Groundwork North East & Cumbria has been appointed to lead a £1.7 million scheme aimed at addressing the key barriers preventing people in Cumbria entering employment.
The scheme, Choices, is a Building Better Opportunities programme jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund until September 2019.
Groundwork North East & Cumbria will lead a partnership of 12 voluntary and community sector organisations in supporting 450 of West Cumbria’s hardest to reach people to enter employment. Choices will take a one to one approach to address participants’ own individual challenges, with specialist health and wellbeing, finance, and digital training services designed to support their progression.
The programme will also offer specialist, bespoke provision for specific demographics, including care-leavers, ex-carers, those recovering from addictions and those with learning difficulties. In addition, Groundwork and its partners will offer volunteering opportunities for up to 100 participants to allow them to develop their skills in a workplace environment.
Samantha Dawson, Cumbria project manager for Groundwork North East & Cumbria, said:
“There is no one-size-fits-all answer when working with those furthest from the labour market, and each person has their own individual needs, which must be addressed before they are able to secure long-term, meaningful employment.
“The region has a relatively high rate of unemployment, and I’m looking forward to working with our partners to make inroads into changing that and help to make a significant impact on the lives of hundreds of those people who are currently disengaged from employment.”
Along with Groundwork North East & Cumbria, other partner organisations involved in Choices are: Cumbria Youth Alliance, Impact Housing, West Cumbria Carers, West House, West Cumbria Mind, Millom Network Centre, Unity, Your Homes Derwent & Solway, Copeland CAB, Age UK West Cumbria and Mind in Furness.
Main image: Samantha Dawson, Cumbria project manager for Groundwork North East & Cumbria
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