As members of Communities That Work, Raven Housing Trust was invited to attend the group’s Summer Parliamentary Reception, launching its A Future that Works campaign, along with the Minister for Social Mobility, Mims Davies MP, and other Parliamentarians.
Communities That Work is the national body for social landlords aiming to transform lives by supporting people into rewarding, sustainable employment. The newly launched campaign is the latest step in its work to highlight to government the vital role of housing providers in addressing the workforce and skills agenda.
Raven Housing Trust was invited to Westminster Palace for the launch of the new campaign following evidence they submitted from their Pathway to Employment project, demonstrating that housing associations are perfectly placed organisations to tackle unemployment, particularly as the criteria for social housing means that many residents are on low incomes or have barriers to getting into work.
Raven Housing Trust runs a range of employment programmes, supporting its customers with breaking barriers to finding work, accessing quality volunteering and work experience opportunities, developing skills and confidence as well as CV advice and interview guidance. The Pathway to Employment ESF and NationalLottery Community Fund project ran between 2016 and 2023 and supported almost 200 people; including 54 into employment, 32 into education or training and 22 into active job searching.
The Surrey-based affordable housing provider also employs a dedicated Employability & Skills Manager, Julie Jacobs-Obodai, who attended the Westminster Palace gathering.
Julie said: “We know from the work we’ve already done with our customers that we are extremely well placed to help them into work, especially with so many pressures on other services and organisations. We learnt from the Pathway to Employment project what customers need; namely a person-centred and flexible approach, practical and emotional support and help with breaking down barriers into work such as confidence and skills gaps.
“It was wonderful to attend the gathering at Westminster Palace and meet so many other individuals and members working towards the same goal.”
Angela Ellis, Raven Housing Trust’s Head of Community Investments & Partnerships, added: “As Communities That Work states, work remains the single most important step out of poverty and towards well-being and is even more important during the current cost-of-living crisis and additional strain on the NHS. At Raven we work tirelessly to support our customers into work, so we were incredibly proud to be involved in the launch of this important campaign.”
A Future that Works will run into the first 100 days of the next government, following the next general election, focussing on working with the government to prioritise housing associations when creating strategy to increase employability and skills, and emphasising the value of the social housing sector in supporting people into work.
Raven Housing Trust is now looking to continue its valuable work with customers by focussing on supporting those in low-income roles into more secure employment, as well as continuing to support customers into initial forms of work or training.