Pathways to Employment

We know that finding a job is not always easy for someone with a criminal conviction, with obstacles and stigma attached – even long after the sentence has been served.

Direction for Bedfordshire is here to help overcome those difficulties. Through our information website you can contact recruiters who will listen and talk to you about job opportunities and help find the job for you.

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Fearless

Fearless

Fearless is a site where you can access non-judgemental information and advice about crime and criminality. What makes this site different is we also provide you with a safe place to give information to us about crime - 100% anonymously.

Areas of Operation:
National

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4mation

4mation

01234 353578

4mation is part of YMCA Bedfordshire, a registered charity. It is also a social enterprise working primarily across Bedfordshire. They can provide volunteering opportunities to help people gain skills. They also provide low cost second-hand, refurbished and new household furniture and appliances. Food4 can provide access to free healthy food essentials.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford

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4YP

4YP

07780 448 599
wendymillgate@4ypuk.com

4YP offer impartial, careers information and guidance, intensive support and mentoring, youth work and training services.

Areas of Operation:
Central Beds

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Advanced Learner Loan 24+

Advanced Learner Loan 24+

Advanced learner loans are there to help fund a course at a college or training provider in England. Loan eligibility doesn’t depend on income and there are no credit checks.

Areas of Operation:
National

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Bedford College

Bedford College

01234 291000
info@bedford.ac.uk

Offer a range of courses to help people back into employment or education. If you are unemployed and receiving benefits then you could learn for free. Online distance learning courses available will enable you to gain additional skills and a qualification without disrupting your day-to-day life.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford

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Bedfordshire Employment & Skills Service

Bedfordshire Employment & Skills Service

0300 300 8110
ncs@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

The Bedfordshire Employment and Skills Service (BESS) provides opportunities for adults to get involved in learning within the community. In particular, we aim to work with people who have not achieved a level 2 (or equivalent) qualification and/or are unemployed. Email alerts can keep you up to date with all the latest learning opportunities. A list of all our courses can be found on: https://courses.centralbedsglobal.net/AvailableCoursesList.asp

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds

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Be Positive

Be Positive

07710 672867
info@bepositivenow.co.uk

Be Positive provides focussed, innovative, inspiring and purposeful training and coaching, based on strong theoretical foundations, to support individuals towards finding, developing and nurturing strengths and self-worth. We offer funded (free) programmes for Individuals living in Bedford Borough or Central Beds who are in receipt of benefits and over the age of 19.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds

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Best Practice People

Best Practice People

0800 888 6064
skills@bestpp.co.uk

Best Practice People offer the Skills4bedfordshire™ short training course. This offers a range of qualifications selected to enhance your skills and facilitate progression into employment or better employment. The programme is designed to support unemployed and low skilled individuals. to achieve qualifications, quickly, that add value to your CV and have a high impact on your respective job applications. This course is funded by Central Bedfordshire Council and free for all who are eligible and live in Bedford or Central Beds.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds

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BOLD

BOLD

01234 352 899
enquires@bol4d.org.uk

Beds Opportunities for Learning Disabilities (BOLD) aims to provide work experience to those with LD. Our aim is to give our adults a taste of working life. This may not lead to a permanent job, but it will give an insight into what is expected of them in a real job. We offer work experience and a worthwhile fulfilling role within the community.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford

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BRASS – Bedfordshire Refugee & Asylum Seeker Support

BRASS – Bedfordshire Refugee & Asylum Seeker Support

01234 211381
info@brass27b.org

BRASS supports refugees and asylum seekers in Bedfordshire, UK. We provide advice on a range of issues, English language tuition, and social activities. If you are a refugee or asylum seeker, please get in contact with us.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds, Luton

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Bridge of Hope

Our mission is to reshape diversity and inclusion talent pathways - We aim to transform how organisations attract, retain and develop talent by enabling them to access directly one of the widest possible diverse and inclusive talent pools available.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds, Luton

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Central Bedfordshire College

Central Bedfordshire College

01582 477776

Offer a range of courses to help people back into employment or education, including level one English and Mathematics.

Areas of Operation:
Central Beds

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Christians Against Poverty

Christians Against Poverty

01274 760720
info@capuk.org

We are passionate about releasing people from a life sentence of poverty, debt, unemployment and addiction. Working with the Church we bring good news, hope and freedom to people in the UK. In the Bedford area, CAP have a Debt Centre providing advice on debts, and also a Job Club proving employment coaching.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford

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Community Voluntary Service

Community Voluntary Service

01234 354366
info@cvsbeds.org.uk

Community Voluntary Service (CVS) is a voluntary and community sector support organisation, offering a range of services, enabling local organisations and communities to make a difference in Bedfordshire. CVS promotes volunteering and matches volunteers with local opportunities.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds, Luton

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Develop

Develop

01525 408080
info@developebp.co.uk

Develop is a not-for- profit organisation that deliver a comprehensive range of innovative education and training programmes across the Eastern Region. Develop offers a variety of courses, study skills, traineeships and work experience placements for people aged 14-19 at venues in Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Dunstable and Hitchin. They also offer adult specific courses focussing on employability skills and raising aspiration and motivation.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds, Luton

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Diverse FM

Diverse FM

01582 725500
admin@diversefm.com

The Community Media & Training Project will provide support for identified target groups across Luton and Dunstable and Houghton Regis area of Central Bedfordshire, such as young people, unemployed adults, BME and migrant workers. These are amongst the most disadvantaged people, often with multiple and complex needs, and require support to move into employment. This project will tackle worklessness to raise the aspirations of people and communities, and support participants to overcome barriers, increase in confidence and move into, or nearer to, paid employment.

Areas of Operation:
Central Beds, Luton

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Do-it

Do-it

Volunteering made easy! You'll find tons of things to do on Do-it.org which will help you take the first steps in doing something good for your community.

Areas of Operation:
National

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Empowering Education

Empowering Education

07555726984
empowering3ducation@gmail.com

Empowering Education are a community based organisation aimed at supporting anyone who needs support in education and lifelong skills. They have set up various projects across UK supporting different projects, empowering local communities, local men, local women and local youths, making the difference to individuals. They offer digital skills, basic ESOL and tuition facilities, EU settlement and Windrush applications, and immigration advice. They also deliver mental health and physical workshops.

Areas of Operation:
Luton

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Escape Route

Are you an ex-prisoner, or soon to be released? If so, you’ll be thinking about the best way to earn a living. Most ex-prisoners look for jobs as an employee. That isn’t easy. You usually have to disclose your conviction. Jobs for ex-offenders are really hard to find. The Escape Route offers a completely different way of getting an income. It’s self-employment, and we focus on specific trades and professions. The Escape Route has guides, called Escape Plans, for several trades and professions. Each Escape Plan explains how you can start up in a specific trade. Packs are free to ex-prisoners applying direct via the website Contact Form or through the prison.

Areas of Operation:
National

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Find an Apprenticeship

Find an Apprenticeship

0800 015 0400
nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Search for an apprenticeship in England.

Areas of Operation:
National

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Find a Traineeship

Find a Traineeship

A traineeship is a course with work experience that gets you ready for work or an apprenticeship. It can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year, though most traineeships last for less than 6 months.

Areas of Operation:
National

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Find Your Future

You’ve reached Central Bedfordshire’s careers guide and portal, where you can find out about the great career opportunities in the local area. Our site also links to the best, most reliable sources of information we have found to help you with important decision-making and finding the right job for you!

Areas of Operation:
Central Beds

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Forward Trust

Forward Trust

The Forward Trust have an Enterprise Fund that is accessible to residents of Bedfordshire. The Forward Enterprise Fund is a pioneering initiative providing loans and business support to charities and enterprises that help break the cycle of crime or addiction through employment. If you are looking to start your own business please contact us at Direction for Bedfordshire for more details and we will put you in touch with them.

Areas of Operation:
National

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Free2Learn

Free2Learn

020 8525 9430
london@free2learn.org.uk

Supporting the unemployed reach their full potential since 2010, Free2learn provides free training courses and programmes to help those in unemployment learn new skills to apply for, secure, and maintain employment.

Areas of Operation:
Luton

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GreenHouse Mentoring

GreenHouse Mentoring

01582 528213
ghm@stopsley.net

GreenHouse mentors are unpaid volunteers who come from a wide variety of backgrounds, with a whole host of experience. We have many matched mentors, mentoring young people who are facing significant challenges in their lives.

Areas of Operation:
Luton

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Job Centre Plus

Job Centre Plus

0800 1690 190

Your local Job Centre can administer claims for Universal Credit. Claims can be made on the website. If you are looking for work you should be allocated a Work Coach who has access to training courses, support with creating your CV and finding a job, a Flexible Support Fund for anything that you need that is considered to be a barrier to employment, and Enterprise Support for those looking to start their own business. There is additional support for those under 25yrs including the Kick Start scheme.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds, Luton, National

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Lewsey Farm Learning Centre

Lewsey Farm Learning Centre

01582 691990
admin@lflct.org.uk

Lewsey Farm Learning Centre Trust aims to enhance the quality of life on Lewsey Farm for all who live and work there, offering equality of opportunity in providing training and learning to enable all to participate to their full potential.

Areas of Operation:
Luton

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Luton Adult Learning

Luton Adult Learning

01582 490033
info@lutonacl.ac.uk

Empowering individuals, improving communities. It's our aim to make all learning accessible and relevant while being an enjoyable and stimulating experience for all of Luton's citizens, communities and employers.

Areas of Operation:
Luton

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Luton Roma Trust

Luton Roma Trust

01582 510709
office@lutonromatrust.org.uk

The Luton Roma Trust supports the Roma community to integrate in a holistic way into life in the UK. Working at the heart of Luton’s Roma community, we meet them in their deepest need, helping them to access accommodation, education, welfare, medical care and employment.

Areas of Operation:
Luton

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NOAH Enterprise

NOAH Enterprise

01582 728416

NOAH Enterprise is a charity which seeks, out of Christian conviction, to help the most disadvantaged in the local community. Particularly, it is concerned with providing a practical, empowering and caring service to people who are homeless, temporary or entrenched rough sleepers, and those who are marginalised and socially excluded, or have simply fallen into poverty. They also provide skills and employment training to people across Bedfordshire.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds, Luton

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Only A Pavement Away

It seemed only sensible to marry the need for new team members within the hospitality industry with those who, with the right opportunity, would be able to get their lives back on track. The project has expanded to include ex-offenders and veterans and gained the support of those in both the penal system and military support groups. It is important to stress that OAPA is not a recruitment agency and focuses solely on helping those on the project find work.

Areas of Operation:
National

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Polish British Integration Centre

Polish British Integration Centre

01234 328100
info@pbic.org.uk

PBIC was set up in 2007 to in response to the need to support migrants newly arriving to the UK. We offer a number of services to our clients, which help with successful integration into British society.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds, Luton

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Project NOVA

Project NOVA

0800 917 7299
info.nst@projectnova.org.uk

Founded in 1885 and operating across the UK, we have the specialist knowledge and understanding to bridge the gap between military life and civilian employment. We exist to provide life-long, life-changing support, jobs and training opportunities to service leavers and veterans irrespective of circumstances, rank, length of service, or reason for leaving.

Areas of Operation:
National

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Reactiv8

Reactiv8

07966 685530
info@reactiv8.org.uk

Reactiv8 delivers innovative programmes designed to encourage engagement and social inclusion for people of all ages. The programmes allow for confidence building, self-assessment, mentoring and employment support. It confronts existing perceptions, challenges clients to take control of their future and supports the clients to a more positive pathway.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford

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Re-Track

Re-Track: Career and Employment Centre We give practical support to those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic. We do this by supporting people in obtaining and maintaining employment and bringing hope and encouragement at this particularly difficult time. If you are looking for employment right now, we will help you create a good CV, search for jobs that suit your skills and abilities, apply for the right jobs and then prepare for interviews. In fact, we will walk through the whole process with you.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford

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Skills-Tu Employment

Skills-Tu Employment

0800 069 9198
info@intuitivethinkingskills.com

Skills-Tu Employment™ is an accredited educational programme that will help you both step out of your comfort zone and improve your pitch to an employer. The main aim of the programme is to give people tools to change their language and presentation.

Areas of Operation:
National

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SPS Training

SPS Training

01234 944480
enquiries@sps-training.com

SPS Training Solutions limited is an award-winning Hertfordshire based provider offering training opportunities to adults across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. We have easily accessible learning centres in 3 key locations and work with learners to gain qualifications, improve skills and to provide opportunities to find and sustain work. Our staff are experts in their field and are passionate about working with and helping individuals to achieve their goals. We offer training and support online and face to face in a wide range of topics and areas.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds, Luton

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SSG Services

SSG Services

01234 340782
info@ssgservices.co.uk

SSG offer two core services: Training and Activities. They provide corporate and professional training as well as offering a range of vocational qualifications. Their four main activity brands Fish 2 Water, Kidzsize, Active Adventure & Battlefield Live provide year round activities.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds, Luton

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Stables Christian Centre

Stables Christian Centre

01234 376237
admin@stableschristiancentre.co.uk

The Seed Sowers Training Project offers work-based training to small groups of vulnerable adults, who currently find an ordinary workplace too difficult.

Areas of Operation:
Central Beds

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The Disability Resource Centre

The Disability Resource Centre

01582 470 900

We are here for people affected by disability or with a long term health condition; carers, friends and professionals too.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds, Luton

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theInfoHub

theInfoHub

01634 247350
advice@unlock.org.uk

Run by the charity Unlock, this site is a comprehensive source of online self-help information on a wide range of issues that criminal convictions can affect, including disclosing to employers, criminal record checks, buying insurance, housing and travel abroad. There is an online forum, webchat or contact form for further information.

Areas of Operation:
National

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The Jobs Hub

The Jobs Hub

01234 223510
the.jobshub@bedford.gov.uk

The Jobs Hub offers people of all ages who live in Bedford Borough bespoke careers advice and guidance, help to find work, training and business opportunities. They run dedicated workshops to help find employment, apprenticeships or start your own business, and offer support and guidance on volunteering opportunities, gaining new skills, building confidence, and finding a job.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford

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Training 4 U

Training 4 U

01582 455888 / 07449322190
admin@training4uservices.co.uk

​Training 4 U Services is a Luton based work-based learning provider. We help people develop their skills to recognised certified standards. Our courses are for school pupils, school leavers and individuals in employment and unemployment. We help businesses develop their strongest asset: staff.​

Areas of Operation:
Luton

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Uprising

UpRising exists to open up pathways to power and leadership for 18-25 year olds and equip young people with the tools to follow them. Stand Out is a FREE one-month online programme to help you find a job plus a year of professional mentoring to help you stand out in a competitive job market. The Leadership Programme is a free, online, six month programme that will help you to fulfil your potential and become the leader your community needs.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds, Luton

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Walking with the Wounded

Walking with the Wounded

01263 863 900
info@wwtw.org.uk

Established in 2010, Walking With The Wounded supports a pathway for vulnerable veterans to re-integrate back into society and sustain their independence. At the heart of this journey is employment. We recognise the inherent skills of our armed service personnel and want to complement these qualities, as well as provide support to transfer their skills into the civilian workplace. We offer assistance through our programmes to those vulnerable veterans who have been physically, mentally or socially disadvantaged by their service and assist them in sustaining their independence through new sustainable careers outside of the military. This includes providing support to homeless veterans and veterans in the Criminal Justice System, areas which are too often ignored.

Areas of Operation:
National

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Wenta

Wenta

01438 310020
info@wenta.co.uk

The South East Midlands Start-up Programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, provides residents of Bedfordshire, Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury Vale and Cherwell, Northampton, Corby, Daventry and Wellingborough with access to 12 hours of FREE support for small businesses and start-ups. This can be in the form of: - one-to-one business advice - webinars and workshops - access to business start-up services - business incubation workspace - specialist social enterprise support

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Central Beds, Luton

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YMCA Bedfordshire

YMCA Bedfordshire

​01234 307040
hello@ymcabedfordshire.org

Supported housing units. All residents are allocated a Project Worker who helps them work towards goals they set themselves. Residents must be willing to/and actively engage in work, training or employment during their stay. All residents must commit to at least 10hours per week employment, education or training.

Areas of Operation:
Bedford, Luton

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