From education to employment

Employment charity delivers £4.3m in social value in 12 months


A leading employability skills charity well-known for helping people develop skills to secure better employment, has delivered more than £4.3m in social value for commissioners in 12 months.

Inspira works with employers and a range of organisations across the north of England to solve local skills shortages, invest in young people and reduce unemployment in targeted areas.

The charity’s Impact Report for 2021-2022, released this week, reveals more than 26,000 people accessed its services in one year.

Due to the work of its highly-skilled and experienced team across the region:

  • 10,000 young people moved into education, training or employment
  • 2,600 adults moved into a job or learning
  • 530 employers engaged with the service
  • 8,000 hours of social action were delivered

The impressive outputs from Inspira, which works mainly across Cumbria, Lancashire and the North-East, comes at a time when demand for its services has never been higher.

The cost of living crisis coming hot on the heels of Covid and Brexit is causing unique pressures on the employment market and wider society.

Mark Bowman, chief executive of Inspira, said: 

“The pressure for people to find well-paid employment and sometimes second jobs and the pressures employers are facing to recruit and retain staff is causing a unique situation. It’s certainly not a situation I have encountered in over 25 years working in Careers and Employability.

“Many employers have had a difficult time recruiting staff as we have emerged from the pandemic. Many people have re-evaluated working lives and working practices in many organisations have changed. 

“We need to do everything we can to nurture the talent that we have available. 

“As a charity Inspira is unique, delivering a wide range of programmes to help make people ready for work and give them more of a chance to succeed whether that is at the start of careers or further on in the career path.

“Even though unemployment is still relatively low, people who haven’t been in work for a while need significant support. 

“These are often “hidden unemployed”, those who are not working but don’t show in unemployment figures due to a variety of reasons, often health related. Helping this group to contribute to the economy requires significant, and often specialist, support.

“For individuals, for whatever reason, who have a period of unemployment or who have not worked for some time, gaining the confidence, skills and motivation can be difficult.  

“As a charity, our approach at Inspira of providing such work-ready skills and then crucially matching individuals with employers who have real-time vacancies is incredibly successful.  We are really proud of the impact it has.”

Inspira works with a range of public and private sector organisations across the region, including major employers in a broad range of sectors, local authorities and government organisations, to deliver opportunities for adults and young people which make a positive difference not only to those involved, but also to the economy and local communities.

Mark said:

“It’s vital that this type of work continues. Businesses, organisations, individuals of all ages and all backgrounds, the UK economy, and charities like Inspira, depend on it.”

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