Give us a chance

The ‘Give us a chance’ consortium of leading social landlords was set up in 2011 to develop new ideas in the provision of job and training opportunities for unemployed social housing residents - especially the young.

Barbara Thorndick and David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation during the launch of Give Us A ChanceMany social landlords have a successful track record of helping people living in the communities they serve get work and free themselves from dependency on welfare benefits.  There is a social purpose to such an objective but increasingly now it makes good business sense, since the welfare benefit changes being introduced by the government mean that all people of working age will be better off in work, and therefore better able to pay their rent.

The consortium currently has 23 members (April 2012) and has given first priority to trying to tackle youth unemployment.  Working with the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI) the consortium has developed a number of funding models that will operate within the Work Programme and enable social housing landlords in partnership with Prime Contractors to offer paid, temporary jobs to people living in the communities they serve.

Four pilots now underway

Chris Grayling, the Employment Minister spoke at the consortium’s launch of the ‘Proving Talent’ job model at the House of Commons on 12 March.  There are now four pilot schemes which have created over 100 job placements to young people in different parts of the country.  These first four pilots are in:
  • Birmingham, where Castle Vale Community Housing Association is working with EOS
  • Southampton/Eastleigh where Radian Housing Group is working with A4E
  • Newcastle and Manchester where Guinness Housing Partnership is working with Avanta.
  • Merseyside and Preston where 7 housing associations have joined together and are working with Ingeus
All four pilots are going to be fully evaluated by CESI and the shared learning used to further improve the schemes.  Other members of the consortium are looking at using the model for schemes in London, Kent and Sussex and the South West.

WKT Associates helping drive the Consortium

The original concept behind the 'Give us a chance' consortium came from WKT Associates Managing Director, Barbara Thorndick. She witnessed first hand the benefits of the Future Jobs Fund as Chief Executive of West Kent Housing Association and she believes there is a great need for social landlords to deliver the badly needed opportunities to young people in their communities.

If you are interested in joining the 'Give us a chance' consortium or would like more details on the consortium’s activities please get in contact with WKT Associates here or visit  the consortium’s website

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