Cabinet Minister praises ‘inspirational’ Nottingham employers opening their doors to jobseekers

Thursday, 26th October 2023

Cabinet Minister Mel Stride has visited two Nottingham employers helping disabled and economically inactive people into work. Home care provider Carefound Home Care and housing association Jigsaw are unlocking the potential of hundreds of job seekers in and around Nottingham.

Mel Stride MP at Carefound Home Care in West Bridgford
Left-to-right: Lucia Chovancova, Mel Stride MP, Jared Wells, Ruth Edwards MP, Shelley Taylor, Jade Farnsworth

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Mel Stride has praised two “inspirational” Nottingham employers for their efforts in supporting hundreds of disabled and economically inactive people into work.

On a visit to the city on Friday, 20 October, the Secretary of State saw first-hand the life-changing employment opportunities on offer at Jigsaw housing association and Carefound Home Care.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride MP said:

“One of the most important parts of my job is getting out on the ground to see first-hand how employers are supporting people into the workplace.”

“Speaking with these inspirational businesses was extremely insightful and helps me understand how my department can support people into sustainable employment and helping those who may face barriers, to start, stay and succeed in work.”

Jigsaw is helping their residents lay the foundations for long-term careers by providing tailored employment advice through their Jigsaw Employment Team (JET).

Jigsaw has worked with DWP on local work fairs and presentations to groups looking for work and so far this financial year they helped well over a hundred people with employment support and attain vocational qualifications.

Leslie, who has learning difficulties, has benefitted from Jigsaw’s support, undertaking voluntary work in several charity shops in Arnold, as well as short-term placements organised by the DWP.

Despite never being employed, Jigsaw’s team helped refine her CV and her job application, which helped her secure a cleaning position at a local school earlier this month.

Carefound Home Care, based in West Bridgford, is working with the local jobcentre as part of the DWP’s sector-based work academy programme, known as SWAPS.

Lasting up to six weeks, SWAPS help jobseekers with work experience and applications in specific sectors and applicants are regularly given a job interview at the end of the process. Currently, 11 candidates are being interviewed by Carefound Home Care for positions in their home care team.

These candidates come from a wide range of backgrounds, which include previous volunteers, drivers, warehouse operatives and former carers all keen to get back into work through SWAPS.

Shelley Taylor, Recruitment & Community Manager at Carefound Home Care in West Bridgford, said:

“We’ve been working with Nottingham Jobcentre through the Sector-Based Work Academy programme for a number of months. It presents another opportunity for us to raise awareness of the benefits of working in the care sector and hopefully unlock some great candidates currently looking to enter work.”

“During the process, we’ve worked closely with Nottingham Jobcentre which has included providing informative sessions for candidates on why they may consider a career in care, what the role of a professional carer involves, and what career progression and pathways are available.”

“So far, we have progressed 11 people from the SWAP programme through to our recruitment process who, if successful, will complete our leading induction training programme and begin a career with Carefound Home Care.”

The organisations visited by the Secretary of State contribute to DWP’s drive to get more people in consistent and rewarding work and to break down any potential barriers to that.

DWP are doing more to get people working through their £3.5 billion package to boost workforce participation and grow the economy, including £2 billion of targeted support for people with long-term illnesses and disabilities.

Since 2010 the number of people in work has increased by over 3.8m while unemployment has fallen by more than a million over the same period.