small Business and the Chamber of Commerce are providing support to schools to increase their business engagement activity and provide Labour Market Information (LMI) reporting to support the progression of young people.  Initiatives include the Bedford Borough Schools Mentoring Programme which links Year 10-13 students (age 15-18) with working adults and university students in the Borough.

 

  • Adult Supported Employment Service, which is a specialist supported employment service for adults with a disability. For further information, click here or refer to Trotter (2013).

 

  • The development of a local Growth Plan to support further investment and business growth in Bedford Borough.  The Plan includes a discretionary reduction in business rates to attract and support new business investment and growth. It is proposed that those employing more than 50 staff will be asked to commit to put in place a local Work and Skills Plan to maximise local community benefit.  

 

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