Training and learning project in the spotlight

An innovative project to get marginalised people into education, training and employment has been showcasing some of its successes.

The Building Better Opportunities project, co-ordinated in Shropshire by Wellington-based charity Landau, has helped to move some of those furthest from the job market into training and employment. 

The project is co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the National Lottery Community Fund and Councillor Ed Potter, the deputy leader of Shropshire Council, visited Landau’s new headquarters on Church Street to learn more about how the charity’s projects use the money.

Phil Taylor, chief operations officer for Landau, said: “We were thrilled that Councillor Potter came along to learn first-hand what impact the ESF-funded projects, managed by Landau, have had on moving people into employment.

“One of these projects is Building Better Opportunities (BBO), The project has worked with almost 1200 participants, of which 60 per cent were from jobless households and 37 per cent were economically inactive.

“With the support of more than nine voluntary sector organisations across Shropshire, the Building Better Opportunities project has found employment for more than 25 per cent of this remote and socially isolated group.

“During his visit, Councillor Potter was able to meet participants who had been disengaged from education and employment, who are now working with us to overcome barriers to employment.

“Within our own centre we work with learners to develop their skills in hairdressing, construction and improving their numeracy and literacy, enabling them to take on apprenticeships or future employment.

“With ESF funding ending in March 2023, employment support, training and the delivery of soft skills risks coming to an end. This impacts the third sector organisations we work with and, importantly, the participants needing the help and support to move forward with their lives.

“It’s vital for the success of these projects going forward that those who are likely to be holding the purse strings are aware of how valuable this work is.”

After March next year, projects will bid for money from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund when it replaces the ESF.

Landau, which won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise last year for promoting opportunity through social mobility, has been running the BBO programme in Shropshire since 2017.

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