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PPDG takes Pride in Aston jobs success

PPDG takes Pride in Aston jobs success
A training and employment initiative in one of the UKs most deprived inner-city areas has celebrated helping 270 unemployed people into work and improving the skills of more than 460 local residents.
Employment experts Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG) worked alongside the Aston Pride New Deal for the Community project to help local people end their long-term unemployment ordeals.
Challenges faced by the team operating in the Aston area of Birmingham included breaking down cultural barriers among the local population and changing long held perceptions of worklessness.
Simon Topman, independent chairman of Aston Pride, said: Aston Pride has been assessed as the number one performing New Deal for the Community project. A major part of that success has been our great success in getting more people into work than any other NDC.
And that is in major part down to our partnership with Pertemps People Development Group. Of our many partners none has been more committed or professional than PPDG. Its wonderful to have a great working relationship but success is what counts. Together we have made a huge difference to life in Aston.
The latest Birmingham City Council report on unemployment figures shows a 1% reduction in worklessness in the Aston Pride area.
Aston Pride Employment Connection was a two-year project that finished at the end of March. PPDGs task was to engage with local people and encourage them to enter into training and employment.
Achievements include engaging with more than 700 clients despite the challenging environment, helping 461 people improve their skills through training, and supporting 240 into sustained employment.
PPDG project manager Malcolm Buchanan, based at the companys Newtown Advancement Centre, said: I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the dedicated staff that have worked very hard to make this project a success they have improved the lives of many local people.
The biggest challenge has been breaking down the cultural barriers present within the Aston Pride area and to change long term perceptions of worklessness. However, our success in overcoming this challenge has made a huge difference to the local community.
The highlights of the project have been the volume of organizations that PPDG has linked into, expanding local awareness of our services. We have had the opportunity to further embed PPDG into the local community providing a fantastic resource and an excellent service. We have worked extremely hard to build and sustain relationships with local Jobcentre Plus offices which will stand us in good stead for future partnership working.
PPDG delivers the Governments Welfare to Work strategy across the Midlands through Flexible New Deal, Work Focused Training and other employment initiatives. PPDG is using its vast experience of helping long-term unemployed people get back into work to help local jobseekers secure employment opportunities.
PPDGs team of employment experts provides advice on benefits, confidence building, one-to-one support, CV and interview preparation as well as finding the right job or training course. In partnership with DWP, the Ministry of Justice and Jobcentre Plus, PPDG delivers a diverse range of employment and training initiatives including Flexible New Deal, Working Neighbourhoods Fund, Learndirect and many ESF funded programmes.
More than 100,000 job seekers have been helped into sustained employment by the company since the projects began.  It has trained 130,000 people in vocational skills, and over 175,000 people have benefitted from professional information, advice and guidance services.Aston Pride - a 10-year, 54 million regeneration initiative which ended in March - aimed to transform the economic culture of Aston by reducing unemployment and raising household incomes.  It encouraged residents to aspire to achieve their fullest potential and collaborate in acquiring a sense of common purpose and community identity.  It also provided intelligent support for training, learning, the social economy, and business investment and development.


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