Lancashire-based Progress Housing Group has won a top award at this year’s prestigious TPAS* Awards, the housing industry awards that showcase compelling and inspirational success stories of tenants, landlords and contractors.

The Group’s Progress Futures initiative won the Excellence Employment, Skills & Training Award category (the first year this category has been introduced) in the northern regional TPAS Awards at a ceremony at the Palace Hotel in Manchester on Friday 29 April 2016. Progress Housing Group will now go forward to the national TPAS Awards at on 14th July 2016.

Collecting the Award for Progress Housing Group was Tammy Bradley, Operations Director, Community Housing and Support Services and Scott Salisbury, a 19 year old from Penwortham who was helped by the Progress Futures Team into a Plumbing Apprenticeship with the Group.

Tammy Bradley, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this TPAS Award. Progress Futures is making a real difference to people’s lives’ helping to get them back into training, education or employment. Tenants have told us how much they value the personal support we provide to help them achieve their goals and ambitions. Not only does this help the individual, but we are seeing the fantastic impact Progress Futures can have on the family and the wider community too

Progress Futures is a free service for Progress Housing Group tenants and their families that helps them access training, education and employment support to improve prospects and achieve their goals. Tenants are offered advice and support to increase their chances of gaining employment, develop their skills and obtain further training or qualifications. The team works closely with each person who takes part to make sure the help and support they receive is tailored specifically to their needs.

Progress Futures can help with:

  • Arranging training in basic job skills
  • Finding and applying for training courses
  • Arranging work experience, traineeships or apprenticeships, either within the Group or with other companies
  • Preparing a CV and completing job application forms
  • The cost of training or training materials
  • Providing practical help such as temporary childcare, transport or other contributions to interview costs such as buying a new suit

Since October 2013, there have been 314 referrals made to Progress Futures which has supported 109 customers into employment, education, work experience or training.  The service also offers support to people with a learning disability living in Progress Housing supported living accommodation.

One tenant who has benefitted from the scheme is Jim, 55, of Kirkham, who had been unemployed for 24 years when he contacted Progress Futures for help. Formerly a support worker, Jim was forced to resign due to personal and health reasons but, with the support of Progress Futures, including help with his CV, interview technique, gaining his minibus licence Jim is now in full-time employment - first as a General Maintenance Operative and since July 2015 as a Site Services Officer.

Jim said: “I would recommend Progress Futures to anyone after the way they have been able to help me. Working again is giving me something money can’t buy; it gives me confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.”                                                                                                                                             

Progress Housing Group tenants who would like further information on Progress Futures can contact the team, on 03333 204555, email futures@progressgroup.org.uk or find out more at www.progressgroup.org.uk/futures