Digbeth & Highgate Enterprise Match
Situated in the heart of Digbeth, iSE (initiative for Social Entrepreneurs) have been awarded an ESF grant by Birmingham and Black Country Community Foundation to support unemployed residents into work through a mixture of soft skill development, mentoring and voluntary work experience.
The project aims to develop the skills of unemployed people living in Digbeth and parts of Highgate by linking them up with voluntary work experience placements within local social enterprises, community groups, charities, small businesses and not-for profit organisations operating in the area.
It is hoped that this project will not only help remove barriers to employment and assist local people to move closer to the labour market but also encourage residents t0 become more involved in their community.
The area of Digbeth and Highgate has been singled out as one of Birmingham’s priority neighbourhoods, with high levels of unemployment and economic in-activity. As one of the many social enterprises in Digbeth, iSE are keen to take action to support the regeneration of the area and support local residents to take a more active role in their local economy.
As a third sector support organisation iSE already have well established links with fellow social enterprises in the area and are keen to expand these connections and encourage partnership working as a means to support regeneration and improve employment provision in the community.
Participants on the ‘Enterprise Match’ project will attend six two-hour workshops with an experienced iSE advisor to prepare them for their placements with local businesses, building the soft skills needed for employment.
Participants will leave the project with less preventative barriers to work, and more skills!
After the workshops individuals will receive a 1-2-1 advice session before being matched with a local social enterprise, community organisation or small business best suited to their specific needs. iSE will continue to support participants even after their voluntary work placements are over, offering advice on how to best utilise the skills they have gained and how to present them to employers.
Individuals on the project will gain soft skills, confidence and communication/presentation skills whilst employers will gain a willing and motivated voluntary worker, and a chance to give back to the local community.
Participants should leave the scheme with less preventative barriers between them and work; they will have developed vital skills – such as confidence, communication and punctuality – as well as having solid working experience.