Council’s flagship STEP UP programme gets funding injection to help more residents and employers

Wakefield Council’s STEP UP employment programme has supported over 660 residents in the district to access job opportunities this year.

The programme, has today (Tuesday December 8) received investment of £550,000 from the Council to continue and develop its work offering employment support to residents and employers.

This significant investment will ensure residents have the support they need to achieve well paid employment.

STEP UP supports residents and employers to access job opportunities, qualifications, change jobs and progress within their careers together with recruitment all in one place, and is making a critical contribution to the district- wide recovery effort from the pandemic.

The STEP UP team helps people to find work, improve their skills or make a career change. The team provide support to access training. It helps residents to improve their future job prospects and employers to secure the skilled workforce they need for future growth and sustainability.

Darren Byford smiling
Cllr Darren Byford

Cllr Darren Byford Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration, said: “It is fantastic news that today we have agreed this investment which is hugely significant and will enable our innovate and highly effective service to help even more residents to secure work and development their skills and careers

“We know that many people have seen their jobs impacted by the pandemic, but we are here to help those who have lost their jobs, and to help people already in work to progress.

“We are also forging close links with businesses to help them to recruit workers with the skills they need now and for the future, so that they develop and grow their organisation.”

The Council will use the funding to extend the programme to work with more residents with jobs to support them to progress into higher skilled, higher paid jobs.

It will continue to ensure there are strong links through between employers and residents, with a job matching and interview preparation service.

STEP UP’s community based approach to employment and skills development has been confirmed by independent researchers to be the most effective way to support people into work.

Visit the website at or for more information and to make an appointment with a member of the team, call 01924 303334 or email



 Elena lands ‘dream job’ thanks to STEP-UP

Amongst those to have seen big changes to their prospects this year is Elena Andone, who has landed her dream as a receptionist after receiving the help and advice she needed.

Before securing her new role, Elena had various jobs but wasn’t able to progress so she started to take some qualifications which she thought would help.  In the last 3 years Elena has passed English and Maths Functional Skills, Customer Service and Business Administration Principles and IT, all up to Level 2 with the Council’s Adult Education Service and then she started working with STEP UP.

At STEP UP her adviser encouraged her to boost her qualifications by studying for GCSE in English and Maths, and to apply for jobs that suited her skills and interests.

Elena from Wakefield, now works at Manygates Centre where the Council’s Adult Education Service is based. 

She said: “I’m very happy and I am embracing the job which is something I’ve always dreamed of doing.

STEP UP is a fantastic service and they will help you and encourage you, give you guidance on everything from qualifications to interview techniques. It is a whole package of support. It builds your confidence and I will always be grateful, with thanks to her excellent advisor, as having this job has made such a difference to my life.”

Cllr Darren Byford Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration, said: “It is great to hear that Elena is doing well, and building her career. STEP UP is making a real, positive difference to many people’s lives.”