PAST PROJECTS AND PARTNERSHIPS
Petroc has a long track record of both delivering and managing projects financed by the European Social Fund (ESF). Since 1999 we have successfully managed over 60 ESF contracts which together have a total value of over £28 million.
Working with our partners across the South West we have supported over 18,000 participants. The list below details just a few of our more recent projects. If you are interested in working with Petroc on future opportunities, find out about joining our Petroc Subcontractor Framework.
With many of the projects Petroc manages, there is the opportunity to develop and share best practices. From resources for helping learners with additional needs access employment to information about creative careers in Europe, we have a range of resources and information that others might learn from.
Funding body: European Social Fund (ESF)
Total project value: £439,039.24
Dates: January 2018 - December 2020
Summary: The main focus of Petroc’s activities was addressing the HE cold spot and low skill levels across North Devon & Torridge, both through expanding provision and through identifying and challenging barriers to participation. We had a specific focus on areas in POLAR quintiles 1, 2 & 3, although all those least likely to progress to higher level skills were targeted, regardless of local area.
Impact: The immediate impact of the project has been largely evidenced through the results and outputs of the participants. Having supported over 350 individuals through a number of initiatives such as; HE Summer Schools, Vocational Academies, L5 Leadership & Management Awards and various online provision. 40 of those individuals exited the project having achieved a Level 4+ qualification. The legacy of the project will carry forward best practice, with initiatives such as the HE Summer School and the HE Hub to continue post project completion.
Funding body: European Social Fund (ESF)
Total project value: £205,872.45
Dates: January 2018 - December 2020
Summary: The main focus of Petroc’s activities was addressing the HE cold spot, low skill levels and low wage levels across North Devon & Torridge. This was achieved through improving and developing sustainable systems for higher-level employer engagement, ensuring employers understand and are equipped to utilise higher-level skills effectively within the workforce, and to ensure higher-level skills provision in North Devon & Torridge meets local employer needs as well as individual aspiration.
Impact: Petroc continues to find innovative approaches to delivery and curriculum development with a focus on identifying and addressing growth areas that currently have limited provision, for example, Engineering, Nursing and Digital Technologies.
There is a significant focus on Higher and Degree Apprenticeships and we will continue to work with industry to deliver Government-backed initiatives and provide employers with the high-level skills most critical for growth.
In addition, we will be seeking to improve employability prospects and reduce the risk of drop out for those engaged in training at level four and above.
Funding Stream: European Social Fund
Total Project Value: £3,500,000
Dates: April 2012 – July 2015
Partnership: Over 40 partners including FE colleges, third sector organisations and private training providers.
Geographical Coverage: South West excluding Cornwall
Summary: Partners delivered work-related skills training for low-skilled employees. The project aimed to raise participants’ level of attainment, enabling individuals to improve their employment status and to move on to undertake higher levels of training.
Impact: The project engaged with over 2800 individuals, with a high level of progression on to higher level training and further employment. Partners worked alongside employers and participants to ensure that provision was tailored to the needs of the individual and therefore offered them the best chance for career progression.
Funding Stream: European Social Fund
Total Project Value: £1,178,500
Dates: August 2014 – July 2015
Partnership: 20 partners including FE colleges, private training providers and third sector organisations.
Geographical Coverage: BANES, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Plymouth, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon, Torbay, Wiltshire.
Summary: The project was designed to offer unemployed adults a responsive provision to meet specific localised needs. It funded tailored interventions to raise skills levels in either specific localities or sectors, or working with particular client groups.
Impact: The project engaged over 1300 unemployed individuals across the South West. Partners responded to local needs, plugging skills gaps in sectors such as care, construction and transport.
Funding Stream: European Social Fund
Total Project Value: £1,200,000
Dates: September 2013 – July 2015
Partnership: 13 partners including FE colleges, private training providers and third sector organisations.
Geographical Coverage: Devon, Torbay & Somerset.
Summary: This project engaged with young people who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) or those at risk of becoming NEET, to provide bespoke support to overcome barriers. The overall aim was for participants to progress to education or to employment with training.
Impact: The partnership engaged with over 600 individuals, of whom over half progressed on to further education, training or employment.
Funding Stream: European Social Fund
Total Project Value: £2,773,000
Dates: April 2011 – December 2013
Partnership: 16 partners including FE colleges, private training providers and third sector organisations.
Geographical Coverage: Devon, Plymouth, Torbay & Somerset.
Summary: This was a partnership project led by Petroc to deliver bespoke support to young people who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) or those at risk of becoming NEET. The aim of the project was to help overcome barriers and progress the participants into either education or employment with training, through a personalised programme of IAG, life skills, learning skills and work skills.
Impact: The project exceeded virtually all of its targets and supported 1,619 individuals, with 629 young people achieving a qualification and 662 progressing into a positive outcome. Feedback from learners was overwhelmingly positive with over 76% rating their experience as either excellent or good. Capacity building activities also tested theories and new ideas surrounding the recruitment and engagement of the target group which would be of benefit beyond the life of the project.
Project Aims:The aim is to acquire key competences for students, starters and employees in VET in order to realize an added value for the labour market by training the workforce to become “intrapreneurs” (i.e. enterprising/innovative employees) or/and to open a new professional gate for (potential) entrepreneurs.
The project will develop an integral solution of key competence shortages by
- Spotting individuals strengths and weaknesses in key competences
- Formulating training needs in key competences to the assesse
- Train the individual/team in key competences
- Providing competence advice on the workplace
To achieve this it will create a 'Skills/Talent identification' tool kit covering hard and soft skills (tangible outcome) based on
- An adapted “enterprise game” by BES (UK)
- An enterprising assessment tool by DAP-services (CZ) and Syntra West (BE)
- Enterprising soft skill trainings by RPIC-VIP to train employees, teachers and students (CZ)
- Publication on the enterprising competences for HR and training in Europe
Enteur primarily involved staff from the partners involved within the partnership collaborating in order to develop the Skills/Talent Identification tool kit. The tool could then be utilised in either a classroom or workplace setting to develop entrepreneurship skills within any target group irrespective of age, gender, race etc.
Partnership and Funding
Enteur has been funded by the European Commission via the Leonardo Lifelong learning Programme (2017-13)
Lead Partner: Syntra West (BE)
UK Partners: Petroc; Momentic
European Partners: Syntra Flanders (BE); DAP Services (CZ); RPIC-ViP (CZ)
Funding Body: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK
Funding Stream: Business Basics Programme
Total Project Value: £298,253.68
Dates: 1 June 2020 to 31 March 2022
- Applegate Marketplace Ltd
- Barr Media
- Jane Maynard Limited
- Lineal Software Solutions Limited
Geographical Coverage: North Devon and Torridge
The research trial tested the concept of supporting small businesses to increase the use of technology within their business administration processes through technology knowledge transfer, embedding expert knowledge through student-led projects.
Business Administration Technology covers a wide range of processes including marketing, finance, recording information and communications. The aim of the Research Trial was to boost the productivity and profitability of local businesses in North Devon and Torridge, as well as improving the work-life balance of business owners and managers, through increasing the adoption of ‘new-to-the-business’ technologies.
Kada Research provided evaluation throughout the project and produced the final evaluation report in March 2022, which can be found here.
Funding Body: Department for Education (DfE)
Funding Stream: Institute of Technology
Total Project Value: £155,671
Dates: 1 September 2021 to 31 March 2022
- South West Institute of Technology
Geographical Coverage: n/a
Tech Skills was part of the Institute of Technology in-work skills pilot that aimed to reform further education to support people to get the skills needed throughout their lives to support economic growth.
The pilot focussed on delivering higher technical education, in a more flexible and modular approach, to enable skills to be built up over time, simulating demand and supply in improving the understanding of ‘what works’ in delivering effective modular provision ahead of the introduction of the Lifelong Loan Entitlement.
- The development of STEM related short and modular technical courses, at Levels 4 & 5, delivered flexibly and on a part-time basis
- Addressed the needs of local employers and economic growth through short term, targeted interventions
Funding body: ESF/ ESFA
Total project value: Devon - £945,000.00 Somerset £270,000.00
Dates: 1/4/2019 – 31/03/2023
Summary: ESF Community Grants, was funded by the European Social Fund, it was a programme that aimed to support small and voluntary organisations with grants of £1,000 - £20,000 for local initiatives that would move unemployed and inactive people towards employment, training or education.
The programme opened in April 2019, and all activity finished and was reported by March 2023.
ESF Community Grants were funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, and was managed by Petroc in Devon and Somerset.
Grants supported a range of activities aimed at moving individuals towards the labour market by improving their access to local employment and skills provision. They provided support to underrepresented communities and individuals, especially those from deprived communities, to access employment, including self-employment, or further learning and training.
The programme reached 622 participants in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay and 140 participants in Somerset. Participants were aged 16 years or over, legally resident in the UK and able to take paid employment in the UK and currently unemployed or inactive.
Impact: All of the Community Grants we awarded contributed to our four objectives. We used these objectives to demonstrate the impact of Community Grants on individuals, organisations and the community.
Moving Forwards: project participants were supported to progress in their lives, either into employment, education, job seeking, volunteering, or just in terms of their mental wellbeing and self-esteem.
Capacity To Deliver: partner organisations were able to grow and sustain their provision, as well as evolving during challenging times such as the Covid-19 lockdown period, thanks to the flexibility of the Community Grants design and management.
Community Impact: the grant funded projects invariably benefitted the local community directly, whilst also supporting the wider area by providing individuals with skills and confidence to contribute more to their community.
Cross Cutting Themes (equality and sustainability): the projects all had a focus on enhancement of equality and sustainability. The Community Grants Evaluation shows examples of projects benefitting the environment, working with isolated minority groups, and working towards a legacy of community engagement.
Read the full Community Grants Evaluation
Funding body: ESF/Big Lottery
Total project value: £3,892,531.31
Dates: April 2017 – March 2023
Summary: Empowering Enterprise was funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund as part of the Building Better Opportunities programme. Since 2017, we worked with 1072 18 to 24 year olds who face the biggest barriers to getting into work, education or training to help them to get their lives on track.
Programme: So far Empowering Enterprise has worked with 1072 young adults across Devon including Plymouth and Torbay. We did this through a combination of one to one mentoring to build confidence and group sessions to equip them with the skills for life and work. Delivery on this project ended on 31 March 2023.
Partnership: Led by Petroc, Empowering Enterprise was delivered by a partnership of organisations with a wide range of expertise and experience in working with young people across the South West. By working closely together and sharing best practice we are created a joined-up approach that worked as much for the participant as for our partners and the communities involved, leaving a more sustainable and resilient communities for our young people.
Planet: The project was committed to sustainability, so we developed plans to: monitor our carbon footprint; encourage greener methods of travel; and look for ways of making Devon’s communities more sustainable.
People: Empowering Enterprise also worked hard through our equality action plan to challenge issues related to gender equality and equal opportunities and to champion the diversity that exists in our local area.
Impact: As well as helping individuals to make positive changes in their lives, we wanted to have a lasting impact on Devon’s communities so we planned and achieved 4 key outcomes for the project which were:
- Young people to improve their employability, entrepreneurial and life skills
- The support services for young people to be more visible and accessible to them; and for their communities to be more sustainable
- Local communities and businesses to be more cohesive and resilient
- Project partners to share best practice and resources in a joined-up approach which means they can support more young people, more effectively
There was a strong focus on evaluation within the project and our partner Devon Communities Together produced a number of evaluation reports throughout the delivery period including the Interim Impact Report and the Final Evaluation Report.
Funding body: HSSAP (Health and Social care Accelerator project)
Total project value: ESF
Dates: 2021 - 2023
Summary: The Health and Social Care Skills Accelerator Programme (HSSAP), is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and developed by Devon County Council, in partnership with a consortium of all the Devon NHS Trust, three local authorities and further education providers, with representatives from adult social care providers, primary care and Proud to Care.
The project aimed to support the following areas:
- Pathways into the health and social care sector for the unemployed or those looking to change careers.
- Development and upskilling of staff in health and social care roles through Level 1, 2 and 3 progression, with both apprenticeship and non-apprenticeship pathways on offer.
- Progression from apprenticeships into higher-skilled occupations e.g. Nursing, social work, allied health professions etc.
Impact: A lot of the learners were gained through collaboration with local employers, the job centre and seetec. We attended a number of events and posted on social media to gain interest and increase visibility of the project.
Funding Body: Department for Work and Pensions.
Funding Stream: European Social Fund.
Total Project Value: £333,508.00
Dates: July 2021 – July 2023.
Partnership: North Devon Council, Torridge District Council, Devon County Council.
Geographical coverage: North Devon and Torridge Districts
Project Summary: The project identified and worked with small businesses primarily across North Devon and Torridge, focusing on (micro-)SMEs in local priority sectors, who are not currently engaged in skills development. Work collaboratively with them to improve the relevance of skills provision and maximise innovation and improve competitiveness. To build on developments, including the Petroc Centre of Technology and Innovation Excellence (Cotie), the Northern Devon Enterprise Centre at Roundswell (NODE) and the South West Institute of Technology (SWIoT), to drive innovative collaborations, facilitate access to existing programmes such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and apprenticeships, and improve links between education and business to ensure learners are equipped with enterprise skills to start and grow businesses meeting local needs.
The project engaged on a one-to-one basis with each SME to analyse organisational needs, identify barriers to engagement and discuss potential opportunities. The analysis led to the co-designing of individually tailored plans of skills-based activities which were designed to benefit both the individual SME and students within the education and training system (to develop a better-skilled and more work-ready future workforce).
The targets for the two-year project were to support 25 small medium sized businesses (SMEs) and 50 individuals that worked for those businesses.
Project Impact: The Big Benefits for Small Businesses project supported a total of 42 business across a wide range of business sizes and sectors through fully funded training support. Within these organisations, the project supported 72 individuals. Several businesses from the North Devon and Torridge region benefited from business-to-business knowledge sharing across various sectors, including construction and motor vehicle and Petroc learners also benefited from direct support for their studies and mental health and active work experience.
Funding body: ESF/DWP
Total project value: £ 1,113.553.09
Dates: June 2020 –November 2023
Summary: Experience Works was a programme of employability support and bespoke mentoring designed to help 15-24-year olds to get into work, training or education or supporting them to stay in school or college if they were having difficulties. It was part-funded directly by the European Social Fund (ESF) and managed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). In addition, Plymouth City Council contributed match funding to support the project management & evaluation elements of the project.
Programme: Experience Works worked with 416 young adults across Devon including Plymouth and Torbay. We did this through a combination of one-to-one mentoring to build confidence, and group sessions to equip them with the skills for life and work. Delivery on this project ended in October 2023.
Partnership: Led by Petroc, Experience Works was delivered by a partnership of organisations with a wide range of expertise and experience in working with young people across the Southwest. By working closely together and sharing best practice we created a joined-up approach that worked as much for the participant as for our partners and the communities involved, leaving more sustainable and resilient communities for our young people.
Planet: As with all Petroc ESF projects this project was committed to sustainability, so we developed plans to: monitor our carbon footprint; encourage greener methods of travel; and look for ways of making Devon’s communities more sustainable.
People: Experience Works also worked hard through our equality action plan to challenge issues related to gender equality and equal opportunities and to champion the diversity that exists in our local area.
Impact: As well as helping individuals to face the competitive jobs market the project has 5 key outcomes:
- Young people to improve their employability and life skills
- Young people to have increased their knowledge of their local communities and have made positive contributions to them,
- Employers to have increased their understanding of young people who are NEET and be better equipped to provide them with valuable opportunities.
- Local support services to have benefitted from improved referral processes.
- Organisations inside and outside the partnership to have access to best practice and lessons learned from Experience Works.
There was a strong focus on evaluation within the project and our partner Devon Communities Together produced several evaluation reports throughout the delivery period.
Funding body: European Social Fund
Total project value: £84,216
Dates: January 2019 to March 2023
Summary: Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) was developed to up-skill employees within small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), delivered by Petroc on behalf of Serco.
SSW provided recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of SMEs and boost the local economy. Through training need discussions with employers and information, advice and guidance sessions with their employees, training was identified to enable staff to progress. The fully funded training resulted in employers being able to develop their workforce at no cost to the business.
Impact: 87 individuals in the construction, health and social care, and hospitality sectors completed courses and gained qualifications that helped them to progress within work or improve their self-employment prospects. Of these, a number went on to further education or progressed into apprenticeships. 48 businesses directly benefitted from this funded training.