UK Community Renewal Fund: Breaking Barriers

Project Overview
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Job Seekers Case Study
Business Case Study


This Project has now CLOSED

Social Enterprise Kent (SEK) is thrilled to announce an exciting new employability project funded through the UK Community Renewal Fund,  Breaking Barriers.

Breaking Barriers focuses on inclusive employment practices working with both job seekers and organisations. It will explore barriers that people from marginalised/minority groups may face when accessing work and what organisations can do to welcome a diverse workforce that is representative of their community.

Breaking Barriers will:

  • Support 100 job seekers
  • Work with 60 organisations in Canterbury, Folkestone and Thanet
  • Run for 6 months from January to June 2022
  • Provide research from the project, which will be used to inform future local and national employment support programmes

As the project lead, SEK will be working in partnership with a number of organisations across East Kent to deliver a high-quality programme focused on equality, diversity and inclusivity.

Job seekers will  need to:

  • Commit to an 8-10 week programme
  • Be open to receiving help to develop pre-work skills, challenge self-stigmas, overcome prejudices and barriers, and work towards independently accessing and staying in employment
  • Work 1:1 with a dedicated Employment Support Advisor (ESA) including:
    • Developing a bespoke CV
    • Job searching and job applications skills
    • Interview techniques and practice
    • Skills analysis
    • Effective communication in the workplace
    • Confidence building
    • Overcoming barriers/challenges
    • Re-entry anxiety support
    • An interview with a participating organisations
    • Receive an exit pack including a £10 voucher

To apply, job seekers must:

  • Not be in paid employment for 18+ months
  • Be from one or more of the following groups:
    • Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities
    • Be young people (16, 17, 18) not engaged in education or training (NEET)
    • Over the age of 50
    • Have a disability or health condition

Participating organisations will:

  • Receive a detailed recommendation report following a free Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) review with one of our trained members of staff looking at:
    • Existing policies and procedure
    • Recruitment practises
    • Staff retention
    • Working environment
    • Marketing
    • Supporting  EDI development across the organisation
  • Be invited to attend an EDI training course with two highly skilled and experienced business consultants
  • Have the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £1000 to support the implementation of their report recommendations
  • Have access to further training to help businesses explore EDI at a greater depth and roll out the training to the wider staff team
  • Access to our market research and best practise toolkit
  • Be invited to attend one of our best practise/sharing events in May or June                                                                             

To apply, organisations must be: 

  • A small or medium-size business based in Canterbury, Folkestone or Thanet
  • Willing to participate in the EDI review and complete the EDI training                                                                                                                  

Our aim is to influence the shape of businesses in the future by embedding equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting the benefits of recruiting a diverse workforce representative of local communities.

The UK Community Renewal Fund 

The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit