The Pathways to Employment Programme is aimed at people who are accessing outdoor activities for the first time or looking to develop their personal and/or professional skills, leading to a more active lifestyle, volunteering and employment.

The Outdoor Partnership established the Pathways to Employment programme in 2010 in North West Wales (Anglesey, Conwy and Gwynedd) funded by the European Social Fund (Engagement Gateway, Intermediate Labour Market and Active Inclusion) to support unemployed people back to work using outdoor activities.

The programme uses outdoor activities to engage and support unemployed people to improve physical fitness, employability skills, confidence, social interaction, mental health and wellbeing and provide exit routes into further participation, learning, training, volunteering and employment opportunities. Since 2010, the programme has helped over 700 unemployed people back into sustained employment in North West Wales.

Our Impact

The programme scored the highest percentage in Wales in terms of getting young people into sustained employment as part of the ILM project providing paid work experience, mentor support and qualifications within the outdoor activities industry– 96% of participants found full time employment (24 out of 25 participants) over the 18 month project.

Our employability projects have often exceeded targets, to date we have returned over 700 people to sustained employment or further and higher education with a social return on invest of £4.42 in north west Wales (Social Value Cymru, 2020).

Project Benefits

1. Removes barriers to participation by raising confidence and motivation for work and improving the generic skills required by employers such as communication, team working and problem solving.
2. Develops the vocational skills of participants and promotes the importance of lifelong learning to participants.
3. Ensures National Governing Body Qualifications in outdoor sport are gained.
4. Improves physical and mental health and wellbeing through access to life-long outdoor activities
5. Secures a higher participation of under-represented groups, including NEETs, women, people living in poverty or experiencing homelessness, disabled people and people with work-limiting health conditions.
6. Encourages people who are workless to actively seek employment.
7. Improves individual skill levels to match those required by employers in the outdoor sector, including basic skills.
8. Ensures that people who live in the most deprived communities benefit.
9. Helps to tackle underachievement.
10. Gives participants an understanding and appreciation of the natural environment on their doorstep.

The Outdoor Partnership is now delivering employability projects across Wales, and in our areas in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

For more information about potential employability projects in your area, contact your local outdoor activities development officer:

Ryan’s Story

Ryan was one of the first participants to come through our Pathways to Employment programme in north Wales. Ryan’s story is incredible and we are very proud to have played a small part in his journey.

You can watch his story below:

Ryan's Story
Climbing Off The Streets