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PURE (Placing vulnerable Urban Residents into Employment)

PURE, which supports vulnerable citizens into employment, has secured up to £6 million from the European Social Fund (ESF).

The project has been operating since 1st March 2019 and aims to support around 4,000 vulnerable adults over the age of 29 in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area.

The team provides bespoke support services to those that have multiple barriers to job opportunities such as homelessness, health complications and previous convictions.

The ESF money has been used to fund 60 Intervention Workers and 6 Employment Intervention Workers who are employed by the 8 PURE providers who specialise in providing support to the most vulnerable citizens who are furthest away from the labour market.

PURE provides coordinated interventions, which are carried out by Intervention Workers, and include one to one support, action planning and at-work support to cater for the individual’s needs and demands.

Tabriz Hussain, Project Manager at PURE, said:

Our team work hard to equip vulnerable people with the skills and opportunities to get themselves into full-time employment. PURE coordinates interventions at key times in an individual’s life, when they may be going through a difficult period. We offer stability and the appropriate high level support and guidance that will get their lives back on track. PURE’s programme aligns with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s mission to create inclusive growth across the region. By supporting the most disadvantaged people into training and employment, the local workforce becomes upskilled and inspired to fill the employment demands of local businesses.

Case studies (names have been anonymised)

Ben

Ben was a regular offender with various violent offences. Ben also suffers with mental illness and due to his anxiety and depression he finds it hard to leave home and interact with new people.

There was no improvement in Ben’s symptoms after several appointments with his doctor therefore an Intervention Worker attended an appointment with him and helped to get the medication reviewed and changed. After the medication was changed Ben felt much better.

With this support Ben was able to resolve the conflict with his doctor and was able to continue to look for further training or employment.

PB

PB came to PURE through a private supported housing scheme for homeless men in Aston.

Living in temporary accommodation for around a year, he volunteered to undertake general upkeep and maintenance work for the accommodation unit.

PB struggled to maintain a job as he had few qualifications and formal experience in maintenance, and was struggling with his confidence. However, PB was keen to work in the industry.

PB had a number of barriers to work, primarily his homelessness and lack of confidence. Through engaging with the PURE project PB was supported into relevant training to gain qualifications and soft skills to work in the maintenance industry.

Upon completion, PB was offered a full-time paid post as a Maintenance Manager.

Cllr Paulette Hamilton – Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care at Birmingham City Council said:

Birmingham is a vibrant multicultural city that works hard to promote inclusive growth. It is imperative that we ensure people going through difficult periods in life are able to access high level support and engagement so they can improve their economic wellbeing. The PURE project is there to help these individuals so that they can attain the quality of life they aspire to have – as well as being part of our inclusive local economy.”

ENDS

European Social Fund

The project is receiving up to £12,000,000 funding from the European Social Fund. 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 visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

To find out more about the European Social Fund in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area, please visit https://gbslep.co.uk/what-we-do/making-it-happen/european-funding.