4 February 2015

Skills Training UK selected as Prime Contractor for European Social Fund (England) 2011 – 2013 Support for Troubled Families

Skills Training UK has been selected as the Prime Contractor in South East England to deliver the new programme of support which will progress troubled families with multiple barriers to employment closer to the labour market.

The £200 million England-wide programme, commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and funded by the European Social Fund, will help the country’s most disadvantaged families where worklessness and problems with housing, health and social isolation are blocking people’s chances of self-improvement.

Martin Dunford OBE, Chief Executive, Skills TrainingUK, said: “We are delighted to be the Prime Contractor in South East England for this new programme of support and have already been developing close and very positive working relationships with Local Authorities. Our combined knowledge and experience will be fundamental to the programme’s success.”

He continued: “This is about helping each family member to tackle their own barriers which could, for example, be low basic skills and we aim to inspire and coach them to take practical steps to go further. By also addressing everyday worries, such as managing household debt, the aim is to raise aspirations for the family as a whole.”

Skills Training UK has a proven track record in working with the hardest to help groups in society, turning lives around by treating each person as an individual and by helping them develop the personal confidence and skills they need to progress into sustainable employment. Over the past eighteen months the company has helped over 10,000 long-term unemployed people achieve sustainable employment, vastly improving their and their families’ life chances.

Fundamental to this achievement has been the excellent relationships developed with employers, who are assisted with a free recruitment service which matches unemployed customers to their needs and provides in-work support to develop the new recruit. The company is also a provider of Foundation Learning and Apprenticeships.

The 19 Local Authorities in the contract region for Skills TrainingUK’s ‘Progress!’ programme will be identifying the eligible participants, many of which they will already know. For a family to be eligible for the programme one member of the family must be on a working age benefit, although it is not a requirement for this person to take part.

Progress Coaches will develop and implement Individual Progress Plans, mentoring each participant and arranging the practical courses or other support they need in order to improve motivation, skills and work related experience. A Family Progress Plan will help address underlying factors and lifestyle issues such as housing or health and raise the family’s aspirations to achieve more.

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