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Removing Barriers Rebuilding Lives

Activate Learning is working with partner organisations to deliver a free programme to help transform the lives of the long-term unemployed.


Removing Barriers, Rebuilding Lives

This Removing Barriers Rebuilding Lives project is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund. It will run until June 2022 and focus on helping the long-term unemployed across Oxfordshire get the skills and confidence they need to get into work, education or training.

Since the Summer of 2016, we have supported over 800 people through the project with over 250 getting into employment and a further 100+ getting into formal education or training. These figures continue to rise. Though the impact of COVID-19 had been severe during the Spring and Summer of 2020, we were able to react and adapt our delivery model to remote contact with our participants so that we never lost touch with those who required our help the most.

Current data (June 2020) suggests that 3.9% of Oxfordshire residents are claiming out-of-work benefits including Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance and we are fully aware that for those who are long-term unemployed, there are significant barriers to entering the workplace or educational institution. In addition to language and cultural barriers, nearly three quarters of them (70%) suffer from mental health issues or have experienced homelessness, addiction or are ex-offenders.

The support on offer

Removing Barriers Rebuilding Lives will focus on supporting:

  • the unemployed and economically inactive

  • people aged 19 and above, particularly those 50+

  • ethnic minorities

  • people with disabilities

  • people living in rural communities

We will support them in making the most of existing education and work opportunities, as well as improving their work readiness. This support will be tailored to meet individual needs, but could include:

  • one to one mentoring and guidance with a team of expert coaches
  • working with partners to access volunteering or training opportunities
  • getting ready for work (help with job hunting skills, CV writing, etc.)
  • childcare provision

We expect to engage with over 1000 people across Oxfordshire over the lifetime of this project, helping them to become more job-ready, to have the opportunity to further their education or training and to move into employment.

Project Partners

Our partners in delivering the project are :

  • Ethnic Minority Business Service (EMBS)
  • The Buck Project

Activate Learning is also working with

  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Oxford City Council
  • Cherwell District Council