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Barclays and Catch22 extend Connect with Work partnership to create pathways into employment

Barclays and Catch22 are helping 1,200 job seekers to build skills and break down barriers to work over the next two years.

25 March 2021

UK unemployment rates have reached a five-year high of 5.1%, latest government figures show. As these rates steadily climb, Barclays and Catch22 have extended their Connect with Work partnership to support individuals into a job.

Barclays’ Connect with Work is a unique employability programme that trains and connects people facing barriers to employment with businesses, including Barclays clients and suppliers, that have roles to fill.

Together, Barclays and Catch22 have already supported thousands of people across London, Liverpool and Manchester, and over the next two years will help a further 1,200 ambitious people aged 16+ into training and employment.

In the past year, over 60% of Connect with Work participants have been in work for six months or more; a significant achievement given the impact of the pandemic on the UK job market.

Debbie Phillips, Director, Citizenship, UK and Europe at Barclays said:

At Barclays, we’re helping to build skills and break down barriers to work, to enable people to succeed now and in the future. We are delighted to have extended our fantastic partnership with Catch22 to continue to support individuals into employment, and have committed to placing 250,000 people into work globally by the end of 2022.  As we look ahead, we know that offering high-quality training, placements and support will be more important than ever.

Barclays colleagues are proud to play their part in supporting Connect with Work participants including by volunteering in a series of workshops helping job seekers to make their LinkedIn profile stand out to employers.

Kat Dixon, Head of Partnerships at Catch22, said:

We’re at a critical point in the employment crisis and those who were already furthest from the job market are being hardest hit. That’s why Connect with Work is so vital; we take the time to understand an individual’s aspirations and identify what it is that’s holding them back from securing a job. We can then support them with the necessary advice and practical skills to enter sustained employment.

Catch22 assist with both sides of the recruitment process, from providing advice for employers, to support and training for the job seeker – all of which is maintained throughout the process and for up to six months once a participant is placed in a role. Many people on the programme have multiple complex needs, while others struggle with the basic skills needed to apply for jobs.

Natasha Andrews, a Catch22 Employment Adviser working on the Connect with Work Programme said:

Janet had lost her job at a city centre hotel due to COVID-19. She had limited IT skills and didn’t have a typed-up CV. I worked with her and her job coach to boost her digital skills, and strengthen her CV. We talked weekly about live vacancies and she was keen to be put forward for a Ward Host role in a hospital in the city centre. She secured the job – and we supported her for the first few weeks to cover travel costs and make sure she had suitable clothing for her role. She’s currently thriving in the role and looking forward to progressing.


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