Livin Housing's employability programme provides a wide range of opportunities to young people of all ages and abilities, helping them gain employment, apprenticeships and qualifications.
What the judges thought
- This was a small but perfectly formed approach tailored to meet the urgent needs of the local area.
- Livin had an impressively comprehensive range of programmes, all sharply focused on tackling a real business need.
- The approach has grown organically and successfully through a willingness to work with partners.
Social and business impacts
- The programme generated £1.5 million in economic value.
- Over 500 young people benefited from careers advice and many were inspired to progress onto vocational courses and qualifications.
- The programme delivered 4,700 hours of work experience through 125 placements across 20 organisations.
- 120 residents gained full-time permanent employment.
- An additional £75,000 of funding was generated through partnerships, increasing investment in local communities.
- Livin Housing saved £7,200 in recruitment costs through successfully recruiting apprentices into entry-level employment.
- The STOP (Survey, Test, Overhaul, Prevent) programme of housing repairs, designed by an maintenance operations apprentice, saved the company £40,000 per annum.
Housing provider livin serves a community in County Durham with high levels of deprivation, intergenerational unemployment, benefit dependency and low aspirations.
Its employability programme, delivered in partnership with local employers, has helped over 500 young people improve their employability through a combination of careers advice, work experience, one-on-one mentoring, training and access to entry level employment such as apprenticeships.
It has addressed practical barriers to employment, with 100% of trainees gaining employment, several with livin. The programme also has delivered £1.5 million in economic value.
The story in detail
“ Livin Housing are showing that when local companies focus their programmes on a single issue a huge positive impact can be achieved. ”
New pathways to employment
Livin Housing Ltd, based in a County Durham, provides housing in communities that experience high levels of deprivation, inter-generational unemployment, benefit dependency and low aspirations. The business is about improving the lives of the people in these communities, and tackling unemployment is part of this.
Designed to open doors and give people the best chance of getting a job, the programme offers a choice of 18 pathways delivered in partnership with Mears, Sunderland Football Club’s Foundation and others. It also includes apprenticeships with Livin Housing itself as part of the business’s 'grow your own' philosophy.
From careers advice to full time jobs
The company's employability programme initially set out to help 100 people per year into employment, training or education. Since then it has expanded to include pre-apprenticeships, school-based programmes and skills foundations.
Careers advice is an intrinsic element of the programme, starting with primary schools and continuing through to higher apprenticeship programmes. Over 500 young people have received careers advice, and the programme also offer personal development plans, one-to-one mentoring and training/revision sessions to ensure young people reach their potential.
Work placements help young people to build confidence, prepare them for the world of work and inspire them in their chosen career.
Low levels of attainment coupled with low aspiration mean the young people applying for Livin’s programmes are often at a disadvantage. To address this, the company added traineeships to the programme, providing intensive support to deal with the practical barriers to employment (personal problems, transport, personal finance, etc). To date 100% of trainees have gained employment.
Young people in these communities may not always have the required qualifications and skills to apply for a job, so the company has developed fairer recruitment processes to that allows it to recruit young people with potential who do not immediately tick all the boxes.
Once in work, personal development is important. Apprentices are paid the living wage, given the same terms and conditions of employment as staff and supported through buddies and mentors. They are also given opportunities to represent Livin as apprentice ambassadors.
What Livin Housing's CEO said:
“Young people are core to the success of our social and business aspirations – they’re our future. Six years ago we saw gaps in service provision – Livin Futures plugged those gaps. Through the programme we engage with hundreds of young people of all ages and abilities, delivering high quality, sustained programmes that really do open doors, giving young people the best chance of getting a job. The programme’s 18 pathways from pre-school to adulthood really do inspire young people to progress onto great things and Livin Futures really can claim it has improved lives.” - Colin Steel, CEO, Livin Housing