To continue helping unemployed residents of Banbury move closer to employment through education, training, voluntary work, advice & guidance.
About the project
The proposal directly supports the continued and future development of a vibrant and sustainable local economy in Banbury, promoting social inclusion and economic development.
We want to continue a successful venture in Banbury that has been running for 3 years, addressing unemployment through the support of helping people overcome barriers to employment. We do this by the promotion and skills development of training, education, entrepreneurial endeavours, apprenticeships, employment or volunteering opportunities.
We have been fortunate enough to have had funding provision for up to 3 years to run a job club in Banbury addressing unemployed residents of Banbury and targeting particularly the unemployed residents in Grimsbury, Neithrop and Ruscote. The project therefore is now only funded until the end of June 2015.
We have been offered £7,500 towards the project to continue the job club until March 2016 providing we can find at least a match for this amount to continue to run the job club.
HOW CAN THIS BENEFIT POTENTIAL FUNDERS
This would help organisations in contributing to social and economic responsibilities in the Banbury area.
RATIONALE FOR THE PROJECT
Oxfordshire has a tight labour market, however there are still pockets of deprivation. Despite Banbury being in the county of Oxfordshire, we are still experiencing demand for the job club services we are providing weekly to unemployed residents.
The barriers our job seekers are facing in Banbury are wide, and we are seeing large numbers of people who are experiencing lifestyle problems such as debt, homelessness, discrimination, drug and alcohol problems, low skills levels etc., all which have an effect on their employability skills but can be addressed with the right support and partnership referral processes in place.
Our job seekers are getting increasingly concerned that our service will have to end. They will then have limited access to advice and guidance services that they can stay for a full 5 hours, Internet and email. Often job seekers are unable to fill in an application form in the timescales given at a library so our service is more flexible about this.
FINDINGS TO BACK UP THE RATIONAL FOR THE PROJECT
For nearly 3 years we have been monitoring the success and the wider impact this service has had on attendees to our job club.
Throughout the term we have established the following, which we would aim to address moving forward in addition to our current activities if we were successful in gaining additional funding.
Engagement and capacity building
The level of referrals from job centre plus has been a little lower than expected, so capacity building for the project needs to be aimed at not only working more closely with job centre plus but also housing associations, encouraging employers to have open sessions for live vacancies at the drop in, recruitment consultancies, out-reach promotion at local community centres and spreading the word to a number of community organisations and health centres to refer to our service.
With successful funding for the project we aim to address additional issues at the job club, with the offering of some specialist support, such as budgeting, benefits advice and business start-up to promote enterprise as well as continuing with the employment information, advice and guidance services. Attracting a variety of people to access the services on offer.
Social and economic barriers that are most apparent amongst our attendees
Over 40% of attendees are in the 50+ age range, experiencing technology barriers and fear of discrimination.
Homelessness and an increasing awareness of job club seekers turning to food banks to sustain family living.
Attendees who have drug, alcohol, financial and mental health problems, we have identified that they are not aware or using the community services available in Banbury, however we want to address this as part of the extension program, by working closely in partnership with our community partners and promoting additional services that can be accessed at our career clinic.
Although Information, advice and guidance is a major factor in helping people find sustainable employment, there are many factors affecting their ability to find the right employment for their circumstances.
Standard provision offered at the moment is often very limiting in time, and sessions can be as little as 30 minutes, residents feel they are not being listened to. Time is needed to build relationships and understand their circumstances to be able to find the right tailored support for their needs.
CONTINUATION PROJECT OUTLINE BELOW
PROPOSED NAME CHANGE AND RE-LAUNCH
BANBURY CAREER CLINIC
OUR AIMS CONTINUE TO BE:
Delivering a motivational, unique and innovative approach that not only impacts on employability outcomes, providing ‘job ready’ candidates to local employers in and around Banbury, but also the health and wellbeing of our clients.
TARGET CLIENT GROUP
The job club has been a service offered to all residents of Banbury, however the majority of attendees have been unemployed or under employed (zero hour contracts or temporary contracts).
To implement and deliver tailored support, information, advice and guidance, adapted to the needs of our clients and helping them to integrate in to society and providing services to encourage sustainable employment opportunities.
Our clients will experience greater awareness and opportunity to skills development for the workforce to enable them to feel less isolated and part of society and a growing economy.
- Job search facilities
- Volunteering opportunities
- Building a successful CV
- Interview coaching
- Career planning
- Business start-up advice and guidance
- Financial and budgeting advice and guidance
Capacity building activities will take place on successful funding to promote the added value services to the Career Clinic and we will be focused on Charitable and Community organisations, including community centres, local authorities, employment fairs, libraries, voluntary organisations, local businesses, job centre plus, citizen advice bureau, housing associations, and community projects.
WIDER IMPACT – To measure pre and post support of each individual from July through impact assessment’s, case-loading and the wider impact on each job seeker, including improved confidence, motivation and readiness to move forward in to training, education, voluntary work or employment.
As well as hard outcomes in to employment, training, voluntary and educational activities.
Once a client feels that they have received the support they need we have an anonymous survey to gage our own performance for delivery of this project.
We are looking to find a spark in our clients, and raise awareness to the opportunities available to the job seekers who are looking to gaining training, education or employment, and to do that, we will think outside the box!
MOST RECENT REPORT
- 65% Recorded jobs seekers in attendance going in to some sort of training to improve employability & skills – mostly IT skills training and some CSCS and a little security & ESOL
- 25% Recorded job seekers in attendance doing or starting some sort of volunteering to improve employability, skills and work experience
- 72% Recorded job seekers in attendance as moving in to employment, including temporary, casual, permanent, self-employment etc.
(We have been providing advice from a bookkeeper to help those looking at self-employment to help with HMRC).
- 96% of attendees, even if only attended once, have all been provided with a one to one session, followed by a CV review or help, appropriate signposting to additional community support and training on relevant up-skilling where they have identified areas that they have needed support themselves.
Training and volunteering has been a fantastic way of getting people with significant barriers to making a meaningful step towards employment, we seem to have seen a steady increase in people doing this or enquiring about options, as an action towards gaining employment.