CXK Launches Service to Support Unemployed Individuals in Canterbury, Swale and Thanet

27th January 2022

CXK has launched a new project, funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, to provide individualised employability support to unemployed individuals in Canterbury, Swale and Thanet.

‘Bridge the Gap’ offers a bespoke programme of support designed to bring unemployed, and economically inactive and vulnerable individuals back into their communities and support them into employment.

The project is focused on areas of significant high unemployment in Kent, working with the growing cohort of long-term unemployed and economically inactive individuals in Canterbury, Swale and Thanet.

Participants will benefit from a 4-phase programme in which, with a dedicated mentor, they:

  1. Explore their current situation, barriers to progression, and future aspirations to define a bespoke plan of support. This might include – money/finances; employment/learning; health/physical well-being; low self-esteem/confidence; employer(mis)perception/lack of opportunities; family/ friends/relationships; spiritual/personal growth.
  2. Receive121 support from a dedicated mentor and take part in activities designed to improve their motivation and skills development.
  3. Receive tailored employability support from their mentor, local employers and providers. Activities might include workplace visits, sector insight talks, placements, and application support sessions.
  4. Retention of their development through ongoing encouragement, motivation, and support via their mentor.

Debbie Lloyd, Assistant Director at CXK, says: “Kent is a Local Authority Area that has continued to experience rising unemployment in recent months.

“Thanet is an area of escalating need for long term unemployed and economically inactive individuals with unemployment having risen by 72.2% in the 12 months between March 2020-21, with the sharpest % increase in 18 – 24-year-olds – rising from 9.7% to 15.7%. Canterbury has shown steep spikes in claimant recipients, with an increase of 117.6% in the 12 months between March 2020-21. Meanwhile, unemployment in Swale increased by 84.4% in the 12 months between March 2020-21. 12.1% of 18 – 24-year-olds were unemployed compared with 6.8% 12 months before. The unemployment rate for 24 – 49-year-olds had risen from 3.7% to 6.9%; for those aged 50+, the unemployment rate rose from 2.7% to 5%.

“There is a clear need to support people back into employment, across all age brackets.  Bridge the Gap will address this need, providing bespoke support to overcome any barriers that individuals face in finding and sustaining work.”

The programme is open for referrals now. Full details of the programme, including how to apply or refer an individual, are available here. Alternatively, call 0800 100 900 or email

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