New service to help struggling Preston jobseekers aged 25 and over ‘Move Forward’

Posted on - 8th November, 2023 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Charities, Education, Preston Council, Preston News
From left, Adrian Leather, Alison Davies and Peter Griffiths (Programme
Manager, Preston City Council) outside Preston Markets
From left, Adrian Leather, Alison Davies and Peter Griffiths (Programme Manager, Preston City Council) outside Preston Markets

A service that aims to support 88 residents in Preston who have complex employment issues into work has launched.


The project, called Move Forward, is set to run until March 2024. Preston City Council approved the service with funding sourced through the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

It differs from other services, such as those delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions, in that it aims to provide tailored support to empower individuals who are facing a more complex range of barriers.

These include having limited work experience, physical or mental health issues, caregiver responsibilities, a lack of aspiration, substance abuse issues, language barriers, experience of domestic violence, homelessness and more.

Move Forward will work with each participant to meet their needs and challenges. It will provide them with access to job seeking support, volunteering and workplace opportunities, free training – including maths, English for speakers of other languages and digital skills – and optional free lifestyle activities to boost confidence and wellbeing of participants.


The new service is managed by two major social businesses, Selnet and the charity Active Lancashire, alongside a network of delivery partners who will provide tailored mentoring, employment support and more.

Partners include Lancashire Women, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Onward, Beanstalk, The Foxton Centre, Integrated Care Board, Lancashire Community Finance and PHX Training.

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In addition to Preston, Move Forward is also set to support 21 people in Pendle, following a similar agreement for the service to be delivered on behalf of Pendle Borough Council.

Adrian Leather, CEO of Active Lancashire, said: “Move Forward embodies our commitment to helping individuals in Lancashire reach their full potential.


“We believe that personal and professional development are intertwined, and this initiative reflects our dedication to fostering growth on all levels.

“As with employment and skills projects that we currently manage on behalf of other councils, activity sessions will be used to support the skills and motivation of those we work with.”

Alison Davies, Programme Manager at Selnet, said: “We have always been dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals to overcome the difficulties they face.

“Move Forward embodies this commitment, offering a comprehensive support package and guidance for those who need help to get into work. We are excited to be part of this collaborative effort.”

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Councillor Jennifer Mein, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Preston City Council is proud to work with Selnet and Active Lancashire, as well as a range of local partners who have been engaged to deliver the Move Forward project.

“This aligns perfectly with our commitment to support and uplift our community members facing various challenges in their job search journey. This initiative will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the lives of many residents in our area.”

Move Forward has received £232,413.12 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund with most of the funding being allocated to local delivery partners, which in turn is also supporting local business growth. £180,000 of this total has been awarded via Preston City Council.

Find out more about the new service on the Move Forward website.

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