Lucie Babbington – Work Skills Project Administrator

Work Skills – What’s New?

The Work Skills project helps parents of young children or expectant parents develop skills and confidence for returning to work, training, volunteering or education. The aim is that with an improved family financial situation, and happier home life, parent will have better opportunities for their own future and through this improving the lives of children under 4. I joined the team in December 2017 and although I’m not really “new” anymore, for our first blog I wanted to continue the theme of “new”. We’ve already run 28 events and counting since our second delivery year started in November!

We’ve run Industry Visit events (a behind the scenes look at local businesses) with Waitrose and Priory House Care Home for the first time. Two parents from the Care Home have since gained employment with Southend Care. We’re also running our first Industry Visit with Southend Hospital in September. Feedback from parents includes:

  • “I really enjoyed the session. It has really built my confidence and it is really reassuring that there is support for mums/parents”
  • “So informative and I am getting to know more about jobs I can do around my family life”
  • “It has been very enjoyable and informative, has given me the confidence to even consider that I have a chance now, thank you”

This year, with our Learning for Mum & Dad sessions (developing existing skills, learning new ones, and gaining information), we’ve run sessions to inform parents about Tax Credits, Universal Credit, and the Free Childcare options available to them. We’ve also run a session with South East and Central Essex MIND providing parents who may be anxious and/or stressed about returning to employment, with coping skills and knowledge of the support available as well as a Food Safety course with Southend Adult Community College, where attendees were given the chance to gain a Level 2 qualification.

60 Minute Mentor sessions are an opportunity to hear an inspiring story of achievement, or success, within a particular industry from someone with an interesting, relevant background. New sessions this year have included ‘Careers at Southend Hospital’ with a talk through a career from midwifery through to Lead Nurse Practice Development/Education Liaison Manager. We’ve also heard from the team at South Essex College about their experience of the hair & beauty industry, flexible working and courses available from the College. In September we’re looking forward to a session on careers in teaching, with a Senior Manager at Southend Adult Community College, talking about her career journey which started out with her as a part-time Teaching Assistant.

Our fourth type of session is called Intro2Enterprise which has been so successful that this year we’re running it twice! In the short 4-week course, parents are offered the opportunity to get support in setting up their own business. So far this year, ideas have been as varied as online hampers, a health food restaurant and a dance school. Local businesses that are now up and running helped by the course include a record shop, bunting for popular UK festivals, and a cleaning franchise. The course starts in September so sign up now if you have a business idea and would like to get started. Even if you don’t have the financial means, you can find out about all sorts of funding available!

Project Lead Amir and I are always looking for new ideas for sessions that would be the most beneficial to parents. I can promise you that all suggestions are discussed and we’ll do what we can to develop them. If you have a new idea for a Work Skills session then why not contact us today! And if you would like to sign up for one of the events, click here. Or contact me for more details, I would love to hear from you!

Lucie
01702 534077
economicd@southend.gov.uk

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