Local community and not-for-profit organisations are being encouraged by Portsmouth City Council to apply for a grant of up to £60,000 to support individuals facing complex barriers into employment.
The Solent Supporting Employment programme is offering grants for organisations in the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area with a proven record in employability to deliver new and innovative projects.
£300,000 is available for organisations in Portsmouth for projects which must focus on getting people closer to, or into, employment and be aimed at those from BAME communities, people with disabilities, long-term unemployed and/or individuals marginalised by factors such as mental health issues, age and homelessness.
The £1.76million programme has been launched by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) and is part-funded by the European Social Fund, Hampshire County Council, Southampton City Council, Portsmouth City Council and HIWCF donors.
Cllr Steve Pitt, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, said:
"We have always been committed to helping individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds gain access to employment, but in the wake of the pandemic and unemployment significantly rising, this is more important now than ever before.
"These grants will allow our community organisations to help people in our city as they move towards employment."
Portsmouth City Council will be working closely with HIVE Portsmouth to ensure organisations supported by HIVE are aware of the grants, but applications from all voluntary and third-sector organisations in the city are welcomed.
Louise Wilders, CEO at HIVE Portsmouth, said:
"We know there are organisations in Portsmouth already working with individuals who want to get into employment. Many of these people are facing barriers daily, and the barriers have been enhanced during the pandemic. It's a really difficult time for many who are currently out of work and seeking employment.
"The grants offer a vital resource to support our community organisations and I hope that many groups will be thinking of new and exciting projects to support employability in the city."
Organisations wanting to apply are encouraged to register for one of two online briefing sessions in the next few weeks, and submit their application before Wednesday 16 September. Grants of between £30,000 and £60,000 are available.
Find out more on the HIWCF website.