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Employment and Skills Development

In this section, we explore ECC approaches to promote employment and skills development. Below showcases the variety of entry routes you could consider offering as employer whilst also adding social value to Essex. Find here about each supporting scheme and respective employer pathway.

As an employer your organisation can create social value when you employ entry-level employees. Vendors can include entry-level employment as the social value offer they make when bidding for ECC contracts. You can measure the economic value of your bid using the 'ECC TOMs Calculator'. For each of the entry-level employment there is respective social value measure.

There is a range of entry-level employment routes providing support schemes that you can access as an employer to offer placements and contribute to improving opportunities for Essex residents. ECC developed a Factsheet for each of the entry-level employment routes describing the type of employment, scheme, support and funding available and the social value measure it is applied to. Access them by clicking in the links below:

Employment Schemes and respective ECC TOMs (Themes, Outcomes and Measures)

Cohorts you can support and respective ECC TOMs (Themes, Outcomes and Measures)

Opportunities for employers to engage with partners to deliver social value offers related to skills and employment

A diverse workforce is an asset for your business, enhancing insight, inclusion and diversity considerations in your design and development of products and services. Benefits for your business could include:

  • Access talent within your local community
  • Improve workforce diversity and provide different perspectives, skills, insight, and values
  • Developing new entrants and your own workforce can be a cost-effective way of growing your workforce
  • Increase community inclusion
  • Boost your reputation as an employer of choice
  • Give existing employees a chance to grow by mentoring / training the young people on Entry to Work schemes

There are a range of government incentives available to businesses to support you to consider participating in entry-level employment programmes.

For SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) jobseekers there is a range of entry-level work opportunities and ways for you, as an employer, to support them on their journey into employment, ensuring their vocational aspirations are heard so they have a bright and ambitious future.

Essex Inclusive Employer Network

Essex County Council’s Targeted Employment Team is launching an “Essex Inclusive Employment Network”. It is an opportunity for employers who want to make a difference and increase the the opportunities available to the current 5.1% of people with a learning disability and autism in employment. All employers at any stage and all levels of understanding of recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce, will gather to:

  • Examine what works and why and the benefits it brings to your organisation
  • Share lessons learnt from employers
  • Introduce you to profiles and talent pools in Essex that have huge potential
  • Provide you with the latest practice in skills-based recruitment and remote assessment techniques
  • Provide you with toolkits and guides to support your organisational development   

If you are interested to find out more, please do email to find out more or request a list of events coming up both online and at venues across Essex.

Factsheets and further guidance

ECC has developed specific guidance and factsheets to help you design and implement diverse job opportunities, details of these schemes are below:

Employment Schemes for Diverse Workforce and respective ECC TOMs (Themes, Outcomes and Measures)

If you need to recruit the Essex Opportunities Portal is the right partner for showcasing your business and reach Essex residents. The portal is a virtual One Stop Shop for enhancing employment and upskill opportunities.

The Essex Opportunities virtual jobs and career fairs could help you find the right candidates. These events are free for both attendees and employers/exhibitors. To register your interest in setting up a 'virtual stand' please contact the Essex Opportunities Portal team at .

If you haven't decided yet which scheme your organisation will opt for, we suggest the following steps to design and deliver your entry-level employment opportunities.

Step-by-step guide to entry-level employment

  • Review the supporting schemes available and identify the entry routes your organisation can work with
  • Design & Integrate into existing processes:
    • Determine if your existing policies and processes support the scheme
    • Identify funding and support opportunities
    • Gain sign off for the scheme and number of positions
    • Engage internal and external stakeholders:
      • Engage Recruitment team to determine if processes need to be reviewed
      • Determine if there is any additional training required to support the hiring manager
      • Determine if there is a need for additional internal support from colleagues, to support the hiring manager and to provide mentoring opportunities
      • Determine if there is a need for external support from partners/service providers/training providers
      • Secure work placements
      • Engagement with hiring community and local schools
    • Recruit:
      • Showcase your vacancies in a Job and Career Fair and at Essex Opportunities Portal
      • Candidate attraction/campaigns
      • Matching candidates
      • Selection process
      • Compliance
    • Start Programme:
      • Determine any requirements the individual may have, including any reasonable adjustments, and decide how these will be met before they start
      • Employee support/coaching sessions
    • Evaluate Post Programme:
      • Data review and lessons learnt evaluation (e.g. participant surveys)
      • Next steps into employment (specific cases)
      • Where applicable, determine next cohort and implement lessons learnt for continuous improvement

Additionally, Amazing Apprenticeships have designed a helpful guide on 'How to Recruit Your First Apprentice', which you can find here.

In case you still need initial advice about the different entry-level employment routes, contact the Essex Opportunities Portal Team at In a tender situation please raise your queries through Proactis and the Procurement team will feed in the internal teams accordingly to your questions.

You may want to consider the wrap around support outlined below to promote the success of new staff, to help them secure long term, meaningful employment:

  • Induction; Introduce the candidate to your organisation, outline expectations of one another, basics- accessing buildings, where to find facilities, security, health & safety (taking into account necessary Covid adjustments), the basics of employment- IT, professional respect, Equality & Diversity.
  • Being an employee: maintaining performance, how to read your payslip, what to do if you have any concerns.
  • Personal wellbeing: managing your wellbeing whilst working.
  • Support network: opportunities to meet with others on Entry to Work programmes, mentors or 'buddies'.
  • Vocational delivery: which could result in a qualification (food hygiene for example).

Actions focused on short term entry-level placements:

  • Developing a good CV: CV writing session or time for writing and reviewing CV.
  • Preparing for and being successful at Interviews: virtual/ group interviews.

Some entry-level employment programmes are short term placements. Having additional people in the team for a short period with entry level skills can sometimes see as disruptive; it is key to give the managers the tools and confidence in having people in their team, identifying suitable projects or work tasks, understanding what is required of them and putting in place a network and some reassurance for them.  Placements provide a great opportunity to upskill staff with mentoring and leadership skills, that they otherwise might not have had the chance to build.

If you have any questions about ECC social value approach or if you need information on this website in a different format, please email . We’d appreciate your feedback too, let us know how we can make this web page better.

Last updated: 14/03/2023