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Employability and Skills Unit

Page last updated: 28/08/2018

The Employability and Skills Unit's (ESU), within Essex County Council, overarching aim is to support the local economy to grow through the development of a skilled workforce.

Our work is achieved through a number of key objectives:
  1. To work in partnership with employers, learning providers and other key agencies in the development of a skilled workforce.
  2. To support employers in sectors, in which there are skills shortages, and influence the delivery of high quality Apprenticeships.
  3. To enable learning providers to support young people in the development of their career and education aspirations. This work includes the provision of services to identify young people who are employed and offer support to inspire them to enter the labour market and to access the training available.

Identifying young people's destinations through the Tracking Team

Essex County Council (ECC) has a key statutory responsibility to identify and track young people aged 16-19. The purpose of this duty is to prevent young people disengaging and ensure they secure sufficient suitable education and training provision, thereby improving the outcomes for young people.

Through work with schools, colleges and training providers we learn about the destinations of most young people. Where we have no destination for a young person, we will make contact with them and should they be NEET, (Not in Employment, Education or Training) they are referred to the NEET Intervention Team for further support.

ECC does require your support throughout the year in collecting student data. If you have any questions about the data that is being requested, please contact the Participation Tracking Team at Ely House, Basildon.

Key quadrant contacts are:

Employment/Training support for young people who are NEET

If you know of a young person aged 16-19 and they are looking for a job, education or training, the ESU's Intervention Team has experienced advisers who have access to opportunities in your area and will be able to assist ex-students with planning their next steps. Please contact the relevant team below:

Basildon, Brentwood, Canvey, Rayleigh and Rochford - 03330 139842

Chelmsford, Braintree, Witham and Maldon - 03330 138960

Colchester, Clacton and Harwich - 03330 138961

Harlow, Epping and Uttlesford - 03330 138962​​


​​To achieve our key objectives, the ESU works in partnership with the Employment and Skills Board (ESB). The Board is predominately made up of employers and supports a number of projects, listed below, to enhance Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance. Find out more about the ESB.
The ESU in partnership with the Employment and Skills Board offer the following programmes:

Quality in Careers Standard Award

​​​The Quality in Careers Standard

The careers strategy and revised statutory guidance have impacted on how we quality assure careers education and guidance activity. All the major stakeholders, including  the Department for Education (DfE), the Gatsby Foundation, and the Careers & Enterprise Company state that schools should not only work towards achieving the Gatsby Benchmarks, but also to achieve the single national quality award for careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) – the Quality in Careers Standard.

The Standard has been fully revised to incorporate the Benchmarks within its revised national assessment and accreditation criteria

In terms of process, DfE expects all schools, with the help of the Compass self-assessment tool to achieve the Benchmarks by the end of 2020. The DfE also strongly recommends that all schools work towards, achieve and maintain the Quality in Careers Standard. Evidence shows that schools already holding the Standard perform well against the Benchmarks and these institutions now need to focus on fully achieving all eight Benchmarks.

Independent assessment and national accreditation

The revised national Standard offers schools and colleges external independent assessment and national accreditation of the quality of their CEIAG provision – majoring upon its impact and outcomes for young people (i.e. qualitative professional judgements in addition to the quantitative Benchmarks).

The revised Standard will ensure that schools and colleges not only fulfil their statutory obligations but achieving it will also assure young people, parents, employers and other key partners that the CEIAG provided by a school or college has been independently assessed against the national criteria.

Licensed Awarding Bodies

The Standard is assessed across the country by a number of Licensed Awarding Bodies​.

Essex County Council is licensed to support schools in working towards and achieving the Quality in Careers Standard and if you would like further information, please do not hesitate to call Tracy Eve on 03330130935 or email  

Employability for Life Charter/Charter Plus

Employability for Life is now supported by the Association of Secondary Heads in Essex (ASHE) and  Essex County Council.   The framework supports young people in developing a portfolio of evidence that will enables student's to identify and evidence their key employability skills which are critical when making future transitions into work or education e.g. communication, motivation, team work, attendance etc.  For up to date information on the Charter or Charter Plus (Post 16) frameworks, please click here​.

Apprenticeship Promotion and Brokerage hub

The Apprenticeship Hub offers a recruitment   service for Year 11 and Year 13 school leavers who are aspiring to an Apprenticeship and businesses and Training Providers who are seeking to recruit Apprentices.
Services offered to young people through the Hub include a fortnightly Apprenticeship   vacancy bulletin, support   with the production of CVs, mock interviews and introductions to businesses who are seeking to recruit Apprentices.
The team offers an advice service for  parents/carers, including the delivery of Workshops and through working in  partnership  organisations such as Not Going to Uni, Pathway Careers and Inspiring the Future.
For more information contact or call 0333 01 39858

ESB Education and Industry STEM Programme

The ESB Education and Industry STEM Programme currently supports in excess of 50 schools across Essex to develop greater links between those schools and a range of key industry sector companies in their local area.
Responding to cross-sector needs and skills shortages, the programme links businesses to schools through a range of activities and events, including industry-led projects, sector career showcases and specialised masterclasses.

The Enterprise Adviser Network

What is the Enterprise Adviser Network?

The Careers and Enterprise Company has been launched by Government to prepare and inspire students for the world of work.  The Careers & Enterprise Company is responsible for the Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN), which is partly funded and promoted in Essex by the Essex Employability and Skills Board.   Schools and businesses have the opportunity to become part of a national network which is currently active in 36 out of 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships. The network aims to link every secondary school and college across Greater Essex with managers and directors from the seven priority sectors identified by the ESB e.g. Engineering & Manufacturing, Finance, Construction, Health, Care, Logistics, IT and Digital sectors.


How does the network work?

Enterprise Co-ordinators employed by Essex County Council will recruit Senior Leaders from business, who will volunteer as Enterprise Advisors (EAs).  The EA will work closely with the senior leadership team within a local school for around eight hours a month to enhance the school's careers and employer engagement strategy.   Essex County Council is working with Southend and Thurrock Local Authorities to provide a Greater Essex approach.

How is the network benefitting schools?

Enterprise Advisers are giving their time and resource to the schools' careers programme in a wealth of different ways.  We have examples of international companies supporting schools in taking students into local companies, attending practice interview days, developing job and application programme delivery in schools and developing and financing projects to enhance the students' employability skills. 

For more information on the Careers and Enterprise Network please contact ​

ESB Careers Fact Sheets

​​​Our careers fact sheets are fun, engaging and insightful booklets, designed to inform students and their parents about the key sectors in Essex. Built from critical information from our Evidence Base, our research is brought to life in a fun, vibrant and interactive format where people of all ages can learn about the wonderful local opportunities on offer.
These fact sheets cover the seven priority sectors of Greater Essex as identified by the Board: Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Care, Construction, Finance  and Insurance, Health, IT, Digital and Creative and Logistics. As well as a host of valuable LMI, these careers fact sheets each have a competition where participants could win one of seven £30 gift vouchers.

For Further Information:

Tracy Eve, IAG Communication, Marketing & Projects Lead