Work, your style
A bit of background...
Social Breakfast champion Becki Pritchard has been leading a campaign to help young, lone parents move closer to the labour market by accessing education, training and pushing for policy change.
Based at Caldmore Housing Association, Becki explored the barriers faced by many young, single parents.
The consensus from young people engaged with the project was that they were keen to work and generate income. Yet found themsleves unable to commit to rigid hours, or lacking the skills and qualifications to enter the formal labour market.
An ideal solution would be running small enterprises from their own home. Why run a small business? Home enterprise is a great way to make money and utilise your own skills. It offers the flexibility to maintain childcare without having to seek costly day care. For the young parents themselves, it also offers the self-confidence and control to lay the foundations for a gradual return to employment.
Small business ideas included everything from ironing services, to cake baking, clothing repair and hairdressing. Yet the current landlord ten ancy agreements forbid the set-up of home businesses.
Faced with a regulation road block, Becki took her campaign to all the way to the Houses of Parliament, London. Contacting decision makers in Parliament is a good way of raising an issue and finding a way to make a positive change.
Liberal Democrat MEP for theWest Midlands, Liz Lynne offered the first response. There was then personal support from MP Maria Miller, currently Minister for Disabled People. The final letter; came from Grant Schapps MP, Minister for Housing and Local Government.
MP Grant Schapps outlined the key barriers to home businesses. Tenancy agreements between landlord and tenant control what tenants are allowed to use their properties for, while the mortgage and insurance policies landlords have do not usually cover small businesses. Government decision makers were interested in this issue, and current policy aims at making work pay, yet they were unable to help further.
This is a matter to take up with landlords.
What’s the next step for this campaign? We’re looking for a small group of young people to help take this campaign forward and raise the issue with the Housing Associations. Small businesses are a brilliant way to improve the quality of life of individuals and boost the economy.
If you are interested in getting involved please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a chance to join a growing campaign which aims to support young, lone parents in the West Midlands to start up small businesses by overcoming current barriers. All you need is enthusiasm, a passion for the aims, and the chance to pick up some new skills and friends along the way.