Richmond Fellowship scoops ERSA employability award

ERSA Award 2015

Richmond Fellowship’s East Surrey Employment Service fought off stiff competition to secure the ERSA Employability Award for Supply Chain Partner of the Year at an awards ceremony in London last night (16 June).

The ERSA awards recognise organisations throughout the country who work to help job seekers find meaningful employment. The award was presented by the minister of state for employment, Priti Patel.

The East Surrey team was nominated by G4S for its partnership with them on their Work Programme. We were recognised as ‘The best performing subcontractor across all G4S Work Programme Delivery.’

The judges said: “RF has developed an in-work support system which understands that people’s problems do not go away once they find employment. As a result, over 70% of those who find a job keep their job. Due to its high performance the team took over all referrals in Redhill from November 2014, replacing a much larger provider. Despite doubling caseloads, the team have increased engagement with every new customer and maintained its previous level of performance.”

Olive Aherne, locality manager for Richmond Fellowship in East Surrey, said: “We’re very proud to receive this award from ERSA. It shows the successes our service achieves with people living with mental health problems and reflects all the hard work the team has put in to making recovery reality for the people we support.

“The people our services provide support to are highly motivated and hardworking individuals who may have been out of work for some time and are delighted with the opportunity to develop and prove themselves to an employer. For employers, hiring the people our service supports brings additional skills and creates a workforce that reflects the diverse range of people in the community they serve.”

Richmond Fellowship fought off five other nominated organisations including Elite Supported Employment Agency, Papworth Trust and Zest to secure the accolade.

This year’s award judges were Ed Cox, director of IPPR North; Elisabeth Paulson, investment director at Impetus PEF; and John Michalski, commercial director for Department for Work and Pensions. ERSA received over 200 award entries, a record breaking number.

They said: “The employment support sector does a tremendous job helping jobseekers into work. But often we see the sector just in terms of figures, whether that’s numbers into work or benefits saved.  However, these miss the true story of hard work and commitment by organisations, advisors, employers and the jobseekers themselves. 

“All our finalists have an incredible story to tell, be it the journey of jobseekers who overcome great adversity to enter the workforce or the organisations who try something different to change people’s lives.”

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