Employment barriers focus of city-wide study

A study examining issues affecting people in Aberdeen’s most deprived areas has been broadened to take in the whole city.

Canvassers have been going door-to-door in Middlefield, Woodside, Tillydrone, Torry and Seaton carrying out neighbourhood audits to build up a picture of employment issues affecting those living there. The surveys are now available online and residents from all areas of Aberdeen are encouraged to take part. www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YDTFWT3

The study forms part of the £2.2million Progress Through Positive Partnerships project, which will invest in local people, creating opportunities and supporting citizens to reach their full employment potential.

Part-funded by the European Structural Fund (ESF), Progress Through Positive Partnerships is designed to provide participants with support and tailored assistance to develop employment and vocational skills, and to help them into work, training, education, or volunteering.

The audits will help identify people who may be eligible to take part in the employability project, which forms part of the City Centre Masterplan. The survey results will be used to build a clear picture of issues affecting the regeneration areas.

Information gathered will be compiled into individual neighbourhood reports highlighting particular issues, strengths and weaknesses in each area. An overall report will compare these results, identifying similarities and clear differences between the regeneration areas, and provide highlights from other parts of the city

Increased levels of support are being offered to Progress Through Positive Partnerships clients, who will receive tailored support and training to move closer to the labour market by enabling them to develop relevant skills based on their individual needs and abilities.

A wide range of support and training opportunities is available to clients, including basic and advanced IT skills, confidence building, mentoring, CV, job application and interview skills, care sector training, community media training, work experience opportunities, and welding and engineering qualifications.

The project focuses on specific groups, including: unemployed; those in low-paid employment; clients in recovery; women returners; care leavers; those for whom English is not their first language; ethnic minorities; people facing other disadvantages, including those with long term health issues, disabilities, alcohol or drug misuse issues; ex-offenders; and care leavers. Workers in the retail, care, security and service sectors employed on zero hours contracts or who are underemployed and who wish to secure additional hours or more stable, less precarious employment, will also be targeted. The ESF is contributing £880,000 (40%) of the project funding.