Published date 5 August 2022

New training academy gives disadvantaged groups “basic building blocks” for work

Metro Mayor Dan Norris at the launch of the West of England Peer Academy. Pictured are Jack Gill (course participant), Luke Lowes (course participant), Rosie Phillips (DHI CEO), Mayor Dan Norris, Ron Holdaway (course participant), Carolyn Rogers (DHI), Savannah Bassewitz (DHI) and Tor Purnell (course participant)

A new training academy that will support 50 people facing challenges with their mental health, homelessness, or overcoming addiction to find jobs has been launched by Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

Funded by £80,000 through the West of England Combined Authority's Community Support Fund, led by Mr Norris, and delivered by the Bath charity Developing Health and Independence, the ‘West of England Peer Academy’ will help participants gain new skills and confidence to help them when applying for jobs. There will be digital skills courses, work placements and opportunities to become 'peer mentors' - to use their own experience to help others going through similar situations.

The Mayor Dan Norris who officially launched the fully accredited training scheme, which will run from August to December, said: “We need to harness the skills of everyone if our brilliant region is to prosper. I’m so pleased a £80,000 cash injection from the West of England Combined Authority I lead will give people a helping hand to find good jobs and live independent and fulfilling lives. The West of England Peer Academy will ensure people who just need a bit more support have the opportunities to build up their skills.”

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