10 job interviews, 4 job offers plus more – at the Justlife Jobclub

This week we were delighted that one Jobclub attendee has been offered a full time, permanent job with a call centre. The position has good conditions and she is excited about starting work. In the last three months there have been 10 job interviews, for job club participants, 4 of which have resulted in job offers.

The Justlife Jobclub, at the Manchester Centre has been extremely busy since the start of 2014, with around 10 people attending each week. Increased pressure from the Jobcentre and high rates of unemployment have contributed to this significant rise.

Numerous people arrive at the Jobclub with no IT skills or literacy issues. These need to be addressed to empower people to move towards work. To up-skill people in using computers we started the IT For Jobs course, earlier this year, and 5 attendees have significantly increased in confidence in using computers and would no longer be considered IT illiterate. They are now able to do job searching with little support from advisors.

The Jobclub has also been a place where we have seen a place for volunteers to thrive. One of our service user volunteers has learned the specific skill of understanding how Universal Job Match works (the Jobcentre jobsearch programme). He now provides one-to-one support with our attendees who struggle with their IT literacy.

All of the attendees are looking for work with more determination and confidence than we have seen over the past 6 months, a definite and encouraging change. There is now a feeling that they don’t have to take just any job, but that if they keep looking hard, they’ll find one that fits them.

That said, finding stable employment is still a big challenge…

As well as issues such as confidence, low skills and criminal records, we are seeing new barriers arise. Zero hours contracts are rife in low skilled roles and workers are expected to travel long distances to work at unsociable hours. In addition new changes in qualifications needed for basic jobs are difficult to overcome. For example, many cleaning jobs and all construction jobs require employees to hold a CSCS card. Before this month, this was acquired by a short test and we were able to source some funding for this. Now to get a CSCS card each person must complete a one-day Health and Safety training course (costing around £120) as well as taking the CSCS test, which must now be taken in the English language only. This will make it harder to get our clients the relevant skills many need to find work.