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The winners of the ERSA Employability Awards 2017, sponsored by Clarion Housing Group, were announced last night at an evening ceremony attended by the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Penny Mordaunt MP, and hosted by BBC journalist Kirsty Lang. National social business and charity, Catch22 received the ‘highly commended’ award in the Youth Employment category recognising their work with 16-24 year olds who aren’t in employment, education, or training to find a supportive place of work and their professional purpose.
The highly commended award reflects Catch22’s long record of public service delivery, designing and delivering services that transform lives and build stronger communities. This year, Catch22 supported 1088 individuals across the UK into jobs and apprenticeships. Their reputation for delivery means they often work with the hardest to reach individuals with multiple barriers to employment, from family breakdown and young parenthood to lack of recent or relevant work experience.
Tony Carr, Director of Employability, Catch22 said: ‘Last night twelve Catch22 staff members attended the ERSA Employability Awards, an annual event recognising exceptional people and services supporting unemployed people.  Catch22 was shortlisted for the Youth Employment Award (second year running) and were up against an impressive shortlist including London Youth and Leonard Cheshire Disability.  We received a high commendation for our work supporting young people access jobs and apprenticeships.  I’d like to thank the operations team who work so hard for their clients; it’s a tough job but their dedication and determination means more people with life situations that create barriers to work are accessing better opportunities for them and their families.  So they are all winners!’
Matthew Lewendon, Operations Manager, Catch22 said: ‘Last night was an amazing evening meeting colleagues from other organisations, and seeing how our industry really makes such a difference to thousands of people around the country. It really instilled a sense of pride for the work we do. I’m glad our advisors were there because it is their work that directly affects the change within our young people’s lives. It was inspiring for them to hear about other ways of working and see real life good news stories on a stage in front of them.’
Kirsty McHugh, Chief Executive of ERSA, said: ‘These awards celebrate the very best in class – the frontline advisers and partners who go above and beyond to support people into work, the businesses who give employees a chance in their workforce and the jobseekers themselves, who often overcome a range of barriers to enter work and transform their lives and those around them.  This year, the entries were of a particularly high quality and our judges had an extremely difficult task picking the winners. Their work deserves to be recognised and the awards give us an opportunity to say thank you and celebrate their achievements.’
The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Penny Mordaunt MP said: ‘It’s truly inspiring to hear stories about the excellent work that businesses are doing to help people get into, and stay in employment. This would not be possible without the tireless efforts of frontline staff who make such a difference to people’s lives every single day. Congratulations to all this year’s winners – I hope their success will encourage others too.'
About Catch22: Catch22 is a social business, a not for profit business with a social mission. For over 200 years we have designed and delivered services that build resilience and aspiration in people and communities. Our 1600 colleagues work at every stage of the social welfare cycle, supporting 40,000 individuals from cradle to career. Today we deliver apprenticeships and employability programmes, children’s social care, alternative education, justice and rehabilitation services, gangs intervention work, emotional wellbeing and substance misuse programmes.
 
In Apprenticeships and Employability, Catch22 delivers high quality and responsive apprenticeships and employability programmes that are relevant to the needs and aspirations of learners and job seekers, and that fulfil the requirements of employers.
 
Our vision is a strong society where everyone has a good place to live, a purpose and good people around them. We exist to ensure that these are achievable for everyone, no matter what their background. All of our work is underpinned by this vision for a public services system that is more human, unlocks the capacity in society, and champions local accountability.

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