Home Lancashire News £3.5 Million boost for skill and training

£3.5 Million boost for skill and training

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Liz Tapner SELNET
Liz Tapner SELNET

A Lancashire-wide support programme that helps disadvantaged people has been successful in securing funding for its third project under the Building Better Opportunities programme.

Building Better Opportunities is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

The Age of Opportunity and Invest in Youth projects began in August last year and are aimed at people over the age of 50 or under 25.

A further £3.5million has now been successfully secured by a partnership of 45 social enterprise, charity and community organisations led by the social enterprise Lancashire network, Selnet, bringing the total funding to nearly £10million.

The grant will help a range of people in Lancashire boost their skills and support them into employment and training.

Changing Futures is a new project that aims to support 1,000 people who are most at risk of exclusion from the labour market to identify, reduce and remove their barriers to employment.

The project will be delivered across Lancashire with a focus on areas where there are high levels of poverty, targeting Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, women, people with physical and/or mental health issues and learning difficulties.

The project will have a considerable long-term positive impact on the lives of some of the most disadvantaged unemployed or economically inactive people in Lancashire.

In addition, it will increase confidence, self-esteem and motivation; build lasting networks of support; improve health and wellbeing; and help to develop skills that will enable participants to move towards learning and work.

Selnet has worked closely with the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and has brought together the 45 partners under a single umbrella, providing a coordinated approach to the needs of some of the most disadvantaged people.

Each of the partnership organisations has valuable experience in supporting people out of work and with significant needs preventing them from re-engaging with the labour market without significant support.

Liz Tapner, chief executive at Preston-headquartered Selnet, said: “Securing this funding is a major achievement for the partnership and I believe it will truly make a difference to peoples’ lives.

“Selnet’s cost for managing this project are kept to a minimum so more of the money goes to the partners to provide support at a grassroots level.

“While there is already services in Lancashire to help people who are out of work but there are some people who have significant challenges in their lives and we’re here to help. They may need six months or a year of help from us and it is that intensive support that the team of specialist partners can deliver.”

Lyn Cole, England grant making director at the Big Lottery Fund said: “The Building Better Opportunities programme not only enables people to improve their employment prospects, but their self-confidence too.

“Each project is specifically designed to match the needs and ambitions of local communities, providing tailored support that helps people achieve their goals.”

Last year, the Selnet-led partnership secured over £5.5 million of funding for Building Better Opportunities for two projects which are currently being delivered across Lancashire.

Age of Opportunity is aimed at those over 50 and Invest in Youth at 16-24 year olds who are facing multiple and complex barriers to accessing work or training.

For more information on the Changing Futures, Invest in Youth or Age of Opportunity programmes please contact Donna Sadler, Partnership Manager at Selnet on 01772 200690 or email bbo@selnet-uk.com

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Andrew Mann
After 34 years working in numerous operational and communications disciplines for three FTSE companies (Yorkshire Electricity; Meggitt and BAE Systems), at over a dozen locations, on 24 November 2016, I became the inaugural editor of Business Lancashire. Business Lancashire is a good news, Lancashire focused, business website and daily newsletter. It is a partnership between The Samuel James Group and the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, I have written hundreds of press releases, features for trade magazines, copy for websites and brochures, edited in-house magazines and newsletters, as well as presenting a radio programme on Chorley FM. This experience has given me the ideal background for editing Business Lancashire.