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Grant boost for South Staffordshire job-seekers

South Staffordshire Housing Association is celebrating after being awarded a £120,000 grant to help tackle poverty and unemployment in the area.

Across the two districts of Stafford and South Staffordshire a total of £2.3m has been awarded by the Building Better Opportunities programme through a bid led by Business Enterprise Support.

Building Better Opportunities is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund (ESF) and invests in local projects across England to tackle the root causes of unemployment, promote social inclusion and drive local jobs and growth.

Jan Goode from SSHA said “We are absolutely delighted to have secured funding to help local people who find it difficult to move into employment. Research shows that the districts of Stafford and South Staffordshire have 15 per cent of the total Jobseekers’ Allowance claimants and 13 per cent of incapacity benefits for the whole of the county. This project will have a big impact on jobseekers in this area.”

The three-year project will focus on key groups who face particular problems in finding suitable employment:

  • People aged over 50
  • People with a long term health condition or disability
  • Those with low skills or qualifications
  • People from an ethnic minority group
  • Single parents
  • People living in areas of low employment demand
  • Those who experience more than one of the following: homelessness, substance misuse, a history of offending or mental ill health.

Support will be provided to help people boost their skills in key areas including numeracy, IT and communication, self-confidence, CV writing, money management and work experience. A one-to-one advocate worker will help people achieve their employment potential.