Yorkshire project helps over 2,000 people back into work

Dec Connolly Editor

Email business@thebusinessjournal.co.uk

Knaresborough-based non-profit, Better Connect, who have supported over 2000 people across Yorkshire to enter jobs, training, or job seeking, over the last 5 years, celebrate the success of their Action Towards Inclusion project at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate.

Supporting those who are the furthest from the labour market, Action Towards Inclusion (ATI) is an employability programme with a difference. A partnership between Better Connect and 30 organisations across the voluntary and community sector, ATI provides high quality support to people across Yorkshire to help them overcome significant barriers, begin training, start the job search, and secure employment, in a role that is perfect for them, and aligned with their interests and needs.

The Action Towards Inclusion Programme supports many different areas of the participants life, including wellbeing, money, learning and support. Mentors help their assigned participant to create action plans, find a professional pathway perfect for them, enable access to professional debt advice, benefits help, funding for essential training and interview costs, and even training to help them run a business. Generating financial stability for ATI participants, and creating more Yorkshire entrepreneurs.

One Participant, Rebecca of East Riding, said: “I wish I had the words to explain what a massive improvement it has made to me and my family’s lives. Thank you!”

Another, Daniel, from North Yorkshire, said: “You have helped me pursue a dream that I didn’t think was possible, thanks so much”.

Action Towards Inclusion is an £13.2m programme for the York, North Yorkshire, East Riding LEP area, designed to support Yorkshire community members from disadvantaged backgrounds, and marginalised communities, through the process of preparing for work and securing employment.

  • 3,316 people have engaged with the programme.
  • 66% were ‘economically inactive’ (people not yet ready to start seeking work due to serious barriers like mental heath).
  • 34% were unemployed (people ready to start seeking work but with significant barriers they needed help to address).
  • 57% declared a long-term health condition or disability upon starting ATI.
  • 51% completed the ATI programme.
  • 40% have progressed into education or training
  • 47% have progressed into employment
  • 21% have progressed from being ‘economically inactive’ to seeking work actively.

Natasha Babar-Evans, CEO at Better Connect, said:  “ATI has been a truly incredible programme. Starting in early 2017, this wonderful partnership has moved mountains to support thousands of people to achieve their full potential, overcome barriers and live their best lives. We look forward to honouring the incredible achievements of our participants, celebrating the immense contributions of our partners, and the amazing impact ATI has had on those it has supported, helping to create a happier and more inclusive Yorkshire.”

Action Towards Inclusion is part of the National programme Building Better Opportunities which is funded by the European Social Fund and National Lottery Community Fund.