HOP Roadshow: The Highlights

Since the launch on the 28th November 2019, HOP (Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal) has been on a roadshow around Hertfordshire. Funded by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, HOP has toured schools, training providers, colleges, the University of Hertfordshire, YC Hertfordshire, Job Centres, The Careers and Enterprise Company, Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, Herts County Council and our local authorities, Herts Growth Hub and many employers - showcasing the resources our county can now access enabling our residents to make informed career decisions and supporting our employers to build a future talent pipeline.

All 4 of our Hertfordshire Colleges are now showcased on the site along with many of our independent and specialist training providers. They each have their own page demonstrating the quality provision they can offer our residents and employers, with feeds to their courses and apprenticeship vacancies and plenty of testimonials, accolades and case studies on show.

HOP has also visited the University of Hertfordshire’s Careers and Employment team, showing how the portal can be used by graduates to find local opportunities. The University was very positive, stating that access to the portal will be placed onto their student’s website.  Our Deputy Chair of Hertfordshire LEP and Chair of Hertfordshire LEP’s Skills and Employment Board, Adrian Hawkins, showcased HOP at an event at the University during National Apprenticeship Week. The event was focused on Degree Apprenticeships, and arming Careers Leaders with the tools and knowledge that they can take back into their schools. Adrian demonstrated the unique search function that sifts through nationwide opportunities, leaving all of Hertfordshire’s apprenticeships, jobs and courses to be viewed.

We have visited two schools, John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Hemel Hempstead and Thomas Alleyne Academy in Stevenage. We created and delivered a lesson plan to over 40 year 11, 12 and 13 students, gaining valuable user insights which we are using to improve and refine the site. Overall there was a wave of positive and enthusiastic feedback from students and Careers Leads and we have already been invited back!

Julie Lewis, Sociology teacher at Thomas Alleyne Academy said: "A very informative session that really opened the students' eyes to local opportunities within our community within the Hertfordshire area.  I am sure our Year 13 students will make the most of this developing resource.  Hertfordshire really is the County of Opportunities."

So, who else have we reached?

We have engaged many, many employers and are delighted with our Employer Spotlight pages which highlight the breadth of opportunities that our Hertfordshire residents have access to. Work experience, apprenticeships, graduate programmes and job opportunities in organisations both large and small across many diverse sectors. We are looking forward to building our Spotlight pages which in the future we intend to become a directory, searchable by sector and geography – an invaluable tool for our residents and for our recruiting employers who have outstanding opportunities to promote.

HOP posters have made their way into every Job Centre in Hertfordshire and the portal is used by the Futures careers team providing support for adults in their careers decision. We have built relationships with LEP partners such as The Chamber and Hertfordshire Growth Hub and will soon be featuring on their new digital platform.

HOP has had over 10,000 page views and over 900 users since going live and it is growing every day. And this is with a very little team of HOPpers! So we are very proud.

What’s next?

We have big plans for HOP and here is a taster of what is to come in 2020:

  • Ensure each of our secondary schools are made aware of HOP, ideally providing a link to the resource from their website (we are looking forward to delivering the keynote and HOP workshops at the Hertfordshire Careers Conference in March)
  • Develop lessons plans for schools so careers leaders can deliver ‘Making the most of HOP’ sessions within their schools
  • 20 providers to be showcased
  • 50 employers to be featured as ‘Spotlight Employers’ – employers (in particular SMEs) – we want to hear from you!
  • HOP posters in 18 business centres across the county
  • HOP to be advertised in all Job Centres
  • 20 employer intermediaries (like our chambers and local authorities) to have links to HOP on their website

So 2020 will be a busy year. Any ideas or thoughts on the portal we want to hear from you so please do get in touch on [email protected]



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