A new £3m project is being launched in Coventry and Warwickshire this week to help people furthest from the labour market get into employment.
‘Accelerate’, part of ‘Building Better Opportunities’ – a programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund, is looking to support nearly 900 of the area’s most disadvantaged people to tackle the barriers preventing them from entering work or self-employment.
The project will bring together 24 local partners to provide each participant with a single access point to confidence building, work experience and skills enhancement, including training on IT, Literacy, Numeracy and Enterprise.
Participants will receive individualised employment advice and support to break through some of the common barriers holding them back. Help with travel and childcare costs while on the programme will also be available.
“Each person accessing ‘Accelerate’ will be assigned a Journey Guide responsible for working with them to design a tailor-made package of support to meet their individual requirements,” explained Tamy Matanky, who is leading the project on behalf of Coventry and Warwickshire CDA.
“The Journey Guide will remain their key point of contact and connect them with the training and support they need, bringing in specialist partners along the way.”
‘Accelerate’, which is tasked with supporting 890 people, will work across Coventry and Warwickshire.
Its target group are people who are unemployed or economically inactive, including but not limited to those with disabilities, individuals with mental health issues, ex-offenders, people who are over 50 and people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Communities.
A major launch event is planned for November 29th at Coventry Central Hall and will kick-start the project to stakeholders, users of the service and partners.
The partnership is already 24-stong and features experienced organisations, such as Groundwork West Midlands, Heart of England Mencap, Coventry Cyrenians and Volunteer Centre Nuneaton and Bedworth.
There are also ‘specialists’ on board and these range from ‘Action for Blind People’ and the Highlife Centre to Grapevine and Radio Plus.
Tamy continued: “This isn’t going to be like any previous programme we’ve seen in the area. We want to inspire people, give them confidence and skills they can use and connect them with work placements and jobs.
She concluded: “The launch event will give everyone an excellent overview of how we work. LEP Board Member Sarah Windrum, co-founder of the Emerald Group, will be speaking and an information fair open to the public will run from 11am – 4pm featuring mini-workshops and 25 information stalls.”