MD1612 Volunteering as a Route to Work Programmes

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Code: 
MD1612
Date signed: 
25 February 2016
Decision by: 
Boris Johnson MP (past staff), Mayor of London

Executive summary

The ‘Volunteering as a Route to Work’ programmes support Londoners to secure sustained employment, education and training through a tailored support programme that focuses on volunteering. Between 2016 and 2019, the programmes will support 270 veterans (through the sub-programme ‘Forces for Good’ and 540 young people (through the sub programme 2Work) to secure and sustain an employment, education or training (EET) outcome for 6 months or more. 

The total project costs are £1.35m over three years; 50% of the project costs will be match funded by the European Social Fund. 

The project received IPB approval in December 2015. 

Break Clauses will be included in all contracts in order not to fetter the powers of the future Mayor.

 

 

 

Decision

That the Mayor approves expenditure of up to a maximum of £1.35m to extend the existing ‘Volunteering as a Route to Employment’ initiative to 2018/19 (three-year programme subject to break clauses), funded £375,000 from the GLA, the receipt of £675,000 of funding from the European Social Fund and sponsorship income of up to £300,000 from trusts and/or a corporate sponsor, underwritten by the GLA in the event it is not secured. 

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Background and Context:

1.1.    The ‘Volunteering as a Route to Work’ initiative has been run by Team London for the last 2 years, supporting groups within Greater London that have higher rates of unemployment. The proposed three year investment will focus the programme on helping unemployed young people and ex-services personnel secure sustained employment, education and training outcomes. 

1.2.    For the purposes of this paper, the strand of the programme that supports unemployed young people is called 2Work. The strand of the programme that supports ex-services personnel is called Forces for Good.  These programme names are subject to change depending on who is appointed as the delivery partner(s).

1.3.    Team London’s ‘Volunteering as a Route to Work’ programmes support groups in London who are disproportionately affected by unemployment.  The 2Work programme supports unemployed young people who are three times more likely to be unemployed than their adult counterparts.  The Forces for Good programme supports veterans who are 10% more likely to be unemployed than their civilian counterparts.

Why is Team London suited to deliver the programme? 

1.4.    Team London’s ‘Volunteering as a Route to Work’ methodology is proven to deliver greater sustained EET outcomes than many other employment support programmes. With both 2Work and Forces for Good (FFG), Team London is leading the way in regards to volunteering being the key to developing the skills, networks, experience and confidence necessary to secure work. Through taking these models to scale, the GLA has a great opportunity to demonstrate innovation and successful progression rates in employment support. 

1.5.    In December 2015, London was awarded ‘European Volunteering Capital’.  Through supporting new volunteering programmes the GLA is demonstrating its commitment to invest further in the agenda, and the value it brings to challenging unemployment.

1.6.    A further rationale for the investment is that Team London occupies a unique space at the intersection of charities (current relationships with over 1,600 London charities), business (current partnerships with over 100 businesses) and volunteers (currently working with over 110,000 volunteers). As a consequence, Team London can create an employment support programme with direct progression into training, work and promotion. 

Team London’s Track Record in Delivering Similar Projects

1.7.    Team London first developed its Volunteering as a Route to Work methodology in January 2014. Since then it has run two pilot programmes: the first from April 2014 – March 2015 and the second from May 2015 to April 2016. Both pilots worked with young people to help them secure an EET outcome through volunteering. 

1.8.    The first pilot (co-funded by the GLA and ESF) cost £200,000 and delivered the following outputs/outcomes. The cost of each individual achieving a sustained EET outcome cost was £3,508:

Outcome

Volume

Starters

244

Number of Participants who completed a Volunteering opportunity

215

Entry into EET

99

Sustained EET (26 weeks)

57

1.9 There was an internal evaluation of the first pilot which highlighted several areas for improvement, which Team London subsequently implemented in the second pilot. These areas for improvement included: 

•    Setting a fixed number of volunteering hours that needs to be achieved 
•    Creating a clear system for participants to volunteer at Major Events 
•    Providing much stronger partner/project management structures to ensure that organisations were delivering. 

1.10 The second pilot cost £100,000 and is currently in operation. The cost of each individual achieving an EET outcome cost is on track to be only £1,428 this time. To date, the pilot has delivered and will deliver the following: 

Outcome

Target

Already Achieved

Started volunteering

190

158

Complete 10 hours volunteering

157

90

Entry into EET

84

69

Sustained EET (26 weeks)

70

0

1.11    A further Team London programme that demonstrates the power of volunteering in tackling youth unemployment is HeadStart London. Launching in June 2014, the programme has worked with six London businesses to achieve the following outcomes for 16-18 year old Londoners: 

•    Number of young people started volunteering:        2,318 
•    Total number YP completed 16 hours:            1,811
•    Total number of volunteering hours:            37,961
•    Attended Interview:                     807
•    Considered job ready:                     543
•    Secured Part Time/Seasonal Work:             262 

1.12    The above figures – for the both the pilots and HeadStart – only reference the ‘harder’ employment outcomes. However, these projects have also demonstrated some powerful ‘softer’ outcomes, such as increased confidence, improved public speaking, and greater overall employability. 

The Volunteering as a Route to Work Programme:

1.13    Team London will deliver the 2Work and FFG programmes in partnership with leading London charities and businesses. We will go to competitive tender to find the best delivery organisation for the programmes. 

1.13.1    The competitive tender process will be guided by the strict guidelines issued by the European Social Fund

1.13.2    Partnership agreements with selected delivery partners will include necessary break clauses, should the financial situation of Team London change and we are no longer able to provide the match funding or if the new Mayor opts to cease the programmes.
1.13.3    Team London has spent the past 12 months ‘market warming’ and we have considerable interest from a large number of charities, social enterprises and businesses to support the programme.

1.14    In developing the Volunteering as a Route to Work programme, Team London spent 2015 conducting extensive research, interviews and focus groups to understand the existing provision identify where service gaps exist and learn how we can create a programme that delivers the greatest impact.  In total, Team London met with:

•    35 charities
•    7 social enterprises
•    12 businesses 

1.15    In addition to the volunteering component of the programme, which will be supported by Team London, the delivery organisation/s will also create ‘bespoke training plans’ (BTP) for the unemployed individuals they support on the programme. Support that will be offered through the BTPs include:

1.15.1    Mentorship – in the FFG programme, Team London will partner veterans with human-resources-specialist mentors to help them translate their military work experience for the civilian job market, whilst also helping them identify ideal careers. Team London will also investigate how employed veterans can also provide mentorship for the programme participants, in order to provide more holistic support. 

1.15.2    Training – in both 2Work and FFG, Team London will appoint a delivery partner who can deliver high-quality, accredited training so that the participants are enabled to enter and remain in employment. Notably, Team London will also build business partnerships, especially within the FFG programme, to develop tailored training programmes for veterans returning to work. 

1.15.3    Work Experience – through capitalising on Team London’s and the delivery organisation’s business networks, these programmes will also offer work experience opportunities to ease the transition into employment. 

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1

KPI / Target 1

 

Londoners volunteer for a fixed time frame (10 hours in 2Work; 16 hours in FFG)

 

Programme participants will have to log their volunteering hours on the Team London website which verifies all volunteering activity with the charity they volunteer with.

 

Forecast profile

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Future years

Total

– 2Work

28

230

350

168

776

- FFG

28

126

168

56

378

TOTAL

56

356

518

224

1,154

 

2.2

KPI / Target 2

 

Secure a sustained employment, education or training outcome for 6 months or more

 

Data will be collected by the delivery organisations and reported to Team London on a monthly basis.  To demonstrate the outcome, Team London will adhere to ESF guidance.

 

 

 

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Future years

Total

- 2Work

0

130

200

210

540

- FFG

0

80

90

100

270

- TOTAL

0

210

290 

310 

810

2.3     In addition to the above, Team London will also track the following outcomes/outputs:

-    number of programme starts
-    number of people volunteering at a Team London major event
-    number of people entering employment, education or training
-    number of people entering employment
-    number of people sustaining education, employment and training (6 months or more)
-    number of people sustaining employment (6 months or more)
-    number of people who would volunteer again
-    number of people who would recommend volunteering experience to family or friends
-    number of first time volunteers

In FFG, we will also be tracking:

-    number of successful mentoring relationships established
-    number of businesses offering designated programmes to support veterans to work

 

Equality comments

Owing to the disproportionate number of men to women in the armed forces, the Forces for Good will inadvertently greater support men.  Currently, women constitute 10% of the armed forces. 

 

Other considerations

4.1.    The Volunteering as Route to Work programmes support the Mayor’s vision for London: 

4.1.1.    “Through Team London, help and encourage Londoners to volunteer and do something great for their city.” 

Between 2Work and FFG, this programme will support 1,620 Londoners to volunteer over three years. The volunteers will collectively log 13,600+ hours to support London’s charitable projects. 

4.1.2.    “Create the next generation of volunteers by increasing social action among young people – and in doing so, tackle youth unemployment.” 

All young people who want to participate in 2Work must complete 10 hours of volunteering to help them develop skills, confidence, experiences and networks, in order to gain paid employment. Through 2Work, Team London will support 648 young people to an EET outcome and 540 of those will sustain for 6 months. 

4.1.3.    “To give all Londoners the opportunity to take part in London's economic success, access sustainable employment and progress in their careers.” 

In addition to the employment outcomes listed above, FFG will support 270 veterans into sustained employment over the three years of the programme. Equally, through providing the veterans mentors, the programme will ensure that the veterans not only sustain but progress in their careers.

4.2 Key Risks and Mitigation

Risk description and impact

Inherent risk assessment

Control measures/Actions

Residual risk assessment

 

Prob.

 

Impact

 

Rating

(RAG)

 

Prob.

 

Impact

 

Rating

(RAG)

Delivery organisations are not able to

deliver the outcomes/outputs of the project

 

2

4

A

- recruit delivery organisations through competitive and rigorous application process

1

4

G

 

There are not enough unemployed people in London for us to deliver the projects as designed.

 

1

3

A

- conduct detailed research

- work with a delivery organisation with a ready pipeline of programme participants/strong referral routes

1

3

G

 

Team London do not secure the external funding required.

 

2

3

A

- attempt to secure funding from variety of sources (foundations, corporate etc)

- the GLA is being asked to underwrite the income should Team London fail to source the funds

- Team London have a strong track record of securing external funding, with over £3 million raised to date

2

3

A

The mentor matching portal for veterans is not delivered at a sufficient standard

2

2

A

- recruit technology organisation through competitive and rigorous application process

- ultimately, the mentor matching process could be done manually by a member of Team London/delivery organisation staff

1

1

G

London charities do not offer the volunteering opportunities to programme participants

2

3

A

  • Team London work with over 1600 charities and nurture strong relationships with all of them.  TL will use this network to encourage/ support charities to offer the necessary volunteer roles.

1

3

G

 

Financial comments

5.1       Approval is requested for expenditure of up to £1.35m to extend the Volunteering as a Route to Work Programme. The GLA is being asked to fund £0.375m over 3 years and underwrite an additional £0.3m of sponsorship income. The remaining £0.675m will be sourced through European Social Fund match funding. The spending profile is expected to be as follows:-

Funding Source

2015/16

£m

2016/17

£m

2017/18

£m

 Total

£m

GLA

0.2

0.09

0.085

0.375

External Sources (underwritten by GLA)

0

0.15

0.15

0.3

European Social Fund (Match Funding)

0.225

0.225

0.225

0.675

 

0.425

0.465

0.46

1.35

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.2    The GLA element will be funded from the Team London Volunteering to Work budget in 2015/16 and the indicative 2016/17 Volunteering into Work budget of £0.22m, which is subject to approval as part of the 2016/17 GLA Budget Process.

5.3    While it is expected that Team London will raise £0.15m in external funding in 2016/17 and a further £0.15m in 2017/18, this will need to be underwritten by the GLA. In the event that budgeted external funding cannot be raised, the shortfall will need to have first call on the Team London programme budget, and the programme will need to be scaled back to reflect funding levels or the GLA will be required to fund the shortfall from corporate resources.

 

Investment and Performance Board

7.1.    The Investment and Performance Board approved the expenditure for this project, in principle, at its meeting on 10 December 20015.

7.2.    IPB’s approval was subject to final decisions on the GLA budget and the inclusion of break clauses in the contracts.

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Delivery calendar

Milestones and deliverables

Add and vary the suggested project milestones below, as required

 

01/2016

ESF Funding Decision finalised

02/2016

All GLA decision making completed

03/2016

Go to tender for delivery organisations

04/2016

Select delivery organisations

06/2016

Delivery Start Date

12/2016

External funding secured

6/2017

Year One Report due

6/2018

Year Two Report due

6/2019

Delivery End Date

8/2019

Final project report due

8/2019

Project closure