Accreditation success for Thirteen's employment support service

Thirteen’s employability team is celebrating positive feedback from customers, partners and an independent assessor after being awarded with a Matrix accreditation renewal.


29 Jun 2023


What is the Matrix accreditation?

Matrix is the international quality standard for organisations that deliver information, advice or guidance.

The external assessor looked at all elements of service delivery during a three day visit to Thirteen and interviewed team members, customers and partner agencies to gather information.

What was the feedback?

Here are just some of the comments from the assessor:

  • The assessor could see considerable progress being made to the service year on year
  • The quality offer is holistic and not just target driven. Although the service is funding fed, it isn’t funding led, and delivery is very person centred
  • It is positive to see the service is supported by colleagues in other departments, and that the employability team is working with other colleagues to engage with customers
  • Leadership direction is clear and the information, advice and guidance provided by the team sits with the ethos of the organisation’s values
  • There are exciting plans for the future and the business is committed to the service offer

Many colleagues were interviewed and feedback was really positive:

  • Staff in the team are committed to doing the right thing for their customers. If they were a bar of rock, it would show Thirteen through and through
  • They showed great interest in their work
  • Staff induction is a real strength and colleagues spoke positively about support received. Many staff were fairly new to the organisation and all spoke highly
  • Colleagues are aware of where to signpost for support to give customers access to opportunities

Feedback from customers

  • Fourteen customers were interviewed:    
    • Their feedback about the service was very strong and positive
    • They were clear on the service offer and options/choices for support
    • There was a really strong feeling from many about the service not judging them, but just doing their best to support individual needs and help them move forward

Feedback from partners:

  • Three partner commissioning organisations that were spoken to indicated that contracts delivered by Thirteen’s employability service are always over-achieved and relationships are positive

Suzanne Halliwell, head of care and support at Thirteen, said: “The Matrix accreditation is a credit to the great service that the team provides to support customers on their journey into employment, and help them live more independently.

“It’s brilliant to see the hard work of the team recognised – everyone should be really proud of this achievement!”

Susan Borrow, care and support contracts manager at Thirteen, said: "I want to thank the whole team for their effort and dedication when preparing for the assessment, and for their ongoing commitment to supporting our customers to achieve their aspirations."

Over the last year, the employability team has provided advice to 1,129 customers, and supported 325 customers into a new job role. 43 people have been supported into job roles at Thirteen.

Thirteen offers a range of free employment support services for our tenants and the wider public across the Tees Valley. We support people who are not in employment, education or training, but also anyone looking to gain a new job or more hours. We support customers of any age.

Visit the employment support section of our website to find out more about how we can support people with job and training opportunities.