Inspiring self-employment course launches

Create, Radian’s free self-employment course with Increase VS was officially launched to an audience of local employment leaders and entrepreneurs on Monday 1 October.

The project is being delivered by local housing provider, Radian’s award-winning Employment, Support and Training (EST) team who have helped over 2,000 people including tenants and the wider community into training and employment, 240 of which were trained in self-employment, of which 100 were converted into businesses.

Chris Adams, Employment and Training Manager at Radian said, “It’s been fantastic to see the achievements that people have made. We’re looking forward to the next two and a half years of funding for the programme and we’re aiming for Radian to support 700 people into training, with 450 businesses starting as a result.

The 10 week programme provides mentorship from a team of experts, specialised workshops and includes up to two years dedicated follow on business support.

Radian resident Annabella Varganova from Southampton spoke at the launch about her experience, “I do believe that without Create I wouldn’t have started my cleaning company. I’ve learnt step-by step about self-employment and the extra support you get after the course has finished really gives you the extra motivation you need. It’s amazing that Radian is offering Create to residents and the community.”

Since inception in April this year, 20 people have completed the course and 11 new businesses have been created.

David Swieton, Employment and Skills Plan Manager at Southampton City Council said, “What inspires me about Radian is the connection with the people they work with. Helping their residents develop is important to them and they want to see communities grow. I’ve seen the support they give to people and that really impresses me.”

The Increase VS project is the product of a partnership between five English and five French housing associations and training providers who secured 10 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to deliver training to 6,000 people across their regions, with the objective that 3,200 of those people will move into employment or training.

Ralph Facey, Executive Director of Partnerships & Projects at Radian said, “Helping people into employment and supporting people to set up their own business is central to Radian’s strategy. The opportunity to work with a mixture of English and French partners to co-create employment programmes of the future and help people and communities realise their potential was such a unique prospect. Today’s event showcased the life-changing difference which employment can make.”

Radian are running courses monthly in Portsmouth Gosport & East and Hampshire and Enterprise First are running courses in Salisbury, Mansbridge, Eastleigh, Southampton, Basingstoke.