Local resident's employment success stories showcased at conference
Local residents’ employment success stories have been celebrated at a stakeholder conference at the Hilton Hotel at the Ageas Bowl. The event highlighted some of the impressive achievements that participants in the Solent Jobs Programme have accomplished over the last two years.
Focused on those who had been out of work for more than 2 years, due to recognised health conditions, the Solent Jobs Programme engaged with 1,153 people with complex barriers to work. It linked them in with the 793 local businesses that the programme engaged with, resulting in 354 new job starts. More information is available in our Solent Jobs Programme brochure.
The conference shared the findings of the programme with partners, policy makers and local stakeholders to highlight some of the exceptional stories of how participants had returned to work, with a view to promoting best practice for future programmes and legacy projects. Participants on the programme spoke movingly at the conference about their experiences and how the Solent jobs Programme had bought them renewed hope, social networks and financial stability.
Councillor Darren Paffey, Cabinet member for Aspiration, Schools and Life Long Learning at Southampton City Council, who opened the conference, said: “Southampton City Council was delighted to work with Portsmouth City Council and the Wheatsheaf Trust to deliver this innovative and successful programme of support to people with long term and complex barriers to work. The results of this study prove that an intensive and flexible programme, responsive to local needs and integrated with local services, maximises outcomes.
“Moving into work is of great benefit to an individual, in terms of financial security, social interactions and improved health, but the benefits do not stop there; as cities we also benefit from healthier communities, a more robust labour market and reduced demand on public services.”
Cllr Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Education at Portsmouth City Council, said: “For people who want to work but can't, for health reasons, programmes like this can be life-changing. As well as earning, they feel connected to the community again and improve their sense of self-worth.”