The UK faces a huge skills gap – and Big Issue Group plans to do something about it

Jon Gregg, a salesman at Big Issue magazine, said, “Selling the magazine helps you regain your self-esteem, your confidence and your life. The tabard is a uniform, when you put it on, you really feel like you can take on the whole world.

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Today, Big Issue Group is committed to helping even more people living in poverty find employment. It will provide funding to other social enterprises which in turn will train people facing barriers in the workplace and help them gain skills that will help them find jobs.

The goal is that, by 2027, more than 11 million people will engage with Big Issue products and be positively impacted by Big Issue services each year.

The first new initiative, Big Issue Recruit, is expected to start in the fall. It will help marginalized people find sustainable employment through skills, training and development. They will continue to be supported even after finding a job.

Lord John Bird, Founder of Big Issue, said: “This is an important and exciting next step for Big Issue Group. When I created the magazine, my goal was to cut the throat of poverty, but that can only be done if we focus on innovation, investment and prevention, rather than always having to face the emergency. This new strategy and direction will not only help us support even more people, but it will also allow us to change lives. »

One of the social enterprises that has benefited from Big Issue Invest is Café Van Gogh in Brixton. The company provides on-the-job training and employment opportunities for people facing additional challenges in life, such as a learning disability or mental health issue, and provides them with the necessary support and confidence to flourish.

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Steve Clarke, Café Van Gogh, said: “As a social enterprise, it was incredibly difficult to get investment, but Big Issue Invest gave me the funding that allowed me to make my dream a reality. We put ethical decisions and community at the heart of what we do, not profit. »

The Big Issue Group will be supported by new ambassadors Jack Parsons, CEO of The Youth Group and UK Youth Director, and Sherrie Silver, a creative entrepreneur, choreographer and world-renowned activist.

Parsons said: “We need to do more to help young people through these tough times and help them feel like they can ‘win’ at work, in their communities and in society. When I was asked to become an ambassador for Big Issue Group and the mission they embark on to help more at work, I knew I had to be involved and supportive. It will be a time of incredible impact and everyone can play their part to support the new vision over the next five years.

Paul Cheal, CEO of Big Issue Group, added: “Our new Big Issue Group five-year strategy brings together all of our work – from supplier support to parliamentary campaigns, social investment and our campaign journalism. This is an exciting next step for Big Issue Group, which will allow us to support even more people than ever before.

About Bradley J. Bridges

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