Forwards Employment Service

Our vision is to enable people with disabilities and health conditions to achieve their employment aspirations. We do this by providing individuals with the structured support they need that promotes independence and fulfils their ambitions. Our service is defined by the success of our customers.

Forwards is an all age, all disability service; supporting people with disabilities achieve their employment dreams. Forwards can provide career help to identify skills and job goals, improve confidence, manage anxiety and overcome barriers. Anyone can come to Forwards if they have a disability, health condition or need some support to gain confidence.

We work closely with a number of partners, from health providers to employers and voluntary bodies. Forwards provides access to all of the many organisations who can help with all aspects of returning to work, including money and budget management, debt advice and benefits advice. We’re also here to help those facing challenges whilst in employment or employers who have job opportunities or require advice on how to provide disabled access.

The Forwards service is comprised of:

  • Our 1:1 service with specialist Job Brokers across the county - offering intensive support to individuals known to Adult Social Care and Children Services. Job brokers meet with their customers on a regular basis, sourcing work experience placements to increase confidence and develop work skills, whilst also engaging with local employers to identify suitable paid opportunities. Customers are also offered bespoke courses to prepare them for the world of employment. Find out who your local job broker is here

  • Forwards Work Club (Weekly) - Forwards Work Clubs (weekly) can support anyone who is finding it difficult to overcome health related barriers. Help is delivered by our experienced staff as well as partners including 2Gether Trust, Adult Education in Gloucestershire, Barclays and other partners including employers.
  • Forwards Employment Outreach - Forwards is developing knowledge about the communities and the partnerships within those communities offering people with disabilities the opportunity for 1:1 support

  • Our link to Education - starting from schools and colleges, Forwards recognises the importance of raising aspirations from an early age. Our Education Link Advisor works with local schools and colleges across the county, offering specialist workshops for students from 14+. These workshops focus on work skills, introduce the idea of CVs, having interview practice and the importance of work experience placements to boost confidence. Our Education Link Advisor also works with a number of students on a 1:1 basis, to find suitable weekend or holiday employment whilst studying at school or college

  • Our Navigator Developer - Forwards also works in partnership with GEM (Going the Extra Mile). The Going the Extra Mile (GEM) Project aims to engage with and support individuals in Gloucestershire who are currently dealing with circumstances that are potentially causing barriers to work and move these people closer towards education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment. The GEM Project will reconnect people with their local services and ultimately help them achieve their desired work based outcome through an individual personalised action plan. This programme is a unique partnership of community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council. The GEM Project is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund. The GEM Project aims to engage with 1,100 people over the next three years until December 2019. To find out more about the GEM project, you can visit their website

Further information can be found on our website.

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