From the outset, we knew this project would be challenging due to the wide variety of stakeholders involved in the local economy. These stakeholders included residents of all ages, employers of all different shapes and sizes, education providers, training providers, charities and internal council departments. Whatever we implemented had to offer a valuable service to each stakeholder.
Due to the complexity of the project we engaged in a lengthy pilot process that saw us implement an employment and skills platform that covered the South East of England. This platform enabled a wide range of engagements to take place between all different stakeholders.
We used this platform to engage with as many stakeholder groups as possible to collect a comprehensive range of feedback. We needed to know how businesses would engage with a digital tool for the promotion of their employment opportunities, how businesses were going to use it to access business support, how residents would use it to apply for employment opportunities, how willing training providers would be to upload information, how schools would interact with it and what devices users would use to access the service.
To answer these questions, PDMS and Thurrock Council engaged with stakeholders including:
- The Economic Development & Skills Partnership group at Thurrock Council
- Thurrock Adult Community College
- Inspire Youth Hub
- Essex Employment and Skills Board
- Essex Provider Network
- Local schools in Thurrock
- Careers Fairs
- South East LEP
Each stakeholder encouraged use of the platform to a different degree which enabled us to capture the feedback and insight we needed to come up with a plan for the final solution.