Eight years ago, Saeeda Ahmed – a trained accountant who doesn’t like figures – found herself working as a social enterprise research manager in the public sector. The project strived to train “hard to reach communities” in research skills. But Saeeda felt frustrated as the project was “not enterprising enough”. So she set up Trescom with two colleagues.
Trescom helps marginalised groups access employment through training and holistic support, and works with large organisations to improve the way they deliver services.
Its mission is to help make positive change for communities in how services are delivered whilst enabling local people to be a key part of this process, so they “own” that success.
Trescom recognises that the barriers or issues do not just lie with communities but also with the organisations that are supposed to be working with them. It challenges the way mainstream organisations have operated in a “one size fits nobody approach” and helps them to embed inclusive values within their organisations.
This approach has proved highly successful. In one case, Trescom worked with more than 40 training providers nationally on how to be more inclusive in terms of gender, ethnicity, disability, age and social background and delivered groundbreaking techniques to make this happen.
Trescom has to date undertaken more than 70 contracts, overachieving significantly on some of its targets. Clients have included Jobcentre Plus, Learning and Skills Council West Yorkshire, several private businesses, Bradford ’s ‘B-Equal’ equality employment project and the NHS.
The enterprise has recently been awarded two prestigious employability and vocational skills contracts: Skills for Jobs (Bradford based) and Skilled for Success (Leeds City Council).