ESTAR – Economic Development to ‘Communities, Economy and Transport?’

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Established in November 2020, the ESTAR team sits within the wider skills team across Childrens Services and Economic Development at East Sussex County Council.  ESTAR manages two main projects that support adults with disadvantage into work and housing. The Moving on Up programme, funded by Public Health, works closely with training providers and employers to offer residents in temporary housing access to good jobs and their own accommodation.

The Support into Work programme funded by East Sussex County Council was developed to help Ukrainians and other refugees in living in East Sussex, into employment and longer term housing. This provision includes specialist support such as access to English language lessons and qualification conversion.

As well as these initiatives, ESTAR hosts a range of events including the quarterly ESTAR forum; an opportunity for training providers and housing teams to network and to share updates on their programmes and courses, and discuss some of the challenges of engaging those furthest from the workplace.  More recently, ESTAR has hosted events ‘Embedding Employability in Housing & Accommodation’ across the county, attended by local authorities and housing staff who are keen to support their customers and residents into work and training.  ESTAR welcomed guest speakers from local support services and hosted stalls promoting local courses and employability services.

The ESTAR team has created a number of resources for professionals supporting people experiencing homelessness into training and work.  These include the ESTAR skills brochure that lists free courses across the country, information leaflets about transitioning from benefits to income from employment and Aspirations videos, available to view on the Careers East Sussex website.  The team has also created a Welcome Pack for new Temporary accommodation residents, signposting them to wellbeing services, courses and employability support.

ESTAR recently commissioned research into the challenges faced by individuals with neurodiversity accessing work, and also experiencing homeless.  The coproduced recommendations will inform the work of the team in relation to embedding good practice across the county, and identifying gaps in employability and skills provision for people will multiple needs.