IMPRESS Project –
(Innovative and Meaningful Post Recruitment Employment Support Services)
IMPRESS was a €5 million cross-border project part financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)under the Interreg IVA Channel programme. The project, which was approved in July 2012, ran until June 2015 and involved delivery partners from France and England across the Channel area.
The projects targets were:
- Beneficiaries from 16 years old who recently gained employment after a 6 month-inactivity-period.
- Employers who had just entered into a contract with beneficiary.
- Support networks such as job clubs and national employment agencies and stakeholders interested in sustainable employment.
The main aim of the project was to support the following work package objectives:
- Engaging with employers to improve staff retention by providing better skills opportunities and contribute to employee’s growth and personal development.
- Work with employers to provide a package of business support services enabling their business to grow and benefit from other service provisions and networks available.
- Develop practical cross-border developed approaches and techniques to improve the performance and retention of individuals at work and overcome barriers to their sustained employment.
- Establish a post-employment support strategy across multiple employment sectors.
Throughout the 3 year-duration of the project, the key outcomes were to:
- Support 1,800 beneficiaries to sustain their employment, reaching a 50% retention rate
- Engage with a minimum of 260 businesses to improve their staff retention, boost their performance and enhance their productivity
- Deliver a range of meaningful and productive business led events to offer essential training and awareness of support services available, plus an insight into how to improve an employer’s current HR policies and practice to support the retention of their employees.
The IMPRESS Partners
- Medway Council
- Wiltshire Council
- Cambridgeshire County Council
- Plymouth and District MIND
- WSX Enterprise Ltd.
- Maison de l'emploi de la formation professionnelle et de l'insertion du pays de Saint Brieuc;
- Agefos PME Normandie
- Carvin entreprise
- CCAS Carvin
Here are some examples of people who were supported during the project:
Philippa had health problems and a physical disability and was unemployed for a number of years. After moving to the local area, the issues were further compacted by her low self esteem and confidence as a result of no longer having contact with her family or friends.
She registered at her local job centre and was allocated a lone parent advisor. She then undertook a work experience opportunity which assisted her in securing a part-time job.
However, the transition into work was difficult. Philippa continued to have low self esteem and she felt that her health and physical issues where letting her down. She then joined IMPRESS.
With the IMPRESS project, her Employment Support Worker set up weekly meetings so a support plan could be put into place. The plan included the following:
- Child Care: We identified a child care facility and helped Philippa to negotiate a weekly payment plan for the summer holidays
- Travel: We looked into public transport options, times and advised on types of ticket
- Training: We were able to help Philippa find and access free training
- Health Issues: The Employment Support Worker encouraged and supported Philippa to attend all her appointments with medical professionals. She now feels less nervous and anxious about going to appointments.
- Motivation/Self Esteem: We helped her speak to her Doctor and access counselling and support from an outside agency.
Dominic was 28 years old, and suffered from long term depression / anxiety and other health issues which had stopped him from working. He also had a son who lived with his parents.
Dominic started to volunteer as an administration officer with a local business and really enjoyed this. He was later offered a job and his Job Centre advisor recommended that he approached the IMPRESS team for help. With the help and support of our Employment Support Workers Dominic managed to undergo further training, support with health issues, and now has higher self-esteem.
He has sustained his employment and has also gone on to get a promotion and a full time permanent contract of employment. Dominic is now a Finance assistant and is studying at college doing an AAT course in Finance.