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Archive for February 25th, 2011

Activity Agreements (AA) have been piloted in eight areas of England between April 2006 and are due to end by March 2011. They were designed to help re-engage young people (aged 16 or 17) not in employment, education or training (NEET).

The research consisted of two elements:

Implementation studies, which provided a detailed, longitudinal and qualitative account of the perspectives of different stakeholders involved in the delivery of AA, and…

Case studies built on the strategic overview provided by the implementation studies.

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There has been a variety of support on offer, ranging from a weekly allowance (£30 paid on completion of activities), support to strive for qualifications, accreditation’s and certificates with constant individual, group and tailored support, especially for those with learning disabilities and difficulties. The maximum time for AA support is 20 weeks. The AA weekly payment acts as a powerful engagement tool. It is made to the young person once they have successfully completed their activities. There is also a Discretionary Fund (DF), managed by pilot managers and advisers, to purchase provision, equipment and transport costs, dependent upon individual needs.

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The report called for:

  • A clear definition of vulnerable groups (including long-term inactive young people) within the NEET population.
  • More intensive personalised programmes
  • Awareness of the costs of assessing literacy, numeracy and learning difficulties and disabilities .
  • Higher level of competence among operational staff is needed.
  • Greater consideration to be given to the growing volume of 18-year-olds who increasingly fall into the NEET category.

The report acknowledged that;

  • The more individualised the support becomes the more assessments are needed prior to engagement in the programme.
  • Local Support Agency links in the pilot areas had strengthened but the partnership working between AA staff and specific support agencies have been heavily dependent upon local collaborative working arrangements.
  • The needs of young people who drop out of education, employment or training warrant attention, as they may comprise a significant proportion of the RPA population who will require on-going monitoring and support.

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Jason McGee-Abe

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Wednesday’s Guardian ran an interesting piece on Atos and their administration of  the Work Capability assessment…

Is Atos being treated unfairly I wonder…..?

Read the very very long article….. HERE

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