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The ERSA Employability Awards finalists have been announced!

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#ERSAAwards21: The covid employability challenge 2021

Watch the ERSA Employability Awards Announcement on 25 November at 2pm live on FE News

This year’s finalists


Outstanding Contribution to the Sector sponsored by Recro Consulting
A truly inspiring individual who will be nationally recognised as a champion and ambassador for the sector


The Covid Employability Challenge’ in 2021? 

Now in their ninth year, the ERSA awards celebrate best practice in the employment support sector and demonstrate the hard work and dedication of those working to improve the lives of jobseekers, communities, and the wider workforce. This year over 200 entries were received from private, voluntary, social enterprise and public sector organisations across the UK.

This year’s theme recognises ‘The Covid Employability Challenge’ and the shortlist includes a wide variety of organisations and individuals who have delivered exceptional service and support to disadvantaged groups during the pandemic.

The 11 award categories highlight the range of work being undertaken to help people gain employment, from stand-out advisers demonstrating extraordinary commitment in a frontline role to teams supporting individuals and communities hardest hit by the pandemic, as well as the exceptional jobseekers and learners they support.

Elizabeth Taylor, CEO of ERSA

Elizabeth Taylor, ERSA CEO says: 

“We have been overwhelmed by the response to the ERSA Employability Awards and the truly inspiring work of all those who have gone above and beyond in what has been an incredibly challenging year.

“Thank you to all those who entered – you should be incredibly proud of your achievements – and a huge well done to all those who have made the shortlist. We can’t wait for the winners to be revealed at the end of November.”

Also open to non-ERSA members, the employability awards recognise any organisation involved in the sector. 

This year’s entries were judged by Associate Professor Jo Ingold, Department of Management, Deakin University; Sam Windett, Deputy Director, Learning and Work Institute; and Jagdeep Soor, Programme Manager at the Centre for Ageing Better and Gill Holmes, Director, Contract Management and Partner Delivery, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

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The winners will be announced during a hybrid networking event with live stream and viewing parties around the UK on Thursday 25 November.

Sponsored by Cognisoft and Clarion Futures, the awards are your opportunity to hail a remarkable year and enjoy the recognition of your accomplishments.   

Thank you to our sponsors, supports and partners

Save the dates

Friday 18 June                  awards open
Friday 1 October               awards close
October                             The awards are currently closed for judging
Tuesday 2 November       shortlist announced at the Communications and Political Insights Network
Thursday 25 November    awards announced
Friday 26 November         Employability Day: Presenting this year’s winners! #ERSAAwards21 #Employability

Additional information and support

Judged by an independent panel of industry experts, the ERSA Awards are an official commendation of exceptional best practice. They are also an opportunity to demonstrate the integrity of your services and business principles, plus they are a real draw for new employees, supplier partners and funders.

The presentation of the winners will be announced via a live broadcast event in front of ministers and sector stakeholders. 

Are you interested in hosting a viewing party on Thursday 25 November for your own organisation and local partners? Get in touch with the team to register your interest!

The Awards are a fantastic springboard for raising your organisation’s profile whether you’re shortlisted or a winner.

Ways to support this year’s awards!

  • Save the dates
  • Shout about the awards across social media using our hashtag #ERSAAwards21
  • Host or attend a viewing party with your teams and partners in your local community!

Watch as the finalists are announced

The finalists were announced at an ERSA forum meeting on 2 November and later by media release Award finalists rise to ‘The Covid Employability Challenge’. Some of the inspiring entries submitted as video’s,

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