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Free training to improve job opportunities

Compass Support has launched free six week courses to improve job prospects for Castle Vale and Falcon Lodge residents who are currently unemployed or looking for a job.

The Employability & Wellbeing team will deliver training, CV and job application support and life coaching.

The first training sessions are already taking place at The Sanctuary, all socially distanced, and also online to provide participants with the skills, confidence and support to start working and improve their wellbeing.

Participants also gain qualifications in food hygiene, first aid and computer training to improve their job prospects or route to voluntary work.

Any unemployed person who is looking for work and would like help can apply by calling Rob Harris, Employability Advisor at Compass Support on 07841 067662.

The first course is fully booked and is taking place from 19 October – 27 November 2020, but the team is already booking places on the second course which will start in February in Falcon Lodge.

A WhatsApp group has been set up to support the trainees while also enabling them to build new relationships. To ensure continuity of service and support, the organisers have also set up Zoom classrooms to deliver training virtually for those who need to self-isolate or as we go into another national lockdown.

As well as training, the Compass Support team is providing tablet and dongle loan to access course work online, apply for jobs and learn new digital skills. As part of the course, one-to-one and group CV and interview training and support are available. Video interviews are also practiced as more employers are requesting initial interviews online.

As this initiative is part of the wider Get Healthy Get Working project, the organisers are also providing nutrition advice, cooking classes and recipe/ingredient packs, while a life coach is available to support participants.

Project funding was secured through The Henry Smith Charity, founded in 1628, as part of its Improving Lives funding stream.

The training has come at a time when more than four in ten working-age people are not working in the constituencies of Erdington, Yardley, or Hodge Hill.

The figures were compiled by city MP Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill), who said they showed the huge impact the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown had on jobs. He said:

Without urgent action, thousands more West Midlanders will be unemployed long term.[1]

Rob Harris, Employability Advisor at Compass Support, said:

We’ve had a major spike in enquiries from residents looking for work. From those who have been made redundant to those who face additional barriers when applying for work, such as mental, social, or learning issues, our trainees benefit from our holistic approach – we focus on their health and improving their job prospects at the same time.

For more information, call the Education & Employment team on 07841 067662.