Southern Shows Success Helping Residents into Work
Southern Housing Group, one of the south east’s largest Housing Associations has continued its success helping residents into work through its in-house jobs programme, Southern Works.
With high levels of unemployment across the UK and the challenges faced by the Government’s work programme, Southern Works is a shining example of an alternative programme rendering significant results.
Since its launch in summer 2011, Southern Works has supported 700 residents with employment advice. The programme is delivered by the Group’s Social and Economic Regeneration Department, which also provides computer training, money management advice, volunteering opportunities and a range of other services for residents.
Southern Works’ Employment Advisers help residents to develop skills like CV and job application writing, job searching, interview skills, accessing job vacancies and finding apprenticeships.
One of the Group’s residents to benefit from Southern Works is Stacie Dunne from Brighton, who found that her adviser gave her the confidence and knowledge she needed to find work.
“I had not worked in some time and was struggling to pay my bills. My employment adviser, Kate, runs drop in sessions in the city centre each fortnight, so I went along so see whether she could help.
“At the drop in session, I was able to use a computer, which I did not otherwise have access to, to search for jobs online. Kate showed me the right way to search and we discussed the types of jobs that she thought were appropriate for me.
“She also helped me write a new CV, which she printed for me and then showed me interview techniques, which is something I hadn’t thought of much before,” she said.
With help from Kate, Stacie gained an interview as a customer service representative and ultimately got the job which she is enjoying.
Another element of the Southern Works programme is the Working Opportunities Fund, set up to provide grants of up to £500 for residents to buy tools, interview clothes or other items required to help them get into work. Stacie’s Employment Adviser, Kate Wainwright, helped her access the fund.
“When Stacie found out she had an interview, I was able to access the Working Opportunities Fund so she could buy some smart clothes for her interview and a monthly bus pass for her travel to and from work,” Kate said.
“The fund allows residents to buy items they require for work that they might otherwise struggle to afford. It’s great to be able to help people make long-lasting changes to their lives and the lives of their families through the work that Southern Housing Group does.”