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Lancashire
Saturday, April 20, 2024

Sahara Centre commissioned to help Preston women into work

A new programme of support and skills training is to be offered to women from black and ethnic minority groups in Preston.

In November, the city council put out a call for experienced partners to deliver a range of skills development courses for local people as part of its UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) programme.

Councillors had earlier agreed to invest more than £1 million to target and enhance employability and skills across the city.

As a result, the council has now commissioned The Sahara Centre, based in Fishwick, to offer training to those women keen to find work.  

Councillor Valerie Wise 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.” 

Holistic approach

The Sahara team takes 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,  focus on employability skills has been increased as a result of funding from organisations such as the National Lottery, DWP and the Goodthings Foundation.

In recent years, the organisation has 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.”  

Pictured are (L to R) Sue Little, PCC community engagement officer; Peter Griffiths, programme manager PCC and Cllr Zafar Coupland, The Sahara Centre. 

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