Sometimes the young people that we support need to claim job related benefits. We realised that some were getting confused and ending up with sanctions in their benefits through missed appointments, unfilled job match cards and accounts. These sanctions can then lead to problems in paying rent meaning that the young people can build up large debts. We asked a representative from Job Centre Plus to come in once a month to discuss what was expected of the residents, to help them to keep these benefits in place and look at ways to maximise their attempts of finding work.
On the back of this we agreed to run a job club every Monday at the Foyer, which would be time where our young people could get together once a week and familiarise themselves with Universal Job match, do job searches together, keep benefits in place and also keep a look out for education, employment or training.
During the club we also utilise the free food donations we receive to have lunch, which is always an added bonus. The things we are trying to cover in job club are for example; setting up appropriate email addresses, registering on universal job match, preparing CV’s, filling in application forms, Interview techniques, mock interviews, registering on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter.
We also had Steve Belcher in from ‘Into the woodlands programme’ (Princes trust) who delivered a talk about what they had to offer and signed up 3 young people to go through their application process.
Mellissa who engages weekly with job club and is currently in receipt of JSA has said; “I think job club is good because it encourages us to look at a wide range of training, education and work experience. This is great because some of my housemates aren’t so confident when it comes to job search but as a group we support and develop together”.
Its really important that we support our young people to move towards independence. Not having debt is a major part of this and we will continue to have job club weekly at the Foyer and get outside agencies in once every few months to deliver exciting new opportunities for our YP. Alec Hoskins, Young Persons Worker