From education to employment

New national awards to recognise employers” commitment to helping the unemployed

The Government is to formally recognise the contributions made by employers in helping long-term claimants back to work, with the announcement of the Local Employment Partnership (LEP) awards.

The new national awards made by the Department for Work and Pensions, will for the first time celebrate the success stories of the employers and employees across England, Scotland and Wales, who are involved in LEPs.

Employers are to be rewarded for best practice in recruitment, career progression and work-life balance. There will also be individual awards for those employees who have overcome barriers to employment and attained outstanding achievement in training. An award is also to be presented for best practice in partnership working.

Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform, Stephen Timms explained, “Were delighted that over 400 employers have already committed to work in partnership with us to support the hardest to help come off benefits and move in to work”.

At present, employers, including Asda, B&Q, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have already committed to the LEP. Employers can enter the awards on the Local Employment Partnership website ( until the closing date, on Friday 2nd May 2008.

Mr Timms continued, “The Local Employment Partnership awards will showcase those employers whogo the extra mile to help some of the most disadvantaged get into work, as well as celebrating the success and personal achievements of employees whose lives are being transformed through the scheme. Wed encourage employers and partners to consider whether they or one of their LEP employees would be eligible to enter”.

The winners of the awards will be announced at an awards ceremony at The Oval, Kennington in London, on 1st July 2008.

Jason Seebaruth

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