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Employability and Skills Unit

Page last updated: 23/05/2018

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:

Recognition of Quality Award (RoQA)

The Recognition of Quality Award (RoQA) is managed by Essex County Council and is a nationally validated quality kite mark that has been in operation since the late 1990s and is designed to assess the quality of Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG), Work Related Education (WRE), Education to Business links or Business to Education links. However, the most popular awards are CEIAG or WRE.

Award Framework


  • ​Education establishments choose the award they would like to progress, and once they have signed the agreement they are issued with the latest Principles and Criteria (P&C) which include:
    • Commitment
    • Management
    • Entitlement
    • Partnership
    • Impartiality (supports CEIAG)
    • Recognition
  • ​​The average completion for each award is 18 months - two years with an expectation that schools will embark on a reaccreditation process within 2.5years to ensure continued improvement. In addition schools will also reflect on their programme annually with the Audit. 
  • Establishment's build a portfolio of evidence to meet the P & C. The portfolio can be either 'hard copy' or an 'E' portfolio. The 'E' portfolio is supported through a website called the 'EAPDC'. An E forum has been developed within the 'E' portfolio to enable all members of RoQA to access the site resources and support each other through the award and the ongoing development of their CEIAG programme.
  • The framework has recently been reviewed to ensure it meets new national policies and also the local needs.


If you would like further information or advice, please contact Tracy Eve on 03330 130935 or​ 

Employability for Life Charter/Charter Plus

The Employability for Life Award (EFL) offers young people the opportunity to understand and develop their skill set to support them into employment or education.  To achieve the award involves young people gathering the evidence from all their school, extracurricular projects and activities outside of the school environment.  This evidence is then used to produce a portfolio, against the EFL Framework, that will promote their Employability Skills. Young people who have attained the award have taken their portfolio to interviews with employers, education programmes or apprenticeships.  The Charter is suitable for Pre 16 students and the Charter Plus supports Post 16 students.     ECC and the EFL Steering Group will support in the moderating of folders to ensure they meet the required standards. On achievement of the award, ECC will issue certificates for the students. This award and further support is offered to school free of charge to support the development of employability skills in young people.

If you would like more information or to run the Award in your establishment, please contact Tracy Eve on 03330130935 or email:

Please see below for our brochures and forms relating to the EFL Charter and Charter Plus​ 

EFL Charter Plus Handbook (for Post 16 Students) ​​


Apprenticeship Promotion and Brokerage Hub
The Hub aims to raise awareness of apprenticeships as a progression route for students in year 11, 12 and 13, in the Basildon and Brentwood areas, and support them in securing an apprenticeship vacancy.
By engaging with local employers and training providers we are able to match students with good quality apprenticeships and increase the number of opportunities available locally.
Services available to schools and students are
· Awareness raising events
· Group work sessions (CV writing, interview techniques, application form completion etc)
· On-going support and one to one sessions (interview preparation etc)
· Distribution of weekly apprenticeship vacancy bulletin
For more information about how the Hub can support your careers education programme please contact or call 03330 139858.
We can also provide information to students outside of Basildon and Brentwood, please contact the above for information.

Summer 2017 Events:

ESB Education and Industry STEM Programme

The ESB Education and Industry STEM Programme currently supports 30 secondary 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, from industry-led projects to masterclasses.
Please note that we currently at capacity and at this time cannot accept any new schools onto our programme. However, please register your interest here so we can keep your school in mind should a place become available.

Careers and Enterprise Network

What is the Careers and Enterprise Network?
The Careers and Enterprise Company has been launched by government to prepare and inspire students for the world of work.  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. 
How does the network work?

Local employers, acting as Enterprise Advisors (EAs), will volunteer with the senior leadership team of a school for eight hours a month and develop an employer engagement plan or strategy. They will provide counsel to a school and work to sharpen a school’s current career strategy with the support of an Enterprise Coordinator. We are working with Southend and Thurrock to provide a Greater Essex approach.

For more information on the Careers and Enterprise Network please contact

ESB Careers Fact Sheets

Our careers fact sheets are fun, exciting 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