Case Studies

Ashiana Community Project

12 Nov 2018

The Ashiana Community Project has received over £700,000 from the European Social Fund (ESF) Positive Futures programme to support economic growth in disadvantaged communities through sustainable employment.

The areas in Greater Birmingham on which the project focuses have high levels of unemployment compared with regional and national statistics, so Positive Futures aims to give residents the opportunities to get themselves into work. By offering employability skills such as ICT and numeracy, the project engages local people and encourages them to take up training opportunities and progress into employment.

Programme Success

The programme is seeing success in the number of clients who transition from being economically inactive to taking volunteer placements and then going on to secure paid employment. The clients range from those just out of education to single parents and those who have recently relocated in the area. Marianne Salmon, CEO of Ashiana Community Project, commented:

“We had a young lady referred to ACP by the jobcentre for a volunteer placement. She was a single mother and was very apprehensive about doing any volunteer work. During her eight-week placement at ACP she learnt about customer service, administration and how to interact with and support clients.

“After her mandatory eight-week placement ended she continued to volunteer two days a week. During her one to one sessions with her work-coach she was able to make a positive impression. Following a conversation, she was encouraged to apply for an opportunity at Sparkhill Jobcentre.

“After the interview process she was able to secure employment with the DWP at Sparkhill Jobcentre. She was very grateful to the Positive Futures programme for the opportunity and believed this would not have been possible without the mentoring and support of the ACP staff.”

European Social Fund

The project receiving up to £710,027.00 of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information click here.

To find out more about the European Social Fund in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area, please click here.