Mansfield's Portland Pathways project up for National Award

A project which helps a college reach into the community with hubs in Sutton and Mansfield has been nominated for a top award.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 11:17 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 12:22 pm

Portland Pathways, which launched in 2017, is a community-focused initiative which aims to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities – and is now in the running for the British Chambers of Commerce equality trailblazer award.

The award recognises organisations which ‘champion diversity and promotes inclusion for their workforce, customers and communities’.

Led by Portland College, Harlow Wood, Portland Pathways supports customers to develop their skills and prepare for and find employment.

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Portland Pathways has been nominated for the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Equality Trailblazer Award

It also works closely with local businesses to help them become more accessible and to recruit the right staff for their roles.

Since it launched, the scheme has had more than 800 referrals, secured 195 jobs and delivered 406 counselling hours.

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Mark Dale, college principal and chief executive officer, said: “We are extremely proud of the growing impact our Portland Pathways initiative has in the local community and this national recognition is a wonderful way to celebrate the difference Pathways makes.

“We believe all people with disabilities should have a lifetime of opportunity, and this programme serves to tackle the disability employment gap locally.

“The team have worked hard throughout the pandemic to continue providing their vital service, including securing 48 job starts since March 24, 2020.

"With almost half of our clients reporting they have mental health needs, this ongoing support has been even more crucial for people in these difficult times.”

Regional winners will be announced by the Chamber of Commerce on November 8.

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