The Opening Doors Job Fair, open to everyone but geared towards homeless people, ex-offenders, refugees and veterans, was part of wider efforts to support those who can struggle to find work.
The event, organised by People Matter and held at Eastbourne Town Hall, included 30 local businesses including hotels, construction companies and care companies, as well as representatives from the Jobcentre and local councils including East Sussex County Council, Wealden District Council and Eastbourne and Lewes councils.
Support was given by East Sussex County Council’s ESTAR (Employability for Supported and Temporary and Refuges) initiative, which helped get information about the event to homeless residents in Eastbourne and the surrounding area.
People Matter CEO Ann Gillard said: “The event was a very big success, thanks to the involvement of so many good businesses and the invaluable input of the East Sussex County Council ESTAR team.
“The feedback has been incredibly encouraging. Employers have told us how they have had their eyes opened to different opportunities in the way they recruit. And most importantly, job seekers have found not only work but increased confidence from meeting and talking to exhibitors. A simple recipe that worked so well on the day.”
Cllr Rupert Simmons, the county council’s lead member for economy, said: “I’m delighted that this event was such a success and that so many people were able to find out about the jobs on offer in East Sussex.
“It is vital that everyone in our county, regardless of their background or circumstances, has equal access to training and support to get into work. Our ESTAR team works tirelessly with partners to ensure support for marginalised groups is available, as well as advice to employers on the best ways to support people in the workplace.”
To find out more about the ESTAR initiative please email ESTAR@eastsussex.gov.uk.