Department: Education, Enterprise, and Employability
Reporting To: Employability Manager
Salary: £26,755.72
Work Hours: 37.5 hrs per week
Contract Type: Contract
Holiday Entitlement: 20 days (FTE) plus bank holidays and Christmas closure, length of service increments.
Benefits: An employer pension contribution of 6%
The Employability Team Leader is a new position that will have a key role in the delivery of our ambitious Employability Programme. People First’s Employability Programme, funded by The National Lottery through The National Lottery Community Fund, will support people with learning disabilities, and autistic people, to prepare for, secure, and succeed in, permanent, paid work in a range of sectors across Cumbria. Fixed contract to 1st December 2026 Funded by The National Lottery through The National Lottery Community Fund

Who we are

People First is an independent customer-led charitable organisation that has worked in Cumbria for over 30 years (with registered charity numbers 1184112 and 1184467).

We are passionate about our values of equality, respect, and inclusion. We provide a wide range of support and information services across Cumbria, Lancashire, and Teesside, all aimed at helping people to live informed, respected, healthy and fulfilled lives.

Purpose of job

The Employability Team Leader is a new position that will have a key role in the delivery of our ambitious Employability Programme.

People First’s Employability Programme, funded by The National Lottery through The National Lottery Community Fund, will support people with learning disabilities, and autistic people, to prepare for, secure, and succeed in, permanent, paid work in a range of sectors across Cumbria.

The role, supported by our Employability Manager, will directly line-manage a team of Job Coaches. Together, the team will provide vocational training, work placements and on-the-job support to over 200 people over the next 3 years.

The role’s purpose is to deliver this programme, whilst also contributing to the development and delivery of the People First Academy’s wider employability initiatives. Providing experienced line management, guidance to team members on person centred approaches and confidence in independence-building support methods; the role will ensure our activities are well-managed, well-delivered and impactful for those we work with.

This is a dynamic role that will have a significant impact on the lives of many people over the next 3 years and beyond.

The Department

This role sits within People First’s newly formed Employability Team and is part of the People First Academy.

The Employability Team will work closely with People First’s Education Team and Enterprise Team to deliver training opportunities that support people with learning disabilities and autistic people to develop new skills and enter paid employment.

The team believes that in order to help people into paid, permanent work, we need to take an approach which makes employers a key partner, putting them at the heart of our work and methods.

The Employability Team has four core aims:

  • to ensure that People First offer a range of rewarding pathways into work for people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people.
  • to engage with employers to develop placements and to support employers to embed inclusive practice.
  • to support learners to engage with these opportunities and to progress into employment.
  • To generate wider support for People First’s employability work in the form of corporate sponsorship.

The Person

As a prerequisite, the successful candidate must believe in the core values of People First and be driven by our mission.

The ideal candidate will have a deep appreciation of the need to be flexible and responsive to the needs of people and will be able to work at pace to devise, deliver and develop high-quality vocational training that is person-centred, empowering and effective.

You will be an experienced manager or team leader who has a background working in an education setting, preferably in an environment that is an alternative to mainstream education. You will have experience working with people with a learning disability and a track record of providing a responsive/person-centred service.

This role would most suit a dynamic individual with the energy and drive to help shape a developing area of work that will be agile and flexible as we adapt to learning and reflection.

You will be an encouraging and friendly presence with the knowledge and confidence to coach and lead the people in your team to provide excellent support; and you’ll appreciate our goal to foster independence, achievement and self-advocacy principles.

Qualifications

  • Good all-round level of education
  • Training, qualifications, or equivalent experience in education delivery or person-centred approaches would be advantageous.

Skills, Knowledge and Experience

  • Experience line-managing a team of individuals, preferably in an education setting
  • Experience working with people with learning difficulties and/or autistic people
  • Demonstrable experience working in a vocational education setting
  • Experience delivering training or education with people with complex needs
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to adapt your style to suit people’s needs
  • Experience designing/developing processes to meet the changing needs of a project
  • Commitment to equality and diversity
  • An understanding of education/social work/day services funding and experience of working within these streams
  • Creative, flexible and enthusiastic approach
  • A high standard of written and verbal skills including the ability to write reports
  • Excellent organisational skills/ability to manage a complex workload and prioritise
  • Positive attitude to a fast-paced working environment where tasks and systems need to be developed and updated on a regular and ongoing basis
  • Ability to coordinate the input of others and work effectively with people from a range of professional disciplines and backgrounds
  • Commitment to providing a high-quality service centred on the needs of individuals.

Duties will include:

People Management:

  • Supporting a team of Job Coaches to ensure the delivery of quality and aspirational job coaching in a range of settings both on external placements and in People First settings
  • Provide support and coaching to the Job Coach team to ensure quality remains high and that best practice is followed
  • Role model excellent job coaching to support the team to deliver according to a set standard
  • Devise a training plan for each member of the team to ensure their practice develops and evolves over time to meet changing needs
  • Prepare, organise, and deliver impactful team meetings to ensure consistency of approaches and development
  • Allocate team members to placements, training and delivery sites, ensuring that each learner has the support they need
  • Match job coaches with employees/employee settings that reflect the skills of the team
  • Ensure all risk assessment processes, health and safety and safeguarding concerns are recorded, reported and escalated appropriately.

Delivery:

  • Meeting with learners and/or family members and carers (if appropriate) and working with Job Coaches to complete employability assessments and determine support needs
  • Acting as the first point of contact for learner’s families, carers, and social work teams
  • Reviewing quality of Job Coach delivery at regular intervals to support continuous development and ensure high-quality provision
  • With the support of Employability Manager, develop relationships with employers, acting as a trusted collaborator to develop placement opportunities and learning initiatives
  • Devise and deliver off-the-job training including, when needed, People First’s Best Life course, modules based on employability skills and wider delivery when required.
  • Regularly reviewing feedback from Job Coaches during and following placements to improve practice and to advise and guide employers on their approaches
  • When needed, provide Job Coaching both on external placements and within People First settings.

Organisation and resource management:

  • Support the Employ ability Manager to design, develop and implement robust systems to ensure all delivery is in line with legislation, contractual obligations and People First’s approved approaches
  • Utilising sound methods of record keeping including a student-management database to track, monitor and report on learner outcomes and destinations
  • Working with the Employability Manager to collate, submit and monitor financial information including Access to Work claims, invoice raising and sponsorship monitoring
  • Implement systems to allocate Job Coaches on placements across Cumbria, devising rotas and delivery plans.

Reporting and Communication

  • Contribute to quality and performance reports including internal and external targets and key performance indicators
  • Contribute to regular reports to SLT, the National Lottery, co-workers and colleagues including contract monitoring and quality reports, highlighting trends and escalating issues
  • Maintain the appropriate records to monitor attendance and track income.

Networking and Relationships:

  • Identify and nurture effective relationships with external stakeholders (Employability learners, families, carers and employers)
  • Act as a senior ambassador for the organisation
  • Events and functions may require travel, evening and weekend work.

Other Duties

  • Evening and weekend working may be required
  • The duties outlined above are not intended to be exhaustive and may change as the needs of the organisation alter in line with current agendas. Due to the developing nature of our organisation, we require staff to remain highly flexible in their approach, and work to meet the changing needs of the projects.

For more information
If you’d like any further information about the role, if you have any questions please contact either:

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