£2 Million Fund Aims to Help Local Unemployed People

Scheme called RAISE provides practical help for residents out of work

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£2 million is being invested in helping unemployed people in Hammersmith & Fulham get back into work,

The European Social Fund has agreed to match fund a £1m award from Hammersmith & Fulham Council which will see a partnership led by Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College focus on practical support for residents out of work. The scheme will have a particular emphasis on the borough’s most deprived areas, mainly in Shepherd's Bush and Fulham's Clem Atlee Estate.

The partnership includes 15 organisations that all have ‘on the ground’ knowledge of the needs of specific job seekers. These include Groundwork, The Prince's Trust, Action Acton, SPEAR, London Skills Academy and Hammersmith & Fulham Volunteer Centre.

The scheme will provide jobseekers with a comprehensive and personally tailored package of skills, training, mentoring, coaching, employment support and work experience which also offers initial support once a job is secured.

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, says: " Working is more than earning a wage to pay the bills, it is also the bedrock of a successful and happy life. We want to help all residents to find employment and this scheme will embrace the expertise of local people and the voluntary sector to improve employment levels in some of our most deprived areas."

The council says H&F has the 16th highest proportion of Job Seeker Allowance claimants in the country and 47 per cent of claimants have been receiving benefits for six months or longer.

The scheme, known as RAISE, (Raising Aspiration and Inspiring Success in Employment), will tackle that problem by targeting some of the most disadvantaged people in deprived wards in the borough such as Askew, College Park, Old Oak, Wormholt and White City.  This will include a focus on housing estates such as White City, Clem Atlee and Edward Woods. These estates all have more than 40 per cent of households earning less than £20,000 per year.

The scheme will work alongside the Neighbourhood Community Budget pilot at White City, emphasising that local people know best what services work locally. 

The scheme will work to overcome practical barriers to work such as language and literacy skills, the shortage of work experience opportunities and boost the confidence of residents who have been unemployed for a long time.

Major employers such as Westfield will also be involved in the wider partnership to make vacancies available to local residents. Beneficiaries will be identified by the partners themselves and by linking with tenants and residents associations, youth, voluntary, community and faith organisations who have knowledge and experience of the needs of specific people, as well as linking to existing employment support organisations, such as the H&F Council's own WorkZone and Job Centre Plus.

 

December 6, 2012