Dorset 25+ years  unemployed or economically inactive urged to take advantage of £785,000 to develop skills and progress onto a range of positive outcomes that include employment, education, apprenticeships and voluntary work.

European Social Funding has invested in a programme of support for young people in Devon and Somerset to get into work, education or training.  The investment is part of the Dorset Growth Programme. This project has now been extended to March 2019.

The Dorset CEIAG Access to Employment project which is open to participants aged over the age of 25 who are unemployed or inactive. The project also has a strong focus on supporting STEM and addressing employment challenges in the region including Financial Services, Manufacturing, Wholesale, Food Services, Education, Health, Retail and Motor Trades.

The project was awarded in January 2017 to CSW Group who specialise in helping people to move on in work, life and education. The project is delivered through a skilled subcontractor network supporting those over the age of 25 (from priority groups) to move closer to employment or further education in line with LEP priorities.  Dorset CEIAG Access to Employment has so far helped 548 learners to complete 856 training courses with nearly 300 moving into meaningful progressions.

Over 25 year olds who are unemployed or inactive access this service locally and select from a wide range of training to build confidence, resilience and learn how to overcome personal barriers whilst aligning the individual to careers that are important to the future of the region. Learners can anticipate to gain support find a job volunteering, education or an Apprenticeship.

Paul Hobson, Chief Executive of CSW said, “We are delighted that the Education & Skills Funding Agency are entrusting CSW Group to continue to positively impact those over 25 who are unemployed or inactive in the Dorset LEP area. As an organisation that champions access to high quality advice and guidance, especially to those from marginalised backgrounds, we are extremely pleased to continue our work and support more people to overcome barriers and move into employment or further learning. Over the past twenty years CSW has raised the aspirations of thousands of individuals, enabling them to build a brighter future. I would urge anyone over 25 who are unemployed or inactive to contact us today and gain some support.”

Good News Story:

When Vikki started on the CEIAG programme she had been unemployed for 6 months.  She had previously worked in behind-the-scenes roles in retail, but was looking for a career change into a less physical, more administrative role.  Vikki had just completed the ECDL L2 at Best Training and needed some support with her CV and to build her confidence overall.

I worked closely with Vikki to offer support both on a 1-1 basis and within a small group.  Vikki lip reads and finds it difficult to follow conversations in large groups, so I always made sure she was working with people who were sensitive to her needs.  We updated her CV and also considered volunteering opportunities for her to engage with to help gain experience in her chosen field.

Vikki was subsequently taken on as an admin volunteer at Best Training for a six month placement for two days per week.  During this placement, Vikki was instrumental in archiving old files and assisting tutors with photocopying, creating files and data compliance.

Since taking on her voluntary role, Vikki has recently been employed by The Shaw Trust (via Abilities) to work at Best Training for three days per week.

She has continued with her support administrative work and has been invaluable in organising archiving and filing.  She has also continued to support colleagues with general administration and data compliance, working with sensitive and confidential data on a daily basis.  Vikki has also maintained spreadsheets and learned to use the in-house IT system.

Anyone wishing to find out more or access the CEIAG Dorset programme to enhance their career should contact

In Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly CSW Group offer opportunities for unemployed young people to gain new skills and find employed, apprenticeships or further education. In Solent CSW Group deliver free skills training for the employed and unemployed.

This project is financed by the European Union through the European Social Fund