ICONI Software Managing Director, Liam Jordan, talks to agendaNi about the company’s work with employment support organisations across Edinburgh, highlighting the main challenges in delivering services to those furthest away from the job market and how they utilise technology to help overcome these.
Within the City of Edinburgh Council area there are over sixty organisations delivering different types of specialist support provisions to the unemployed. These provisions include Employability Development, Skills Training, Specialist Advice, Job Searching and In-Work Support. Prior to ICONI’s involvement, there had been no centralised Management Information System (MIS) in place to accurately collate and report on the support given to individuals.
There was no easy way of sharing information among the multiple organisations, aligning support delivery processes and avoiding the duplication of services. As a result, individuals were being assessed multiple times. Without a joined-up approach among all the service providers to support these individuals, delivery was not as efficient as it could have been. Furthermore, a lot of case workers’ time was taken up completing paper work; time which would have been better spent focusing on the direct support of their clients.
Capital City Partnership, responsible for leading Edinburgh’s Joined-Up for Jobs (JUFJ) strategy, approached ICONI to develop a web-based Client MIS that would track and report on each client’s journey to work across all of the organisations delivering employment support in Edinburgh. The partnership required a system that would provide a full case history of each client’s support, interactions and activity. An ability to manage and monitor performance across the multiple delivery providers was extremely important, including real-time reporting. The software also had to securely provide the relevant information to each organisation with sensitive case notes being provider-specific i.e. not accessible by other providers.
ICONI developed an innovative MIS, known as Caselink, which is used by multiple organisations across Edinburgh in the delivery of the JUFJ strategy. Chris Nicol from Capital City Partnership told us that with Caselink, it has full visibility of all clients, which ensures that the correct support is being delivered when and where needed, and the individual’s journey is clearly traceable. It is an important tool in ensuring that their strategy remains joined-up, demand-led and client-centred. Midlothian Council has looked to Edinburgh as a council of best practice and is also now using this innovative system. Caselink is based on a best practice delivery model which would be suitable to roll out to other towns and cities, especially within Northern Ireland.
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