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Building Better Futures +
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Bolton, in Greater Manchester has a lower than average uptake of educational opportunities compared to other parts of the UK. This is even more pronounced when considering the educational attainment of people living in the most deprived wards of the Bolton borough. The Building Better Futures+ project will enhance the employability and mobility of people aged 18-64 who are long term unemployed UK residents and who are facing multiple forms of disadvantage. We will target people with no, outdated, or non-UK recognised qualifications and who are also currently in receipt of at least one form of government benefit. We will recruit 40 participants to travel to either Romania or Hungary to work with communities and individuals who are living in very challenging circumstances (e.g. Roma communities). The project will last two years and there will be four different groups traveling to the host countries over that period. The work placement will form part of a wider year-long training programme, which will include gaining a vocational qualification in construction skills, customer care or administration, as well as a EUROPASS Mobility Document. Throughout the programme, participants will also work to improve their social, language and cultural skills, whilst undertaking modules such as health and safety, workplace etiquette, CV writing, computer skills and valuing diversity. Literacy, numeracy and English language will be included as part of the programme, where necessary. The participants will support each other through the study period and we will use the opportunity to travel as an incentive to remain engaged with the programme, as well as to help broaden their horizons and support each other. The partners organisations are: Bolton at Home (social housing provider); FAST (Romanian charity based in Brasov); and MET-FU (Hungarian charity based in Budapest). The placement will help build confidence and give the participants renewed motivation to achieve their employment goals, by acquiring new skills, communicating with other language speakers and developing teaching and coaching skills. In terms of the whole project, we will judge its success through the retention of participants, the number of qualifications gained and feedback from participants in terms of enjoyment, relevance and finally whether employment is achieved. In each year of the project, two cohorts will travel (one to Romania, the other to Hungary), thus gaining practical experiences that will change their outlook on life, personal expectations and aspirations. The project will also enable people to make strong friendships, learn independence and gain first hand experience of different language and cultures. It will also help the participants to develop greater understanding, empathy and compassion for people who are from communities that are even more deprived than their own.

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