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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Connexions service

Country of implementation
United Kingdom
General short description of the innovation
One of the Labour Government?s main policy developments in the area of advice, guidance and support for young people has been the introduction of Connexions Service. The innovative idea of the service is a) a targeted system of support, for those who need it, when they need it, linking all aspects of young people?s lives? and b) to achieve a more coherent and less fragmented provision of support for young people aged 13 to 19. / / The main principles of the service included: raising aspirations of each young person while meeting their individual needs and overcoming barriers which may be impacting on their personal, social, educational and economic progression and ability to reach their full potential. It aimed to provide coherent and holistic support to young people over time and across service boundaries by enhancing partnership and collaboration between agencies and specialist support services working with young people on the one hand, and young people and community involvement on the other (Dickinson 2001). Personal Advisers were an integral part of the delivery of the Connexions Service and included one-to-one support, working with schools, colleges, training providers, and brokering access to services such as housing, health and social services. / / Connexions is no longer a coherent National Service following the changes to the delivery of careers in England by the Coalition Government, which introduced the National Career Service in April 2012.
Target group
Youth
Policy Field
  • social
Type of Policy
  • public
  • public-private partnership
Duration of the policy
2001-2010
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The objectives of the services included supporting young peoples? transition from school to post-compulsory education and to work. This was done by meeting individual needs and overcoming barriers to learning and employment, taking account of the views of young people and enhancing partnership and collaboration between different agencies working with young people and strengthening community involvement and neighbourhood renewal. It was both a universal service and one that provided special support to vulnerable young people, particularly those at risk of not being in education, employment or training (NEET).
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
provide integrated services at the local level
Type of innovation
  • new form of partnership or cooperation
  • new form of policy-making
  • new policy, practice or measure
New outputs
  • governance
  • services
Intended target group
Young people aged 13 to 19 years
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • agency or national social insurance body (Jobcentre Plus)
  • private for-profit organisations (commercial)
  • private not-for-profit organisations (e.g. Third Sector organisation or NGO)
Clarification of the role of various actors
Locally, the Connexions service was delivered through Connexions Partnerships. These were of two types: either ?direct delivery? (companies that transmuted from Careers companies) or ?subcontracted? (a hub of central staff that subcontracted to existing organisations). These Partnerships employed personal advisers (PAs) to work with all young people aged 13 to 19 years (25 years for those with learning difficulties or disabilities).
Intended output
  • governance
  • services
Did the innovation have any outcome related to job quantity?
increaseenhancedecrease
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
The Connexions Service and related services aimed to provide an integrated provision of advice, guidance and support for young people. This was realised by individual and tailored support, including face-to face meetings, to discuss education, training and employment, as well as personal problems e.g. anger management, offending behaviour, pregnancy or substance abuse. Service helped preparing people for labour market inclusion, improve their employability or labour market attachment but also helped develop their knowledge, skills and competences and overcome personal or other work-related barriers to fully develop their potentials. / / Reseources: / - Ainley, P., Barnes, T. and Momen, A. (2002). Making Connexions: a case study in contemporary social policy. Critical Social Policy, 22(2), 376-388. / - Cullen, M. A., Lindsay, G. and Dockrell, J. E. (2009). The role of the Connexions service in supporting the transition from school to post?16 education, employment training and work for young people with a history of specific speech and language difficulties or learning difficulties. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 9(2), 100-112. / - Dickinson, P., Economics, G. and Britain, G. (2001). Lessons Learned from the Connexions Pilots. Department for Education and Skills. / - Parsons, D. J. and Britain, G. (2003). Evaluation of the Connexions Direct Pilot. Department for Education and Skills.
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