The aim of the Solent Community Development Partnership was to strengthen the social economy in the Solent area of SE England through employment, training and support.
A skills gap had been identified in the Solent local economy. The project was designed to tackle this skills gap.
This was a sub regional partnership i n the Solent area of South East England. The Solent model consisted of engaging with people from disadvantaged backgrounds, developing Open College Network (OCN) accredited training with them and preparing candidates for National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) with accreditation in community development.
Work placements were arranged for some candidates in order to extend their experience of community development practice.
Trainees were actively involved in participatory group training, NVQ portfolio development and the planning, conduct and evaluation of project workshops and conferences as well as visits to and from Sicily as part of the transnational element of the project.
The project took place from 2002 to 2005 in the ‘Solent’ area (covering Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight).
The objectives were to:
Target beneficiary groups
- provide individuals skilled in working in community and voluntary work
- provide a new formalised progression route for beneficiaries to further training and/or employment
- provide access to qualifications and employment for people facing disadvantage and discrimination
- test the model and learn from experience transnationally before seeking to mainstream good practice
- empower those involved in the programme
The target groups were residents of disadvantaged areas in urban areas, the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton rural and small town settings on the Isle of Wight. The communities within these areas contained unemployed people, disaffected young people, lone parents and women seeking to return to the labour market, together with higher than average numbers of men and women with disabilities. In Southampton, and to a lesser extent Portsmouth, there were ethnic minority communities.
By April 2005, the Partnership had been successful in recruiting trainees from disadvantaged backgrounds on to a range of OCN-accredited training courses and it had exceeded both its original project targets and OCN credits achieved by individuals