Unskilled Sheffield people will get extra help to get qualifications and jobs

Workers struggling with basic skills will be helped on to the career ladder with a new scheme.
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More than 750 participants from a range of ages and backgrounds, particularly vulnerable people and those in low paid jobs, will be taught workplace transferable skills to help them find employment.

Sheffield Council officer Kevin Straughan said: “We expect it to be a mix of English, mathematics, digital skills, but any specific qualifications that individuals need to improve in the workplace.

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“We’ve fought really hard with Sheffield City Region to make sure that under the devolution of the adult education budget we didn’t lose our ability to deliver foundation level learning in the community.

Coun Paul Turpin has welcomed funding to help unskilled people find jobs.Coun Paul Turpin has welcomed funding to help unskilled people find jobs.
Coun Paul Turpin has welcomed funding to help unskilled people find jobs.

“We won that argument as we can’t all be about the higher level skills. We need to develop skills in a layered way to make sure people can get into a job.

“That was an extremely important battle to win and we made sure it did not take the attention away working with communities and individuals in need

“We work with people to make sure that they have those very basic skills but to also overcome barriers such as debt management so people are able to move forward with their lives without carrying debt.

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“It’s those building blocks of very soft skills that enable people to believe that they can move in the labour market and get a job.”

Coun Paul Turpin Executive member for jobs and skills, said: “I was talking to a constituent of mine who made some bad decisions as a 14-year-old, left school without any qualifications and is now in his 30s and stuck in that cycle of minimum wage jobs.

“He’s a perfectly intelligent person and capable of doing some good things so I really hope that we can really give those people who fell through the gaps at some point, perhaps not even through their own fault, a leg up to make the most of themselves.”

Called Advance Sheffield City Region, the scheme has £640,000 via the Department for Work and Pensions and Sheffield Council is providing £470,000.