Date: 17/04/2008 Category: Social Regeneration
Services to clients of Medway’s Project Reignite, which helps Medway residents overcome barriers to finding a job, will benefit from Reignite’s neighbourhood managers recently achieving service delivery qualifications. Four Neighbourhood Managers, together with volunteers from local community projects, have been awarded an Advanced Certificate in Information, Advice & Guidance, a Level 3 qualification from the National Open College Network. The nationally approved qualification is designed for people who provide information and advice on education, training and employment opportunities. Led by Medway Council, project Reignite combines SEEDA and EU funds with resources from the council and Church in Society to deliver employment support programmes in five Medway areas: All Saints, Brook Lines, Melville and Brompton, Twydall and Strood South. Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Economic Growth, Cllr Jane Chitty, said: “Project Reignite has a growing reputation for its forward thinking and provision of services to local people from disadvantaged backgrounds. “Having fully accredited and qualified neighbourhood managers is a great step forward and can only add to the successes already won by Project Reignite. I congratulate the managers and volunteers on their achievement.” To date, 460 people have made use of the Reignite service, of whom 215 have gained Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications, and 80 have found new jobs in areas such as child-care, administrative and customer services, construction, retail and the security industry. At least £680,000 per year of personal income has been injected into the five target neighbourhoods due to the jobs gained by local people as a direct result of Reignite. Not only that, but this has saved the welfare benefits system £143,500 per year, according to council estimates. The Reignite programmes, delivered on an outreach basis in local communities, aim to improve the employability of Medway residents who are unemployed, on a low income or economically inactive. As well as offering information, advice and guidance, the scheme provides a range of individual services tailored to client needs. This includes carrying out one-to-one assessments and drawing up personalised action plans to overcome barriers to employment.