Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Crisis Conference

May 20 2009
Homelessness charity focuses on alternative routes to get homeless people back into work There are any number of barriers preventing greater take up by the homeless of the learning and skills development on offer. Or so a recent Crisis event suggest. This issue was discussed at a Crisis Conference held on 13th July, which tried to find and propose an alternative route to get homeless people back into employment. Readers will know that improving their skills would improve employability, but only a fifth are currently engaged in learning or training. Yet 77 per cent of them want to work. Unfortunately, the majority of people who have been homeless for many years have reduced motivation and lowered self-esteem, and half of the homeless have no qualifications. "It needs to get people through the first step, let them gain not only certifications but also self-esteem, and then work in partnership with individual employers and organizations" said Ian Barlow, active in London community matters, "but it's hard work to find the right partnerships and it takes time." Crisis found homeless learners are least likely to be attracted to learning in an institution such as a college, and are much more likely to agree to being helped through voluntary or community groups they already know. However, dedicated funding for learning and skills development work with the homeless is decreasing. And many who provide funding and mainstream learning report problems in developing partnerships with some of the agencies that work with the homeless. Certainly the government should find the right strategy among the various proposals from the Crisis Conference for making it easier to get the training.