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East Surrey Pathway to Employment

19th November 2020


Welcome to the November edition of our Pathway to Employment newsletter! We are continuing to work remotely but you’ll be able to see below that great work is still being achieved with some excellent outcomes for our participants! We are still open for referrals, so do get in touch!

Here’s the breakdown of the 162 participants who we have worked with so far:



  • 65 male
  • 96 female
  • 1 preferred not to say

Employment status at joining

  • 89 unemployed
  • 73 economically inactive


  • 61 lack basic skills

  • 14 over the age of 50
  • 50 under the age of 25


  • 46 with disabilities
  • 43 from ethnic minorities
  • 54 living in a single adult household with dependent children


Simon’s story

Simon was referred to the project in January 2020 by Crawley Council. He had found himself out of work after being made redundant and he had to move out of his house due to a relationship breakdown. As such, Simon was sofa-surfing with a friend and seeing his son at weekends. He turned 60 in March and felt that age was his biggest barrier in finding employment. He was also suffering from depression due to his personal circumstances. Simon was highly motivated to find work as he had always worked previously. His career had been mainly working in the building trade and his last job was as a maintenance manager at a hotel.

Through the project, Simon loaned a laptop so that he could job-search at home as he was struggling using just his mobile phone. He knew how to apply for work and what to look for, and he was successful in gaining quite a few interviews. However, he always seemed to lose out at the last hurdle, something which he attributed to his age and a lack of formal qualifications. Although Simon had plenty of experience, he did not have a CSCS card which is now needed to work on construction sites. Simon was also struggling, like many others, because of lockdown. He was supported to access the local foodbank to help him out during this time.

As construction sites weren’t open during lockdown, Simon applied for some jobs in supermarkets who were hiring but he didn’t hear back. He decided to use the down-time to complete his CSCS course. The project paid for this and he was able to complete the course online which he passed successfully. He then had to pass a CITB test which he was able to complete at a test centre. He scored 98%, proving he clearly knew his stuff! Having passed the exam, he was now able to apply for his CSCS card which the project also paid for.

Now having the qualifications as well as the experience, Simon had an interview for a maintenance position in Crawley. Finally, his hard work paid off and he was offered the job! He needed to get two buses to get to work so the project paid for a month’s bus pass until he got his first month’s salary.
Unfortunately, after three weeks, Simon was laid off as he was no longer required. This was yet another setback for him. However, he remained positive and was soon offered another long-term job in a similar position. Simon now feels ready to be exited from the project and said “I don’t think I’d be here now without Pathway to Employment. I’ve got nothing but praise for them, it’s been brilliant.” Simon has been a pleasure to work with and we wish him every success in the future.


Evaluation report

Our external evaluators recently produced their annual report on the project, for what has been a very different year. Read on to see some of their findings…

  • Upon joining the project, the average time someone has been unemployed for is 2.75 years. An interesting trend is that this has decreased over the lifetime of the project.
  • During the Covid-19 lockdown period, a lot of support focused on food and medication, with practical and emotional support to help people cope with the challenges they were facing.
  • There has been an increase in people starting college courses or online training, with lockdown giving participants time to reflect and move forward with their plans.
  • Most participants have appreciated having someone to talk to and most have stayed engaged even though contact has been made remotely. Paperwork has been challenging to complete, particularly with participants who have language barriers or who don’t own a mobile phone. However, advisors find they can be more responsive to participant requests, and telephone calls work really well for participants with children at home.
  • Since the start of lockdown, there has been an increase in referrals who have been made redundant and as such, their housing situation has become vulnerable.
  • As at the end of September 2020, the project has supported 47 people into employment or education and training.
  • The project still needs to engage more male referrals, those who are economically inactive, and the over 50s.

Outcomes during lockdown

All of the Pathway team are continuing to work from home but remain committed to supporting our participants to achieve their goals. There have been some great achievements recently, particularly in the current climate. Nine participants started college in September with courses including ESOL (English as a second language), Functional Skills, Art and Design and Barbering. Others have started online learning at home. One participant is doing online English lessons which has also helped to improve her confidence so much that she is now looking at volunteering roles too!

Several participants are also ready to exit the programme either into work or training as they feel they are now self-sufficient enough to go it alone.

We recently sent out a Survey Monkey to all participants to gather their feedback on how the first lockdown affected them, including their mental health, confidence and ability to look for work. We also asked what extra support they felt that the project could offer to them. Our findings will be shared in the next newsletter.


If you are working with anyone who fits the Pathway to Employment criteria, please do refer them to us so that they can receive targeted support to help them on their way to paid employment. We are particularly looking for people who are long-term unemployed and those who are over 50 years old.

Please contact for more information.