An innovative new Face Forward project to support isolated young adults back into work has been started in Dorset thanks to a £2.7 million investment from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.
Part of the Building Better Opportunities Programme, the funding will help the most disengaged individuals into work and enable Face Forward to support vulnerable young adults aged 15-24 years overcome personal circumstances that prevent them from working. Over the length of the programme, Face Forward is expected to benefit 780 young adults who are unemployed or economically inactive.
The project will put them at the centre of the programme by being responsive to their individual needs.
It will also employ eight apprentices to work alongside the participants, giving an exciting opportunity for them to develop their skills and gain qualifications in customer support and information, advice, and guidance.
Face Forward’s qualified advisers will work with each young adult to develop a personalised plan to enable them to tackle the issues holding them back. As part of this, they will be able to source exciting development activities through the partnership including sports, creative arts, volunteering opportunities and work experience.
Project Manager, Alex Evans said: “It’s truly exciting to have been awarded the money which will allow us to support each young adult through an in-depth personal programme over many months. Evidence shows that when young adults are side-lined for one or more reasons, building their skills, resilience and confidence to enable them to return to education, training or employment is a complex and lengthy process. As each person will have different needs, our response will be different for each one too.”
Referrals of young adults in the areas of Poole & South Dorset and Weymouth & West Dorset are now being taken. In June, the project will start in the areas of Bournemouth & East Dorset and Blandford & North Dorset.