Special event celebrates 'truly life changing' jobs programme

Solent Jobs Programme has supported more than 1,000 long-term unemployed local people to help them to find work.

A celebration event has recently been hosted by the Mayor in the Mayor’s Parlour to celebrate the success of the programme that finishes in December.

The event was attended by over 70 scheme participants and their advisors and employers. Solent Jobs Programme started at the end of 2016 and has run ever since offering to help anyone living in the Solent area with a recognised health condition who has been out of work for more than two years.

Kathryn Rankin, City Deal Programme Manager said: "The Solent Jobs Programme is a truly life changing scheme. Those who have participated in the programme have gained some real work experiences and for some permanent jobs, which they can use as a base to develop their careers.

"Not only has it helped to empower the candidates involved, who have often lost their confidence in their value as an employee, but it also provided an economic means for local businesses to tap in to a resource of talent that they may not have encountered otherwise.

"We have tried to join up local services and agencies as we want to ensure that people receive a holistic service which puts them at the centre of the programme. The participants of the programme are central to this event today and we have invited participants to come and share their stories and hear from others."

Cllr Lorna Fielker, Cabinet member for Adult Care, said: "We wanted to take the opportunity to thank all participants, employers, and referral agencies for their support. This programme was devised locally and has successfully helped hundreds of local people to find work. "We were keen to ensure that local services lead on the delivery, which they have done and we feel that once again, local knowledge and understanding of our residents has put local services at the heart of delivery."

The Solent Jobs Programme is funded by Portsmouth and Southampton City Deal and the European Social Fund. It offers intensive support to individuals to help them find work, including confidence building, employability skills and a paid work placement. The Transitional Employment Placements have been a stand out feature of the programme and participants have been supported to find paid work placements with a real job opportunity at the end to enable them to demonstrate their skills and capabilities. The majority of the placements have led on to permanent employment and over 500 people have found work as a result of the scheme.