DISADVANTAGED people are a big step closer to securing paid employment.
Charity Heart of England Mencap last received £156,000 funding as part of Building Better Opportunities, a programme funded by the European Social Fund and the Big Lottery Fund to tackle poverty and social exclusion.
In the past year more than 20 people have been supported with two about to start paid employment for the first time.
Participants receive practical support and advice on their journey into employment – from help with CVs to training and opportunities.
The charity runs two programmes from the Job Pod at Stratford College and the Sydni Centre in Leamington.
The programmes will run until next December and are open to those supported by Mencap and to anyone disadvantaged and needing help into work.
Employment guide Karen Rousell said: “So many disadvantaged people and people with learning disabilities are really keen to work, but they lack the opportunity.
“This programme is very much about changing that. We are working with individuals to get them ready for work, helping with training, CVs and interviews. We are also engaging with local employers to find opportunities and to show how able people are – and we’re very pleased to see two of our participants soon to start paid employment locally, for the first time.”
Enterprise manager Suzanne Hotten added: “The impact of this employment programme cannot be overestimated – through his volunteering role, one young man is now more actively engaged in society and stated that he now has ‘a reason to get out of bed each day’. And that’s just one example.”
The charity is keen to talk to local employers who can offer suitable work experience and job opportunities.
Advice and support would be given to help make the placements a success.