Moving people closer to the work force with Ready for Work

As employability skills and job opportunities continue to be a hot topic in West Cumbria, Inspira is rolling out the next highly regarded Ready for Work programme.

Delivered by Inspira to help Jobcentre Plus clients get closer to the workplace, four programmes will run between March and September this year. The first one starts today (1st March) and spans six weeks including a full week on work placement. Fifty people are recruited to each programme and then they are split into groups of twelve to make the learning environment as effect as possible for everyone involved. Lakes College will also provide English and Maths for those who would like to, or need to, improve their key, functional skills.

“The aims of Ready for Work are to raise the confidence and motivation of participants, to help them in their efforts to find work,” said Mark Bowman, Chief Executive of Inspira. “It will provide the development of skills which are critical for accessing the labour market, as well as giving participants an understanding of the local labour market, its demands and opportunities.”

Local employers will also participate in the programme, giving advice and reflecting on employability in the broader labour market. Participants will also join local businesses for work placements. Facilitated through West Cumbria Works, the work experience will help to support the development of core employability skills, and better equip participants to compete for work across the West Cumbria labour market.

“Ready for Work is different as the focus is on participation,” continues Mr Bowman. “The emphasis is on active learning allowing participants to develop and practice skills. There are a series of structured activities that involve key behaviours such as planning, communication, teamwork, and responding positively to setbacks. Combined with this, are practical and active sessions to ensure competence using  digital platforms and apps in terms of creating, updating and uploading CV’s; the actual job search, submitting applications as well as using the more common job websites.”

Time management, financial awareness and coping strategies to deal with feelings of anxiety and stress around work and job seeking will also feature in the programme. The Ready for Work programme in West Cumbria is open to a range of ages and is sponsored by Sellafield Ltd, with referrals from Jobcentre Plus.