Scheme will help Leeds people facing biggest barriers to employment get '˜work ready'

A new pilot to help Leeds people who face huge difficulties in getting a job is handing out its first round of grants to supportive projects this week.

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The Leeds Employability Partnership, which is managed by the Leeds Community Foundation, will help those who face the biggest barriers in getting a job prepare to take their first step on the employment ladder.

Almost 60,000 adults of working age in Leeds are unemployed or ‘economically inactive’ due to issues such as long-term sickness or caring for family.

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In addition, research has shown that some people with learning or physical disabilities, mental health support needs, a criminal record, or lack of a credible employment history face significant challenges in finding work.

This week, the partnership will hand out grants to seven innovative projects which will support a range of the people most in need of assistance.

LCF development director Kate Hainsworth, who is leading the Employability Partnership, said the partnership is now appealing for more employers to join the pilot to fund more projects and offer practical support.

She added: “Supporting the pilot will help people to build skills and confidence and, even though we are not expecting that everyone will get jobs, it will enable people to move closer to being ‘work ready’.

“Through the partnership, we hope to support a cohort of 100-200 individuals to enhance their employability prospects and build tangible outcomes, which will help implement a longer term employability strategy for Leeds.”

Current partners who are already on board with the scheme include Hammerson, NatWest and Trinity Leeds.