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LEAP Norwich, Access Community Trust, and Voluntary Norfolk among projects aiming to support 400 people into work to receive £148,000 in grants

PUBLISHED: 10:18 10 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:31 10 April 2017

LEAP Norwich's Flourish Employment Academy is among the schemes to benefit from funding. Picture: co/ LEAP Norwich

LEAP Norwich's Flourish Employment Academy is among the schemes to benefit from funding. Picture: co/ LEAP Norwich

LEAP Norwich

More than 400 vulnerable people across the region are being supported by new funding to get into the workplace and bolster the labour force.

The Access Community Trust. Picture: c/o Access Community TrustThe Access Community Trust. Picture: c/o Access Community Trust

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, through its Community Challenge Fund, has given grants totalling £148,000 to community projects ranging from a catering course through to a film production scheme, which will help 400 people get the skills needed to go to work, and support a further 160 into work.

New Anglia LEP board member Doug Field said: “To date, the Community Challenge Fund has exceeded all its targets for helping people overcome disadvantages to enter the job market. And this year the successful projects have even greater ambitions, to help hundreds of people gain the confidence and support they need to get back into the world of work, and in turn help improve productivity and economic growth in the East.”

Charities and social enterprises were invited to present their projects to a panel including representatives from the LEP, Suffolk Community Foundation and Norfolk Community Foundation.

Each project received £20,000, except Suffolk Refugee Support which bid for £8,000.

The Access Community Trust. Picture: c/o Access Community TrustThe Access Community Trust. Picture: c/o Access Community Trust

Now in its third year, the fund has awarded £538,000 to projects which have helped 580 people become work-ready and 215 into paid employment.

The successful projects were:

Suffolk Refugee Support. Pictured is Team Manager Rebecca Crerar.Suffolk Refugee Support. Pictured is Team Manager Rebecca Crerar.

Access Community Trust’s Workspace to Workplace is based in Lowestoft which contains some of the most disadvantaged areas in the region in terms of employment and skills training.

Project offers one-to-one mentoring support, IT skills, presentation and interview skills, practical workshops and an introduction to enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Specialising in supporting participants recognised as being either long-term unemployed and economically inactive, Voluntary Norfolk’s Voluntary Works is designed to give those furthest from work a greater understanding of employment and a leg-up into an industry that’s relevant to their personal skills, strengths and assets, with the help of dedicated mentoring and by undertaking a voluntary work placement with a local employer to gain valuable experience.

The project will work with 80 people, supporting 20 away from welfare and into paid employment and 20 people to become volunteers, engaging with 20 business and organisations.

Norwich-based LEAP and its trading arm The Feed is offering the Flourish Employment Academy which aims to give access to a 12-week catering programme for vulnerable and socially excluded members of the community.

The beneficiaries will come from a wide background including homelessness, people recovering from substance misuse, a history of offending and those who have mental health needs.

Run by the Workers’ Educational Association, …and ACTION! aims to support people living in disadvantaged areas who are looking for work to explore local employers and jobs by creating a short film.

The film will then be used to showcase potential employers in the area and the type of work available.

Communication skills, project planning and the ability to work to deadline are just a few of the skills people will grow through taking part.

Everyone will get mentoring support and have the chance to develop their creative talents through the film making process.

Over the next year the WEA aims to engage 60 people living in Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, King’s Lynn and Watton and support them to develop the skills and confidence to find work or move on with further learning or training.

Suffolk Refugee Project will work with asylum seekers in Ipswich who have fled their homelands and are waiting to hear the outcome of their application for asylum in the UK, aiming to increase employment skills and knowledge in order to make them job-ready when they are given leave to remain in the UK.

Intensive one-to-one work looking at skills and aspirations and matching training opportunities to them, plus English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses to ensure clients have suitable English language skills before they begin looking for jobs; and set up volunteering placements for gaining vital experience.

It will work with 15 asylum seekers over the year.

Eastern Enterprise Hub’s Back to Your Future project aims to help participants develop their confidence, empower them and allow them the time and support to be able to work out their next steps back to employment. It will work with up to 45 individuals aged 18-60 in Ipswich who are furthest from the job market including long-term unemployed people, unemployed graduates and unemployed parents.

Inspire Suffolk’s Step Up will aim improve employment prospects of young people aged 16-25 not in education, employment or training (NEET) in areas of disadvantage in Suffolk by equipping them with an industry specific start-up qualification and the necessary skills and confidence to be ready for work, gain paid employment and move on with their lives. Working with local partners, courses will be available in sport, customer service, health & social care, hospitality & catering and construction.

Step Up aims to see at least 96 young people become work ready with 52 gaining employment.

A partnership between The Mix & Emerging Leaders will deliver The Big Pen Project which is designed to help adults and NEET young people who have found themselves without work to grow in confidence and desire to gain meaningful employment.

The Stowmarket-based scheme uses action-orientated methods, mentoring and skills-based learning to equip them with the skills they need.

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