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Access to Employment programme reaches milestone

More than 2,000 people in Lancashire have received support through a programme which is helping them to gain the skills needed by local employers.

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Access to Employment programme reaches milestone

"The fact that more than two thousand people have now benefited from the support, and subsequently many businesses, reflects the impact of the programme to date."
Dr Michele Lawty-Jones

Access to Employment (AtoE) is helping unemployed adults in Lancashire to progress into employment, apprenticeships or further training through personalised and flexible packages of support.

The programme is being offered by more than 20 colleges and training organisations through the Lancashire Employment and Skills Executive Partnership (LESEP) and is available at many local venues across Lancashire.

The types of support available include bespoke pre-employment training packages designed in response to specific employers’ recruitment needs as well as vocational and employability skills, advice on job searching, CV tips and interview techniques, English and maths, ICT training, ESOL provision, self-employment advice and programmes for learners with special educational needs.

After being unemployed for five months and struggling with confidence issues, Lee Rogers from Darwen was able to secure employment with Cookson & Clegg thanks to AtoE, delivered by Bootstrap Enterprises. Lee gained his Levels 1 and 2 in Warehousing through the programme before moving on to an eight-week work placement where he gained a variety of new skills including picking and packing and operating fabric cutting machinery. Soon after, Lee was offered a full-time job with the company.

After being absent from the labour market for seven years, Joy Miller from Blackpool was able to secure a full-time job with UBU thanks to the Access to Employment programme, delivered by Blackpool and The Fylde College at the Seasiders Learning Centre. Joy was able to develop her employability, ICT, English and Maths skills and gain knowledge of various vocational areas, specialising in the care sector. Joy also received support to complete job application forms and her CV as well as interview skills and setting future goals.

 Lancashire construction and civil engineering contractor Matthews and Leigh Civil Engineering has also benefited from the support, having taken on 10 apprentices as a result of the programme. 

Robin Newton-Syms, Executive Director at LESEP said: “Access to Employment has already made a real difference to the lives and job prospects of over 2,000 unemployed adults in Lancashire which is a fantastic achievement. I would urge anyone who is unemployed and struggling to get into work to take advantage of the excellent support while it is still available.” 

Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, Director of the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub, part of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership said: “Access to Employment is supporting the creation of a skilled workforce which is an essential part of our Strategic Economic Plan for Lancashire. The fact that more than two thousand people have now benefited from the support, and subsequently many businesses, reflects the impact of the programme to date.”

LESEP secured £6.7 million in November 2016 from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and European Social Fund (ESF) to deliver AtoE through its network of delivery partners located across Lancashire. Preston’s College is the lead accountable body.

Unemployed adults over the age of 19 in need of support into work should visit https://www.lancashireskillshub.co.uk/escalate-form/.

Businesses who are looking to recruit new members of staff or access pre-employment training should visit http://www.access-to-employment.co.uk/ or email info@access-to-employment.co.uk.