Connecting Choices project

Connecting Choices, National Lottery and European Social Fund logos

This project is to help unemployed people get into volunteering, education, training or employment in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire

To take part, you will be: 

  • unemployed or not working
  • 19 or older
  • legally resident in the UK and able to take paid work in EU member states

It is running in:

  • Stoke-on-Trent: Bentilee and Ubberley, Etruria and Hanley, Tunstall, Burslem Central, Burslem South, Meir North
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme: Chesterton, Holditch, Keele, Silverdale and Parksite, Cross Heath, town centre
  • Staffordshire Moorlands: Biddulph East, Cheadle, Leek North

Personal coaches will meet you at least fortnightly and the programme involves: 

  • coaching: solving problems, making decisions, ways to cope with and and manage health conditions and other issues, skills to help you to get jobs, careers guidance to set realistic job goals, creating CVs, what employers expect
  • training: communication, skills needed to find work, how to behave in the workplace, accredited training to help where you have gaps in your skills, English for speakers of other languages (ESOL),  discretionary budget for training or development not available elsewhere 
  • digital skills sessions and workshops offered to everyone on the scheme 
  • jobsearch: develop your skills, one-to-one and group workshops including work clubs, and matching you to available jobs
  • personal development: health and wellbeing advice in one-to-one and group sessions, including community sports, cycling and walking projects, substance misuse help
  • financial workshops and webinars: understanding and gettting credit;, Better Off Calculation to work out possible hours and earnings and Universal Credit, gambling and debt advice, how to manage your money and access to help from National Debtline, Money Advice Service and local services
  • directing you to existing services such as health, housing, our childcare database, making and attending appointments (such as for help with substance misuse)
  • volunteering and work placements to help you to build skills

The project has received up to £300 million of funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund has part of the 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. 

The Department for Work and Pensions is the managing authority for the England European Social Fund programme.

Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas to stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills, development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regeneration.