National Grid links up with community platform to tackle unemployment

National Grid Electricity Distribution has linked up with community group support platform Localgiving to help deliver “practical, focused programs to boost skills and improve employability for those furthest from the job market”.

Charities and non-profit companies in the company’s distribution areas of the Midlands, South West and South Wales are being urged to apply for grants of up to £5,000 through the £250,000 Community Matters Fund (Future Skills).

Unregistered community organisations can apply for up to £2,000.

Young people aged 16-25 not in full time education or employment, people from global majority communities, those with health conditions or disabilities, armed forces veterans and ex-offenders are among groups the Fund is targeting.

Since the Fund was first launched in 2021 more than £10m has been awarded to groups.

Typical initiatives the fund will cover include offering courses in literacy, numeracy and IT skills.

Delivering networking and work experience opportunities, support with CV writing and interview skills and help those returning to work after long-term absences, are among other typical schemes the Fund covers.

“Significant barriers keep some groups from easily accessing employment opportunities and joining the world of work,” said National Grid community engagement manager Ellie Patey.

“National Grid understands the huge potential that exists to upskill and support these under-represented groups and is firmly committed to unlocking this untapped talent.

“We’re keen to see applications from support groups that deliver practical, focussed programmes to boost skills and improve employability for those furthest from the job market.”

Andrei Yusfin, chief executive of Localgiving, which is managing delivery of the Fund, added: “Work is about more than just earning money. It can create identity, purpose, health and lifestyle benefits, connection to a community and more. But we know that many need a bit of a helping hand when it comes to accessing employment.

“Groups in our community are running great projects assisting people to get into work and we are proud to be able to support them with this grant.”

Applications close on 10 July and organisations will be informed of the outcome in August, when money will be distributed.

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