Stafford and South Staffordshire
Building Better Opportunities Stafford & South Staffordshire is a jointly funded project by The National Lottery Community Fund and European Social Fund. The project was awarded £2.3m and aims to help those who experience multiple barriers to move closer to employment.
The three-year project will focus on key groups who typically find they have multiple barriers to overcome when finding suitable employment. These may be:
- People aged over 50
- Lone parents
- Those with low skills or qualifications
- People with long-term health conditions or disability
- Those from an ethnic minority group
- Those living in ‘low employment demand’ areas
- Those who experience more than one of the following; homelessness, substance misuse, history of offending and mental ill-health
The project will tackle the barriers that prevent these groups of people from accessing support with more opportunities for education and training, improved health and wellbeing services, better financial help and new programmes to build people’s confidence.
Support will be provided to help people build self-confidence and develop or acquire new skills in key areas where they might be experiencing difficulties. These are:
- Work skills – gaining of key skills e.g. team working, problem-solving, numeracy, IT and communication skills.
- Attitudinal skills – increased levels of motivation, confidence, feelings of responsibility, levels of self-esteem and higher personal and career aspirations.
- Personal skills – improved timekeeping, personal hygiene, greater levels of self-awareness, better health and fitness, greater levels of concentration and engagement.
- Practical skills – the ability to complete forms, ability to write a CV, improved ability to manage money and improved awareness of rights and responsibilities.
Our Building Better Opportunities (BBO) team works with customers who are aged over 19 and are the furthest away from securing employment, to break down barriers and support them into work.
We believe that what makes us so successful within the partnership is that we offer person-centred coaching with a range of resources to achieve great results.
What we do
- We offer individual support with CV writing, job applications and interview skills.
- We can signpost to mental health professionals, accredited training courses and other activities to improve physical and mental wellbeing and raise self-esteem.
- We work alongside other support teams in Homes Plus, including Sustain, employment and money advice and learning programme teams.
Who we are
- BBO Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin is made up of 21 partners, led by Landau to deliver Building Better Opportunities provision in the area between January 2017 and March 2023.
- BBO is jointly funded by the European Social Fund and The Big Lottery fund to tackle the root cause of poverty, promote social inclusion, and drive local jobs and growth.
Who we work with
- We work with those who are experiencing multiple barriers, to help them gain new skills and develop confidence. Our intensive, personalised support helps people move towards and into employment.
How we work
We invite you to an initial 90-minute sign-up appointment, which is crucial to your success. This involves:
- Completing an Annex H questionnaire, which covers your right to work in the UK
- A review of all documents
- Recognising possible barriers into work
- Identifying support needs
- Completing a Personal Employment Plan
We use your completed forms and information gathering to draw up a progress plan of aims and objectives, which is underpinned by skills/courses requirement, mental health support, CV, cover letters, volunteer work and placements, job searching, speculative CV, interview techniques, etc.
We don’t shy away from mental health as around 40% of our customers have mental health concerns. We use a ‘fusion model’ which:
- Seeks to address any mental health concerns and signpost where appropriate to psychological services, floating support, Mind and Reconnect, along with Landau’s Taking Charge of your Life and Through the doorway cookery courses; whilst also
- Working intensively with our customers to get them ready for work using training and skills agencies such as SCAT, TCAT, NCS and County training for accredited courses, CV cover letter creation, job searching, volunteering, work placements and interview techniques.
The two elements come together, ensuring our customers are mentally ready, appropriately skilled and have the necessary experience to not only move into employment but to stay in work.