Developing a partnership to support the interests of young people
A Capita/DfES case study



Connexions Card, sector, private, learning, government, education, support, partnership, Capita, market, providers, discounts, rewards, school.


One of the most critical times for young people is when they have their first opportunity to leave school.

Although leaving school at 16 offers the chance to get a job or start a career, nearly 10of that age group become socially excluded after doing so because they remain outside education, training and work for long periods of time.

Recent government statistics show that those who stay in learning can boost their average earnings by up to 40over those that leave at 16.

The 'Bridging the Gap' report recommended that a 'smart' youth card should be introduced to reduce some of the financial barriers that prevent young people from continuing to study after the age of 16.

This has resulted in the introduction of the Connexions Card for all 16-19 year olds in England.

Other key elements in the Government's strategy to provide incentives for young people to stay on in education include the development of Education Maintenance Allowances and Learner Support Funds.

The cost of remaining in learning is also reduced by the provision of discounts and special offers.

This case study focuses on the Connexions Card, and discusses how the Department for Education & Skills (DfES) has joined forces with Capita, a private sector service business to form a public private partnership (PPP).

The Connexions Card brand must engage young people and appeal to brand partners, rewards and discount providers while being acceptable to learning centres and fit with the overall Connexions brand.

Making connections and networking is not easy, particularly if you are new to the employment market.

The card is free to all 16-19 year olds in England.

It is a 'smart Card' with a chip that stores basic information supplied by the young person, thus ensuring security and providing protection against fraudulent use.

Opportunities for offering sponsorship, direct marketing materials (which Cardholders can opt out of), discounts, competitions and other commercial ventures provide a real incentive for the private sector to become involved in educational initiatives targeted at a particular group of consumers.

Learning outcomes:

As a result of carefully reading this case study, students should be able to:

  • understand why a central government strategy might involve a private sector organisation
  • make the link between a government policy objective and building a service strategy around a particular customer environment
  • understand some similarities and differences between the private and public sector
  • appreciate the importance of branding within government-led initiatives
  • understand the product concept.

Capita/DfES | Developing a partnership to support the interests of young people


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