Helping disadvantaged people into employment

Help looking for work and training is offered right across the Trust but services which are dedicated to specifically providing this support are highlighted below. St Giles Trust specialises in offering help to people who are disadvantaged, have previous criminal convictions or limited skills and experience. Pre-employment support to help people get ‘job ready’ is a key part of our approach. Many of these services are provided by our Peer Advisors who have first-hand experiences of overcoming disadvantage to move their lives forward.

“With St Giles Trust for the first time I am able to get support from professionals and ...I feel that I am being listened to and I respect what the caseworkers and staff have to say... I have gained qualifications through the help of St Giles Trust and it is my hope that this can become a long-term job and in the distant future a business opportunity.”

Richard - helped through our employment support services.


This service helps disadvantaged adults prepare for and find work through helping with motivation, offering specialist advice and providing a range of training. Funded through the European Social Fund through London Councils, our team help residents living in Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark. The friendly caseworkers – many of whom are Peer Advisors - can help with practical issues like CVs, looking for work experience and volunteering, gaining skills and moving into employment. The service plugs a gap often unmet by statutory agencies who can struggle to address complex needs of people with multiple issues holding them back from getting employment.

St Giles Trust is the lead partner in this multi-partnership project.

GROW is a partnership project with Southwark Council helping young people aged 16-24 with careers advice and guidance. Many young people in this borough live in challenging circumstances and have difficulties accessing employment. Our friendly team on GROW offer flexible help with things such as developing a CV, accessing employer networks, balancing work and parenting/caring responsibilities and budgeting. They also offer ongoing support once someone secures a job to help them settle in and sustain it. The team can be contacted on

Peer Hubs

Funded by The Big Lottery Fund, we have a number of projects helping disadvantaged adults to improve their skills, confidence and ultimately gain employment. It uses our long-established, tried and tested method of training former service users - people who have ’been there’ themselves - to support other people in need.

It offers our Peer Advisor Programme to help the disadvantaged adults gain the skills and qualifications to become professional advice and guidance workers. In a friendly, welcoming environment, learners work towards a Level 3 Advice and Guidance qualification and gain valuable practical experience through work placements within St Giles Trust and with partner organisations.

The Camberwell Peer Hub trains adults with a range of disadvantage such as previous convictions, homelessness and long-term unemployment to become qualified professionals known as Peer Advisors and have the opportunity to gain a Level 3 Certificate in Advice and Guidance. In addition to the qualification, Peer Advisors also gain practical experience through a voluntary placement with one of our teams or an external partner in South London delivering advice and guidance to service users. Find out more here

Working Out offers peer-led support to ex-offenders in Ipswich to help them access education, training, volunteering and employment opportunities. The team - who are trained as Peer Advisors - offer tailored, personalised support to their clients to help them identify their ambitions and realise their goals. It also offers workshops tailored to the specific needs of the clients. Find out more here

The Peer Advisor Centre in Leeds helps disadvantaged adults access employment opportunities whilst addressing local needs through partnering with agencies who are happy to host placements for the people we are training through our Peer Advisor Programme in the region. Find out more here

St Giles Trust North London

This service offers peer support to people with recent convictions to help them into employment, training or volunteering. Additionally, we aim to help people recently released from custody to resettle and prevent them from drifting back into crime.

The support on offer is personalised and there is a strong focus on action planning. Individuals using the service have access to a Job Action Group where they can receive support with looking for work and benefit from a range of workshops covering issues such as disclosing a conviction, benefits, motivation, CSCS card training and support with English and Maths.

Individuals are put in touch with other agencies for help with specific issues we are unable to address such as housing, substance misuse or specific training needs.

We are also able to offer people to possibility to achieve their Level 3 certificate in Advice and Guidance and qualify as a Peer Advisor.

The service is available from our Holloway Road office in north London to anyone over 18 years old with a recent offending history. Individuals typically come from the North East and East of London.

To contact the team email them on

Peer Circles

Supported by The Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund, Peer Circles helps people in London who are held back by severe disadvantage to improve their employment prospects. It utilises St Giles Trust’s peer-led approach through offering this support from specially trained former service users who have direct experience of the issues facing the people they help. Find out more here


Where - London and Leeds

Supported by HSBC, Choices helps young people aged 16 – 24 who face barriers to education and employment. The young people supported through Choices may have struggled to move their lives forward. This includes experiences of homelessness, family breakdown, leaving care and having a history of offending. Through one-to-one and group work sessions, Choices provides advice and support to stay motivated and help to find a work placement, training course, apprenticeship or job.

Choices can offer young clients the opportunity to train under our Peer Advisor Programme as a route towards helping other young people with similar issues and boosting their skills and employability. Our GROW project, funded through Southwark Council, supports young people into part time work. It is for young people who are not able to consider full time work, because of issues such as college courses, health reasons, caring responsibilities and other similar barriers.

YES – Youth Employment Skills

Where – North and East London

Working with REED in Partnership we are delivering the NEET Outreach contract, funded by the European Social Fund, in partnership with the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Youth Employment Skills has been designed to support young people who generally perform least well in the labour market to enter and sustain in education, employment or training.

We work with disadvantaged 16 – 24 year olds, providing individual support to help young people overcome personal barriers and find meaningful, long term jobs and training. The programme includes 1-2-1 advice and guidance, support with applications and interviews, help to find courses, apprenticeships, traineeships and jobs, and on-going in-work and training support.

Hear from four young people whose lives were transformed thanks to Choices here: