Top award for housing association employment scheme

A Luton housing association is going the extra mile to assist customers – helping them find long-term employment that meets their needs.

Promoted by Squared
Friday, 17th December 2021, 7:26 am
Squared’s Purposeful Employment programme has helped a significant number of the people it houses to find, and keep, jobs in the local area

Squared’s Purposeful Employment programme has helped a significant number of the people it houses to find, and keep, jobs in the local area.

Lee Howe, the organisation’s Employability Development Manager, says the scheme aims to help customers find a career which pays a real living income, helping to build self-esteem and contribute to a more positive outlook on life.

“The Purposeful Employment programme is all about aspirational and motivational employment,” he explains.

The scheme, which started 18 months ago, offers coaching to its participants along with an eight-week workshop programme

In May, Squared was named the most innovative FREDIE initiative of the year at the National Centre for Diversity's awards, which recognise initiatives that promote the values of fairness, respect, equality, diversity, inclusion and engagement.

Many of those who take part may have had challenging childhoods, left school without qualifications or have gaps on their CV, but “that is where we come in,” says Lee.

Squared offers three types of accommodation: social housing, houses of multiple occupancy, and a number of hostels which offer differing levels of support. The housing association refers customers to its Purposeful Employment service internally, with an initial consultation helping to define what each person hopes to achieve.

The scheme, which started 18 months ago, offers coaching to its participants along with an eight-week workshop programme which covers topics from the first day at work and unconscious bias to writing a CV and searching for a job. There is also one-to-one support “to really get to the nuts and bolts of what they want to do”.

There is also one-to-one support “to really get to the nuts and bolts of what they want to do”

He continues: “We started in the middle of the first lockdown and since then, we have helped a large number of our customers find long-term employment.

“We really believe everyone deserves to find a career that suits them, so our programme provides a one-stop shop to help customers find their purpose and their dream job.”

Lee and his team are always keen to partner with local employers to help those on the programme meet their aspirations, whether that is by offering long-term employment, volunteering or work placements that can take customers a step closer to achieving their goals.

"The aim of the service is to encourage sustainable employment opportunities, positively impact on the wellbeing of our customers and reduce the need for social benefits and health services,” he adds.

Lee Howe: “The Purposeful Employment programme is all about aspirational and motivational employment"

“We would love to hear from businesses who want to give something back locally. The Purposeful Employment scheme offers support to both employers and employees for the first three months of any placement to help everyone settle in.”