The Building Better opportunities programme is funded by Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF), who are co-investing in local projects tackling the root causes of worklessness, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth.

The scheme works across Walsall, Wolverhampton and Dudley to support people aged 50+ who are furthest removed from the job market.  Work and Enterprise Advisors will work with individuals to determine their goals and aspirations to gain future employment.

The Bridges Project:

This scheme supports people aged 50+ to overcome barriers they may have to finding work or becoming 'work ready' and move closer to the job market.  

Barriers may include:

  • being out-of-work for a number of years and lacking in confidence
  • being recently made redundant from a long-standing job and requiring new skills 
  • being unfamiliar with modern job search facilities 
  • being unfamiliar with modern job application processes and procedures

Case Study:

Steve is 57 and had been unemployed for 18 months when he joined the BBO project. He had done several voluntary roles during this time but wanted to return to paid employment. Steve had previously worked in a warehouse and as a driver so had lots of experience but some of his qualifications had expired.

Age UK Walsall have supported Steve work towards gaining some new qualifications; he has completed a CSCS revision course so is now ready to take the next step towards applying for a CSCS card.

Age UK Walsall have also worked with Steve to improve his confidence using the internet & applying for jobs. When we first met Steve he was looking for jobs but had not registered with recruitment websites other than Universal Jobmatch. Age UK Walsall supported Steve to register with a variety of recruitment websites and update his CV.

One of the problems Steve had was access to the internet. Steve was a member of the library but had never used their computers so Age UK Walsall visited the library with Steve and worked with him to improve his confidence using the internet, searching for work and sending emails. In January 2017 Steve applied for a job online and attached his CV. He did it completely by himself and commented ‘that was the first time I’ve attached my CV to an email myself, I’m really pleased.’

Steve’s confidence has improved since working with Age UK Walsall and with his increased IT skills and pursuing up to date qualifications Steve hopes to return to paid employment in the very near future.

Support Provided

The support provided includes:

  • providing advice and information on a range of support available
  • seeking volunteering, work placement and vacancies suitable for people on the programme
  • engaging with individuals on the programme to assess their employment aspirations and training development needs.

For more information, please contact Asima Hussain on:

T: 01922 638825