Improving Skills + Employment opportunities

Our new programme supports residents into sustainable employment funding 7 impactful projects which will reach 1,275 people over the next 3 years.

Our 2021 research report, ‘Poverty and Prosperity in Kensington + Chelsea’, showed that residents of K+C are affected by a number of employment related challenges. Not only does the borough have relatively high unemployment rates, but many residents find that work is not necessarily a route out of poverty, with wages insufficient to meet high living costs. Barriers to work are complex and support services available are often not reaching those most in need. 

Through this new fund we are supporting 7 projects which will provide tailored support to 1,275 people to enable them to increase skills, access viable employment and reach their full potential over the next 3 years. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we were able to raise £200,000 for the first year of the programme.

For the first time we followed a participatory grantmaking model whereby a panel of 6 local residents with lived experience of facing barriers to gaining employment designed the application process, set the aims and criteria of the fund and assessed how well the applications met them.  The panel received training around grant decision making and ultimately decided which projects to support based on their assessment of the applications.

The following list of projects were selected for funding:

  • St Giles' Trust: A Peer Advisor training programme providing an accredited Level 3 Advice & Guidance qualification, as well as holistic support around housing, finances, physical and mental health, practical training, employment and peer mentoring (£40,527/year)
  • Smart Works: 1-2-1 interview coaching and dressing service for unemployed women to boost confidence and gain employment (£30,000/year)
  • Women Into Construction: An employment programme providing work experience, training, mentoring and financial support to provide women with access to sustainable careers in the construction sector (£18,030/year)
  • Nova New Opportunities: ‘Back On Track’ 121 employment support programme to help people secure meaningful employment, alongside support with housing, income maximisation, English, maths and IT skills (£21, 275/year)
  • The ClementJames Centre: An employment support programme providing 121 mentoring, interview coaching, and confidence building alongside holistic support with housing, benefits, and mental and physical wellbeing (£25,000/year)
  • Mo1 Youths: Employment support and training for 16-30 year olds including confident building, CV writing, interview coaching, links to work experience, qualifications and employment opportunities (£29,949/year)
  • Pursuing Independent Paths: Learning, development and training in group and 121 settings for neurodiverse adults to improve skills and confidence leading to employability. Includes hands on work experience and training for example food prep, woodwork, gardening, customer service and reception roles (£35,219/year)