Assisting disadvantaged people to access sustainable employment
The overall aim of the Equal Employability DP was to assist disadvantaged people, regardless of the multiple barriers that they faced, to have an equal opportunity of accessing sustainable employment.
Thirteen partners participated in the project and they worked together to develop a ‘pathway to employment’ that engaged with those furthest from the labour market. Each partner worked on developing a new intervention on a different part of the ‘pathway to employment’.
The project dealt with 1,104 beneficiaries in total over the two-and-a-half year period from 1 July 2005 to 31 December 2007. Of these 1,104 beneficiaries, 67% went into employment, training or further education.
Steps in the Pathway to Employment
At the first level, three projects (Ayr College, The Princes Trust and Momentum) worked with those furthest from the labour market. This included the hardest-to-reach and included people with chaotic lifestyles, ex-offenders, young people with no qualifications, and people with mental health issues.
At the next stage, three partners (Adam Smith College, North Highland College and Reid Kerr College) developed Core Skills and vocational training. This focused on enabling unemployed participants to improve their employability skills using motivational courses and tools.
At the third level, two partners (Dundee College and the University of the West of Scotland) focused on improving beneficiaries’ jobseeking skills through the development of multimedia resources and qualifications for employment advisers, whilst another two (BTCV and Volunteer Centre North Lanarkshire) focused on developing innovative approaches using volunteering to improve participants’ employability skills.
Finally, for those participants nearer employment, The Lennox Partnership, Prospects and Cumbernauld College structured pre-employment training designed to enable participants to enter sustainable employment by providing training and after-care support.
In achieving its aims and objectives, the Equal Employability DP produced 18 significant outputs. It produced one new information service, one new learning toolkit, nine new learning or training programmes, two new qualifications, two new IT, ICT and multimedia applications, and three new research reports.
Examples from each of the partners are listed below:
- Ayr College produced a soft skills review
- Momentum produced a Starting Point DVD, reporting on the achievements of the project.
- Communities Scotland produced a Learning Point on the work of the DP
- BTCV produced a volunteer pack
- VCNL produced a report entitled ‘Challenging Limits’ which investigated the impacts and responsibilities of people with mental health issues, people with disabilities and excluded young people in volunteering
- Prospects produced a handbook for employers on employing people with Asperger Syndrome
- Dundee College produced an interactive jobsearch tool called the ‘Employment Driver’
- The University of the West of Scotland (formally the University of Paisley) produced an Employment Advisers course to HNC level
- The Lennox Partnership successfully piloted the Strive Project: a franchised programme from America which is now being piloted in Dundee as well as its original location of Clydebank.
The partnership also participated in a successful transnational partnership known as ‘The Routes to Employment’ Partnership, which involved three other DPs from Lithuania (two) and Finland. This successful collaboration saw the production of a transnational module and a transnational web site to which all transnational partners contributed. This was produced following eight transnational meetings and steering group meetings held in Lithuania, Finland and Scotland.