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Finalists for 2018 ERSA Employability Awards announced

Today, ERSA announced the finalists for the 2018 Employability Awards, sponsored by Clarion Futures, at its AGM in London. The list of finalists includes a wide variety of organisations and individuals demonstrating exceptional service and support to help people into employment.

Now in its sixth year, the ERSA Employability Awards celebrate best practice across the employment support sector and seek to demonstrate the day-to-day hard work and dedication of those working to improve the lives of jobseekers, communities and the wider workforce. 

The ten award categories highlight the breadth of work supporting people into employment, from advisers working with jobseekers to build their confidence to organisations pioneering innovative ways of supporting people onto the right career path, and employers going that extra mile to adapt their practices to support those with greater needs.

The 2018 ERSA Employability Awards received over 150 entries from across the UK. This year’s entries were judged by Ashwin Kumar, Chief Economist at Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Tabitha Jay, Director of the Work and Health Unit, Gill Holmes, Senior DWP official and last year’s winner of the Adviser of the Year award, Adrian Bailey of Prisoners Abroad. 

The winners will be announced at a special ceremony on 14 June, attended by the Minister for Employment, Alok Sharma MP.

ERSA’s Chief Executive, Kirsty McHugh, said: 

‘Once again, the ERSA Employability Awards attracted a huge number of high-quality entries from diverse and innovative organisations across the UK. I do not envy our judges who have the difficult task of selecting winners from an extremely strong field of finalists which really showcase the superb work taking place in our sector. 

‘We look forward to welcoming finalists to the awards on 14 June, along with the Minister for Employment, Alok Sharma, to enjoy an evening of celebration for organisations, employers and individuals that are making a difference to transforming people’s lives.’

The full list of finalists is as follows: 

Youth Employment

  • London Youth
  • TwentyTwenty
  • Nova Training
  • Sova (nominated by Birmingham Youth Offending Service)
  • ELITE Supported Employment Agency
  • Actes Trust
  • Leonard Cheshire

Disability and Health Employment

  • Pluss
  • Project SEARCH Barnstaple (nominated by Petroc)
  • Enterprise Mentoring (nominated by Kennedy Scott)
  • Magna Vitae (nominated by Alabare)
  • CamdenAbility (nominated by Cross River Partnership)
  • Genius Within CIC
  • The Job Club (nominated by Manchester Deaf Centre)

Partner of the Year

  • Vista Training Solutions (nominated by Catch22)
  • Blackpool Council – Positive Steps into Work Service (nominated by G4S)
  • Enterprise Mentoring (nominated by Kennedy Scott)
  • Vital Regeneration (nominated by Westminster City Council)
  • Achieve Northwest Connect (nominated by Career Connect)
  • Pecan (nominated by G4S)
  • St Giles Trust (nominated by Reed in Partnership)


  • whg
  • Policy in Practice
  • Royal Mencap Society
  • Clean Sheet
  • Centrepoint Works South
  • Reform Radio
  • Citadel Associates (SY)

Large Employer of the Year

  • Virgin Trains Talent Academy (nominated by Virgin West Coast) 
  • Keltbray Group (nominated by Novus)
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Northern Devon Healthcare Trust
  • Primark (nominated by Reed in Partnership)

SME of the Year

  • Pobl (nominated by Working Links)
  • B&M Stores, Portsmouth (nominated by Shaw Trust)
  • Rose’s Home Care Limited (nominated by Kennedy Scott)
  • Drayton Manor (nominated by Shaw Trust)

Team of the Year

  • Monmouthshire Housing Association – The Work and Skills Wise Team
  • Torus – Employment Team
  • Adviza – Custody Core & Inspiration Team
  • The Prince’s Trust, Talent Match Leicestershire – Hidden Talent Team
  • Down’s Syndrome Association – Work Fit Team
  • London Borough of Newham – Supported Employment Team
  • Sovereign Housing Association – Employment and Training Team
  • Thames Valley Housing Association – Training & Employment Team

Adviser of the Year

  • Katherine Ashton (nominated by Working Links)
  • Sandra Grubb (nominated by Working Links)
  • Dilan Al-Monsur (nominated by Catch22)
  • Tanya Weston (nominated by Genius Within)
  • Heather Jones (nominated by Pluss)
  • Mark Turnbull (nominated by Kennedy Scott)
  • Veronica Mulenga (nominated by Down’s Syndrome Association

Significant Achiever

  • Ruby Pepper (nominated Kennedy Scott)
  • Katie Smith (nominated The Prince’s Trust, Talent Match Leicestershire)
  • Tom Sewell (nominated Down’s Syndrome Association)
  • Angela Tyler (nominated by Sovereign Housing Association)
  • Kelly Mckie (nominated by The Prince’s Trust, Talent Match Middlesbrough)
  • Ramez Allahham (nominated by Yorkshire Coast Homes)

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