Employment and skills
Within the Grenfell Recovery Strategy there is a commitment to support the employment and skills ambitions of residents, outlined by two key action points:
- Work with the community to agree area of focus for the project, taking into account consultation to date, the targeted Grenfell focus, and the needs of residents
- Design and deliver a community-based commissioning project in this area
To help meet this commitment, the Community Works project has been developed. This project has focused on working with residents, in workshops and small groups over several sessions, and with local partners to identify what support is needed and to develop ideas into potential projects to meet those needs.
Residents told us what was needed in their own words:
- Work opportunities that fit around school hours
- How to convert volunteering into paid work
- Young people need extra support
- A person-centred offer that reflects my experiences and needs, especially when I am vulnerable
- Pre-employment support to rebuild confidence and motivation especially for those recovering from difficult life situations
- People who have had to leave or lost jobs because of Grenfell can receive relevant support that meets their unique needs, acknowledging their skills and barriers they face
- Support to start and run a business
A list of potential projects were developed which address these needs, and following feedback from residents through the Grenfell Assembly and direct contact, two priority projects have been selected to proceed with the £250,000 funding available. The next task is to continue to work with the community to agree the details of the projects and how the money will be spent to action them. Sessions are being held with residents to discuss these details and if you would like to be involved please get in touch with us at email@example.com.
What are the projects being commissioned?
- Into Work – Employment advisers working in the community
This project responds to the ideas which emerged from design workshops with residents for meaningful individual support in providing employment advice.
The Council is currently looking for expressions of interest by potential providers to deliver this project. Candidates should have similar experience on previous projects and be able to provide:
- customised advice from dedicated and qualified employment advisers
- access to one-to-one support for individuals informed by personalised action plans
- residents with relevant post-employment help
If your business or organisation could fit the bill, register your interest via our e-tendering portal and search reference: prj_RBKC_19300 - Community Works by 5pm on Friday 10 September 2021. If you have any questions please submit these through the e-tendering portal.
You can find out more about this contract tender opportunity by visiting the contracts finder portal.
- Build Yourself Up’ – A confidence building programme
When discussing what issues Community Works needed to address, workshop attendees identified a key need to help residents with their confidence and motivation to prepare for and get ready for work. Confidence and motivation are very important in taking the steps to move into, or back into, the workforce. The ‘Build Yourself Up’ works to improve this through confidence building workshops, linked with activities that engage and build upon residents’ skills and interest. A variety of subjects could be included such as ICT, gardening, and cooking. The workshops will be delivered in community locations and will link with employment support that assists residents’ progression.
Funding has been allocated for these specialist workshops and an open bid process is now open to deliver these workshops, for organisations who have experience of working with local residents and supporting them with career ambitions. Key areas of expertise should include, but are not limited to:
- Working with groups facing multiple barriers to employment
- Understanding of the impact of the Grenfell tragedy and the communities of north Kensington and trusted to work effectively within the community
- Credibility and trust to work successfully within the priority communities, with knowledge, skill, and empathy.
- Knowledge of employment support to assist with referral into relevant further support
A briefing session will take place on Thursday 16 September 2021 from 2.30pm to 4pm to provide background information about the opportunity and the co-design work with the community to develop projects to be funded from the Grenfell Recovery Strategy. The session will outline the application process and provide an opportunity to ask questions ahead of the tender bid launch for ‘Build Yourself Up’ projects. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in attending or being a provider.
Revenue funds of up to £20,000 per project is available over 24 months. Up to 3 projects will be funded.
What we've done so far
- Initial project scoping
Working with agencies and partners, the first stage was to identify the scope for this programme. This includes supporting people who have been affected by the Grenfell tragedy; who are unemployed or in insecure employment; to keep communities at the centre of this work and the project will be community-led. Alongside this, we acknowledged that we need to build trust and ensure there is regular sharing and feedback with the community and that the outcome of this project will be increased levels of good employment for people affected by the Grenfell tragedy.
We brought together services from the Council, NHS, Department for Work and Pensions, Residents Associations and local voluntary and community organisations so that our solutions are truly joined-up and centred on meeting the needs of individuals.
- Gathering evidence of needs
We have gathered evidence from people who we hope will benefit from these services – parents with young families; people who are vulnerable or who have special needs; and people who have been out of work for a long time. They told us what would make the difference for them and we began developing these ideas together.
- Developing ideas together
In workshops and follow-up meetings, hundreds of ideas and suggestions were grouped into common themes. These were examined and those that received more mentions and endorsements were summarised into a shortlist of eight potential projects. Following feedback from residents, the two top priority projects to be commissioned with the funding from the Grenfell Recovery Strategy have been selected.
We are now working with the community in discussion sessions to confirm the details and delivery of these projects and exactly how the funding will be spent. The two projects will then go out to tender for providers to run them, with the aim of launching this year.
- Covid-19 impact
The Covid-19 pandemic has slowed the progress in developing the projects through co-creation. The impact upon the economy and residents’ employment prospects means there is a greater need for support. The ideas developed under Community Works will be fed into the Council’s Covid-19 recovery planning and considered for implementation across the borough to assist residents needing assistance as the recovery from the pandemic develops.