GCP to invest £200,000 to help launch new training centre to help people into work

GCP to invest £200,000 to help launch new training centre to help people into work

Published: Thursday, October 15, 2020
A modular home built through the New Meaning foundation

The Greater Cambridge Partnership is investing nearly £200,000 to help launch a new training centre that will get people into work.

The GCP will fund the £180,000 start-up costs for the new building for social enterprise charity New Meaning Foundation. The funding will also cover the cost of teaching 12 trainees construction skills, with the potential for them to also gain qualifications in English, Maths, IT and employability skills.

The training hub will mainly support people who are at high risk of not getting into work – such as those with special educational needs, mental health issues and homelessness.

Cllr Neil Gough, the vice chair of the GCP Executive Board and skills lead, said:

“We are delighted to provide this funding to support the New Meaning Foundation’s excellent programme at a time when it is more vital than ever to help people learn new skills and find work during the economic recovery from Covid-19.

“This partnership will help to provide vital support, training and qualifications for people who may otherwise be at risk of missing out on routes into employment, and is another example of the GCP’s commitment to helping people find work.”

The trainees will learn new skills as they build new modular homes following the success of a recent homelessness project led by New Meaning Foundation and Allia with funding from the GCP. The project saw the completion of six units by 12 trainees – eight of which now work for the foundation or have found a job elsewhere as a result of their new skills and experience.

John Evans, director of the New Meaning Foundation, said:

"On-the-job, targeted training of this nature coupled with real-world, one-to-one workplace mentoring is not currently available within Greater Cambridge and the new dedicated training centre will help to plug that gap and build on the GCP's successful skills programme.

“These young people have often exhausted other training routes or have found that conventional progression routes do not suit them or make their conditions worse.

“This programme, backed by the GCP, enables young people to become employable, to learn skills that are needed and valued by employers and to change the perception that they may not fit in the workplace.”

The GCP’s Executive Board has also approved a £2m expanded skills programme to help people retrain and find work in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Members agreed to a new four-year contract to build on the success of the Greater Cambridge Apprenticeship service, which has significantly increased apprenticeship take up in the area and given hundreds of people careers advice, helped them find work, and learn new skills.

These ambitious skills proposals – a £1.5m increase on the current programme – include an enhanced package of activities to help people retrain and to support businesses find the right people for the roles they have available.

These activities include:

  • the development of a ‘Cambridge Curriculum’ to prepare students for the unique work opportunities found in Greater Cambridge.
  • intensive support for adults looking to retrain.
  • improved mentoring, placement and apprenticeship opportunities.
  • targeted support for employers to help them access funding and to improve their offer of progression routes (e.g. apprenticeships) to young people.

To find out more about the New Meaning Foundation visit www.newmeaningfoundation.org

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