New resources to help Nottingham jobseekers find work

published on 18 Nov 2014

[Bruce at The Salvation Army's Employment Plus Local in Nottingham]

A scheme, aimed at helping those furthest from employment to find a job has been making a real difference in Nottingham. Employment Plus Local is an innovative programme as it goes further than many other similar schemes and offers personalised support, IT skills, help in sourcing work placements and further learning opportunities.  

The scheme is run at our community centre at Notintone Place, Sneinton. Local jobseeker, Bruce, 59 visited the centre in search of work and met Phil Johnson, the community services manager who told him about Employment Plus.  Now, with the help of the scheme Bruce has found a job which he feels is perfect for him and has hopes for a positive future.

Bruce said: “When I discovered Employment Plus in Sneinton I was a freelance lecturer in Addiction and Mental Health. Paid work was hard to find and I hadn’t been in full time employment for a long time, but not through want of trying. I’m not afraid of hard work and had been volunteering with a local mental health charity for some time but just couldn’t find paid work.

“It was incredibly frustrating as I was putting in a lot of effort but not getting anywhere. One of my main problems was a lack of IT skills. I’ve spent most of my career as a draftsman but never used computers. It’s been very hard to get my head round how to search for jobs online and how to apply. Although the Job Centre has been fantastic they just don’t have the resources to go far enough to help, so people like me get stuck in a cycle they don’t have the skills to get out of.

“Yes, there are computers at the library but it’s not always easy to concentrate as there are people there using them for all sorts of things.  At Employment Plus there’s a dedicated room where we’re all job hunting. Importantly there are people on hand to help me when I get stuck or can’t remember how to do something.

“Since finding Employment Plus my job search has become far more targeted as the support I’ve received has helped me to decide what I want to do. And it’s this approach that’s paid off as I’ve just got a job at Mencap as a support worker. It’s exactly the sort of job which excites me as I’ll be able to use my people skills. I’ll need to move but that doesn’t worry me as I’m just keen to work. 

“For me recognition comes from being paid so I’m really looking forward to starting this new job.”

Phil Johnson, said: "The Employment Plus scheme enables us to get to the root of the problem for many of the people struggling in Nottingham. Gaining employment transforms lives and has a wide reaching effect. We recognise that unemployment is a cause of poverty which often leads to social exclusion and we believe this scheme enables us to offer the practical and emotional support jobseekers in this local community need. 

"Bruce is a great example of someone who was aware that he needed more support than the Job Centre could give him but he didn't know where to go. We were able to give him the tools he needed to find a job and we're delighted he's been successful. We'd like to encourage job seekers in the area to come to one of our sessions to see what a difference we could make to their job search."

Employment Plus is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is run by volunteers along with Salvation Army staff.