Prospects, the education, employment, skills and care company, has been selected in the first stage of the current round of procurement from the Department for Work and Pensions which will include the new Work and Health Programme.
Prospects has been selected in Southern England which covers from Surrey, Brighton, West Sussex, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, South Buckinghamshire, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. Selection will enable Prospects to build on the good work it has delivered in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset since the Work Programme began in 2011. In that time, in the South West, Prospects has got a customer into work every half hour of every working week.
Prospects provides the National Careers Service in the South West helping adults progress in learning, training and work. In Gloucestershire Prospects provides Young People Services in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council and also provides early years support to a number of local authorities in the region, inspiring more people to develop their potential.
Nick Bell, Chief Executive of Prospects, said:
“I am delighted that Prospects has been selected in the first stage of procurement for this key government framework. This is testament to colleagues’ hard work and achievements on the Work Programme supporting jobseekers, through our innovative, effective services, to find sustainable work. We look forward to the next stage of procurement and the opportunity to outline how Prospects would build on the success of the Work Programme.”
One person Prospects has supported recently is Pete*. He was bullied in his last job as a warehouse picker and as a consequence, lost confidence in his own abilities and was out of work for three years, before joining the Work Programme. Pete has Asperger’s Syndrome leading to communication barriers and anger issues and aged 49, lives at home supporting his elderly father.
Pete joined the Work Programme but his lack of confidence and anger issues left him feeling stressed. After a few months Pete’s frustrations led to violent behaviour towards JobCentre and Prospects staff. The police were called and the Prospects office was temporarily closed. However, colleagues at Prospects could see that Pete needed ongoing support if he was to overcome his barriers, so continued to provide help, first in the JobCentre where there was a security presence and then, as Pete progressed, in local cafes.
Gradually Pete was able to re-integrate and started to attend the Prospects offices for meetings, one-to-one sessions with a personal adviser and group activities. Pete worked closely with Prospects advisers who helped him understand how he would be better off in work and mentored him. With their help Pete started to create a CV, write a covering letter, complete online job searches and undertake interviews.
Throughout the coaching and learning sessions Pete explored ways he could increase his self-esteem and confidence through goal setting and recognising achievements. Before joining Prospects Pete felt he had little purpose in life, to overcome this he was encouraged to volunteer and started working with the British Heart Foundation in their warehouse. Not only did this give Pete up-to-date work experience he found it gave him a confidence boost that led to him gaining full time work in a warehouse.
Pete says: “Prospects helped me to have faith in myself when I was feeling like giving up, they kept me going. I was in a very dark place two years ago, now I am in full time employment. Workplace bullying destroyed my confidence but the Work Programme turned my life around. My world has changed.”
* Not his real name
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Alona de Havilland
Prospects PR Manager
07790 803882 or 01823 362804
Prospects Senior Communications Manager
020 8315 1023 or 07901 922211