We are looking to hire Project Managers for a new programme that is playing a central role in the creation of a world class system of technical education for 16-19 year olds. This role is perfect for you if you are passionate about supporting post-16 education providers to give young people the skills they need for their future careers, if you would like a job that makes a difference on a national scale and if you would like to be part of a fast-paced team using creative relationship management and project management skills. It is perfect for you if you are someone who naturally builds credibility with those you work with, are switched on, analytical and well-organised.
The Challenge is a national charity that was founded in 2009. Our mission is to connect and inspire people to strengthen their communities. We bring together local people across all generations, ethnic groups and incomes to build a stronger society. This also applies to the people we employ to work with us. As an equal opportunities employer our aim is to have a diverse workforce from all walks of life to reflect the communities we work in.
This is a unique opportunity to join a fast moving, rapidly growing organisation, working with educational providers across the country. For more information about what The Challenge does and its values, please visit our website http://the-challenge.org/
About the role
Around half of all young people in England study a technical course, however many of these young people finish that course without being fully ready for the world of work. We want to change that as we believe a world-class system of technical education is crucial to not only improve the skills of young people and our nation’s productivity, but also increase social mobility.
T Levels, new technical courses equivalent to 3 A Levels coming in September 2020 will help to deliver high quality technical education in England to ensure that young people have the skills they need to move into the fulfilling careers they want. By design T Levels directly address inequality of opportunities for young people from all segments of society to access on the job skills training, build connections within their chosen industry and put them in a good position for early talent recruitment opportunities and apprenticeships.
We are working with the Department of Education and the Association of Colleges to lead on the design and implementation of a transition programme for young people if they are not ready to start a T-level at age 16, but who can realistically achieve a T Level by age 19.
Your crucial role is to work with a caseload of post-16 education providers who intend to deliver the T Level transition programme from September 2019 to help them design their transition programme, test different approaches and support the implementation of their programme from September 2020.
- Provide support to a caseload of post-16 education providers who intend to deliver the T Level transition programme to help them design their transition programme, test different approaches and support the implementation of their programme from September 2020
- Provide proportional relationship management to providers using a case load system. This will consist of face to face visits, 1:1 phone support, facilitation of peer networks, national events and webinars.
- Provide advice and guidance to providers on "packaging" and contextualising their transition programme during the preparation year
- Encourage and support providers to deliver different approaches to implementing certain elements of the transition programme and build up the evidence on the most effective approaches
- Develop a good understanding of provider approaches at a national level to enable you to share best practice with your case load and help them test out new and innovative approaches
- Collate feedback on providers’ progress in preparing for and delivering their programme and applying a range of different approaches.
- Utilise a learning log to capture findings to support the development of the Transition programme guiding framework and practitioner resources for the 2020 T Level routes.
- Contribute to the design and delivery of national events and regional peer learning networks
- Develop content for workshops to delivered at national learning events
- Facilitate learning, training, peer support and networking events with a particular focus on bringing groups with similar implementation approaches together
- Facilitate thinking and learning to evaluate effectiveness of approaches
- Coordinate and support a lead group of providers focusing on one core component of the transition programme.
- Facilitate working group sessions to pull out innovative ideas and good practice to share nationally for a specific component of the transition programme
- Evaluate what approaches are effective in preparing students to progress to a T Level in a range of contexts and settings
- Collate learnings and feedback from providers progress to share more widely.
- Contribute to the development of practitioner materials including case studies, step by step guides and toolkits.
- Researching and developing case studies of different approaches. These will be used to promote good practice nationwide.
- Fast-paced analysis of challenges and learning, and sharing that data.
- Writing guidance materials of lessons learned and best practice for providers.
- A high degree of flexibility to react to requests for other activities and tasks.
- Lead and contribute to regular team meetings and development days
- Respond to and contribute to requests from an external evaluation body who will assess all aspects of the programme.
- Proactive problem solver: Able to support a caseload of providers with a variety of complex challenges which you will need to trouble-shooting and problem solve collaboratively
- Relationship builder: Able to build strong professional relationships with new people including senior leaders and strategic stakeholders.
- Credibility: Ability to base your approach on the knowledge and experience of others in addition to research and facts. Seen as trustworthy, capable and influential by stakeholders at all levels.
- Communication: Able to communicate articulately with providers through phone, email and video conferencing.
- Writing: Able to write to a high professional standard that can be easily understood.
- Deliver at pace: delivering high quality support with an eye for detail; able to analyse complex data and information
- Decisive: Can think and act quickly and independently.
- Team player: Able to build very good relationships with colleagues; easy to work with.
- Well-organised and thorough: Able to manage multiple tasks and activities and help providers to meet deadlines. Able to keep accurate records of project details, records and data. Able to manage own caseload.
- Facilitation: Can deliver workshop content and facilitate discussions.
Beneficial, but not essential
- Experience of supporting external stakeholders to prepare for or implement policy change within the education sector
- An understanding and/or experience of working within the changing technical education policy landscape
- Experience working within the Further Education sector at an operational management level.
- Experience using the Google suite: Google Mail, Sheets, Docs, Calendar & Slides.
The Challenge operates Safer Recruitment Practices for all roles within the organisation. Successful applicants will be required to provide a valid and acceptable Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (previously CRB).
Only applicants who have the right to work in the UK or have a valid visa or work permit for a minimum of 6 months at the time of application will be considered for this role.
In addition to being part of a fun, dynamic and challenging workforce, we are proud to offer an attractive benefits package including contributory pension, Simplyhealth cash plan, Ride 2 Work, childcare vouchers, season ticket travel card loan etc. to eligible employees.