Mark Pawsey MP spent time this week talking to jobseekers in Brixton about the support they are getting to find jobs and stay in work.
The MP, who is the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Work and Pensions Secretary, met individuals being supported through the Work Programme, delivered in the area by Seetec in partnership with Twist, who have been engaged in a variety of different activities and even some who have set up their own social enterprises. Twist uses the Remakery, a space in Brixton for making things from waste material, to gain the skills and confidence required to secure a job.
The Work Programme provides tailored support for unemployed customers who need more help to undertake active and effective job-seeking. Across the UK, it has helped over 800,000 people into work since it began and is due to come to an end in April.
Commenting on the visit, Mark Pawsey MP said:
"I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the Twist Partnership and see for myself the valuable work they are doing to support those with disabilities into the workplace. It was clear that those taking part in Twist's programme are made to feel very welcome and provided with the specialist support they need to get a job that works for them.”
Shankara Angadi, Chief Executive of Twist, said:
"We are delighted to receive Mark Pawsey and show him the whirlwind of activity that these ESA clients were enthusiastically engaged in. It demonstrated that this group, far from being just bundles of complex needs and disabilities, will jump the queue back into work and independence once they are treated as people with potential."
ERSA’s Chief Executive, Kirsty McHugh, said:
“I’m delighted that Mark Pawsey MP saw first-hand Twist’s innovative approach to supporting jobseekers to enter the workplace through his visit, which is an excellent example of the type of help being delivered by employment support providers in local areas. It is vital that, as the Work Programme ends in April and specialist employment support is scaled back, the momentum is not lost in enabling providers to change lives, businesses and communites.”
Seetec is delivering the Work Programme on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Job Centre Plus. The programme is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).
Nicholas Cole, Seetec Supply Chain Manager said:
“Working in partnership with Twist has allowed us to ensure that all customers whatever their challenges are offered a wide variety of innovative support based on their needs. Our customers thrive in these activities and their focus changes from what they can't do to what they can achieve. This collaborative way of working works and gets results!"