Sadly, West of England Works is no longer accepting new referrals. If you, or someone you know, is still in need of support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who we are?
The West Of England Works project is an exciting partnership which aims to help unemployed people in the West of England find employment.
Led by Weston College, the partnership includes a range of voluntary and community organisations based in Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, and Bath and North East Somerset. It will support at least 1537 young people and adults into gaining employment through a community-based support programme.
The project is part of the Building Better Opportunities programme, and has received £6 million of funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.
What was West of England Works?
The West Of England Works project was an exciting partnership which aiming to help unemployed and economically inactive people in the West of England find employment.
Led by Weston College, the partnership included a range of voluntary and community organisations based in Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, and Bath and North East Somerset. It supported at least 3162 young people and adults into gaining employment through a community-based support programme. Between them, our partners had specialist skills in working with those from a BME background, NEETS, carers, ex-offenders, those with disabilities or long term health issues and those with a history of substance misuse.
The project was part of the Building Better Opportunities programme, and received £11 million of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund.
What we did...
West of England Works aimed to support young people and adults facing multiple and complex barriers to securing sustainable employment and training across the West of England area.
We recognised that often no one organisation can suit all the needs and often complex requirements of one person, so through our partners we worked together to meet the needs of people who were struggling to get into the job market or training. Together we provided a unique model of supporting people on the journey from social exclusion to participation in education, training and employment.
The project offered an individualised programme of support to participants to achieve their personal employment goals. This was different for each participant but could include:
- 1 to 1 support sessions
- Group sessions
- Periods of supported work experience
- Extended voluntary placements
- Support with applying for jobs and interview preparation
- Continued support once a participant has started a job to help them remain in employment
The content of the 1 to 1 and Group sessions also varied from participant to participant and by geographic area but could include:
- Employability skills, job matching and job seeking
- Personalised confidence building through activities such as self-esteem journals, healthy eating plans, hygiene and personal appearance, challenge and achieve activities, group social activities and community improvement projects, breathing and clear speaking exercises, self-visualisation and positive mindfulness.
- ESOL support
- Travel training
- Personal budgeting and money management
- Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Skills development in the participant’s preferred vocational area
- Housing advice and support
- Literacy and ICT skills development
- Art therapy
The project worked with all individual participants to find personalised ways to remove the barriers to employment or education, so that once they progressed on from West of England Works they were able to sustain their employment and convert their qualifications in to a job. In addition to direct support for the participant this could also include elements of advocacy with employers, Job Centre Plus and other agencies as well as providing support for the participant’s wider family and social network.