The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has announced that it will invest £3.6m to expand its free career coaching and support service following a successful pilot.
The Future Bright scheme helps to support residents develop the skills that businesses and employers need to help the region’s recovery and offers coaching and support to people in work and receiving benefits or tax credits, supporting them to learn new skills, develop their career and increase their income.
Future Bright has already helped over 2,000 people across the region with one-to-one support from a professional career coach and over 1,000 of those have entered training, with at least 600 increasing their income.
The pilot scheme was funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and delivered by the West of England Combined Authority in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils.
To make sure that Future Bright can support those who need it most, the scheme has been expanded to those aged 18 and over, as well as to those who are earning below the real living wage.
Commenting, West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles said: “Helping our residents get the skills they need to keep and find well-paid jobs is at the heart of our plan to secure the region’s economic recovery.
“Future Bright is giving residents in the West of England the confidence to adapt, learn new skills and seize new opportunities during the pandemic and is helping them develop the skills that our businesses need for jobs now and in the future.”
Over the next four years, WECA will invest over £100m in businesses and skills in the region and in January committed £9.4m to support the West of England Recovery Plan.