Over 2000 more people are set to benefit from the West of England Combined Authority extending its successful Future Bright employment scheme, with £1.5m for Bristol City Council (BCC) to help deliver the service over the next three-years.
Cabinet will meet today (22 June) to discuss the scheme which would enable BCC to support over 2000 citizens who are currently in low-paid and insecure employment, via the scheme in supporting them to develop their careers and increase their income.
Councillor Helen Godwin, Cabinet Lead for Education and Skills said: “We know that the pandemic has had a really negative impact on people’s ability to improve their job prospects and has exacerbated job insecurity, so it’s really encouraging that this successful scheme can continue.”
Future Bright offers free career coaching, training, and support to people in work and receiving benefits or tax credits, to help them develop the skills and confidence to progress their job prospects and increase their income. Participants are matched with a dedicated careers coach who helps them create a personalised action plan.
To make sure that Future Bright can support those who need it most, the Combined Authority has expanded the scheme to those aged 18 and over and to those who are earning below the real living wage.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “The effects of the pandemic continue to hit local people in the pocket. Through the Future Bright scheme and my upcoming Jobs and Skills summit, I’m determined to help even more people to turn their lives – and their career opportunities – around. It’s great to see how we’re already helping so many residents and I know that this is just the beginning. I look forward to welcoming more people onto this successful scheme.”
The programme has already supported 1,500 low-paid Bristol residents with skills support, significantly improving their career prospects. During the original phase of Future Bright, the BCC team of Career Progression Coaches received over 1800 referrals from a variety of sources and developed almost 1500 action plans with individuals.
Lana approached Future Bright last year after being unemployed and working shifts had left her lacking in confidence and feeling uncertain about her career prospects.
She said: “I really believe there is no shame in asking for help or support. I feel some people might be hesitant as they might not have tried coaching before, but in my experience with Future Bright, the coaching is highly supportive and can help you feel more organised.
“It has helped me cope so much better with job hunting. I used preparation and interview techniques we discussed, and as a result I felt so much more prepared in an interview. It has definitely benefitted my career prospects.”
Andy contacted Future Bright after he was made redundant at the start of the year and says being able to have someone to speak to every week about his job worries was so important while he was trying to find a new role.
He said: “When I first heard about redundancy, I felt lost, had no structure, and didn’t know where to begin. The actions of regular job searches, starting a Teaching English as a Foreign Language course which Future Bright helped me to apply for, and speaking to my Future Bright Career coach regularly has giving me a structure and boosted my overall confidence and belief, and has helped secure me a new role.”