NORTH Somerset Council is re-launching an initiative this week to help residents find and secure work.

Opportunity North Somerset acts as a one-stop-shop for services and organisations to allow residents find work, increase their skills, achieve professional goals, or help take their first steps back into the world of work.

The initiative is funded by the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) until March 2025.

The free service is available to anyone aged over 18 and living in the region who is not in paid work. This includes refugees.

How can I access support?


To access the scheme, you must first complete a self-assessment form, which will be sent to the council for review. The council will then be in touch to complete a more in-depth assessment before being referred to one of Opportunity North Somerset's partners.

What support is available?  


The initiative can link residents with local skills providers, including:

  • Empower (Weston College) – employment support for those with learning difficulties;
  • Moving Up North Somerset (Weston College) – a large employment support package helping three groups – NEET young people, economically inactive individuals, and people in work who want support to progress their careers;
  • Aftercare Service (Broadway Lodge) – employability support for those recovering from addiction;
  • Women’s Work Lab – support for women to return to work after a period of childcare;
  • Step Forward (VANS) – volunteering programme;
  • the hive;
  • Job Centre plus;
  • Salvation Army;
  • Community Learning;
  • Curo – Community Connect Service for people over the age of 50;
  • National Careers Service;
  • North Somerset Training;
  • Adult Social Care;
  • Libraries.

What free online services are available?


  • Employment Support;
  • Career development and progression;
  • Youth employment and wellbeing;
  • Apprenticeship and work experience opportunities;
  • Digital Service Access;
  • Business Start-Up Guidance;
  • Redundancy Support & Current Vacancies;
  • Wellbeing support services.

Businesses can also promote vacant job roles on the network.

Councillor Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council’s executive member for Placemaking and Economy, said: “North Somerset Council is committed to supporting residents who may want to change career direction, increase their skillset, get back into work or are going through difficult times such as unemployment or redundancy."

Councillor Catherine Gibbons, North Somerset Council’s executive member responsible for Lifelong Learning, added: “The re-launch of Opportunity North Somerset thanks to UKSPF funding will help to ensure our residents are given the best chance possible to succeed in developing skills for the future."