Careers office shut and hours cut in favour of mobile service

By Thomas Seal

Monday, September 1, 2014

 

UPDATED 16:25*

A CAREERS advice service is shutting its Newport office in favour of a mobile service, visiting towns around the Isle of Wight.

From next Monday Choices, the careers advice and guidance service for people aged 13 to 19 not in education, employment or training (NEET) is to close its Newport High Street office and become a roaming service across the Island, the Isle of Wight Council announced today (Monday).

The council said the service would become more accessible as a result, however the total number of hours the service is available per week has been slashed from 32 to 21.

As well as travelling to young people, the council said Choices would be aligned with the newly-commissioned youth services.

Cllr Richard Priest, executive member for children's services, said: "The Choices team provides an important service and has been based in Newport for a number of years.

"It is important we have a modern, fit for purpose service to give the right support for young people who are NEET.

"There are many opportunities to be taken such as apprenticeships, which the council is a key supporter of, and further education.

"Making the service mobile and taking it to towns across the Island makes it much more accessible and will mean many more young people can now speak to an advisor and get important advice without needing to visit the Choices building."

The council said the change would save them approximately £70,000 per year and the travelling service would continue to provide young people with the same advice, guidance and information on education and training opportunities as before.

The Choices team also refer young people to more specialist support and services if necessary.

*A council spokesman said people would also be able to visit County Hall and ask for an appointment with a Choices representative, which could be held then — depending on availability — or booked for another time.

For more information, contact the council's 'participation team' on 01983 525927, visit the help centre at County Hall, or their website at: http://www.iwight.com/council/OtherServices/Choices/Choices-Centre

Choices availability (starting week of 8 September, except Ryde service which starts on 15 September).

Mondays:

Ryde Job Centre from 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Tuesdays:

Cowes Library from 1.30pm to 4.30pm

Newport Library from 1pm to 4pm

Wednesdays:

Newport Job Centre from 10am to 1pm

Thursdays:

Sandown Library from 1.30pm to 4.30pm

Fridays:

Ryde Library from 1.30pm to 4.30pm

West Wight Sports Centre from 1:30pm to 4:30pm (starting September 12)

Ventnor Library from 1:30pm to 4:30pm (starting September 19)

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