The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has today published a report recommending that housing associations be rewarded for offering employment support services to residents on benefits. The report claims that such initiatives could have a huge impact on the economy, potentially saving the taxpayer up to £3billion.
Radian’s own Employment Support Team (EST) has been providing a huge array of services and training since their foundation in 2012, and we can see first hand the profound affect that this has had. In the last financial year, the social value of these initiatives was valued at over £1million, but the tangible difference this has made to the participants’ quality of life is immeasurable.
Since 2012, a total of 610 people have been helped into employment and 1,762 people have undertaken work-related training. In just the past year 26 work experience placements have been found for students, 143 training events have been attended and over £600,000 in grant funding has been secured.
Radian’s Executive Director of Partnerships and Projects, Ralph Facey, said:
“We are proud of our track-record of empowering our residents and helping them to secure employment. We know that this can have a profound effect on people’s mental and physical health, as well as the educational attainment of their children. We hope that today’s report will promote greater partnership and encourage more housing providers to help their residents achieve their aspirations.”
Events like our ‘Go Your Own Way’ self-employment training and job fairs have gone a long way to help achieve this, as well as partnership projects like the Google Digital Garage and ‘Building Better Opportunities’ (BBO) initiative. With grant funding from the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund, BBO has enabled us to reach those people who need a little extra help on the road to employment and provide them with the one-on-one support they need.
This year has also seen us working in partnership with Drew Smith and Mill Chase Academy to help get students into much needed construction training, as well as becoming a key partner in the Increase VS scheme – a collaboration between ten housing providers and training organisations across Southern England and Northern France, funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Our volunteer-led community cafes, the Roundabout Café in Mansbridge and Café 1759 in Bordon, have also proved to be hugely beneficial in helping people back into work.