To foster self-reliance in the Gypsy and Traveller way of life by recognising and developing the skills and trades that already exist in the community and support families through the process of registering as self employed.
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The Gypsy and Traveller Pilot Employment Project has grown out of identifying an increased need for guidance and advice around helping Gypsies and Travellers with work and trades. Our initial research shows that changes which have taken place in the last two decades have seriously affected the ways in which Gypsies and Travellers are able to earn their living and that most are finding it very difficult to work as they once did. These changes range from trades being no longer required as machinery replaces manual labour, a high level of poor literacy skills making it difficult to enter job markets to changes in law such as cold calling (hawking) bylaws and ID requirements. Because of the ways in which the Travelling community live, we want, in particular, to foster the self-reliance in the Gypsy and Traveller way of life by recognising and developing the skills and trades that already exist in the community and support families through the process of registering as self employed. To do this we need to identify how to support the trades in which Traveller‚Äôs work and produce an 8 page A5 size ‚ÄòStep by step guide to registering as self employed‚Äô. The pilot project will take place in three stages over a period of 6 months and will focus on ‚Ä¢ First determining what information is needed in a key steps guide for the community to have confidence in the guidance being relevant and helpful regarding their particular needs. Initial research has shown that the kind of questions that will need to be answered range from what is needed in terms of declaring their trade and what documents are needed for declaring self employment to what might be available regarding tax credits and housing benefit. ‚Ä¢ Once this is established a small number of guides will be produced in house and piloted with up to 5 interested parties taken from across the identified trades. These 5 would then be monitored and supported with following the guide for the remaining period of the pilot project. ‚Ä¢ The final stage of the pilot will be to evaluate the usefulness of the guide by gaining feedback from the participants and then decide on the way forward for the next stage of the project which may be to consult with the wider Traveller community, set up an advisory/mentoring group, revise and print the step by step guide, produce leaflets, write articles for interested publications ie Travellers Times and produce a DVD. The initial beneficiaries of the pilot project will be the Travellers and their families who participate in the pilot project. However, following on from the pilot stage we envisage being able to roll out a tried and tested revised guide with supporting materials with the potential for beneficiaries across the Travelling community. In a wider context, societal benefits include self-reliant and more socially cohesive, communities.
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