The Council’s skills teams have been awarded the Matrix quality standard for outstanding work in providing information, advice and guidance on skills, training and employment opportunities for Wolverhampton residents.

The Matrix award is the Department for Education’s national quality benchmark for the provision of Information, Advice and Guidance by a service.

The work of the council’s skills teams includes the successful Wolves at Work programme, which helped almost 600 local people into work last year.

It also encompasses the Wolverhampton Connexions service, which has carried Matrix status since 2017 for its delivery of independent Careers Information, Advice and Guidance.

Partners interviewed for the Matrix assessment praised the quality of delivery and the high standard of support for clients.

The assessor commended staff for their professionalism and duty to the customer, saying it is ‘streets ahead’ of other parts of the country.

One customer was quoted as describing the service he had received as ‘exceptional’, and said he felt like a ‘VIP’ when receiving employment support.

The assessor also said it is very clear the role of the skills teams in communities and their commitment to making a difference give them credibility and a ‘brand’ that clients identify closely with, adding that within this Wolves at Work is a strong and well known programme with clients interviewed saying they frequently recommended it to family members and friends.

Councillor Stephen Simkins, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “Feedback from the assessor was extremely positive and the skills teams are fully deserving of this honour.

“Supporting our residents into jobs, skills and training is one of the key priorities for the city.

“And the Matrix standard is an important and valued endorsement of the service we are providing.”

The skills teams have also added to their provision over the last year with a new employment hub for Wolves at Work based at Bilston Town Hall.

People can drop in anytime between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, to speak to work coaches and use computers to conduct vacancy searches and job applications.

Councillor Chris Burden, Cabinet Member for Education. Skills and Work, added: “We received a comprehensive report, which will help us take the service to the next level.

“The teams provide invaluable support to people of all ages across the city from school leavers through to those aged over 50.

“They have also forged strong links with city and regional partners to ensure they continue to deliver the best possible skills, training and employment opportunities for Wolverhampton residents.”

The Matrix standard is awarded for three years, with annual continuous improvement checks.

For information about skills, training and employment opportunities in the city visit Workbox, call Wolves At Work on 01902 554400 or email