Bromford respond to DWP Work Programme Statistics
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James Walsh: Bromford Opportunities Manager and Work Programme Lead
In response to the expected release of key outcome data for the Work Programme by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on 27 November….
"Very early statistics on job outcomes only tell a small part of the story, but actually we know around one in four Work Programme participants have already found work. The focus should really be on the stories of more than 200,000 individuals whom the Work Programme has supported into employment.
"The Work Programme is a five-year contract, with a two-year customer journey, so as far as Bromford is concerned the Work Programme is going in the right direction. We are at the start of a long process and we will remain passionate about changing people's lives for the better.
"Bromford has a 96% engagement rate with our Work Programme customers, those identified by prime contractors as the hardest to reach and hardest to engage. Those customers are talking to us and want to get into work, they don't see the Work Programme as a negative thing. This has only been achieved by spending as much time as is needed to listen to the customer's past experiences of work, help them to overcome barriers and build trust. We then use what we learn to identify and repackage key skills, making the person more attractive to employers. We do this with the aim of encouraging employers to view the Work Programme and its customers as an untapped talent pool for recruitment.
"We feel very strongly that as a Housing Association, Bromford should take the lead on employment related support. Bromford already works with customers to improve employability and supports training as part of our 'Something for Something Deal'. It is estimated that two thirds of Work Programme customers are living in social housing, so we feel that our 'on the sofa' relationship with customers can make a real difference"
James is an ambassador for employability projects and believes that Housing Associations have a vital role in the Work Programme. James also hosted Lord Freud, who visited Bromford after hearing about our innovative employability schemes.
We have a number of work programme customers willing to be interviewed about their stories. Unless otherwise stated, all are happy to talk openly and be identified.
A number of the case studies have been interviewed on camera. We can supply all raw footage and audio on request.
Sam Lawrence, unemployed for two years.
Sam, aged 20, was out of work for two years after leaving college in 2012 and had reached a crisis point in his life when he became homeless. Bromford supported him with housing and employment advice and he started work in early November as a part-time catering assistant for B&Q and is beginning a trial for a second job in telesales on 26 November.
Sam said: "A couple of months ago I thought a job was just a job but it's more than that, it's a lifestyle. I feel a lot better in myself, more confident, more motivated and it's great to be up and out every day doing things. Bromford made me more aware of the world around me. I would now love to go to college and work my way to the top."
Alan Jackson, unemployed for seven years.
Alan, aged 56, was unemployed for over seven years. He was brought up in children's homes and struggled with his education, leaving school without being able to read or write. He has always lacked motivation and suffered from depression and medical problems.
He said: "I got a job as a litter picker seven months ago and Bromford has been supporting me to ensure I have the right equipment and waterproof clothes. I love it and seeing how I can make an area nice and tidy makes me feel I've achieved something. It gets me out the house and people come up and talk to me or ask for directions. It suits me really well and I don't want to lose it, it's given me confidence."
Nadir, unemployed for two years.
41 year-old Nadir has fought against various personal problems including the loss of close family and his wife developing serious medical issues. Slipping into a downward spiral, Nadir struggled to find employment. After joining the Work Programme and moving into a Bromford home, Nadir received dedicated help to raise his self-esteem and boost skills. He soon found himself in a job interview with Bromford itself and is now a Skills Coach, helping support others to find work and training.
Nadir says: "I do wonder where my family and I would be now if I hadn't taken advantage of the Work Programme and Bromford's support. I am now fully focused on my future. I have a job and I'm going to continue to grow as a person. It's a train journey where I set the destination."
Other case studies are available on request.