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Progress2work is an adult employability project funded by the European Social Fund. The programme seeks to support those further from the labour market using new and tried and tested methods.
We are currently in the initial stages of planning and setting up the progress2work programme, and we wanted to keep track of how we’re getting on and to give updates of our progress. For the next few weeks we’ll be putting out a weekly ‘Getting Started’ news item, filled with all the details of how we’ve come together as a team and started getting the project ready for launch.
In the final week of our first month, the team has been getting more acquainted with specific local areas, we’ve been getting ever-closer to the project launch, and being able to support our first clients! All week, our team members have been speaking to one-stop-shops, community hubs, GP surgeries, libraries – representatives from anywhere that might present an opportunity for client referrals.
Looking specifically at local areas, our team have done research in Batley this week where we discussed a really interesting possibility for getting some publicity on a local radio station. In Temple Newsham, we came across an area that calls for more research. There are different kinds of inactivity in different areas – residents in more affluent areas might experience inactivity just as much as those in less affluent areas. Social exclusion happens within a range of different demographics, so it is important that our projects are inclusive of all potential clients’ circumstances.
In other exciting news, this week brings our new employment trainer into the team! They have been starting to get to grips with the project, and thinking about course structures, and planning training modules. We’ve also been considering how to incorporate the training feature of our support into engagement strategies. This has brought up discussions of holding taster sessions or sample training as part of our launch events across the local areas.
Something the team have been discussing this week is how we can build relationships of trust in communities which might be more excluded from accessing employability support. For example, Tong is further out from the centre of Bradford, so support for getting into jobs isn’t as accessible for residents there. Our project delivery is based around outreach, meaning we can go into the communities, and support them in their local area. This will require strong relationships and trust in our team members.
We’ve also been building relationships with providers and charities this week, with one specific charity being Circles of Life Women Together. The organisation works to support and empower women and young girls to grow. With a woman-centred approach, Women Together offers individual support, group work, and creative arts – to name but a few opportunities for women and young girls to benefit from. We have found that their values align very closely with ours, so this could be a great opportunity to collaborate and help each other in our aims.
It’s been a great week to round off our first month of the project. Each of our team members have been busy organising meetings and exploring the possibilities in each local area we’ll be operating in. Our next steps will be making the final touches to client paperwork and developing more resources to help our team members support clients to achieve their goals.
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