Employability projects

Each of the projects below will help you to find employment, with the opportunity to learn new skills along the way.

Learn more about the benefits and requirements for each project. 

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 18 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.

If you’d like to know more, call us today on 0800 101 7118 or email BBO@activatelearning.ac.uk.

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

Activate Learning are pleased to offer a wide range of courses delivered by experienced tutors.

These courses will help you develop critical skills and to get you back into work.

You could develop your existing skills, learn new skills, or improve your English, Maths or IT skills; whatever your choice it will be highly valuable to employers.

Take a look at our online brochure, and if you'd like to know more and find out if you are eligible, call us today on 0800 488 0378 or fill in our enquiry form.

Free training programmes for Berkshire and Oxfordshire's workforce

Activate Learning has been successful in securing funding to support the workforce, including those at risk of redundancy, across Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The projects are jointly funded by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

About the programmes

Skills Support in the Workforce (SSW) will deliver bespoke training programmes within the workforce. Organisations will be able to work with Activate Learning to identify specific learning needs within their workforce. Course delivery will take place onsite at the organisation, within contracted work hours, so no travel or out-of-work hours are required.

Courses are available to both up-skill and provide new areas of development for the workforce. Participants who join the programme will:

  • Receive an individual learning plan outlining their expected journey on the programme and identifying where there are skills gaps
  • Be aided and coached to progress within their organisation or continue to study on higher levels of training

In addition, SSW will also aid organisations that may need to make redundancies. In this case, vocational courses are available to up-skill workers ready for the labour market.

Please read our online brochure and if you’d like to know more, or find out if you are eligible, call us today on 0800 488 0378 or fill in our enquiry form.

Our Work and Health Programme is designed to give you the right support to achieve your employment potential.

Don’t worry if you don’t feel ready for work when we first meet. It is our job to help you get ready in a way that works for you.

Your journey into work

At our first meeting we will:

  • Meet at a venue that is convenient and comfortable for you;
  • Get you started on the programme;
  • Show you how to log on to your online Pluss Opportunities Hub.


Your Change Coach will help you to:

  • Explore your strengths and the type of work you want to do;
  • Look at your support needs and develop an action plan. This will set out the actions we will both take
  • to help you find a job;
  • Help you get the most out of your online Pluss Opportunities Hub.


You will get the help that works best for you. The plan you have agreed with your Change Coach may include:

  • Using a computer for all kinds of online learning on the Pluss Opportunities Hub – from exploring self-employment to improving computer skills and learning about useful ways to relax;
  • Community-based activities – things like walking groups, healthy eating and money advice;
  • Working with our trainers on your interview skills and job search;
  • Getting specialist help if you need to overcome a problem – like substance misuse, managing anxiety or family support.
  • Your Change Coach will help you to review and update your action plan monthly to begin with. This will include exploring how you feel you have progressed so far.


We will help you to find the right job. This will include:

  • Searching and applying for jobs, and helping you to feel confident about interviews;
  • Introducing you to open-minded employers to arrange work trials and interviews;
  • Helping you to learn and manage your new work routine In work support for both you and your employer – including advice and funding towards workplace adjustments;
  • Getting you the right help to understand benefits and money advice.

Online Services

The Pluss Opportunities Hub is your very own online service. It is packed full of learning, resources and support to help you on your journey into work.
You can access your Pluss Opportunities Hub 24 hours a day to help you organise your appointments, view your action plan and check your progress towards work.

Starting on the programme

If you are interested in finding out more about the Work and Health Programme, you will need to speak to an advisor in your local Jobcentre Plus.

You can find your nearest Jobcentre Plus here

The Work and Health Programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund.

Back on Track focuses on supporting young people in Oxfordshire, aged 15-17 who are at risk of becoming, or who are already, NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

Support will be tailored to meet the participants individual needs, but could include:

  • 1:1 Support – we can offer participants information, advice and guidance if they are struggling with low attendance at school or are no longer engaged in education, employment or training
  • Wellbeing – help participants explore their physical and mental health
  • Volunteering and Work Experience – support to access volunteering or work experience placements
  • Summer Engagement – group engagement activities
  • Employability Support – including writing CVs and cover letters, applications, interview preparation, short courses, and exploring career pathways
  • Access to higher and further education – support with applications, access, and engagement
  • New Routes Garden Project – our garden, based in Banbury, is a safe space for participants to explore their options within a small group setting
  • Opportunity to work with our Partners; Banbury Young Homelessness Project (BYHP), South Oxfordshire Food and Education Academy (SOFEA) and TRAX. We also work with Oxfordshire County Council’s Education Employment and Training (EET) Service.

The Back on Track project is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund.