Work Placements Project Manager

London (Greater)
11 Mar 2018
19 Apr 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Work Placements Project Manager

Start date:11th April 2018

End date: 31st July 2018

Location: London Waterloo

We are looking to hire a Project Manager for a pilot project that prepares young people for the world of work. This role is perfect for you if you are passionate about supporting colleges and providers to give young people the skills they need for their careers, if you would like a job that makes a difference on a national scale and if you would like to be part of a fast-paced team using creative problem-solving skills. It is perfect for you if you are someone who people warm to, are determined, well-organised and have a naturally positive attitude.

The Challenge

The Challenge is a national charity that was founded in 2009. Our mission is to connect and inspire people to strengthen their communities. We bring together local people across all generations, ethnic groups and incomes to build a stronger society. This also applies to the people we employ to work with us. As an equal opportunities employer our aim is to have a diverse workforce from all walks of life to reflect the communities we work in.

This is a unique opportunity to join a fast moving, rapidly growing organisation, working with young people and employers across the country. For more information about what The Challenge does and its values, please visit our website.

About the role

Around half of all young people study a technical course. Many of these young people graduate without being fully ready for the world of work. The Department for Education has commissioned us to test a new approach, in readiness for the Technical Education Skills Reforms.

The Department is keen to provide every young person in England undertaking a technical course with a meaningful, substantial work placement to develop their technical skills before they end their vocational education. This represents a major shift in practice for the post-16 sector, as providers will be expected to increase the availability of work placements for a large proportion of their learners as well as offer longer, more substantial placements (up to 3 months), focused on developing the practical skills linked to the occupation they are studying towards, as opposed to the 1-2 week work experiences traditionally offered. We are now putting together a small team who will trial this approach with around 2000 young people. We want you to join our team to make a real difference.

Your role is two-fold: To work with five technical education colleges to ensure they deliver the work placements according to the design models we have developed and that they deliver the necessary activities to ensure the successful delivery of work placements. Second, to support the development of guidance resources for 440 colleges who will be involved in the next stage of the work placements roll-out.


You will work with five of our partner technical education colleges to help young people prepare for and succeed in these placements. You will support colleges to make the pilots successful and a rich source of learning. This will require:

  • Building a good set of relationships with staff working in the local technical education college/alternative providers
  • Ensuring they are on track with delivery of activities related to work placements
  • Understanding and addressing the challenges faced by colleges and employers
  • Trouble-shooting and problem solving issues that arise
  • Collecting, analysing and sharing data, including by keeping Salesforce and other relevant trackers up to date
  • Collecting key learnings to share internally and with the external evaluator
  • Sharing challenges and good practice across the providers you are supporting, and with colleagues in the wider team
  • Liaising with colleagues in The Challenge to support provision of learner preparation activity and sourcing of work placements
  • Supporting the business development team during crunch periods
  • Regular travel to work with colleagues and colleges in London, Midlands and Greater Manchester

Skills and experience


  • Can build good relationships: Able to build good professional relationships with new people including senior leaders, teaching staff and young people.
  • Professional: Able to give a very professional first impression.
  • Well-organised: Able to manage multiple tasks and activities and help providers to meet deadlines.
  • Thorough: Able to keep accurate records of project details, records and data.
  • Supportive: Able to support providers in conducting work placements.
  • Team-player: Able to build very good relationships with colleagues; easy to work with.
  • Self-Starter: Able to remain motivated for lone working for large periods of time
  • Proactive problem solver: Able to remain outcome-focussed when faced with set-backs
  • Project management: Experience managing projects and/or contracts, ensuring they deliver on time and on budget.
  • Communication: Able to articulately communicate the work placements project to providers and comfortable answering questions and queries.
  • Written Communication: Able to understand a fast-paced project and to help with the writing of guidance resources to a very high quality standard
  • Knowledge of and/or experience working with the Further Education/Technical Education sector.

Beneficial, but not essential

  • Experience helping providers or employers to provide work experience or work placements.
  • Knowledge and/or experience of the vocational qualification landscape.

Employment Screening

The Challenge operates Safer Recruitment Practices for all roles within the organisation. Successful applicants will be required to provide a valid and acceptable Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (previously CRB).

Only applicants who have the right to work in the UK or have a valid visa or work permit for a minimum of 6 months at the time of application will be considered for this role.

Further Details

In addition to being part of a fun, dynamic and challenging workforce, we are proud to offer an attractive benefits package including contributory pension, Simplyhealth cash plan, Ride 2 Work, childcare vouchers, season ticket travel card loan etc. to eligible employees.

  • Status: This is a full-time, fixed term role starting 11th April, finishing on 31st July 2018.
  • Salary: £32,000 per annum.
  • To apply: Please apply by sending your CV and a one sided cover letter explaining why you are interested in this role by email via the button below by Friday 23rd March 2018.
  • Due to the expected level of response, we may close the application process earlier than the stated date if suitable candidates are found before this time.

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