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Council's employability team up for national award

Newport City Council’s employability team has been shortlisted for a national award for helping people get back to work.

The Council, which delivers services on behalf of employability, skills and offender rehabilitation provider Working Links, has been shortlisted in the Partner of the Year category at this year’s Employability Awards, run by the Employment Related Services Association.

Working alongside Working Links, the Council delivers both the Work Programme and Work Choice schemes for unemployed people. With consistently high standards, last year the Council supported 52% of its Work Programme customers and 94% of its Work Choice customers into sustained employment, resulting in more than 200 people finding suitable, long-term jobs.

The team constantly looks at innovative ways in which to support their caseloads, through working in partnership with the youth service, community hubs where organisations join under one roof, employers and other strands of the Council, as well as many other agencies to provide a full package of support to their customers and help them overcome their barriers in to employment.

The Council’s youth service operates out of a venue in the city centre after it was identified early on that young customers required a little more specialist help and support, especially in areas of housing and accessing health provisions. The council’s Work Programme and Work Choice teams collaborated with the youth service to identify – and supporting them through – issues young people may be suffering from in a bid to build up their employability potential.

More recently they have been looking at ways in which to assist their customers on Employment Support Allowance with limited work experience in to progressing closer to the labour market, supporting support customers in to roles outside of their expectations. This has increased their self-confidence, lowered their anxiety and gave them the encouragement they needed to apply for employment or work experience in fields they initially thought were unachievable.

Councillor Gail Giles, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said she was delighted to see the work of the team acknowledged by being put forward for the award. She said: “Helping to build people’s confidence in themselves and their abilities when looking for work is essential if we want people to be successful in the workplace.

“Council staff, in building good relations with our partners and other agencies, play a crucial role in helping people to aim higher than they thought possible and gain a job which gives them back their independence and dignity.”

Working Links’ partnerships and provisions manager Joanna Griffiths said: “The Council consistently deliver a high-quality journey for their customers and are always striving for new and innovative ways to help them in achieving their overall goals.

“Their quality in delivery and compliance is often discussed in workshops and they are held with high regard amongst the partnership team at Working Links.

The Employability Awards aim to showcase and champion best practice from across the employment support sector. Covering ten award categories, they have been judged by industry experts and demonstrate the breadth of work involved in supporting people into work. Winners will be announced at a special ceremony in London on 29 June.

To find out more about how Working Links helps communities, call 0800 917 9262 or contact us.

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