Work Routes, a scheme to help the long-term unemployed overcome the barriers to work has gone live, after the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) matched £9m it had secured from the EU’s European Structural Fund, with Job Centre Plus.
The project will be delivered across Essex by Reed in Partnership, by RBLI in Kent and Medway, and APM in East Sussex, with all three organisations working with the Department of Work & Pension, Job Centre Plus and other partners.
Working Routes has been set the challenging target of securing 5,100 job starts, including 1,887 short-terms jobs (a minimum of 13 weeks in work) and 1,607 sustained jobs (26 weeks in work).
Christian Brodie, Chairman of SELEP, said: “This EU funding seeks to help those who, for a combination of issues, have struggled to find and maintain employment.
“Across the area we have employers who need skills of all levels and we are therefore delighted that we can tap into the collective and comprehensive skills of Reed in Partnership, RBLI and APM.”
Based on the identified employment needs of the area, Working Routes offers individuals the opportunity to take up the offer of skills training from wide range of options.
The tailored support is delivered through a network of training centres and outreach work. The trainers will work with the volunteers to identify the barriers to work and how they may be overcome, e.g. housing, drugs and alcohol dependency.
The £9m funding for Working Routes is via the European Social Fund, which is part of £71m, which SELEP has secured from the European Structural & Investment Fund.