Our latest ‘cities in action’ case study looks at BEACH – Brighton & Hove Employability Advice and Careers Hut
Like many cities, Brighton & Hove has above average levels of youth unemployment, and on top of this, the city was facing a UK legislative change regarding secondary school participation age. In response, Brighton & Hove began developing BEACH in 2011, an online employability resource developed by young people, for young people.
The city gathered a group of young people to discuss employability skills and expectations. The group then interviewed potential employers in Brighton & Hove’s main growth sectors. The focus is on keeping talent in the local community: the advice on the website is tailored to the local situation.
Young people, teachers and parents refer to BEACH for tips and advice. The students worked directly with the web developers on the website, so it feels friendly and accessible for young people. It offers tools such as ‘what employers want’ and ‘managing your money’, and the ‘meet some employers’ section features video clips from the interviews.
The site is overseen by a ‘BEACH patrol’, a group of students selected each year to promote the website, speak at job fairs and events and develop a marketing plan to raise awareness of BEACH.
The reception of BEACH has been encouraging: all of the Brighton & Hove’s nine secondary schools use it as a teaching resource and the BEACH patrol is in the process of developing a survey to gauge the impact it has had.
Being easily replicable in other cities, BEACH has attracted the attention of other local councils, with the Gatwick Diamond (UK) area currently in the process of developing its own version. The ‘about BEACH’ section of the website provides information on how it was developed.
BEACH won the 2013 EUROCITIES ‘smart jobs’ award.