Why it’s important for us to support UK Employability Day – 15th April 2016

As a membership body, we’ve always been really proud of the work undertaken by our members, so each year we compile a set of statistics that demonstrates the impact of their work. One of the statistics that we published as part of our #NENAndProud campaign at the beginning of 2016 showed that 62% of the […]

employability-dayAs a membership body, we’ve always been really proud of the work undertaken by our members, so each year we compile a set of statistics that demonstrates the impact of their work. One of the statistics that we published as part of our #NENAndProud campaign at the beginning of 2016 showed that 62% of the new businesses that our members helped start last year were owned by people who had previously been unemployed. For many of our members, providing help to the unemployed has been at the heart of their services since they first began. So when we heard about the first UK Employability Day, we knew that we wanted to get behind the campaign, and encourage our members to do the same. Next Friday is the first UK Employability Day, and we’re proud to be giving our support.

If you look back at the history of the organisations run by our members, many were founded in response to increasing rates of unemployment. Economic downturn and large scale industry closures during the 1980s led the government to recognise the value of encouraging the growth of small businesses, which in turn would also provide new opportunities for the unemployed. Our members founded their businesses with a clear view that helping the unemployed become self-employed would provide a win-win situation for individuals and for the economy.

So how are our members helping the unemployed today? Well firstly, those fundamentals haven’t changed. Enterprise support organisations today still recognise that becoming self-employed is a great option for the unemployed. Whether they have suffered redundancy, or have challenging circumstances in their everyday life, the unemployed can find many advantages and benefits in starting their own business. Our members are experts in taking their clients through this process, being able to spell out the benefits and support them on this journey to self-employment. This support is a very important aspect of the work of enterprise support organisations. While many of their clients are confident and experienced in their particular field, outside this skill set they might lack the knowledge that is needed to set up a business. Again, this is where our members can really add value, by providing this essential support and advice. What’s more, research says that start-ups seeking support have much better survival rates. Within our own network of members, 81% of new businesses were trading beyond their first year.

Within our member network we are able to offer enterprise support to 100% of the English population. The local aspect of our member’s work is worth highlighting. These enterprise support organisations, as we’ve already indicated, in the majority of cases haven’t set up overnight. Many have been established for 30 years or more and with that comes a long-standing credibility within their communities. During these years they have worked hard to establish a good reputation, as well as good relationships with other organisations such as job centres. Furthermore, by being engrained within their communities for such a long time, they have built up a wealth of knowledge about their local economy. This is particularly important when it comes to being able to advise clients about the type of new businesses that will, and won’t, survive within that location. This type of local support and insight simply isn’t available, and couldn’t be provided, from a centralised support service.

It’s clear to us that our members are providing a vital employment service support, and we can back this up with statistics which show exactly what a difference they’re making. We’re proud to get behind UK Employability Day. We recognise that the work provided by our members helps people move towards employment, has a big impact on local communities and in turn, has a positive impact on people’s lives.