The aim of the project was to engage with generational workless families and groups who were not in contact with mainstream employment services and to help them take their first steps towards employment, whether that be voluntary work, training, work experience or interviews.
We conducted focus groups and individual depth interviews with members of the public that had been out of work for a significant period and with others who influence the labour market, including potential employers, training providers, third sector and Solihull MBC staff.
A key recommendation was to develop an outreach service in order to engage with people who do not currently use the mainstream services. By adopting this approach, the project aimed to:
- address intergenerational and peer group attitudes to employment
- change the target audience’s attitudes to work and address the barriers to employment
- provide support, information, advice and guidance
- signpost clients to other services and help them to access them
- support other statutory agencies in their work, avoiding overlap where possible.
By giving the outreach team a clear identity and providing their names, phone numbers and email addresses, they could be seen as problem solvers on the side of the unemployed, rather than employment specialists trying to get people off benefits and into work.