Jobs and skills scheme run by East Coast College needs input from Norfolk groups

People behind the Norfolk Community College.
Picture by TMS Media

People behind the Norfolk Community College. Picture by TMS Media - Credit: Archant

A new scheme to help people across Norfolk find jobs and increase their skills and confidence is appealing for organisations to sign up to help facilitate it.

East Coast College is inviting community, voluntary and social enterprise groups to join its Norfolk Community College project, which was launched last month.

The project has been awarded £1.9m to support 1,000 adults across Norfolk, helping them to improve their confidence, increase their skills and gain sustainable employment.

As well as the scheme's main large providers, the college has set aside £225,000 of the project's budget to invest in the capabilities and skills of community, voluntary and social enterprise groups which want to take part.

Stuart Jennings, project lead for Norfolk Community College, said: 'Norfolk has a strong and diverse community, voluntary and social enterprise sector.

'With this project we wanted to set a standard for investing in these groups, in a way that properly recognises their contribution to achieving positive change.

'In the past, projects have sometimes been very happy to make use of these groups without funding them. To us, that approach feels both unethical and unsustainable, and I am proud of the very different approach we are taking.'

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The £225,000 funding will be used for what is called a dynamic purchasing system which will see chosen groups and sole traders bid for work in a lots system.

The project is initially funded until December 2019 when it will have supported at least 1,000 adults aged over 25 across the county.

Simon O'Leary, from First Local, has been supporting the college to design its approach and is confident it has found a way to address some of the shortfalls of previous partnership projects.

He said: 'In providing the opportunity for smaller-scale delivery, the college are setting a good example on how to think differently about partnership working, and how to support more widely the growth of small and medium sized enterprises.' The Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund have supported the college with funding.

Organisations until noon July 28 to apply. Email

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