DEVON groups supporting people to enter the workforce are being offered a financial helping hand from National Grid Electricity Distribution. 

Grants of up to £5,000 are available from the company’s Community Matters Fund for charities and community organisations that assist people facing barriers to getting jobs. 

The business is looking to support:  

• development of key professional skills, e.g. through classes in literacy, numeracy or IT 

• networking and placements, such as work experience, shadowing and placement schemes 

• boosting employability, e.g. through CV masterclasses and interview coaching 

• people returning to work after a long-term absence, for example due to chronic health conditions, full-time caring roles or military service.

Applications are open until Friday, July 12.  Details can be found here: .

Registered charities and non-profit companies can apply for up to £5,000. Unregistered community organisations can apply for up to £2,000. 

National Grid is keen to see a range of groups benefit from its £250,000 fund, such as 16 to 25-year-olds not in full-time education, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and ex-offenders. 

Ellie Patey, National Grid’s Community Engagement Manager, said: “Significant barriers keep some groups from easily accessing employment opportunities and joining the world of work. 

“National Grid understands the huge potential that exists to upskill and support these under-represented groups and is firmly committed to unlocking this untapped talent. 

“We’re keen to see applications from support groups in Devon that deliver practical, focussed programmes to boost skills and improve employability for those furthest from the job market.”  

Every year, National Grid’s Community Matters Fund supports the work of community groups and charities based on varying themes – previously, for example, it has helped those tackling fuel poverty.  

Since it started in 2021, it has donated more than £10.5 million across the South West, South Wales and the Midlands.