The ERSA Employability Awards 2020 winners announcement have been announced.
The presentation slides can be downloaded here
The Awards can be viewed via ERSA's YouTube Channel

Part one:

Part two: 

A reminder of the finalists can be found here

The individuals and organisations who have been awarded this year’s winners and highly commended! Please use our hashtag to congratulate all #ERSAAwards20

The ERSA Awards in the news

Frontline Adviser of The Year, sponsored by The Digital College

Recognising an employment adviser who has demonstrated exceptional commitment in a frontline role.

Winner: Gill Tollitt, VOLA Merseyside

Also highly commended in this category

  • Kayle Hope – North East Autism Society, nominated by Moving On Tyne & Wear
  • Phillip Henderson, Get Set UK
  • Sandra Davies, Vison Products

NEW: Frontline Manager of The Year, sponsored by Triangle, creators of Outcomes Star

Recognising a front-line manager or team leader who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to leading their frontline team to excellent performance and customer achievements.

Winner: Julia Marcus, London Borough of Camden Council

Julia has supported hundreds of residents into work in Camden, with a personal and committed style that has had a significant impact on local people. Julia has taken that experience and developed new ways of supporting residents into good work, using her experience and strategic nous to lead exceptional services.  Julia worked with Camden Council to develop the Somers Town Job Hub, a service that connects residents, services and employers around a shared mission to address long-term unemployment. The ‘hub model’ that Julia delivered in Somers Town has since provided a foundation for Good Work Camden, the borough’s new approach to employment support. Julia, now a Job Hub Lead at Camden Council, is playing a key role – reminding us to involve the community in the design of the service and to stick to our values; accessible for all, relational and unswerving.

“I passionately believe that good quality employment support can be transformative. We do our best to provide accessible and relational support to residents. And by exploring a whole range of factors – including money, childcare, transport, housing and health – we’re able to get to the heart of the challenges that people face around work. I know there’s so many wonderful services out there, so I’m particularly proud that our approach has been recognised”. Julia Marcus, Frontline Manager of the Year 2020

Also highly commended in this category

  • Lorna Beaton, Fedcap Scotland
  • Lesley Wood, Stockton Job Centre, nominated by Triage Central

Team of The Year, sponsored by Leeds University Business School

Recognising a team of frontline staff which has demonstrated outstanding commitment in meeting and exceeding the delivery aims of an employment provider.

Joint Winner: Building Bridges Team
Joint Winner: Include-IT Mersey, VOLA Consortium

Joint Winner: Building Bridges Team

The Building Bridges programme runs locally in Swindon and Wiltshire with a dedicated cross-sector team who’s focus is on supporting those furthest from the labour market who are unemployed or economically inactive and facing multiple, complex challenges and barriers in accessing the skills development, education and/or experience they need to be able to achieve and sustain ongoing employment. The entire team, incorporating the lead team, partner organisations and key support workers all work collaboratively on a day to day basis to ensure that the participants can access the support that they need to meet their individual goals and aspirations and engage with their wider circles of support to do so. As a result of this person-centred collaborative approach, we are pleased to be able evidence the many positive outcomes achieved and would like to give recognition to the team for all their hard work and dedication.

Joint Winner: Include-IT Mersey Team, VOLA Consortium

Include-IT Mersey is a Digital Inclusion project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and ESF to support digitally excluded, workless people in the Liverpool City Region to learn essential IT skills to help them get into or closer to work. Established in 2017, the project helps people to improve basic ICT and online skills, confidence and access to digital technologies, with the ultimate aim of supporting progression towards employment or further training, helping those furthest from the labour market to become more job-ready. Led by Sefton CVS in partnership with VOLA Consortium and 14 other not-for-profit providers, the project has supported 1,299 socially and digitally excluded residents to upskill and move on in life in a more positive direction.    Supported by a 48 strong project team, to date, 563 participants have progressed to work, further training or active job search, with 174 currently on programme, surpassing total project targets.

Also Highly Commended in this category

  • Project Apollo, Sheffield Futures
  • Unity Works Employment Team
  • Positive Progressions Team from Craven College

NEW: Jobcentre of The Year, sponsored by SETAS

Recognising a Jobcentre Plus office that has demonstrated exceptional commitment in partnering with providers in their area, supporting disadvantaged and long-term unemployed jobseekers.

Joint Winner: Canning Town Jobcentre Plus, nominated by Belina Consulting

Belina understands that when you start working in a new area, a key organisation you want to influence is the Job Centre. Belina support mothers with complex needs get back to work. As a specialist organisation it can sometimes be difficult to find the right person, but as soon as we were put in contact with Canning Town Job Centre, we knew that we were working with a team that had a clearly thought through strategy for supporting women get back to work.  It was also evident that their approach was successful in reaching out to women in the whole community and the full range of organisations required to support them.

Joint Winner: Washwood Heath, Birmingham Jobcentre Plus, nominated by Disability Resource Centre

Members of the JCP team, particularly David Holmes (recently retired) have been attending Birmingham Disability Resource Centre (DRC) each week for over 15 years. The team support disabled people who are unemployed to get back into the employment market, overcoming barriers with clients, sitting with them, job searching with them, preparing them for interviews, and selecting vacancies that are suitable to them. Jobcentre Plus Washwood Heath has referred numerous disabled clients to us so we can provide enhanced support in self-confidence, self-esteem, IT, budgeting, advice and guidance, social activities and health and wellbeing activities. The Job Centre has always gone above and beyond in supporting DRC’s projects and utilising services to support client’s barriers. DRC in partnership with Washwood Heath JCP held a Disability Confident event to raise awareness with Employers and disabled people.

Disability and Health Provider, sponsored by ICONI Software

Recognising an employment services provider who has demonstrated exceptional commitment in supporting jobseekers with disabilities and health conditions to achieve sustained employment.

Winner: Ideal for All

Ideal for All are a pioneering Disabled people’s user-led charity and not-for-profit social enterprise based in Sandwell, West Midlands, supporting 25,000 people since 1996. Co-producing services with local people, they encourage and enable disabled people and those in need of support to gain sustained meaningful employment, increase their employability and develop skills towards the world of work. Working with those furthest from the jobs market Ideal for All deliver a range of integrated ‘wrap around’ support to foster positive health and mental wellbeing and help people to progress to a range of interlinked outcomes and impact by looking at the whole person and their wider needs.     Working together is their point of difference. Their socially enterprising horticultural activities aligned with specialist employment support and person-centred approaches not only benefit the people that use the services but the local community – making life better for all.

Also highly commended in this category

  • Let’s Get Working Project, Social Enterprise Kent

NEW: Offender Related Services Provider, sponsored by Successful Mums Academy

Recognising an employment services provider who has demonstrated exceptional commitment in delivering services for individuals who have been in contact with the Criminal Justice System.

Winner: PLIAS Resettlement, G4S
The charity has established links with local offender friendly employers who believe that giving a job to a former offender empowers motivation to change and reduces the risk that they will return to their former criminality. In 2012 PLIAS Resettlement became an accredited centre for the British Safety Council and CITB. The charity also works with young people who are in the criminal justice system or at risk of entering. There is also help for their families. Further projects include: Building Futures, aimed at upskilling and supporting unemployed participants back into employment and Tools4Change helps offenders who are not yet ready for employment and have complex needs and housing and benefit issues.

Also highly commended in this category

  • Whitehead Ross Education and Consulting (WREC)
  • The Forward Trust

Youth Employment Provider, sponsored by Get Set UK

Recognising an employment services provider who has demonstrated exceptional commitment in delivering employment services for young adults.

Winner: The Prince’s Trust

The Prince’s Trust works in partnership with NHS Scotland to expand opportunities for sustainable youth employment within the health service, supporting the recruitment and retention of entry level clinical, social care, and non-clinical roles. Since October 2018, The Trust have helped unlock young talent, many of whom never felt confident enough or believed they had the necessary skills or qualifications to apply for a job with the NHS, to provide accessible employability pathways into the health service that will ultimately support the sustainability of the NHS workforce.

Also highly commended in this category

  • London Zoo – Zoological Society of London, nominated by Unity Works

Supply Chain Partner of The Year, sponsored by Do IT Solutions

Recognising excellence as a delivery partner in the field of employment support.

Winner: Action West London, nominated by G4S

Action West London (AWL) have excelled across all delivery areas on our DWP ESF West London Troubled Families Contract (WLTF). AWL provide end to end holistic support for unemployed people, working collaboratively with training providers and community networks. Their team build trust through their abilities and belief in their customers.  They communicate and connect through active listening to their customers’ hopes and concerns. They are dependable throughout customers’ challenges and are a constant in a world where there are not many constants. AWL have successfully adapted to meet market needs over the last 21 years. Their outstanding performance has resulted in an increase of their market share from 13% to 47%.  Strong robust partnerships and involvement in strategic boards ensure that AWL has a voice in improving the lives of West London residents.

Also highly commended in this category

  • Business 2 Business, nominated by Fedcap Employment
  • Case UK, nominated by Ingeus UK

Significant Achiever of The Year, sponsored by Fedcap Employment

Recognising a specific jobseeker who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to overcoming barriers to enter and maintain work.

Winner: Claire, nominated by Recro Consulting

Claire was a single parent in her 30s who had never worked. An ex offender and a victim of domestic violence, she wasn’t getting near the retail jobs she was being encouraged to apply for. After attending a presentation for The Life You Want © at her local job centre, she told Recro, “I really need this and I really want this”. Together they discovered SEN (special educational needs) was her passion. Recro reset her self-belief and self-worth and with her increased confidence, Claire agreed with Recro’s suggested approach which meant fronting up on her conviction. They secured her work experience at a school. They really liked her so gave her some paid work as well. Then gave her a part time job. Then full time. 

Also highly commended in this category

  • Stephen, nominated by Pentreath Ltd
  • Pat, nominated by Moving On Tyne & Wear
  • Ashleigh, nominated by Better Jobs, Better Futures (Gower College Swansea)
  • Julie, Fedcap Employment
  • Jazmin, Fedcap Scotland
  • Nataya Tamara Davies, nominated by Better Jobs, Better Futures (Gower College Swansea)

NEW: Housing Provider, sponsored by Cognisoft

Recognising a Housing Provider who has demonstrated exceptional commitment in delivering services for their residents, particularly regarding employment support.

Winner: Aspire Housing

Aspire to Work is a life-changing service offering employability support to Aspire Housing tenants. Aspire Housing were one of the first housing associations to offer this service and the results are immense. Customers gain employment, no longer rely on benefits, and notice increased levels of confidence, self-esteem, ambition and wellbeing. It is a tailored customer training scheme that prepares tenants with the skills they need for sustainable employment, whilst offering vital housing and wellbeing support. Aspire Housing aim to not only improve the quality of life for customers, but to supply them with the tools to manage this independently. In 2019, the service achieved an incredible 100% customer satisfaction rating.

Employer of The Year, sponsored by Genius Within CIC

Recognising an employer who has demonstrated exceptional commitment in creating opportunities for disadvantaged and long-term unemployed jobseekers.

Winner: Excaliber Security Services Limited, nominated by Papworth Trust

David Ralph started Excaliber Security Services Limited in 2017, with a different thinking to other security companies.  He is very passionate about his beliefs that everyone deserves a chance and wanted to establish a company not only focusing on the needs of their customers, but also a company that truly care about their staff. David’s philosophy on recruitment is based on candidate’s heart and morals rather than previous experience – it is more about what they can achieve with additional help and support. David is not concerned if a candidate has a disability or has been unemployed for a long time because he understands that all people need an opportunity. He spends time with each employee and identifies where they will be best placed and how to best support them. David has worked with Papworth Trust since June 2019 and in that time, working together they have achieved 19 job starts.

Also highly commended in this category

  • Barts Health NHS Trust

Outstanding Contribution to the Sector, sponsored by Clarion Futures

Recognising an exceptional individual who has dedicated a significant part of their career to the employment related services sector and has made a notable impact on the wider sector.

Winner: Brian Bell, Fedcap Employment

Brian Bell has devoted his career to readdressing social injustice – and has helped millions of people in the process.

From being a dedicated Jobcentre adviser in the 1980s to a leading innovator in the sector in the present day, Brian has spent years designing, developing and delivering cutting-edge services to help people who find themselves disadvantaged within our communities. He has consistently used his expertise and influence to achieve huge impact in the UK and beyond.

Driven by a strong social purpose coupled with commerciality, Brian has achieved results in the public, private and voluntary sectors. He is rightly recognised across the sector as an expert in creating innovative interventions that work for the people who need them most.