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Crawley Council receives funding to support BAME residents

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Crawley Borough Council has been given funding to provide tailored employment support to the town’s black and minority ethnic (BAME) residents. 

In partnership with Jobcentre Plus, the council has secured funding from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide a bespoke service, aiming to support and empower unemployed residents from the town’s BAME communities to get back into work and expand their employment opportunities.

The pandemic has brought huge job losses to the town and research has shown that those from a BAME background are among the most heavily impacted, by both the virus itself and by the recession.

The council’s new service, which launches today, will be run by Employ Crawley and will expand the suite of employment support services already offered to unemployed Crawley residents.

Jobseekers will be able to access a range of intensive employment support, including support with CV writing, interview preparation, help with reskilling into alternative careers and access to training opportunities.

Support will also be provided to help clients address barriers to employment, including health and wellbeing, housing support, benefits and debt advice.

Employ Crawley’s Hub is located on the ground floor of the Town Hall and when safe to do so, the service will also be provided in local community settings.

Currently, the service can only be accessed by phone and virtual appointment, from Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm.

To book an appointment call 07814 903871 or 07909730956 or email employcrawley@crawley.gov.uk   

Work has been undertaken to ensure the hub has all the necessary measures in place to protect against coronavirus. Once the Town Hall reopens, those attending appointments will be asked to follow safety measures.

Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said:

“Through this service, we want to engage with our BAME residents and work with them to address any barriers to employment they may have.

“It’s important that our residents feel confident so they can utilise their skills and access the right opportunities to build successful, lasting careers.”

Bev Andrews, a Customer Service Leader for Gatwick Diamond Jobcentre Plus, said:

“We know some people are struggling in these unprecedented times and have awarded Crawley Borough Council funding to provide localised and tailored employment support. Our Work Coaches are looking forward to working with the council to ensure that everyone in the community can access the right opportunities.”

Employ Crawley is here to help all Crawley residents, for more information about the service, visit https://investcrawley.co.uk/employment-and-skills

Business

‘It’s not nearly enough funding’ warns Crawley Council as business grant applications open

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Eligible businesses can now apply for the latest round of business grants but Crawley Borough Council says the funding is not nearly enough.

Despite Crawley being responsible for 25 per cent of the economic output in West Sussex, it has been given some of the lowest grant funding in the county.

The government has given the council £3,733,396 made up of:

  • £1,485,216 in Local Restrictions Support Grant to distribute to businesses that pay business rates and have had to close during the second lockdown
  • £2,248,180 in Additional Restrictions Grant, which is given to businesses that don’t pay business rates and have been affected by the lockdown but not legally required to close.

Out of seven local authorities in West Sussex, only one received less than Crawley’s combined grants figure. Five councils received more.

The Additional Restrictions Grant is based on £20 per person in Crawley rather than the number of businesses in the town. This means that Arun District Council, for example, has received £3,215,160 due to a larger population but smaller economy.

And only one council in West Sussex received less than Crawley across both rounds of grant funding in April and November. Crawley received a total of £17,167,646. The highest – Chichester District Council – received £43,739,396.

In the first round of grants earlier this year only 23 per cent of Crawley businesses received financial help from the government.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“The pot of grant funding provided by the government is very limited and does not recognise the number of businesses we have in Crawley.

“The way the grant settlement is calculated – on population and not on the size of the economy – means we have to turn most businesses away, while other councils have millions to spare. This is causing major hardship at a time when Crawley is already the hardest-hit economy in the UK.”

Businesses that have had to close during the second lockdown can apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant by visiting https://grantapproval.co.uk

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