Details of Standard
Helping people to address and overcome obstacles to secure suitable and sustainable employment
This occupation is found in small, medium or large organisations which sit within any of the public, private or charitable sectors. These organisations will deliver employability support through local and national contracts across different public services such as back to work programmes, careers advice and guidance, housing, probation, health, social care, apprenticeships and skills development.
The broad purpose of the occupation is to work with individuals (service users) who are distanced furthest from the labour market, helping them to address and overcome obstacles to securing suitable and sustainable employment. Employability Practitioners may specialise in working with a specific group of service users and will devise strategies to address and overcome the multiple and complex barriers to employment, and to improve their employability prospects, with the end goal being to find employment or to progress in work if they are already employed. This requires a broad appreciation of the types of public services, community offerings and funding streams available and an understanding of how these fit together so that they can put in place a bespoke plan of support that takes a holistic approach to the whole service user.
In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with service users. This can include individuals who have or may have one or more of the following; mental health conditions, physical health conditions, disabilities, generational unemployment, social barriers e.g. lone parenting, addiction or substance misuse, low levels of education/attainment, language barriers i.e. English is not their first language, financial difficulties, ex-forces, ex-offenders, youth unemployment barriers etc. This list is not exhaustive. Employability Practitioners are responsible for safeguarding their services users from abuse and neglect as well as adherence to the Government’s PREVENT strategy which aims to protect vulnerable people from radicalisation and/or extremism. They will also interact with their colleagues, employers who are providing employment to service users, recruitment companies, public services, other community and support organisations that the service user is accessing and other key stakeholders. They will sit within a team of other Employability Practitioners who all report into a Team Manager and will usually work normal working hours however there may be times when they have to work evenings and weekends if any of their service users are employed and need to be contacted outside of these times.
An employee in this occupation will be responsible for supporting a caseload of the hardest to help individuals to change behaviours and develop knowledge and skills to improve their employability. All interactions and interventions that the employee has with service users will be recorded and regularly updated on the relevant in-house company computer systems. They will also be responsible for undertaking practitioner development and supporting colleagues through coaching and mentoring. The role will involve gathering data and information through research to make recommendations and inform service delivery through evidence-based improvements. They will also liaise with employers, advocating on a servicer users behalf, to find the right opportunity, based on their wants, needs and aspirational employment/career goals. They will be responsible for developing relationships with external stakeholders and to identify business development opportunities for the benefit of the local community and generating referrals of service users. An Employability Practitioner can be based in an office where the service users travel to meet them or equally they can be field based and will meet with service users out in the community in agreed locations.
Duty 1 Manage their caseload of challenging and complex cases.
S9 S20 S22
B4 B5 B6 B7
Duty 2 Conduct holistic initial assessments, action plans, job search, job brokerage and other interventions with service users, either face-to-face or remotely, on an individual or group basis, and record them. Evaluate the effectiveness of service user interventions and make improvements where relevant.
K1 K2 K3 K16
S1 S2 S3 S4 S6 S21
B1 B2 B3 B8 B9 B10
Duty 3 Provide information, advice and guidance on employability, careers and local labour market information to service users, employers and colleagues.
S16 S17 S18 S19
Duty 4 Signpost services to relevant third-party provision, taking a multi-agency (e.g. mental health services, probation service, police, social care services, health care services, local authorities etc.) and integrated services approach.
S5 S13 S14
B3 B4 B5 B9 B10 B11
Duty 5 Use non-clinical behavioural change techniques with service users.
S10 S11 S23
B2 B3 B5 B6 B7 B8
Duty 6 Coach and mentor both service users and colleagues to support their development.
B2 B3 B5 B6 B7 B8
Duty 7 Provide appropriate in work support to the service user which can then support them to stay and progress in employment.
B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9
Duty 8 Identify internal and external networking opportunities for partnership building and establishing working relationships with key stakeholders.
B3 B5 B10 B11
Duty 9 Manage challenging and complicated situations within own level of authority and make recommendations to enable and deliver change to improve service delivery.
S6 S8 S11
B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B9 B10
Duty 10 Participate in practice development sessions, self-reflection, caseload reviews and observations to support own and others development via peer to peer support.
B2 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8 B10
Duty 11 Proactively gather service user feedback, critically analyse it, evaluate the meaning / implications and act upon it. Make recommendations to inform service delivery.
S6 S17 S19 S21
B4 B5 B9 B10
Duty 12 Be responsible for and maintain own continuing professional and personal development, particularly within own specialism.
B2 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8 B10
Duty 13 Adhere to and apply safeguarding and PREVENT policies, procedures and best practice.
B1 B3 B6 B7 B8 B9
Duty 14 Understand the employability industry including professional standards, welfare benefits, funding systems and key stakeholders.
K4 K11 K13
S12 S13 S14
Duty 15 Adhere to, and support others to adhere to, relevant legislation and company vision, mission, values, policies and procedures.
Duty 16 Promote equality of opportunity, embrace diversity and inclusion.
B3 B5 B6 B7 B8
Duty 17 Meet minimum service levels and adhere to contractual requirements and support others to do so as well.
B1 B4 B6 B8 B9 B10 B11
K1: Holistic Assessments & Diagnostics – How to use a wide range of holistic assessments and diagnostics that take into consideration the whole person, not just employability related factors. For example, physical health, mental well-being and external factors such as housing, financial situations, family etc.
K2: Holistic Action Plans & Reviews – How to develop and use SMART, holistic and in-depth work-focused action plans that are user-led and agreed with representatives from other agencies and which considers the specific needs of different groups (e.g. those with physical disabilities and those with mental, learning, emotional and behavioural challenges, including autism and dyslexia). How to conduct regular reviews.
K3: Job Search & Other Interventions – How to deliver a wide range of interventions (either face-to-face or remotely) that are tailored to consider the specific needs of individual service users and different groups (e.g. those with physical disabilities and those with mental, learning, emotional and behavioural challenges, including autism and dyslexia). Not just employability related interventions but those that impact on health and well-being etc. Different methods of evaluating interventions for continuous improvement.
K4: Integrated Services – Multi-agency (e.g. mental health services, probation services, police, social care services, health care services, local authorities etc.) approaches to service delivery where local third-party provision is integrated with other services and knowledge of outreach, mobile and flexible working practices. Facilitate ‘service user focused’ meetings with external multi-agency caseworkers, utilising all available sources of support to help assist service users move into work, ensuring synergy and non-duplication of other agency work.
K5: Customer Service – How to deal with complaints, Different methods of gathering service user feedback, approaches to evaluate it, critically analyse it and use it for service delivery improvements.
K6: Coaching & Mentoring – A wide range of coaching and mentoring techniques for use with service users and colleagues. The differences between coaching and mentoring and knowing when to coach and when to mentor. Methods of reviewing and improving coaching and mentoring practice.
K7: Supported Employment – In work support, supported employment models, individual placement and support models. Other models that support those with complex needs to stay in work. How to manage the employer relationship to provide supported employment.
K8: Challenging & Complex Caseloads – How to manage caseloads effectively. Knowledge of caseload management techniques and time management techniques. Obstacles and factors that affect caseload management and how to deal with complex and challenging cases.
K9: Non-Clinical Behavioural Change – Different types of non-clinical behavioural change techniques.
K10: Challenging Situations – A wide range of managing challenging behaviour techniques, change management techniques, when to use them and company referral/escalation processes.
K11: Employability Industry – Funding systems, welfare benefits and professional boundaries. The different types of public services, community offerings and funding streams available and an understanding of how these fit together so that they can put in place a bespoke plan of support that takes a holistic approach to the whole service user.
K12: Practice Development – Participate in practice development sessions, caseload reviews and observations to support the development of themselves and others.
K13: Careers, Employability & Labour Market Information – Career choice theories and concepts, how to use these to provide advice and guidance, an understanding of employers and how to work with them, advocating on the behalf of individual service users to broker suitable employment based on their individual circumstances and considering any reasonable adjustments that might need to be made, how to analyse and interpret labour market information for service delivery improvement.
K14: Legislation & Company Vision, Mission, Values – Industry relevant legislation and company’s own vision, mission and values, how to adhere to these and how they inform service delivery.
K15: Minimum Service Levels & Contractual Requirements – Current contractual requirements and minimum service levels, how to meet them, how to highlight and address issues with service level requirements.
K16: IT Systems & Record Keeping – How to use IT Systems for management of information to inform service delivery and how to conduct routine compliance checks of records.
K17: Safeguarding – The context for legal and policy frameworks, family and environmental context and how to deal with safeguarding and PREVENT concerns and knowing when to escalate. Knows and understands the government’s Prevent strategy.
K18: Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – The importance of effective management of own and others CPD.
K19: Equality, Diversity & Inclusion – Equality, diversity and inclusion, what they are, how to embed them within daily practice.
S1: Holistic Assessments & Diagnostics – Use holistic assessment and diagnostic skills to identify servicer user employability, career goals and aspirations and health and well-being barriers. Assess service users’ strengths and obstacles to building healthier lives through returning to work.
S2: Interviewing & Effective Questioning – Apply effective interviewing and questioning techniques to identify servicer user employability, career goals and aspirations and potential barriers to these
S3: Attention to detail & Record Keeping- Conduct routine compliance checks of service user records for own caseload and others, identifying areas for improvement and making recommendations.
S4: Design & Deliver Interventions – Utilise evidence-based solutions to design and deliver employability, health and wellbeing related programmes, services and interventions to service users which considers the specific needs of different groups (e.g. those with physical disabilities and those with mental, learning, emotional and behavioural challenges, including autism and dyslexia). These can be either on a one-to-one basis (face-to-face or remotely) or in groups at a central office or out in the community.
S5: Flexible Working – Where required, work flexibly across different locations by undertaking outreach work to make services accessible for service users or even co-locating with other community services. Where required, work flexibly outside of normal office working hours as there may be times when they have to work evenings and weekends if any of their service users are employed and need to be contacted and provided with support outside of these times
S6: Communication – Communicate to a high standard, both verbally and written, using a wide variety of different methods and adapting for different audiences, evaluating the effectiveness for continuous improvement.
S7: Coaching & Mentoring – Coach and mentor service users and colleagues and actively improve coaching and mentoring skills for themselves and others.
S8: Problem Solving & Risk/Crisis Management – Uses advanced problem solving, and negotiation skills to establish win-win situations with service users where possible. Identifying when they might potentially fall out of work and rapidly respond to minimise the risk. Address safeguarding and PREVENT concerns maturely, dealing with service users when they present in crisis, minimising risks/crises in the future through pastoral support and effective risk assessment.
S9: Managing Complex Caseloads – Application of specialist knowledge to deal with particular complex and challenging cases.
S10: Behaviour Management – Anticipate and de-escalate challenging behaviour in service users, managing challenging behaviour as it presents itself using relevant non-clinical behaviour change tools and techniques.
S11: Change Management – Manage change effectively with the on-boarding/off-boarding of contracts and services
S12: Business Development – Identify, seek out and establish business development and commercial opportunities for the organisation including new referral streams.
S13: Networking – Network with internal and external customers and key stakeholders to build relationships and identify business opportunities.
S14: Stakeholder Management & Engagement – Build and maintain strong working relationships with key stakeholders to support service delivery by taking a multi-agency and integrated services approach.
S15: Giving Feedback – Give constructive and timely feedback to service users and colleagues.
S16: Evaluation & Critical Analysis – Evaluates and analyses programmes, services and interventions, using data to make recommendations for improvements and to inform service delivery.
S17: Research Skills – Gather labour market, employability and careers information, analyse it, spot trends and patterns, draw conclusions to inform information, advice and guidance given to service users and employers. Research skills are used to further specialism knowledge and experience, as well as to support service design and delivery.
S18: Deliver Information, Advice & Guidance – Apply employability, careers and labour market knowledge to deliver high quality information, advice and guidance that is tailored to the needs of the service users and key stakeholders.
S19: Service Delivery – Adheres to company vision, mission and values, embedding them in all service delivery.
S20: Performance Management – Independently manage own performance to meet and exceed minimum service levels, contractual requirements and service level agreements.
S21: ICT & Digital Skills – ICT skills are used for record keeping and digital skills are used to support service users with finding employment through social media and the internet.
S22: Assertiveness – Assertively directs and challenges service users to reach their potential. Will also be used when dealing with key stakeholders.
S23: Manage CPD – Manage your own and support the professional development of others. Promote best practice through learning opportunities as they arise.
B1: Pro-Active & Efficient – Gets own job done and where relevant gets tasks done through others, always achieving high standard results, taking a pro-active approach to all work areas.
B2: Positive – Has a ‘can do’ attitude, is enthusiastic and can inspire service users and colleagues.
B3: Professional – Demonstrates a genuine commitment to the personal, health & well-being and occupational success of individual service users by meeting industry standards.
B4: Target Driven – Ambitious and determined to succeed, finding better ways of achieving business objectives even in the light of sustained pressure.
B5: Flexible & Adaptable – Adapting to changing circumstances and implementing change effectively.
B6: Resilient – Has the capacity to respond to and recover from difficulties.
B7: Emotional Intelligence – Recognises, understands and manages own emotions and recognises, understands and be proactive in influencing the emotions of others. Can handle interpersonal relationships establishing trust and rapport effectively.
B8: Supportive – Provide encouragement and emotional help and support appropriately and where needed to service users and colleagues.
B9: Analytical – Seeks and interprets information from a variety of sources, comparing and contrasting to identify key issues and make sound decisions.
B10: Innovative & Creative – Quickly appreciates diverse and complex information, using it to challenge current methods and generate innovative ideas and solutions to improve business performance and act upon potential business opportunities.
B11: Commercially Aware – Understands the business, its strategy, goals and priorities as well as the business environment.
Typically this apprenticeship will take 24 months
Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.
This standard has professional recognition.
Institute of Employability Professionals
Associate or Member