Introducing: Next Steps Programme

News & Events

Over the past two years the number of Birmingham Training Providers offering short employability study programmes for those young learners who face learning barriers have diminished.  

This has been even more evident this year, as we have struggled to sign post our young people to provision in Birmingham that meets their needs.  

This was mirrored when I met with Martin Lorimer from Birmingham Career Service, who agreed that it is becoming more difficult to find suitable places in Birmingham for students that are NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and need a programme to support their barriers to learning.

This year has seen a dramatic increase in young people with mental health issues and other barriers enrolling on our Access to Employment programmes, often not being able to attend regularly and struggling with holding down a full time position. This has prompted us to look at all of our programmes to ensure the curriculum is fit for purpose and has the resources to support these needs 

In June this year we reviewed our Access to Employment programme and decided that we would introduce an additional shorter programme with part time hours to run along side our full time Access programmes. Our new ‘Next Steps’ programme has been designed using data and feedback from our staff and a meeting with leaders from Birmingham Local Authority and Birmingham Careers Service. It was agreed that we needed to offer a programme that tailored the needs of young people who at this stage of their lives are not ready for a full time learning programme for various reasons. The programme needs to be accessible every month to prevent young people becoming unknown NEET, it should cater for moderate needs and have access to one to one support from a SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) specialist and pastoral support including a metal health first aider and preferably delivered in small group sizes. The curriculum should focus on short term employability goals including attendance and punctuality, independent travel, confidence building and resilience. Maths and English would include stepping stone qualifications to build confidence, with the aim of completing some work experience and ultimately making the transition to a full time study programme.

The Next Steps programme, which starts on Tuesday 24th September 2019, will be delivered over 12 hours (10 – 2pm daily), Tuesday to Thursday, for 8 weeks, with the aim to progress onto a full time study programme offered by local West Midland training providers and colleges.

If you would like further information regarding our Next Steps Programme, please contact our Recruitment Team on 0121 333 3001, E-Mail: or click here to submit an online enquiry.