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Progress2work: October Update

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.  

October has been another interesting month in the progress2work team! The end of our first quarter has come with claims and paperwork processes. We’ve had team building sessions through the month, which have helped us to bond and develop our own skills in this area. We’ve also had plenty of partnership meetings and networking going on. These have created opportunities to build more referral sources and chances to get involved with our local communities. With a focus on wellbeing, confidence and the co-operation this month, the progress2work team have been considering how we can get more involved in creating sustainable development for communities in our areas. Our reach extends further than the individuals we work with – we also have an aim to add value to the communities they are part of.


We’ve had meetings with BBEST Community Hub and More in Common at the Jo Cox Foundation – community organisations working in Kirklees. BBest Community Hub works with schools, partners, families, and children, to improve social inclusion and support people in their communities. The More in Common strand of the Jo Cox Foundation also strives to bring together stronger, more connected communities. Both meetings gave us plenty of new links to make, and guidance as to how we can best support people living in Kirklees, discussing digital inclusion issues which have been at the forefront of community organisers’ minds. The lack of digital access for many residents of Kirklees has been exacerbated by the impacts of Covid-19. More services have moved to digital platforms, and this has shown the full extent of digital access issues in the area.

Progress2work are working with more digital inclusion organisations to support increasing access to digital platforms and skills. Digital readiness questionnaires have been created to gauge the level of access our clients have, so we can plan and consider what needs to be done to improve access and skills.
Another great partnership we’ve made in October is with Electronic Village, meetings have created an opportunity for our team to have a presence there to aid their delivery of support – increasing digital inclusion amongst socially excluded people – as well as giving our team another base to work from and meet clients. Electronic Village also offer ESOL courses and job search workshops, which will benefit our clients and increase our reach in Dewsbury.
We’ve also formed a relationship with West Yorkshire Learning Partnerships: an organisation focusing on supporting and building networks for training providers. With this partnership, we can build our routes to education and training for our clients.


Our wellbeing focus this month has led to the team planning wellbeing workshops for clients and new sign-ups. Our employment trainer, Davy, and therapeutic worker, Lisa, have planned a series of workshops to be held in all three areas of our project. The workshops are based around teamwork, confidence and communication skills to help develop individuals’’ skills which will help them not only in work and throughout the job search process, but also throughout life. While the project does have targets for employment, education and training, a wider aim of the delivery is to improve our clients’ capabilities through soft skill progression. These are difficult to capture through numbers and spreadsheets, but are invaluable for our client’s personal development and so are very important for our project. The support we offer doesn’t just help improve interview skills and CV building, it also improves our clients’ confidence, aspirations and belief in their own capabilities, with an effect which lasts longer than simply a job interview.


To build on our wellbeing focus this month, we have joined with the Aspire-International team and are contributing to their delivery of the Stand Out in A Global Market Event for those looking to study, travel, or work abroad. Our team is planning a video contribution based around confidence and the benefits of travelling and working abroad. We’re hoping it’ll be the start of plenty more collaboration between our project and the different departments at Aspire-igen!


We have also been planning more virtual launches – to give more information to existing and potential partners. After our in-person events in September, our next steps into digital platforms are to increase our reach through Teams! We have created a presentation with key information about the project and partner marketing packs for those wanting leaflets and extra information about referring to our project. If you’re wanting copies of these for your own organisation, please enquire at progress2work@aspire-igen.com.


As the first quarter is completed, we are happy to announce that we have hit our targets despite challenges presented by Covid-19. With more of our clients achieving job interviews and offers, we are hoping to build on these successes in the future. November will, as ever, bring more events, new partnerships, and new opportunities for our team!

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