A £50,000 grant aimed at getting the long-term unemployed back into work will help create paid work placements with Dorset businesses.

The grant from Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will enable Spectrum Housing Group to extend its Pathway Programme to local businesses.

The programme sees the long-term unemployed put into work placements, which are match-funded by the employer and the LEP. It targets skills priority areas including care, manufacturing and the natural environment.

Dorset LEP director Lorna Gibbons, said: “This programme meets four of the six priorities of our Dorset Skills Plan and represents a great example of a Dorset employer investing in local people to help them back to work. We hope that more people being able to earn in Dorset will mean more people spending in Dorset.”

Duncan Breckell, employment and skills manager at Spectrum Housing Group, said: “Spectrum Housing Group has a goal to get 100 people back into work by 2018 and this grant will certainly help us to achieve that.

“This funding has enabled us to take a significant step forward in terms of extending a successful programme. With a 57 per cent success rate of getting people into work, we're keen that we now extend this to other businesses, which gives us the opportunity to show the potential of the Pathway Programme.

“By doing so, we hope to secure more funding so we can help more local people to get into work.”

A presentation about the programme forms part of an event for employers to be held at Kingston Maurward House on May 12. Details are at investindorset.eventbrite.com