14 April 2009

University wins funds to help those hit by the recession

Colchester Campus

The University of Essex has been awarded £328,000 to provide much-needed support to local people and businesses hit by the recession. 

The University is one of 58 UK higher education institutions to have successfully bid for cash from the Economic Challenge Investment Fund (ECIF) which aims to provide universities with the extra resources needed for responding rapidly to the current economic downturn.

Working in partnership with University Campus Suffolk, Learning and Enterprise Access Point Suffolk, the Essex Development and Regeneration Agency and Colchester Borough Council, the University will run a programme of activities to support the recently unemployed and those returning to work, new graduates, and small businesses.

Dr Janice Pittis, Director of the University’s Research and Enterprise Office, explained: ‘We want to limit the impact of the current recession on cohorts of our society who are at risk of becoming “lost generations.” Those particularly vulnerable to the recession are new entrants to the labour market, returnees, the redundant and at risk.

‘Our proposal has two key strands: to help individuals assess their situation and direct them to the appropriate resources and skills training; and to prepare them for employment in new areas, self-employment and entrepreneurship by providing them with the training, motivation and analytic skills to succeed.’

The programme of events will include online assessments to identify skills gaps and training needs; dedicated training for entrepreneurship and self-employment; workshops and courses to develop specific skills; placement programmes to help match graduates with suitable positions; innovation workshops; and ongoing social and business networking using web-based forums.

Administered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the ECIF is providing £25 million to the higher education sector, with universities committing a further £25 million of their own funds, to help over 50,000 people and 11,700 businesses hit by the recession.

To find out more about the programme of activities, which are still being developed, telephone 01206 872922

Ends

Notes to editors
For further information contact the Communications Office, telephone: 01206 873529 or e-mail: comms@essex.ac.uk.
 

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