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Council supports all abilities on path to employment

Published
05.10.2020

Work has continued throughout lockdown to help people of all ages and abilities to continue their path to employment.

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With the UK now officially in recession and large scale job cuts looming, the future looks challenging for those entering the job market. However, work has continued throughout lockdown to help people of all ages and abilities to continue their path to employment, with some securing jobs along the way.

The county council’s employment programmes make sure that no one is overlooked when raising ambitions and providing the intensive support that people need to help them into work.

AIM supported internships work with education providers and employers to help young people with disabilities and health conditions develop their employability skills as part of their education; and the Forwards and GEM (Going the Extra Mile) Projects provide support for people who have significant challenges or barriers to work, offering bespoke and individual solutions to both individuals and employers. Together they have helped hundreds of people across Gloucestershire to find sustainable paid work. 

Case study:

Originally supported applying and gaining a paid job at The Range in Cheltenham, Tom (pictured) faced some enforced time-out when the pandemic took hold. He temporarily lost the routine of going in to work regularly, missed his colleagues and had more time on his hands than he was used to. When the request for Tom to return to work came, it generated some understandable concerns and anxiety.

Tom’s return to work was just like going in for the first time in many aspects as there were new procedures to be learned. Forwards stepped in to help. By gathering the concerns and understanding the new rules, they supported Tom’s return with on-site supportive Job Coaching, agreeing a schedule with Tom, and liaising with store management to ensure an effective return. Being there with him when he returned, discussing the new arrangements before entering the building and establishing what to do if anxiety was present; we had a plan.

Tom applied himself with the care and attention he had previously demonstrated and soon found his feet. He did so well, that after only two sessions with his Job Coaches he didn’t need any further support, which is a really good result.

Cllr Kathy Williams, cabinet member for adult social care delivery, said “Our employment services are still open for business and we remain committed to ensuring that everyone will continue to receive the support they need to find work.  We are proud to have one of the best offers in the country working closely with a range of partners including the Department for Work and Pensions, colleges, and voluntary and community sector organisations to make sure that people can access the help they need when they need it.

We continue to extend our projects responding to emerging challenges including our ‘Dragons Apprentice’ self employment course in partnership with Adult Education and ‘Community Works’, which will provide work experience placements in community settings.  It is important at this time we don’t lose sight of the fact we will come through this and encourage people to continue seek help and work with us.”

For more information, visit www.forwardsgloucestershire.co.uk or contact forwards@gloucestershire.gov.uk

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