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The PURE (Placing vulnerable Residents into Employment) Project

PURE pathway to employment and European Social Fund


PURE is a unique project that supports people over 25 who have complex needs with education, training or employment. The scheme is about building confidence, developing useful skills and helping people find new opportunities.

The project is a partnership that brings people together across the city. PURE is a £20m project managed by Birmingham City Council, delivered by nine specialist community partners and partly funded by the European Social Fund.

We also work closely with employers, care providers, social workers and commissioners to make sure each individual has the personal support they need.

Update - February 2022

We've just launched an amazing new initiative aimed at helping PURE participants overcome some of the financial barriers that may prevent people from securing work, such as costs for travelling to an interview.

We are also about to launch a second initiative to help people overcome technology barriers, such as the option to loan laptops, which is especially important now that people increasingly work from home.

The PURE project is focused on helping people over 25 who encounter barriers that make it hard to find employment. 

The main groups of people we work with are: 

  • People who are homeless or vulnerably housed
  • Women fleeing domestic abuse
  • Offenders and those at risk of offending
  • People with learning disabilities and difficulties
  • People with mental health difficulties
  • People with physical and sensory disabilities

The PURE project provides personalised and continuous support. 

Each participant is matched with one of our nine specialist providers, who are experts in proving one-to-one support to people with specific barriers. Together you'll discuss your ambitions and aspirations, and map out the path towards education, training or employment that works for you. 

The focus of the support will include confidence building, skill development and finding new opportunities together. This could include support with: 

  • Enrolling on a course
  • Gaining a qualification
  • Putting together a CV
  • Confidence-building exercises
  • Introductions to employers
  • Check-ins to see how you're doing after you get a job

We'll discuss what's right for you and go at your pace.

We also work with large and small employers, helping them see the value our participants bring and how best to support them once they're working. 

Discover some of the opportunities on offer using the PURE Employment Board (free sign up required).

We work closely with local and national employers in Birmingham, helping them create a more inclusive workspace for people with complex needs.

We have just launched the PURE Employer Toolkit. This provides an overview of some of the different impairments and conditions potential recruits can have, and ideas for how employers can best support them.

PURE Employer Toolkit

Since its launch in 2019, over 2,000 people have been enrolled on the PURE project. 

There have been many inspiring stories of how individuals have thrived as members of this programme. Please note that names have been changed for anonymity where appropriate. 


Sherron from Handsworth was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2002. She did her best to stay in employment for many years, but in 2015 a lack of support made it difficult to find new opportunities. Since joining the PURE project through our provider BID Services, Sherron has secured three interviews. Here's a quote from her about her experience:

"We have weekly zoom meetings [with BID], talk through our problems and talk abut what we need. They help us with our CVs, give advice regarding literature, podcasts and YouTube and do mock interviews."


Ricky joined the PURE project through GreenSquareAccord, who specialise in helping ex-offenders. With the support of the PURE project, Ricky signed up and completed a construction training course. The course gave him new confidence in himself and the skills he could bring. Here's his experience in his own words: 

"The initial meeting was very good, we sat down and spoke and got to know each other, which led me to feel like I could trust her and she respected me. I did not feel discriminated against; she came with a non-judgemental approach. She saw me for who I was, and what my goals were."


Laura came to PURE for support in improving her English. Our provider Trident Reach referred her to a training course where she achieved her ESOL English. This course improved her confidence to apply for jobs, and she was then given employability support and interview coaching. Laura later secured an interview at a famous hotel and lovers her new role as a porter.

The PURE project is for people with one or many barriers to finding work. If you're interested in taking part you must be:

  • Aged 25 or above
  • A Birmingham resident
  • Unemployed or inactive seeking employment
  • Not supported by another European Social Fund (ESF) project
  • Have the legal right to live or work in the UK for the duration of the project support

If you're not sure if you're the right for the scheme contact us and we can discuss your situation. We can also check for you if you're part of another ESF funded project. 

Find out more and apply

Please print, fill in and send us the referral form in the link below to apply for the project. We'll then get back to you as soon as we can. 

PURE Participant Referral Form

If you would like to talk to someone about the project, you can:

Last updated: 8/25/2022

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