Sahara Centre commissioned to help women into work

In November, Preston City Council put a call out for experienced partners to deliver a range of skills development programmes to support local people as part of its UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) programme.

Councillors had earlier agreed to invest more than £1m of their UKSPF allocation specifically to target and enhance employability and skills across the city.

As a result, the Council has commissioned The Sahara Centre, based in Fishwick, to offer a new programme of support and skills training to women from Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) communities across Preston, who are keen to find work. 

Councillor Valerie Wise, Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building said:  “We know what an enormous difference it makes when you can find and secure work and even more so for women from Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) communities. It can offer financial independence, enhance their status within their families and communities, and improve their quality of life. Sahara have a proven track record in this field, and we look forward to working with them over the next couple of years.”

This team at Sahara take a holistic approach to the curriculum, delivering a range of courses covering IT, English, Maths, CV writing, job searching, confidence-building and help completing online applications. Participants will receive one-to-one support from tutors, plus access to job fairs and volunteering opportunities. This comprehensive programme will ensure they are equipped to find and apply for employment and volunteering opportunities. 

The Sahara Centre has been supporting BME women in Preston for over 30 years. In the last decade, they have increased their focus on employability skills as a result of funding from organisations such as the National Lottery, DWP and the Goodthings Foundation. In recent years, they have enabled more than a thousand women to obtain employment and achieve financial independence. 

Councillor Zafar Coupland said: “We are excited to deliver this programme to help even more women locally. Using our expertise, community links, and relationships with employers, we are confident that we can continue to support more BME South Asian women to access employment opportunities through this programme.” 

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