Our Work Skills project has been recognised for its innovation by the Institute of Economic Development (IED), the UK’s leading independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners.

Run by the Economic Development Team at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Work Skills helps parents of children under 4 and expectant parents develop skills and confidence for returning to work, training, volunteering or education. The aim is that with an improved family financial situation and happier home life, parents will have better opportunities for their own future and through this improving the lives of children under four. The project provides a range of free events with employers, training providers, education institutions, the National Careers Service and Job Centre Plus, which are held in community venues such as children’s centres. A mobile crèche is normally also available providing free childcare which allows parents to focus on the content of the sessions.

The project, along with the 60 Minute Mentor, scooped the Most Innovative Strategy award for our partners Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, beating off fierce competition from around the country to win the award for the two projects which address skills gaps/contribute towards developing skills. The award success was announced at the IED Annual Awards 2018, staged as part of the IED Annual Conference in London at the start of December.

The success of the project has been shown in parents setting up their own businesses (for example this), receiving offers of employment and completing new qualifications. 86% of attendees this year have said that as a result of attending the session, they would be more likely to attend training or look for employment.

You can find out about upcoming Work Skills event on our events page, or on our Facebook page. For more information email economicd@southend.gov.uk or call 01702 534077.

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