New initiative to improve rural employability

Published Wednesday 16 August 2023

Unemployed people in the Harborough district can move a step closer to employment thanks to a new council initiative.

The HIRE programme logo
The HIRE (Helping Improve Rural Employability) programme has received £50,000 from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The HIRE (Helping Improve Rural Employability) programme is for individuals who are economically inactive, meaning they have not sought work in the last four weeks and/or are not available to start work in the next two weeks.

This programme has been developed by Harborough District Council and will be delivered by the Rural Community Council (RCC), who have worked on similar programmes before such as Work Live Leicestershire.

Individuals accessing this programme will be able to have one to one support from the project’s key worker, who will support them to: 

  • Improve their confidence 
  • Identify barriers to employment and solutions 
  • Develop CV and interview skills 
  • Look at their skills and the jobs they could apply for 
  • Job search and applications  
  • Find volunteering opportunities  
  • Signposting and referring to other help and support. 

By the end of the programme, participants will have been supported to:  

  • Gain employment 
  • Start job seeking 
  • Undertake training  
  • Volunteer 
  • Engage with other support services  
  • Make a positive move towards being ready for training or employment.

Cllr Phil Knowles, Leader of Harborough District Council, said: “The HIRE programme could be the beginning of a journey to a new job or training opportunity for people in the Harborough district who are currently unemployed.

“With the support of the Rural Community Council we will be able to provide much needed, targeted support for people close to where they live, including help with building their confidence, their job search and improving their interview skills.”

There will be a range of activities happening throughout the programme, which will run until March 2025. Upcoming free outreach sessions are available at Fleckney Library, LE8 8AS, 2-4pm, on 17 and 31 August, and 7 September 2023.

More details at  

The HIRE programme has received £50,000 from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit