Tag Archives: employability

Saints Foundation in partnership with CDG–WISE Ability: How we used Rickter to shape our employability course

Marching Towards Employment participants pictured with Rickter Scale Practitioner Keith Mitchell (far right) and SaintsAbility+ Project Officer Robert Pearce (far left) at the Southampton V Sunderland match on 27 August 2016. Photo by Matt Watson/SFC/Digital South.

Saints Foundation is an independent charity aligned to Southampton Football Club. Harnessing the passion of the club and its fans they aim to INSPIRE, SUPPORT and DELIVER positive change and equality of opportunity for young people and vulnerable adults across Southampton and surrounding areas. They work across six key themes: Youth inclusion, Lifelong Learning, Health and Wellbeing, Education, Schools and Enterprise and Football and Sports Development.

CDG – WISE Ability delivers the Work Choice contract through its experienced and knowledgeable supply chain across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Their core purpose is to support people with disabilities and long term health conditions who are unemployed find worthwhile and sustainable employment and improve their quality of life. The aim is to deliver a service that meets the needs of the customers, ensuring both a high quality and excellent service.

During 2016 both organisations met up and working in partnership created an Employability Course aimed at young people with disability/health conditions that needed help and support in taking their next steps towards employment goals.

Calling the course “Marching Towards Employment”, participants were invited to join and in the week before starting came in for individual Rickter Scale® sessions. From this we identified key areas of development, as well as individual goals relating to employment. We were then able to tailor the course specifically around these areas – as opposed to just delivering an “off the shelf” course on what was presumed they would need to learn.

The results spoke for themselves with the follow up assessments showing improvement, development and achievements across the board with all the participants.

Keith Mitchell, Employment Adviser, CDG –WISE Ability

How Finchale will be using the Rickter Scale® to support veterans

We were recently fortunate to work with the team at Finchale, an independent charity in Durham providing specialist progression support for people with multiple and complex barriers to employment.

Echoing the whole ethos of Rickter, Finchale provides holistic, person-centred support, focused on helping people develop the skills they need to succeed.

Support is tailored to the individual’s requirements with a comprehensive range of assistance available, from helping with CVs or numeracy skills, to addressing addictions, social isolation or mental health difficulties, to supporting the entire family unit – Finchale have it covered.

An impressive 90% of the clients who start to work with Finchale go on to complete their programme.

Andy Wildish, Veterans Service Team Leader at Finchale, was aware of Rickter’s previous work with Finchale College and contacted us with a particular interest in how Rickter could be used as an outcomes measure within the Veterans Support Service:

“Having used Rickter Scale® a number of years ago, I was aware of the benefit it could have for our veterans and recording processes. Not only can Rickter Scale® help us to easily record the progress of our clients and their “distance travelled”, but it also provides us with a platform to work from which can then motivate and encourage our veterans to look at their own progression, plan ways in which to impact their lives and set goals to achieve in a number of areas.

The Rickter Impact Management System will also allow me to produce charts and graphs indicating the progression of our veterans, which can be used in our reports and monitoring forms to funders. The ability to do this could be vital in securing future funding to continue this extremely valuable work.”

The Veterans Support Service is available to anyone who has served in the armed forces and is having difficulties moving on in civilian life.

Our Director of Operations, Nan Wood, delivered the Rickter Scale® training session for Finchale:

“I had a very interesting day with the team at Finchale who are supporting veterans to get into employment. 

It was great to hear the staff talk about their work with such enthusiasm and I hope that using the Rickter Scale® will not only aid them within their role, but also help the individuals to gain more success.”

The Rickter Scale® will be applied on entry to the service using the Lifeboard to help the individual self assess with regards to identifying positive aspects of their life and also the areas where they want to make changes. Following this, the Employment Development Organisers will use an overlay tailored to the specific needs around employability skills. This will help to inform Action Plans and to measure movement towards their individual goals.

Finchale also have to evidence soft outcomes to their funders and are using the Rickter Impact Management System to collate information and form reports.

We look forward to supporting this proficient service in assisting veterans to move forward.

To find out more and read some inspiring stories from service-users, please visit www.finchale.org and you can follow Finchale on Twitter @Finchale_Org

A case study: using Rickter to increase engagement with young people

We recently spent a very enjoyable day delivering Rickter Scale® training for Glasgow City Council’s Activity Agreement Service Team.

It was really interesting hearing about the positive support available to vulnerable young people who have become disengaged from work and learning.

The group were looking for ways to increase engagement with the young people and to be able to help them reflect on their progress. It was a pleasure to work with them and share experiences.

One of the Practitioners commented on the day that Rickter is something she will use for the rest of her career.

We caught up with Brendan Dafters, Activity Agreement Coach, about their experience of Rickter so far:

“Our department works with disadvantaged young people aged 15-21 who are disengaged from education, employment and training. We offer a comprehensive and diverse range of employability activities designed to support young people into positive and meaningful destinations. The Rickter Assessment has become a vital component within our delivery model and its value is already evident.”


Case Study:

Service User 1 (SU1) was referred to our service after almost 12 months of refusal to attend school and offending within the community. As part of our 3 session assessment SU1 completed a Rickter Assessment with their Coach. It was apparent that the service user’s network of support, peer group and literacy skills were key areas of concern. The goal-setting aspect of the assessment allowed the practitioner to facilitate the design of an action plan which would help the service user overcome their barriers and work towards their goals.

SU1’s barriers were addressed over the next 12 weeks by means of focused workshops and literacy and numeracy support. They completed a stage one 8 week programme which covered community contribution and citizenship. The positive relationships SU1 made within the centre also positively impacted on their offending and antisocial behaviour.

A follow-up Rickter Assessment showed the progress the young person felt they had made during their time within our service. Headings such as ‘Core Skills’, ‘Social Networks’ and ‘Team/Groupwork’ increased by more than 5 steps. In this particular case, the Rickter Assessment was pivotal in assessing the needs of this service user and it greatly contributed towards empowering them to work towards a set of goals.


Here at Rickter we are passionate about people having choice and access to the necessary support enabling them to make positive changes in their lives. It is great hearing how the Rickter Scale® has contributed to this young person now having a vision of a future away from offending and one that involves more positive choices.

We look forward to our continued work with Glasgow City Council’s Activity Agreement Service Team.

Rickter helps Stoke City FC Community Trust achieve its Goals

Stoke City Community Trust, Rickter Scale Training 2016

Stoke City Community Trust, Rickter Scale Training 2016

Stoke City Football Club’s Community Trust was founded in 1989 and became a registered charity in 2004.

The Trust’s work is around engaging with people in the community to support them to realise their potential, both in their personal and professional development.

Sport plays an important role in getting people to be more active, helping create a positive impact on health and wellbeing. In particular the Trust uses football as a way to engage with people of all ages, abilities and social backgrounds. The Trust is committed to inclusion, promoting health and wellbeing, and improving education.

The staff team at Stoke City Community Trust are using the Rickter Scale® to engage with participants across the many areas they work in, including within schools and helping young adults undertake Lifelong Learning.

“All our Education staff are now trained to use the Rickter Scale. Great person-centred assessment tool to help support our young people to progress towards their goals.”

David Bartrum, Education & Lifelong Learning Manager at Stoke City Community Trust.

Stoke_group2Rickter’s Director of Operations, Nan Wood delivered the training for the Trust and said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Britannia Stadium to take such a motivated and professional team through Rickter Training to become licensed practitioners. Straight away they saw the value of Rickter in connecting with individuals, but also how it evidences the soft outcomes to show a person exactly how far they have come on their journey towards their goals. The group are keen to be able to use Rickter to demonstrate their outcomes and good practice for funders. We look forward to being ardent supporters.”

Find out more about the work of Stoke City Community Trust here or follow them on Twitter @StokeCity_CT

European Centre for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Conference

Building a picture of achievement

Building a picture of personal achievement

The final conference for our Bulgarian partnership with the European Centre for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship took place in Plevin. The project aim was to support 300 young people into employment over a twelve month period by conducting three Rickter Scale Interviews, two on-line consultations and giving access to on-line resources with regard to building job preparation skills.

The outcome is that practitioners have engaged with over 300 young people and have supported 48% into employment.

The conference audience was made up of some of the young people who had participated, employers, professionals and representatives from the Labour Bureau.

Elena Todorova Ivanova-Kiritsova, Personal and Human Communities Development Association opened the conference and explained the aims of the project, Penka Spasova, Chairperson of RESC Pleven talked about the need for this type of work, Keith Stead, The Rickter Company spoke about the outcomes that were evidenced through using Rickter and the IMS, and Nan Wood, The Rickter Company talked about the training and input that we had with regard to reviewing and verifying best practice.

There was a display of coloured boxes with words written on them such as; confidence, motivation, success etc and after each person spoke; including the young people and some of the practitioners, they were asked to select a box that represented what they had gained from the project and they were constructed to offer up a physical picture of what had been achieved.

The conference was a huge success, with everyone involved delighted by the outcomes.

Work in Wales

Rickter Interview - Practice SessionI have been delivering quite a lot of training in Wales, some of it to Workways who tackle the barriers that prevent individuals from finding employment. The project provides support with job searching, CVs, application forms, interview skills, telephone techniques and access to training. Participants are also matched with local businesses, helping them gain the vital experience needed to find long term employment.

Practitioners will use the Lifeboard to help the individuals they are supporting identify the barriers that are preventing them from  getting into employment and training, but also to structure an achievable Action Plan to help them move forward.

Led by Neath Port Talbot Council in collaboration with Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and City and County of Swansea, the South West Workways project is backed with £12.6 million from the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

Through this work partnerships have also managed to access funding and as a result I have been in Cardiff delivering Rickter Multi Agency Training events for individuals and smaller groups. I am currently looking forward to the next event of this type in Cardiff next week. 

TOI ‘Scaling New Heights’ Conference | September 4th, 2013

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The conference was hosted by Northumbria University in the Great Hall of the Sutherland Building. In excess of 50 people attended from a variety of public, private and third sector organisations. The conference was moderated by Professor Andrea Fleschenberg PhD, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan who did a wonderful job of keeping everyone on task and on time.

The Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor George Pattison welcomed everyone and shared his thoughts on how important this type of European work is for people who are struggling due to long term unemployment, and identifying some areas within his own constituency as a local councillor where the use of the Rickter Process would be particularly useful. 

SNH 05 - Prof Andrea Fleschenberg_ Sherrif & Deputy Lord Mayor George Pattison

Nan Wood, Director of Operations, The Rickter Company spoke about the background of the Rickter Scale® which is the innovation being transferred in this project. She explained the process of using the board, giving examples of good practice in the UK and described the transition the partner organisations had made from working together on a previous Leonardo Project to this Transfer of Innovation, ‘Scaling New Heights’.

SNH 08 session

Keith Stead, CEO, The Rickter Company then presented the outcomes of the project highlighting all of the hard work and dedication of the Partners. The main areas presented looked at the distance travelled towards goals for each country and the challenges that each client group faced. It was interesting to note that the barriers to employment faced by clients in Germany, Greece and Italy were no different to those in the United Kingdom.

SNH 15 - Aristea Liarokapi, Antonia Torrens, Marina Zotaki, Eleni Koulosousa

The afternoon sessions started with a video of the May 2012 earthquake in the Carpi region of Italy, which hugely affected the people who were taking part in the project, both as practitioners and as clients. It was noted that where the Richter Scale measured the impact on the ground that day, the Rickter Scale® measured the impact it had on the people.

SNH 02 - Serena DAngelo, Licia Boccaletti

SNH020 session

We then moved on to participate in an ‘Information Carousel’ where each country had their own stand in the room and the audience, who had been divided into four groups, visited each one for 15 minutes and then moved on – speed dating with a difference! It offered the audience an opportunity to hear first hand from each partner country their experiences and outcomes of using the Rickter Scale®. This was very well received and was one of the highlights of the conference.

SNH021 session

 

SNH023 sessionProfessor Andrea Fleschenberg then hosted a Talk Show to share good practice where set questions were asked of the guests: Jon Clapham, Dept of Work and Pensions; Mick Carey, Careers Europe and Kushwanth Koya, Northumbria University.

SNH024 session

This was followed by the Keynote Speaker, Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE who talked about the importance of measuring soft indicators and shared some of the report she has recently presented to Government Ministers through the National Careers Council entitled, “An Aspirational Nation” and its objective as Dr Hughes described it of “a career for life”.

SNH026 Dr Deirdre Hughes_NW_RH

The conference came to a close with representatives from each country sharing their personal experiences of the project.

SNH 04 - Alfons Müller Rita Neidhardt

Everyone felt that the partnership had worked particularly well and Alfons Muller, ZIB, Germany who is the Project Coordinator, expressed his gratitude for the dedication of all the partners and remarked on how much everyone has gained professionally, personally and culturally from this Transfer of Innovation.

SNH 14 - Keith  Licia Boccaletti - Alfons Müller  Aristea Liarokap

Some examples of feedback we have received since the Conference:

“I enjoyed hearing about the Scaling New Heights project and that we are all encountering similar issues, whether we are in the UK or elsewhere”.

“Just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to hear what you and the team have been up to here and across Europe. It was a fascinating conference day… loads of information and simply inspirational (as things with the Rickter Scale® tend to be)”.

First of all just to say I thought the day went exceptionally well last week – especially the carousel – feedback was clear, well presented and very positive, big well done!”

Positive Outcomes from the Bulgaria Conference

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Keith and I returned to Plevin, Bulgaria for the Sustained Employment Project conference on the 8th July.  We were given a very warm welcome by Elena Ivanova-Kiritsova and Penka Spasova who have been managing the project and also by the Practitioners who have been doing all of the interviews. Over the past year we have built up wonderful friendships with this group of very professional people. The conference was well attended by representatives from various partner agencies and government departments.

When originally developed the Sustained Employment Model was to look at how we could support unemployed people by using the Rickter Scale® to access training and employment. For those who were employed it would be used to help them maintain and grow within their work situation. With this in mind 650 people were interviewed; 300 unemployed, 300 employed and 50 employers. This work was undertaken by 10 Practitioners, expertly managed by Elena and Ira Nikolova. The role of the Rickter Company was to train these experts and help them develop a dedicated overlay of questions to engage with clients and evidence the work being done. The group met in Newcastle for a consultation and introduction to the model and later were trained in Plevin.

BG Trg Group

The Practitioners had to find the people to participate in the project and then conduct the initial interview and review interviews, all within a period of five months. The Rickter Company monitored the practice of these experts. The outcomes from the interviews have been excellent and the Practitioners stood up at the conference and gave their feedback of the impact that it had on people’s lives and a few case studies of their experiences in using the Rickter Scale®. Identifying choice was one area that stood out as being an important factor for some of the unemployed people and for employers it was raising awareness of the importance of supporting and valuing staff. One unemployed person who had been supported by the project gave very positive feedback on his experience of being on the receiving end of the Rickter Board. 

We were interviewed by the press before the conference, as this model is being used to feed back results to the Department of Labour and is an important and innovative way of working that has never been used in Bulgaria before.

Keith gave an informed presentation on the outcome of the final report and I talked about the positive work of everyone involved and gave examples of where Rickter is being used in different arenas within our work in the UK and other parts of Europe.  At this point I must say that had it not been for our expert translator, Kalina Ilieva perhaps things might not have gone so smoothly! Elena and Penka spoke of the importance of the outcomes of using Rickter and the impact it was having on the people of Plevin; 14% of the participants who were unemployed have gained employment.  Elena also spoke about how this model could have an impact on the whole of Bulgaria and the way people in services work.

HPIM1179.JPG

This project has been such a success that we have been invited to participate in a new one starting in August that will see Rickter offered to young people to gain entrepreneurial skills.

You can read the final Project Report here

Nan Wood, Director of Operations

 

Work Programme

Rick HutchinsonIt seems that there are more people applying for less jobs than ever before. There are many providers doing great work to meet the governments targets who are struggling to come anywhere near what is expected of them to get their payment by results.

So if they do not succeed does that mean they have failed?

On one level I guess they have – in terms of getting paid from the government, however what about all the good work they have done to get their clients ” Opportunity Ready”! That is improving their self esteem, confidence, CV writing and interview skills etc. Surely we have to give them not just credit for this work, but also financial help to continue to work with a difficult client group so that when the job market picks up they will then see the fruits of their labour when their clients are “Opportunity Ready”?

How do we measure these soft outcomes? Look no further than the Rickter Scale process. It is designed to assess, motivate and provide such evidence to funders and demonstrate value for money. We welcome enquiries from providers so we can help them to help others to tackle the unemployment situation with a new confidence and so that they can now demonstrate their effectiveness.