This is a new initiative to develop community skills through community projects delivered by volunteers.
Dorset is facing many challenges as the national and local economy seeks to emerge from recession. A reduction in government spending is re-focussing local authority and local community priorities, in many areas reducing the ability of local communities to develop and maintain local facilities and projects . A number of areas of Dorset, particularly in rural locations, face significant problems with worklessness, and the social issues associated with it. Of particularly concern are high rates of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETS) and the difficulties many over 50's find in securing jobs.
The Challenge Ahead
Major reform in national welfare and employment policy and delivery are underway including the introduction of a Universal Credit System and the 'Work Programme'. These changes seek to make work a viable prospect for many currently claiming state welfare and include a major drive to dramatically reduce the number of Incapacity Benefit Claimants, and to tackle the difficult issue of multi generational benefit claimant families.
It is within this context that Dorset County Council is seeking to develop the Dorset Opportunities Programme- providing training and experience for workless people whilst supporting the development of local community projects.
A New Approach
The Dorset Opportunities Programme is a new initiative, seeking to provide an innovative, effective approach to developing community skills and abilities through the development and delivery of community led and inspired projects delivered by volunteer participants from a range of backgrounds.
Developed and managed by Dorset County Council, the Programme builds on experience gained, and the partnerships developed through the delivery of a highly successful Future Jobs Fund Programme, which provided over 500 young unemployed people with 6 month jobs within a partnership of over 50 public and third sector partners. The Programme seeks to build this partnership to include at least 200 partners, and to extend the programme to include private sector partners
Key Target Outcomes
- To improve work and life opportunities for people in Dorset, in particular, workless and disadvantaged people
- To improve local communities ability to develop, deliver and manage community projects and infrastructure
- To develop a long term, multi sector partnership to support the aims of the programme
The Programme Model
- The Opportunities Network
The Opportunities Network is a major initiative, supporting employers, communities and volunteers/ workless people. The network draws together organisations from all sectors to provide support for, and to gain from, the Dorset Opportunities Programme. The Network will seek to ensure synergy between the Programme and employers' existing and future workforce needs via the Dorset LEP's Worklessness and skills focus.
- The Dorset V Card
The Dorset V Card is a new concept, seeking to provide a long term, flexible 'vehicle' for the assessment, development and recognition of life and work skills for volunteers and workless people alike. The programme will be tailored to fit individuals and their personal circumstances, ability and future direction via a personal assessment, a personal development programme and creation of an ongoing CV of skills, experience and achievement. The Programme will be delivered via 3 key initiatives;-
- The Communities Programme
The Communities Programme is a cornerstone of the Dorset Opportunities Programme, providing advice and practical support to enable local communities to develop a successful, sustainable approach to community projects. There are three key elements to the programme
- Dorset Opportunities Programme FAQ's
Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions. If your question does not appear here or you cannot find the answer you want please do not hesitate to contact us using the details provided.