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Employability programme supports hundreds

More than 300 Copeland residents are now job-ready, thanks to a dynamic employment programme.

Building Momentum offered unemployed people training and experience tailored to specific industries and employers. It also gave wage subsidies to employers taking on trainees.

The Building Momentum employability support programme is delivered by Copeland Work and Skills Partnership (CWSP), which is led by Copeland Borough Council, and funded through the Sellafield Ltd Social Impact Multiplied Programme (SiX), and Copeland Community Fund.

The three-year programme is now complete, and it has been deemed a great success.

Among those supported:

  • 72 have received job offers
  • 56 have gained paid work experience
  • 29 have started an apprenticeship
  • 101 individuals received sector specific training
  • 132 have taken part in employment support activities, and are better prepared to apply for jobs

The CWSP team worked alongside local employers to design and deliver the programmes.

Mike Starkie, Elected Mayor of Copeland, said: “This programme has been an excellent way to champion those in Copeland that may be struggling to find employment.

“It has provided a vital opportunity for people to kickstart their journey to a successful career.”

Stuart McCourt, Social Impact Manager at Sellafield Ltd, said: “Through SiX, we aim to improve access to sustainable incomes - and that is what the Building Momentum programme is all about. 

“It is great to see so many people moving into, or closer to, employment considering all the uncertainty and disruption due to the Covid pandemic over the last three years”.

Emma Moynihan, Fund Manager at Copeland Community Fund, said: “We are proud to have supported CWSP since it began, it is great to see how the funding awarded to The Building Momentum Programme has supported so many local people.

“The creation of more training and employment opportunities has certainly changed lives in Copeland.”

Claire Roper, Engineering and Maintenance Capability Lead at Sellafield Ltd, said: “We were delighted to work collaboratively with the CWSP in developing a five-week work experience programme.

“Two of the participants are currently going through the recruitment process for agency supplied worker roles. This pilot was beneficial to all involved, and we are keen to continue collaborating in future developments.”

Jack McPhillips, programme participant, said: “The best thing about the programme was how much it raised my awareness of what careers were available for me. It was a boost to my confidence, and a great experience which I've really benefitted from."

The University of Cumbria’s Centre of Regional Economic Development Unit will conduct an independent evaluation of the programme soon.

A follow-up programme, building on the success of this initiative, is also in development and information will follow later in the year.