North London Job Centre Plus (JCP) commissioned work to help support long term unemployed clients (more than 2 years unemployed) move closer to employment. This client group had received various interventions with different organisations and the majority had attended a variety of short two week vocational courses with various providers but had still failed to gain employment. This project was intended to create a longer programme which would address the barriers to employment.

Purpose and Scope of Project

The Enfield Gateway project was run in collaboration between Job Centre Plus and The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London. The Project was initiated with the Palmers Green Job Centre Plus and was created in direct relation to supporting Work Programme Completers – those who had been unemployed for over two years. It was highlighted that this particular client group were in need of support with Functional Skills to aid their job searching and their ability to find employment. The majority of this client group had no formal qualifications and limited skills in English, Maths or ICT which was seen as a substantial barrier.

The Job Centre Plus identified that many customers struggled with the terminology and structure needed to complete job applications successfully; they also highlighted that many customers were unable to use the online Universal Job Match system and had difficultly applying for online applications due to lack of ICT Skills. This project therefore was created to address these skill deficits and included completing qualifications in English, Maths and ICT. This was then followed by a one week accredited pre-employment course for customers to apply the newly gained skills in a more employment focused way.


Reviewing of this project identified that we developed a product that was specific to the client group and provided the appropriate training to meet their needs. The project aim was to ensure that this group had all the necessary skills to bring them closer to the job market.

This project was very successful but the client group was very challenging. All learners had been unemployed for over 2 years some considerably longer. Some had other issues which needed addressing to allow them to progress into employment (already mentioned above). Outcomes were:

  • Over 40% of learners who completed the course have been recorded by Job Centre Plus as offloaded. This term is used for people who no longer claim unemployment benefit
  • ICT success rate 93%
  • Success rate for functional skills for Literacy and Numeracy 80%
  • Sign posting of learners into other support services to address health and other issues, these issues needed to be improved or resolved to enable learners to be successful in finding employment.

The success of the project has shown that with careful planning at the start of the programme, monitoring learners through a formal Individual Learning Plan and daily support from tutors we were able to meet the projects objectives.

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