Why housing associations are key to closing employment gaps, if we get it right
Closing the gap

Despite record employment in the UK, there are still significant differences between, and within groups in terms of employment rates, pay and career progression.

Housing associations can play a huge role in closing this gap, providing they get it right.

Getting it right is about more than enabling people to be more financially stable. When employment support and training work is successful, we see people who:

Parents often talk about the pride they experience when they realise they are again, or for the first time, able to provide security to their children and lessen their dependency on benefits.

Yet, closing employment gaps is not easy and there is certainly no ‘one-size fits all’ method. It can be hard to reach communities, and different people have different needs.

 

Reaching out

Closing the gap through employment support and training is ideal in theory, but the reality is challenging. We want to be investing our time and resources in the right projects at the right time.

But every individual has different skills, qualifications, ambitions, barriers, circumstances and interests. This makes targeting or concentrating resources difficult.

How do we effectively reach as many people as possible while keeping initiatives relevant and engaging, without spreading resources too thinly?

 

Paid work is the result, not the goal

Successful employment support and training is about more than helping someone write a CV or find a specific job. These are still incredibly valuable but, on their own, are only a quick fix if successful. Job markets are ever changing; required skills change, people get made redundant, want a change in career or simply move areas.

Short term fixes are resource intensive for little long-term gain, with individuals potentially finding themselves back in the same situation in the future.

The goal is to provide people with the skills, knowledge and opportunities that mean they can adapt to change, be independent and continue to learn and develop without support.

Building homes means nothing without opportunity and the chance for people to improve their quality of life. Housing associations are in a unique position to be able to help close employment gaps across our communities and it’s vital that we get it right.

– Chris Adams, Employment and Training Manager