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This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

Key Information

The Bridge the Gap project is a bespoke programme of support designed to bring unemployed, and economically inactive and vulnerable individuals, back into their communities and the local labour market.  Through the programme, each individual is supported to identify their barriers to progression and supported with activity to build the skills and confidence they need to find employment.

The project is focused on working with long-term unemployed and economically inactive individuals in Canterbury, Swale and Thanet.

Each individual moves through the following four programme phases.

Phase 1: Outreach, and Engagement 

The individual is assessed to identify and explore their current situation, barriers to progression, and future aspirations. These 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. From this initial assessment, a support plan and progression pathway are defined.

 

Phase 2: Motivation and Development

The individual receives 121 support from a dedicated mentor and together they plan a range of activities designed to improve the individual’s motivation and skills development.

Those activities might include mindfulness, a communication bootcamp, yoga for a skilled mind, financial resilience, and focus groups with local businesses and support agencies.

In addition, additional necessary support is provided to provide necessary support with low self-esteem/confidence; vocational training or industry certificates; wellbeing support; and access to essential equipment to aid progress.

 

Phase 3: Pre-employment and Progression

This phase provides tailored employability support. Mentors, with support from local employers and providers, deliver support designed to motivate and develop the beneficiary’s behaviours, knowledge, and confidence.

Activities include workplace visits, sector insight talks, placements, and application support sessions.

 

Phase 4: Support and Sustainability

The final phase is focused on retaining positive development and progression.

The individual continues to receive encouragement, motivation, and support via a mentor, with additional referrals to support agencies facilitated as required.

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