With coronavirus restrictions lifted and the furlough scheme about to end, Leicestershire County Council is expanding its scheme to help residents who are seeking paid work or training for a new role.
Work & Skills Leicestershire has helped over 100 people since it was first launched in June, initially as an online service. Now the project is being rolled out at employment hubs at libraries across the county.
Work & Skills Leicestershire is open to everyone – from those who have never been employed to those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, been furloughed or who are at risk of redundancy. It will also help college leavers, graduates and agency staff on zero hour or temporary contracts.
Qualified personal advisers are at hand to offer impartial and professional advice to people from all backgrounds and support people on a one-to-one basis.
Everyone who signs up to the scheme has the opportunity to have a tailored work plan drawn up for them, including clear targets and steps to achieve their goal.
Help is given with CV and letter writing skills, job searches, interview techniques and digital training, self-employment advice and business support.
Many people have already been helped by Work & Skills Leicestershire, including 57-year-old Heather Cobbin who has just been offered a new job.
Heather, a primary school teacher for 24 years, needed to find work that was more flexible, for family reasons. She left her teaching job in July and admits she was initially daunted at the prospect of looking for new work. She said:
“I really enjoyed teaching, but I needed part-time or more flexible work. It was a daunting prospect. After I left teaching, I really didn’t know where to start with looking for a new job. Then I went to Loughborough Library looking for information on evening classes and I saw the Work and Skills session and wanted to find out more.
“It has been brilliant; really accessible, everyone is on the ball and the staff are really well-informed. I’d never even written a CV before, but I did three or four online sessions and it was all sorted!”
Councillor Peter Bedford, cabinet member for post-Covid recovery and LLEP Board Director, said:
“We are delighted to be able to extend our Work & Skills Leicestershire project to offer even more locations for those who prefer face-to-face help.
“The pandemic has been a challenging time for businesses with many people finding themselves furloughed or out of work and we are determined to do our utmost to help residents make a fresh start with a new job or retraining.
“We have already started working with over 100 residents from all walks of life who are now on their way to a brighter future with enhanced job prospects.
“Work & Skills Leicestershire is open to everyone from the long-term unemployed and those recently made redundant, to graduates and college leavers who are just starting out in the working world.
“I would urge anyone who is looking for support in seeking a new role to get in touch and see how Work & Skills can help you.”
Work & Skills Leicestershire currently runs at Loughborough Library on Tuesdays 10am until 12 noon and on Fridays at Hinckley Library between 10am and 12 noon.
From September 29, there will also be sessions at Wigston Library from 10am until 12 noon every Wednesday and at Coalville Library between 2pm and 4pm on Wednesdays.
Appointments are available both via telephone and face-to-face at the Employment Hubs. To find out more visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/work-and-skills or call 0800 988 0308.