Delivery of Travel Training to Help Overcome Barriers to Employment. Hampshire County Council: A Case Study
Lisa Bloomer, Atkins, Nicola Scott, Atkins
Discussion of the impact of travel training delivery, engaging with jobseekers and employment support agencies, to overcome barriers to employment. Refined approach to personalised travel planning for interview and accessing work opportunities.
This paper will discuss the implementation of travel training to jobseekers within five target areas of Hampshire (UK): Alton; Petersfield; Ringwood; Aldershot and Bordon. Hampshire was awarded a Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) for the period 2015-16 within two workstreams:
• Stepping up connectivity in the Sci:Tech Corridor and the Blackwater Valley (‘the EM3 project’)
• Supporting the economy by transforming travel connectivity in Rural Hampshire (‘the Rural project’)
This paper focuses on a core group of people (jobseekers) with particular transport needs to access interviews, training and work opportunities in the context of lower incomes and variable service provision to access employment centres in the EM3 and Rural project areas.
The paper will seek to answer some key questions, including: How can partnership working enhance the accessibility of work opportunities to jobseekers? How can stronger links be developed to improve connectivity for jobseekers? What areas are most important for improving access for rural jobseekers to employment centres?
• Delivery of travel training in practice – the aims of the training course; benefits for the jobseeker; and benefits for the employment support organisation
• Hampshire My Journey LSTF Access to Opportunities programme 15/16 – case study of travel training delivery in target towns in Hampshire;
• Partnership working – longer term benefits of collaboration with non-transport focused organisations, which result in more far reaching outcomes e.g. helping people back to employment. There is also a need to establish links with other organisations providing access to transport for individuals with fewer opportunities to access the public transport network or private vehicles.
• Building a legacy – how to be adaptive in the way that transport information is provided and the different audiences that can benefit from targeted training. Staff from employment support organisations are trained to be able to deliver the sessions and disseminate transport information to their clients, which supports the LSTF legacy. Building strong links with partner organisations can help to identify any gaps in rural service provision and opportunities to promote existing ‘on demand’ or specialised (Wheels to Work) services directly to the target audience.
Purpose: The paper will examine how provision of transport training can help overcome barriers to employment through partnership working and broadened travel horizons. A case study approach will be used to demonstrate the practical application of travel training for a range of employment support organisations within Hampshire and ways in which this supports wider objectives of ‘accessing employment’.
Engaging with ‘harder to reach’ individuals (jobseekers) provides knock-on benefits for social mobility and supports local authority initiatives for improving local employment opportunities.
This is an area where future funding could be unlocked, tapping into partnership opportunities (Department for Work and Pensions / private sector employment support) to deliver joint programmes supporting policy objectives for the path back to employment. Linking employment focused programmes with Local Authorities/third party transport services supports a joined up approach to the information that is on offer and awareness of schemes in place to support rural dwellers to access areas with a greater number of employers.
What is the future? Access to employment opportunities is crucial for the sustainability of rural areas and the local economy. Aiming to support jobseekers by reducing barriers to accessing employment is key to this and partnership working that combines resources and knowledge to disseminate to jobseekers is an important area of work, promoting social mobility and reducing isolation.
Association for European Transport