In June 2009 Renaisi was awarded the contract to deliver the London Borough of Barnet’s pilot worklessness programme on the Grahame Park Estate (Colindale ward). Working across four Lower Super Output Areas, WorkFinder supported unemployed residents claiming out of work benefits to access training and find sustained employment (13 weeks).
This pilot was established to test the effectiveness of a specialist employment service in a ward with some of the highest levels of unemployment and out of work benefits claimants and was funded by Barnet’s Local Strategic Partnership Employability Sub-group. The project ran from September 2009 – June 2010 (delivery phase), with tracking ongoing until December 2010.
Beneficiaries were engaged through a combination of door-step engagement, partnerships with community-based provision, and referrals from statutory providers. Through our partnership with Barnet College and other training providers, such as 5E, we offered our beneficiaries access to vocational and skills for life training courses to improve their prospects of securing employment. We provided one-to-one advice and guidance sessions, employability training, signposting to specialist support services, job brokerage and in-work support, tailored to the needs of the individuals.
The pilot was successful in demonstrating the benefit of providing a specialist provision such as WorkFinder in a geographical area with significantly higher levels of unemployment and out of work benefits claimants as compared to the rest of the borough. Provision that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of those who have never worked or been out of work for a significant length of time through the provision of a dedicated advisor, is able to go beyond current statutory provision and provide additional support to those who are the hardest-to-help.