World class honours for Peterborough brokerage service

Peterborough Skills Service was crowned the overall World winner of a Global Best Award in the category of ‘Youth Employability Skills’ at the 12th IPN Conference in Brussels last week. Having already won this accolade for the Europe region, the pioneering Peterborough brokerage service triumphed over similar collaborative projects from Africa, the Americas, Pacific Ocean and Australia for the global award.

Supported by The Conference Board of Canada and the International education business Partnership Network (IPN), the Awards celebrate outstanding and effective partnerships between educational institutions, private businesses and other stakeholders that enhance youth employability through collaboration.

Global Award

Skills Lead for economic development company Opportunity Peterborough, Sue Addison, received both of the awards on behalf of the Peterborough Skills Service (PSS). She said: “It is fantastic that the work we do to help both young people and businesses in Peterborough has been recognised internationally. We are incredibly proud of these awards and have recently expanded our service to a wider geographical area, thanks to funding from our Local Enterprise Partnership.”

The IPN invited submissions for the 2014 Global Best Awards from partnership solutions across the globe that promote the development of employability skills among young people and also provide them with the tools, experience and avenues for showcasing these skills to potential employers. Regional winners were notified in May and Global winners for each category were announced at the bi-annual conference.

Peterborough Skills Service (PSS) is part of the wider Peterborough Skills Vision set out by Opportunity Peterborough. The Vision aims to help new talent prosper, giving a voice to the City’s businesses, education providers and funders of education to find out what shape they want the City’s skills agenda to take. Businesses regularly express their concern about the work-readiness of young people coming out of education at all levels and the appropriateness of their skill sets.

PSS was set up to respond to these concerns, offering a brokerage service between employers and education centres to facilitate the delivery of work related activities such as Meet the Professional events, sector specific employer talks, careers fairs, mock interviews and CV workshops. The service helps schools to address Government guidelines released in April 2014, which suggest that modern careers guidance is as much about inspiration and aspiration as it is about advice.

Since the service was launched in 2011, PSS has worked with both mainstream and special schools, colleges, Youth Offending Service and over 1100 of the City’s 5000 businesses. Sue Addison said, “Each education provider works with us in a slightly different way and we tailor our offer to meet specific requirements in the way that the school or college prefer to work in order to achieve the best outcomes for young people.”

The success of PSS has also been recognised more locally by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which has granted funding to extend the project into the areas of Fenland, Rutland, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk under the new title of The Skills Service. The project was previously funded by the Peterborough City Council.

To find out more about the work of The Skills Service visit