Ensuring the workforce is equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes is an essential part of providing effective services and support for people experiencing multiple disadvantage. System-wide workforce development is one of five collective strategic priorities identified by Fulfilling Lives partnerships and intended to create sustainable change.

Our latest series of briefings, published today, each focus on a different aspect of workforce development and multiple disadvantage.

People with lived experience have a huge amount to offer the workforce. Their experience can be valuable, particularly in support roles, where they act as role models and rapidly build trust with beneficiaries from the perspective of someone who has been in a similar situation. The first briefing explores ways in which those with lived experience of multiple disadvantage can be supported to move into and progress within the workforce.

The second briefing explores the role of the multiple disadvantage navigator, including the skills and competencies required for the role and the support they need to be effective. A navigator is a service-neutral staff member who works with people affected by multiple disadvantage and supports them to secure and coordinate a range of support and services as needed.

The third briefing examines the workforce development needs of the wider workforce. It is important that staff who are not necessarily specialists in supporting people facing multiple disadvantage, nevertheless have the skills, experience and confidence needed to effectively provide services for this group. This briefing focuses, in particular, on how the Fulfilling Lives programme has worked with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to enhance Jobcentre Plus staff awareness and skills.

The fourth briefing focuses on service commissioners and policy-makers – they are a crucial part of the workforce and play a key role in shaping support for people affected by multiple disadvantage. This briefing explores what commissioners and policy-makers need in order to contribute to a more effective system of support for people affected by multiple disadvantage and how Fulfilling Lives partnerships have worked with commissioners and policy-makers.

In December 2020, we shared the findings from our study on workforce development in a series of webinars. These were recorded and can be watched here. Slides from the webinars can be viewed here.

The webinar recordings and briefings will be of particular interest to those working within services that affect or are used by people experiencing multiple disadvantage, commissioners, policy-makers and other decision makers, as well as managers, practitioners and volunteers in organisations working to support people experiencing multiple disadvantage.