Salvation Army calls for better access to employment support
published on 30 Jun 2023
The Salvation Army is marking this year’s Employability Day on Friday 30 June by calling on the Government to properly fund services that help disadvantaged people into work and out of poverty.
To help showcase how effective specialist employment support is, the church and charity is running a series of open days for job seekers at their network of Employment Plus services.
Employment Plus helps people who face the biggest barriers to employment such as a lack of education, training or life skills, mental health problems, disability, or homelessness. In the past 12 months, Employment Plus has helped 35,000 people across the UK and Ireland with job support. 10,000 of those have received a full and structured journey towards employment with almost half, 42.9%, gaining employment.
The Salvation Army’s Deputy Director of Employment Services, Nick Read, said: “Employment Plus helps people furthest from the job market develop the skills, confidence, and self-belief to find and stay in work so they can transform their lives.
“We believe that better access to employment support is the key to tackling poverty, and for our clients this support is often not just about helping with CVs or preparing for interviews. My team around the UK work with people who have complex needs such as insecure housing, learning difficulties, poor health, or are extremely anxious and lack self-confidence due to being out of work for so long.
“We don’t just tick boxes and can often go some way to easing the barriers in people’s lives that prevent them from finding and keeping work. It’s vitally important that everyone has access to this kind of tailored support because the people we work with have a lot to contribute.”
Open days are taking place this week across the UK at Salvation Army Employment Plus centres stretching from Wrexham, Hastings, Liverpool, Northampton and Glasgow.
Depending on the location, some Employment Plus centres operate on a walk-in basis, where others will work with people who are referred from other agencies. The Salvation Army stresses that regardless of a referral or not, anyone who needs help will not be turned away.
The Salvation Army is also calling on the Government to
- Set local targets on reducing economic inactivity and ensure local leaders have the investment they need to achieve these.
- Support people who are furthest from the job market through increased investment in specialist employment services like Employment Plus by ringfencing money from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).
- Set up a cross-Government taskforce to tackle, with empathy and compassion, the reasons why people are not earning and are trapped in poverty.