Communities across Herefordshire are to benefit from a £1.7m project aimed at tackling poverty by supporting people into work and training.

The programme will see people in deprived areas who are struggling to find jobs receive one-to-one help and support to gain confidence and learn new skills.

Led by training and supported employment organisation Landau Limited, the project will be delivered across Herefordshire by more than 10 partner providers and is designed to help people overcome a huge range of challenges in their lives and communities.

Landau’s ‘BBO Herefordshire’ project is part of the Building Better Opportunities programme funded by the European Social Fund and the Big Lottery Fund, which has worked with The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to identify local need and priorities.

LEP Director Gill Hamer said: “One of the LEP’s priorities is to get people into jobs and out of poverty. This project will provide much needed support to hundreds of people across Herefordshire who want to improve their chances of getting and keeping a job. By helping put them on the path to employment, we are in turn, thanks to this funding, building thriving communities.”

Suzanne Price, the BBO Herefordshire Project Manager, said: “The BBO Herefordshire project will focus on those who are furthest from the labour market. Finding them jobs will be one measure of success, alongside helping participants to progress onto other training, education or volunteering opportunities.

“We will support people through the transition to work or learning, help them gain skills, including digital and financial skills, and provide ongoing support while they find their feet in new jobs.”

James Harcourt, England grant making director at the Big Lottery Fund, added: “The Building Better Opportunities programme has already achieved huge success in helping people to improve their skills, motivation and employment prospects. We’re proud to be supporting local organisations in targeting key local needs, and would like to thank National Lottery players for making the programme possible.”

The BBO Herefordshire project will help people facing barriers to employment because they lack qualifications, live in an isolated rural area, have caring or childcare responsibilities, or have problems with ill health or disability, or face other problems such as discrimination due to their race or age group.

It will provide pre-employment support for people aged 19 and over who are not in work and focus on encouraging participants to get involved in training, education or volunteering opportunities and to eventually be able to progress towards and into employment.

Landau will work with 11 partner organisations to help deliver the project and collectively will employ 47 staff, providing 17 new jobs and securing 30 posts at potential risk. The project will provide access to a wide and diverse range of volunteering opportunities enabling more unemployed people move into further education or training having acquired basic skills, increased confidence and motivation through participation on the project.

Among areas covered by the project are Golden Post – Newton Farm, Hunderton, Hunderton-Bishops Meadow, Newton Farm – Brompton Road, Redhill – Belmont Road, Leominster – Gateway, Grange and Ridgemoor, Ross – John Kyrle