Westward Pathfinder is a local charity and an Ofsted Grade 2 training provider set up in 1999 to assist the unemployed, economically inactive and disadvantaged members of our communities into employment, education and training using a wide range of interventions.
We are highly regarded within the industry for our employment related services and skills provision, ensuring we are the first port of call for national prime contractors and regional lead partners. Due to our consistent high performance and quality across our programmes we have been made finalists on the ERSA Awards 2016.
Our current programmes include
The Work Programme
In the last contract year we have helped 255 people go into or regain employment across Devon and Torbay. We have particular strong performance across our ESA category groups. In addition to our strong performance we recently received a Grade 1 for quality. This is the first Grade 1 awarded to any provider in five years across the South West, demonstrating that quality and performance can go hand in hand.
Community Work Placements
Westward Pathfinder is the top performing provider for the CWP programme in the south West, receiving awards for our overall contract performance and the quality of our provision from our prime contractor. From June 2014 we have placed 420 long term unemployed customers in work experience placements with over 60 community based organisations.
“We have found the Work Placement programme to be a huge help to our organisation. During the programme Devon Air Ambulance has had 56 people start and almost all have been a positive addition to our team of helpers. We even gave a job to one person after a successful placement and we would gladly employ our current volunteer van driver if a job were to become available. To put it simply we can’t manage without volunteers who have a direct effect on the number of lives we are able to save”. (Rosey Oakes, Volunteer Manager)
National Careers Service
Since October 2014 we have delivered the National Careers Service across Devon and Torbay and Westward Pathfinder advisers have provided over 2760 advice and guidance sessions to customers looking to move into employment, progress in their career or begin an accredited course. To date 692 customers have gained employment, or achieved an accredited qualification.
Our success in delivering the National Careers Service programme is demonstrated by our prime provider regularly recognising us for our delivery performance and the quality of our provision.
We have helped people from diverse backgrounds and levels of experience move forward from, NHS staff, graduates, job seekers, lone parents and ethnic minority groups and long term disabled customers looking to move closer to employment or gain new skills.
Classroom and Work Based Learning
Westward Pathfinder continues to be the top provided nationally for job outcomes in learndirects supply chain, and have done so for the last three years.
Westward Pathfinder supported 432 learners as of 31 July 2015. Our overall success rate in classroom based learning rose from 88.49% in 2013/14 to 95.42%; this improvement is a result of developing new courses, recruiting additional tutors to offer a wider curriculum, a more robust learner management system and the accumulative effect of restructuring the management of the company, which has led to improved management support. Key Performance Indicators focus on learner achievement currently at 85%, compared to a national average of 83%.
More about us
Our target client groups include; the long term unemployed, the newly unemployed, JCP Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) clients, older people, lone parents, those who are rurally and socially isolated, clients with disabilities and mental health issues, young people who are NEET’s (not in employment, education and training) and clients with a history of offending.
Our interventions include building motivation, confidence and self-esteem, Information Advice & Guidance (IAG), digital inclusion and digital skills training, literacy & numeracy, job search, CVs, interview skills and applications, work placements, practical project based work, attitudinal training, volunteer training and placements, business start-up and self-employment training and mentoring.
We currently deliver DWP Welfare to Work programmes throughout Devon, including the Work Programme and Community Work Placements. We hold a direct contract with the Skills Funding Agency allowing us to fund provision in the areas of work based learning, ICT and life skills training. We also deliver the National Careers Service.
Mission, Values and Vision
A starting point was to redefine mission and values to give a basis for self-assessment, staff appraisals and observations and to embed in all other systems and processes. A full staff day was held in August 2012 to gain views on what the staff felt the mission, values and vision of the new company should be. This was to establish the fundamentals that would underpin all work carried out and to ensure that all staff felt ownership of these fundamental values.
Leading the way to a brighter future - Working together to reach your goals through local, flexible training and support.
Honest, ethical, trustworthy, motivational, supportive, responsive, friendly, flexible
We will strive to give our clients the greatest possible opportunities to fulfil their maximum potential and achieve their life goals in the world of learning and work
We will deliver the highest possible quality of advice, training and support.
We strongly believe that personal and social development is an essential element of progression in learning and work.
To fulfil this vision we will fully integrate all our training and welfare to work provision to focus on the maximum support for each individual client.
We have an extremely flexible approach to our work, focussing on one to one and small group sessions, changing elements of the provision as required to ensure the most positive results for our clients.