Helping people get back into work

A new project designed to help people develop and improve their skills with a view to getting back into work is up and running.

The Canterbury Pathways (To Skills) scheme is open to all residents in the Canterbury district and runs from now until March next year.

It will use one-to-one face-to-face support sessions and group workshops to help people develop essential, softer and life skills such as communication, interpersonal people skills, listening, time management, problem-solving, leadership and empathy.

There will also be advice on CV building, developing interview skills and support with job hunting.

The aim is to help people who are currently unemployed or economically inactive understand the job market and the skills needed by employers.

This could also be for anyone wanting a new career, getting a job for the first time or returning to work following a voluntary or enforced break.

The £70,000 initiative has been put together by Canterbury City Council using money from the United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund and will be delivered by the Kent-based charity CXK.

Support will be provided by Canterbury College and other agencies to ensure people also have clear routes into learning that results in formal qualifications.

As well as key skills such as maths and English, there will be access to industry-specific courses such as retail and hospitality, the construction trades such as bricklaying, childcare and healthcare.

Last year in Canterbury district there were 28,900 people economically inactive, which is higher than the average for the South East or the UK, while 13,200 people were on long-term sick.

Canterbury City Council’s Cabinet member for economic development and inclusion, Cllr Chris Cornell, pictured above with CXK’s Hannah Jones, said: “Work not only a provides passport out of poverty but offers a real sense of accomplishment and self worth.

“Being out of work can be tough on people’s mental health and as a council we want to give a leg up into the jobs market.

“Solving long term unemployment means giving people the support they need, and we’ll do this through listening to them, offering free training and the practical one-to-one advice they need to get back on their feet.

“If you know anyone you think could do with some help, please get in touch with CXK.”

CXK Area Manager for Targeted Support, Lizzie Gregory, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Canterbury City Council on the Canterbury Pathways project. This initiative embodies CXK’s commitment to empowering individuals by providing them with the skills, confidence, and support needed to re-enter the workforce or upskill in their current roles.

“By offering personalised guidance and access to essential training opportunities, we aim to make a significant impact on the lives of many residents in the Canterbury district. Together, we can help unlock potential and pave the way to a brighter future for everyone involved.”

To find out more about Canterbury Pathways (To Skills), go to CXK’s website, email or call 01233 224244.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025.

The fund aims to improve pride in places and increase life chances across the UK, investing in communities and places, supporting local business, and people and skills.

Published: 24 May 2024

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