Opportunity Bristol

A new delivery partnership started in April 2012 to offer additional support for unemployed people in Bristol. The new programme “Opportunity Bristol” provided support for 500 people on Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) who had been out of work for up to one year. Third Sector Solutions is a delivery partner, contributing our experience in providing mental health support where it is needed

The doorway into this service is through Jobcentre Plus Personal Advisors who refer people to TCV. TCV arranges for an in-depth initial action-planning session. JSA customers either move into work experience placements of up to 8 weeks with help to seek employment, or else they are offered a mentoring support service combined with work placements and job opportunities

The partnership is led by TCV Employment & Training Services working together with Third Sector Solutions, Aspire, Places for People, SPAN, Learning Partnership West and Prospects. TCV provide vacancy and placement information, and arranging networking and training meetings for the partnership

Bristol City Council offer full co-operation with finding placements, apprenticeships, temporary employment and permanent employment and engaging across all their departments

The partnership works closely and co-operatively together, to share resources and information and make use of community networks to create the maximum benefit for customers

The funding for this service comes from Jobcentre Plus. Local Authorities including Bristol City Council were invited to put forward proposals promoting the use of local delivery partners

Bristol CC decided to push the entire amount of funding outwards and seek the best partnership to achieve a positive impact. A tendering process was concluded with the appointment of TCV as the lead agency in March 2012

A steady stream of people seeking support occurred between TCV and Third Sector Solutions. After an in-depth “diagnostic action plan” has been put together by TCV, customers are passed on to the most relevant support agency. Third Sector Solutions has received 56 referrals over the full two years of the programme which concluded in March 2014

We achieved a 65% level of employment outcomes