News: employment

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NOMS social enterprise news

 NOMS (National Offender Management Service) is asking the social enterprise sector to develop innovative approaches to delivering key services. Bids will be invited for funding to help develop and test approaches for supervising offenders in Unpaid Work (Community Payback). Social enterprises are also being asked to develop training and employment opportunities within green technology or other sustainable industries.

The European Social Fund has provided c£400,000 for the above initiatives, with individual awards of up to £50,000 for the right projects. Further details will be announced shortly.



The Ministry of Sound

The Ministry of Justice Third Sector Conference made all the right noises in London last Thursday (4th March).

Our Chief Exec, Sally Reynolds, delivered a keynote speech at the Ministry of Justice Social Enterprise Conference last week. Calling for grant funding for Social Firm start-ups, Sally explained why the Social Firm model could help reduce re-offending by providing an alternative to the demoralising visit to the job centre an offender faces on release.

Social Firms UK’s Kathy Baker ran one of the workshops, Practical Solutions to Job Creation, where Greg Walker, CEO of CREATE UK and Brian McManus of Dee-tex gave brief presentations illustrating some of the ways in which ex-offenders are supported in the workplace.

Textiles by St Anne's celebrate

Pat Bend, Sales Manager at the Birmingham based Social Firm, Textiles by St Anne's, is celebrating an order from an International curtain company which she puts down to the Future Jobs Fund. Six of the employees are financed by the government initiative and the increased workforce gave Pat the opportunity to bid for larger contracts. Pat believes the hires also bring a positive work ethic and new skills base which their service users with mental health problems can aspire to.

Social Firms UK Full members access free employer helpline

Social Firms UK today launched a new benefit for its Full members - access to an employer helpline. Whether Full Members are faced with an HR crisis or a complex legal question, this helpline will provide them with:

  • an immediate, reliable answer to employment issues
  • a clear explanation and exploration of the implications
  • a suggested best practice approach to deal with the issues.

Types of issues covered include:

  • discipline
  • equal opportunities
  • absence
  • maternity
  • redundancy.

The service can be used on an unlimited basis.  Says Social Firms UK Chief Executive, Sally Reynolds: "We have set up the employer helpline in response to interest from members, and just knowing how difficult and challenging it can be running a Social Firm. "