4 February 2015

Skills Training UK wins European Social Fund Award

Skills Training UK has been presented with the Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Leader Award from the European Social Fund (ESF), in recognition of its commitment to equality of opportunity as Prime Contractor of the ESF Families with Multiple Problems programme in the South East, titled Progress!.

The award was presented on 14 November by Dimtcho Tourdanov, from the European Commission (far left) and Angus Gray, Head of ESF Division, DWP, (far right), during the World Skills UK Show which took place at the NEC in Birmingham.

Progress! helps families with multiple barriers to break the cycle of worklessness and make positive changes which will move them closer to employment. Eligible families are referred onto the programme through the 19 Local Authorities and Local Government Agencies, and Jobcentre Plus offices across the South East.  Skills Training UK has developed an extensive supply chain to deliver Progress! which includes Public, Private, and Third Sector organisations across the region.

Skills Training UK’s Equality and Diversity Policy commits the organisation to ensuring all participants on the Progress! programme are treated with respect and dignity and have equal opportunity to access services, training, work experience, and employment while a Participant on the programme. The award is open to over 1,000 organisations delivering ESF funded provision across the UK and therefore represents a significant achievement given the number of projects in scope.

Martin Dunford OBE, Chief Executive of Skills Training UK, said:

“As a Prime Contractor for DWP, SFA, and the EFA we have substantial experience working with a wide range of customers; equality of opportunity is at the heart of our delivery.

“Over many years we have invested time and commitment into ensuring that users of our services have the opportunity to achieve their full potential and make positive improvements to their lives across a range of provision including Progress! but also Flexible New Deal, Skills Support for the Unemployed, and two Youth Contracts for 16-17 year old NEETs.

“We have held the Matrix Standard for the quality of advice and guidance since 2007 and also hold the Positive about Disability standard. These commitments to equality of opportunity in our delivery and the support we give to service users have been the foundation of our success in gaining this award.

“It is fantastic news that this hard work has been recognised by the ESF in this award, and we aim to ensure all provision strives to provide a high quality of service to all users.”

Steven Mitchell, Head of Continuous Improvement for Skills Training UK, commented: “This award follows our achievement in May 2013 of the highest grade (Strong) for our management of cross-cutting themes of equality of opportunity, gender equality, and sustainable development.  This award recognises the effort we make to ensure all Participants have equal opportunity to access our provision and we will use this award as the benchmark for all programmes we deliver.”

Skills Training UK undertakes an Equality and Diversity Impact Assessment on an annual basis which compares the progress of Progress! participants from different cohort groups, focusing on those who have protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.  An Action Plan is developed based on the assessment which outlines the target areas for improvement with clear timescales and forms part of the companies Quality Improvement Plan. Monitoring is undertaken on an on-going basis to ensure advertising, marketing and job promotion materials are in line with the requirements of the policy.

For more information about how Skills Training UK’s Equality and Diversity Policy is delivered on Progress! click here

To enquire about partnering with Skills Training UK, or for more information about Progress! visit www.skillstraininguk.com or www.progressprogramme.com

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