Work Routes helps 500 people from the South East into work

09 March 2018

South East 500

500 previously unemployed people from the South East have started work after enlisting the support of our ESF-funded Work Routes programme.

Work Routes has been helping some of these people to find and start jobs after it was launched in the South East in November 2016. 
Many people have used the service to overcome significant barriers to employment, including long-term unemployment, issues with their health and parental responsibilities, and their stories provide inspiration for other jobseekers.

Emma Howsego, [pictured], from Colchester, recently started a role at a residential care home after receiving support from the Work Routes team. When she started with the service, Emma had little confidence and had lost hope in being considered employable: she had no qualifications and a large, young family.

Emma's Work Routes Adviser helped her to access training to help lift her confidence, as well as interview practice and help with identifying job goals. Emma gave the care work sector a go and, after realising she really enjoyed the work, secured a part time job at a local care home.

She said: "The confidence that [Work Routes] gave to me helped me realise I was worth more than I put myself down for. 
"I am confident and I have been able to keep my confidence, as I truly enjoy my job."

Michael Taylor, Colchester, had been unemployed for 16 months when he joined Work Routes. An ex-offender, Michael had little confidence and an outdated CV. He saw no future in employment or life in general.

Michael's Work Routes Adviser supported Michael with his interview techniques, including how to discuss his conviction with a potential employer. Michael soon developed a more positive mindset and learnt how to search and apply for appropriate jobs.

Michael is now employed and taking advantage of his new, positive attitude to life:

"I took the positive attitude that [Work Routes] gave me and made good use of it", he said. "It gave me a better future. This happened because of the trust I was given. 
"I hit rock bottom and the trust allowed me to deal with my mental health. My friends have noticed a massive positive change in me over the last few months!"

ESF funded Work Routes offers people from the South East completely free, one-to-one employment support - including free in-house skills training; job searching; interview practice financial assistance with child care and travel; and support in dealing with other potential barriers such as housing or lone parenthood.

As well as a one-to-one Employment Adviser, ESF Work Routes offers participants an in-house Skills Trainer and a Health and Wellbeing Adviser to help them address employment barriers such as mental and physical health issues, diet, mindset and a lack of skills.

The programme is set to support more than 5,000 jobseekers in the South East over a three year period.

If you are over 16 and currently unemployed, visit for more information.

Work Routes is delivered in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions and funded the European Social Fund.