News - 02 May 2024

D2N2 LEP is inviting bids for the Connected Futures programme: tender period open from 2 May to 28 May 2024

We are pleased to announce that D2N2 LEP is inviting bids for the delivery of the Connected Futures programme in D2N2 (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire).

We are inviting bids for two strands of work:

  • to lead strategic and partnership development of the Connected Futures programme in the D2N2 area
  • to work with employers within the D2N2 area as key stakeholders within the system

Bidders can express interest in one or both strands.

The timescale for the delivery of this work is June 2024 to March 2025.

The D2N2 Connected Futures programme is one of 8 regional programmes funded by the Youth Futures Foundation (YFF). It seeks to improve the journey from education to employment for young people who are facing exclusion and disadvantage. YFF have been supporting the development of local approaches to youth employment that put young people at the heart of the system, exploring local systems from the perspectives of young people, employers, education and employability services, and other stakeholders.

Youth Futures Foundation is designated as the What Works Centre for youth employment. It aims to narrow employment gaps for marginalised young people by identifying what works and why, and investing in evidence generation to improve policy and practice.

The Connected Futures Partnership in D2N2 is made up of three core partners, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, Nottinghamshire County Council and Direct Education Business Partnership (DEBP). The partnership is working across the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2) region to gain a better understanding of what works, and what doesn’t work, to support young people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autistic Spectrum Condition to move towards secure and sustained employment.

The partnership aims to change the system across the East Midlands, increasing the visibility and voice of young people, to foster new approaches to decision-making as well as delivery.

In phase 1 of the programme, the partnership has identified 4 key themes for exploration and testing of approaches:

  • Foundational Skills in Education
  • Strengthening Youth Voice Across the System
  • Transition: Consistent Pathways into Employment
  • Employer Support

The partnership has already begun working on testing new approaches to strengthening youth voice and DEBP now employ a Youth Voice Facilitator and four part-time Youth Voice Ambassadors, one representing each of the four upper tier Local Authority areas. The young people in these roles take ownership of the project and platform the voice of other young people in the region to support changes.

Moving in to phase 2 of the programme, the partnership is seeking to appoint a suitably experienced and connected individual or organisation to work with employers as key stakeholders within the system and/or lead strategic and partnership development of the Connected Futures programme in the D2N2 area.

Expressions of interest are invited to be submitted to before midday on Tuesday 28th May 2024.

Tender documents

Employer Engagement Project Specification

Employer Engagement Project response document

Inclusion Stakeholder Project Specification

Inclusion Stakeholder Project response document

Find out more about the Youth Futures Foundation and the Connected Futures programme

D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) covers the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire region, convening the businesses, universities, colleges and local authorities in our region to drive low carbon, economic growth and productivity, skills & careers, inclusion and delivery excellence. The D2N2 LEP team and functions will transition into the East Midlands Combined County Authority during 2024.

For media enquiries, contact:

Nicola Swaney

Head of External Affairs, D2N2 LEP

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