Work Programme: Two years on...
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As a provider supporting the hardest to reach and hardest to engage, Bromford acknowledge the fantastic work of the Work Programme helping 321,000 long term unemployed into work, but call for greater financial support and resources in working with the long-term unemployed.
In response to the release of ERSA's job start data, Bromford have issued the below statement and soundbite.
Click HERE to jump to our case studies.
Click here to see ERSA's full Job Start report.
Bromford respond to ERSA Work Programme data
Year one statistics only told a small part of the story. Customers are now reaching the end of their two year journey, and as ERSA's figures demonstrate, the Work Programme is successful in helping the unemployed kickstart their careers. Our customers tell us from the beginning that they want to get into work and that they don't see the Work Programme as a negative thing.
Bromford are specifically tasked with supporting the 'hardest to reach and hardest to engage'. Many of our customers have been out of work for a number of years and have complex health, social and skills needs. As such, we must spend upwards of 18 months without financial support, getting customers 'work-ready' through a variety of intensive methods to identify and repackage key skills, before they can even begin to consider applying for jobs.
Like other providers provider, Bromford as a social not-for-profit business, is expected to foot the bill during this 18 month period. This is not financially viable and threatens our long-term sustainability within the work programme. We are committed to helping customers to be their best, but we need to ensure our costs are covered.
To ensure we can continue to support people and remain part of the Work Programme, we suggest a 'progression payment' made at regular intervals, as a customer becomes 'job ready'. These payments must be an amount to cover our outgoings as a provider. Progression payments will help us fund the right support for customers who are homeless, socially excluded or lacking confidence. These are the barriers that must be overcome before anyone is fit for full-time work, and so we urge the DWP to consider a more structured, case focused payments system.
"Our success is evident and the impact it has is clearly visible. Just a few minutes reading the stories of our customers and you can see how the Work Programme changes lives. What we're doing works, but what we're doing costs a lot more than what we're paid. To continue to support people to be their best, we urgently need more resources and investment."
Please contact Jarrod Williams to arrange interviews with any of the below case studies. Contact details can be found at the top right of this page.
A decade ago Mark was homeless and struggling with a 17 year Cannabis addiction. Unemployed since 2011, Mark struggled with his personal life although the news his supportive girlfriend had become pregnant was the final catalyst for him to turn things around. Mark was adamant he wanted a job in a Warehouse but had confidence issues as well as a lack of knowledge on how to demonstrate his ability. Spending one on one time with Mark, his job coach Paul managed to secure Mark an interview with Argos on 18th March. Mark met with Paul straight after his assessment, and with a massive smile told Paul that he had passed the assessment and interview process. Mark will start work on the 27th of March and will also study for a qualification in Warehousing through Argos.
Paul will continue to support Mark through his first few months back into employment. Mark felt that his previous experience of the WP had been poor, and that it wasn't until he received one-on-one job support from Bromford and attended jobs clubs that his prospects changed.
“My experience is that you get passed from pillar to post, that never helps you find a job. It wasn’t until someone actually sat down and spent one on one time with me, that my journey suddenly changed for the better.”
Single mum of three unemployed and on ESA for nearly 10 years. Suffered from anxiety disorder and depression with a severe lack of confidence. Previously a forewoman (managing a factory), Annie was put through confidence courses and Bromford's Employment Related Support modules. Annie is now in work and off benefits, working as an Ocado Warehouse operative in Tamworth. The work culture is a bit of a shock and isn't plain sailing (as you would expect after a decade of unemployment), but she's enjoying being back into work.
After being out of work for more than 5 years, Louise didn't believe she would or could work. At the beginning of her journey with Bromford she struggled to engage in any form. Louise struggled even more when she became homeless at the beginning of the programme. She had budgeting problems, had difficulty claiming housing benefits and was in debt with Whitefriars housing.
Bromford fought to get Louise on side, and when everything clicked into place, think dramatically turned around. Bromford were able to get her into a homelessness shelter, organise debt advice and arrange for her GP to treat her for depression. After 3 months of support, Louise secured a property and applied for a number of care worker roles having already gained experience as a carer for dementia suffers. Louise has now secured employment with Gateway Health and Social Care and is waiting to start pending a CRB.
A young dad of two children, Craig faced six years of unemployment. As his confidence ebbed away, he began to suffer from a number of anxiety and depression issues pushing him further into social exclusion family life. With the support of the Work Programme Craig joined a local gym and began studying as a fitness instructor. Craig has passed Level 2 Gym Instructing, Level 3 Personal Trainer as well as a Level 3 in Sports Nutrition, and is now working 12 hours a week at Tamworth sports academy. Craig has now realised work programme engagement is key and likes the personal one-on-one relationship a Bromford job coach provides. He’s looking to move into full-time employment as a fitness instructor, either through a gym or setting up his own business.
Longterm unemployed and on ESA, Julie has mild learning disabilities and finds it hard to keep a job. She has a really good portfolio of courses and qualifications but needs to conquer her confidence. She has just been accepted for volunteer work with the local girl guides.
Income Support for more than two decades. As a single mom, Julia has raised her 4 disabled children while also caring for her elderly mom. She is currently on ESA due to anxiety but has been making great progress since she was referred to the Work Programme.She has recently completed a 6 weeks employment skills module run by Bromford Opportunities Manager James Walsh as well as an introduction to care course.
A single mother with 2 daughters who has only ever had one paid job (which was in 1995). Previously on ESA and currently JSA, Sonja has been a carer for her terminally ill relatives for a period of 7 years. Since caring for relatives she decided that a career in care would suit her but thought she would need further qualifications. Tailoring her CV around the care she provides family members, she has now attended several interviews.