05 February 2013 You are here:

Salvation Army creates fun and friendly job club for young people in County Durham

The Salvation Army in Crook launched a pilot project at the end of January to help young people into employment. Aimed at those aged between 16 and 25-years, a new job club will be unveiled which will encourage and inspire young people to work together to find employment.

The church and registered charity will provide young people with a specialised job search facility, including laptops and online access, and the opportunity to work together with other young people in a friendly and encouraging environment. A job coach will also be on hand to advise and mentor those attending.

The project is being supported by The Salvation Army Employment Plus that each year supports hundreds of people to overcome barriers to find sustainable employment, The 3 Towns Partnership (Durham County Council) and Bishop Auckland College.

The plan is for the facility to incorporate peer-to-peer support, and will foster a team effort to find employment, encouraged by fun incentives such as pizza parties. Young people will be able to celebrate and commiserate with one another in a friendly and inspirational environment.

The Job Club, open every Wednesday and Thursday from 9.30am to 12noon at the Crook Salvation Army centre in Queen Street, will also include inspirational question and answer sessions with those who have managed to find employment, top tips, optional courses, help with CV’s and presentation skills.

The project is supported financially by the 3 Towns Partnership; in particular £5,615 of Councillor Eddie Tomlinson's Neighbourhood Budget. Bishop Auckland College will be assisting with further education advice.

Lieutenant Dawn says: ‘One of the key things we have noticed when working with young people in Crook is how they feel quite hopeless about securing employment. A combination of generational unemployment and limited job opportunities has meant that we have experienced young people who do not feel confident about their futures. They do not even feel that they should aspire to particular careers because they cannot initially get on the job ladder.’

She adds, ‘The aim of the job club is to inspire a new sense of purpose and enthusiasm for the young people, with the intention of helping them into a first job. We will also give them additional optional training and a fun and encouraging environment in which to job search. Peer-to-peer support, plus the added assistance of a job coach, is also a priority, as often young people can feel quite isolated in their quest to find work.’

The Salvation Army in Crook has a large team of volunteers who help prepare food parcels and run community activities. Many of these volunteers are young jobseekers who use the opportunity to volunteer to gain valuable experience and feel that they are helping others. Some have already successfully entered paid employment.

Employment Plus is a service run by The Salvation Army in the UK in association with partners in employment services to redress the negative effects of unemployment on people’s lives – be that their self-esteem, overall well-being, family life or the impact on the wider community. Every week The Salvation Army supports hundreds of people to overcome barriers to finding sustainable employment, through a nationwide network of community and social work centres and teams of specialist employment advisers who provide professional support, helping jobseekers develop CV and job-hunting skills, and secure work experience and employment.