Works Coaches initiative helps 8,000 people find work
Eight thousand unemployed people have been supported into work by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Work Coaches initiative.
The initiative was launched in 2015 following a commitment from Chancellor George Osbourne to invest in 100 new DWP work coaches in Birmingham and Solihull.
To date the initiative, working with 70 employers to help people into paid employment, has organised 8,000 work experience placements giving what for many is their first experience of the workplace.
Employment Minister Priti Patel said: “We’re seeing unprecedented levels of employment across the country, with a record 2.6 million people now in work in the West Midlands alone.
“Through this initiative more than 12,000 people have either secured a job or work experience placement and businesses are benefiting too.
“This is fantastic news and supports Government’s plan to get more people into work, boost skills and generate stronger local growth.”
Employers are asked to give a four week exclusivity period, giving local jobseekers the first shot at filling their vacancies. Employers can also help by offering work experience places for jobseekers to help give people the confidence they need to be successful at interview.
Andy Street, Chair of the GBSLEP said: “Over recent Years GBSLEP and our Partners have been working hard to drive economic growth. Unemployment across our region has halved since 2011. However there have been some areas which have not shared in that success. The work coaches are concentrated in those areas.
“Work coaches provide practical support to job seekers, from helping to fill out an application form to guiding people through the interview process and what to expect. Our work with the DWP, along with support from the wider business community, is supporting people to apply for jobs that become available in the area.
“This project is making a real difference to people’s lives. More than 70 businesses are already supporting the project and I want to encourage more local business to get involved. Together we can help more local people into work.”
More than 8,600 people were supported through a Job Shop in Birmingham city centre between October and January. Six apprenticeship events have been held at the shop, as well as multiple jobs’ fairs.
Case study 1 – Work coaches helps support people in a variety of ways, people like Francis, who had been out of work for five years. Two weeks after being referred, the Job Club had found Francis a suitable job to apply for. The team supported Francis to submit the application and get all the relevant paperwork together that he would need to provide if he was successful. Francis was offered the job and started two days later.
Case study 2 – Returning to work after eight years as a stay at home mum, Latoya was struggling with her interview technique and needed some advice. Vanessa, the employment adviser, helped Latoya find job vacancies which matched her skills and experience; advised on how to research the company before applying for the job and how to prepare for the interview. Latoya said “The interview went really well for once and the manager even said I gave really good answers. No interviewer has ever done that before.” The following day Latoya was offered the job. Latoya added “Vanessa helped me to tackle each barrier until I was fully ready to reach my goal. Now I’m excited to see what the future holds.”