Jobseekers get a £5.5m skills boost

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Jobseekers have been handed a welcome boost after Herts County Council received a £5.5 million grant to develop skills required to secure work.

The cash comes from The Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund to support the Building Better Opportunities programme which tackles poverty and promotes social inclusion.

It means jobseekers in Herts will receive intensive one-to-one support to address barriers to learning and employment.

Teresa Heritage, cabinet member for public health, localism and libraries, said: “We hope the programme will reach around 2,250 people in Hertfordshire over the next three years.

“There are many barriers to employment that people find hard to overcome.

“This programme will help to boost their confidence and iron out some of the problems they face.”

The Building Better Opportunities programme aims to tackle the root causes of poverty and unemployment, such as physical and mental health issues, homelessness and addiction.

It brings together public, private and voluntary organisations to create one of the biggest partnerships in the county.

The three strands of the programme are STRIVE (barriers to memployment), MILE (financial confidence) and Youth Motivator (young people).

Partners in the project include Herts MIND Network, DrugLink, SOVA, the Prince’s Trust and housing associations.

The bid was led by Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS), part of Herts County Council, in conjunction with Children Services and Community Action Dacorum.

For more information about the Building Better Opportunities programme, go to www.biglotteryfund.org.uk