Employment & Skills

Since 2002 we have been delivering a range of interventions to support unemployed groups.  Our approach has always been one of tackling the multiple barriers that exist, to help people back onto a pathway to employment. This includes support for mental and physical health; personal finances; relationships; addiction and education & skills. Call the team on:- 0121 448 0720 (option 1); or email:- jobs@colebridge.org

Over the years we have developed an excellent referral network and are embedded within the local community. Our coaches are recruited from the local area and have a good understanding of the challenges that local people face. As such, we provide both one-to-one support, as well as group-based activities. We also encourage self-help and as an example, provide access to laptops for job searches, job applications and training – all supported by a digital inclusion expert.

Our staff are DBS-checked, Information, Advice & Guidance accredited and / or hold other important skills and experience, such as counselling and careers guidance.  As an organisation we are members of the Employment Related Services Association, British Association of Supported Employment and are signed up to the Department of Work and Pensions Disability Confident programme.

How are we funded?

We are an inclusive service and have worked with ex-offenders, people with disabilities, mental health, carers, young people and older residents.  Our sources of funding have included:- European Skills Funding Agency, Lottery (Talent Match), European Social Fund, West Midlands Combined Authority and targeted grant funding from grant-making trusts.

There are many misconceptions about our funding.  In truth, employment programmes rarely cover the full cost of the service that we deliver and for certain types of funding, we actually have to match 50% of the project with our own funding for salaries.  It is imperative that we keep an audit trail of our work and evidence that we have delivered support.  However, we do not get funding for simply getting signatures on paperwork, nor do we receive income based upon the number of minutes that we spend with a participant.

The Return on Investment (ROI) of helping a person into work has been researched by many organisations.  The saving to the public purse, therefore tax payers can be anything from £12,000 to £60,000 per individual.  Our priority is ensuring sustainable outcomes for our participants.

Current Projects

  • Skills 4 Jobs – supporting unemployed adults in eligible North Solihull wards;
  • Employed for Success  – supporting unemployed over 30’s in Solihull with health barriers, lone parent status or disabilities;
  • Connecting Communities – supporting unemployed adults with a strong link to the Chelmsley Wood ward.
  • Steps to the Real Me – supporting hardest to reach young people (14 to 24) in Solihull with employability skills and mentoring.
  • Unit 21 – support all ages with work-based mentoring at our assembly & packing social enterprise.

Emerging Model

As a community anchor organisation, we can link participants to local volunteering opportunities and refer to trusted partners who deliver specialist interventions.  Our approach has been praised by partners and Coventry University, who in 2019 stated that our “unique model could be the future of how unemployment support is delivered.”

Our close work with several employers has supported recruitment drives of between 10-25 vacancies, with a high level of success.  Hiring managers have praised the team for the preparation time that they have spent with each of the applicants; especially as we are not paid to deliver specialist recruitment services.

The team are also delivering support for those in work; who are under-employed or on low wages. This has become a recognised issue and one we are keen to help resolve, given that we work within a highly deprived area.

We are constantly reviewing and developing our employment & skills services to ensure that we deliver the most effecting interventions.  We are currently fundraising to define the methodology of our work, so that other UK areas may benefit from our experience.

 

Contact Us

The team can be contacted by calling 0121 448 0720 or email jobs@colebridge.org

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