Our “Work & Learn” team set up a new service for Cumbria’s very rural Eden Valley earlier this year thanks to funding from Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF).
Job Coach Sarah Richardson explains: “Since starting with the scheme in the spring, it soon became apparent that there was a need for employment support within Eden District. At the outset of this scheme, there was little or no provision for people with barriers to employment to access the help that they required. Initially, a flyer advertising the service was created and shared via social media, leaflet drops, drop in sessions, village notice boards and word of mouth. The first flyer I handed out to a local primary school instantly yielded a lead for a man in Penrith who was struggling to find work due to a brain injury. From this point onwards people have either responded to the flyer, been referred to the service via DWP (Dept of Work & Pensions) or from personal contact with the Job Coach. I have contacted local libraries and community centres, which have generated leads from sharing the flyer.”
The service has reached out across Eden
Here’s Sarah again…”To date, 91 businesses and organisations have engaged with the service. Thirty customers across a diverse demographic have benefited from the service. Of these, seventeen cases have now closed, thirteen are currently open and new referrals are coming in, primarily from DWP.”
….”The response to the programme has been very positive. A prospective employer commented to the Town Council that the standard of an applicant’s CV, created by the service, was the best she had seen from a recent recruitment exercise that she had undertaken. Customers are engaging well with the programme as there is nothing else like it in the Eden area. Almost none of the customers had a CV prior to engaging with the programme. Of the two which did, they were woefully out of date, inadequate, too long and poorly presented. Under Universal Credit, claimants are expected to upload a CV to their account; however, there is no provision for people unfamiliar with ICT to carry out such a task.”
Making a difference – Here’s just one good example -someone made redundant rebuilding skills & confidence
“I was approached by a widow recently made redundant. The customer lived in an isolated area and had very little ICT skills, she felt this hindered her from getting into employment. I created a CV for this lady, signposted her to relevant training courses and encouraged and supported her to apply for all jobs that she saw. I explained that it was still viable to apply for full time work, even though she wanted part time, as employers may consider a job share. Experience indicates that an employer often has two very good candidates willing to share a role. After a month, the customer was able to gain employment in a neighbouring town with an employer who was considerate about her health care needs. The customer had back problems and the employer accommodated this and ensured that she would not have to do any lifting or carrying. I closed the file down and sent a “New Job” card to the customer as a little personal touch.”
To contact Sarah or the Employment Team email@example.com