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Council shortlisted for national employability award


The county council’s Forwards Employability team is a finalist at this year’s Employment Related Service Association (ERSA) awards.


The ERSA awards celebrate best practice in the employment support sector and recognise the hard work and dedication of those working to improve the lives of jobseekers, communities, and the wider workforce.

This year’s theme is ‘The Covid Employability Challenge’ and the shortlist includes a wide variety of organisations and individuals who have delivered exceptional service and support to disadvantaged groups during the pandemic.

The county council’s Forwards employability team is a finalist for ‘Team of the year – Disability and health’ which aims to recognise frontline teams providing disability and wellbeing services, including mental health support.

Forwards provides specialist support to find and sustain employment to young people leaving education or who have Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs), adults of all ages who are looking for work, and people whose employment is at risk due to their health condition or disability.

The nomination recognises its work to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to fulfil their employment ambitions. The team works with a range of partners to help address challenges, working closely with families, carers and professionals to make sure individuals continue to receive support to help them thrive and prosper.

The team also employs people with a range of disabilities and/or health conditions, as part of their core Forwards team. This brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from which staff, customers, employers and partners can benefit.

Cllr Philip Robinson, cabinet member for economy, education and skills said: “I am delighted that the excellent work which the Forwards team does to help local people overcome challenges to employment is being recognised.

“Since 2015, Forwards has supported 333 people to find paid work, with at least 75 per cent staying in work for a year or more. Throughout the pandemic the Forwards team worked continually to keep in touch with people who were furloughed, to maintain their motivation and hope. They sourced new roles for those who lost their jobs and worked with employers to help settle people back into the workplace and acclimatise to the new Covid-safe environment.”

Winners will be announced on Thursday 25 November at 2pm via an online award ceremony.

The Forwards team can be contacted by calling 01452 425776 or online at:

Visit the employment and skills hub

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