Single father Carl Care is one of a growing number of customers of The Way Forward project who are expanding their learning, securing job interviews and getting back into work.
The Way Forward is a unique employability and skills coaching programme for anyone, aged 18-plus living within the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area in Dorset, whose financial health and employment status has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The programme only began in March 2021, but it is already seeing great results, with seven people having achieved accredited learning, five people having gained paid employment and more having secured job interviews.
Carl explained: “I recently took part in The Way Forward programme after finding myself unemployed for the second time in 12 months.
“I was made redundant from a job I had been in for a number of years, when the company shut down due to uncertainty in the UK energy market. I was one of over 200 members of staff suddenly having to search for a new job.
“A week after we were told we were being made redundant, the Lockdown was announced and finding a new job suddenly looked even more difficult.
“I took a few months off over the summer last year as I had a decent redundancy payment to keep me going for a little.
“When it came to looking for jobs, I had some idea of job sites I could use and was signed up to them. But I found there weren’t many roles advertised that suited what I was looking for.
“After three months of being unemployed, my redundancy money was mostly gone and I needed a job. So, I took a position that I thought matched what I was looking for, with a company that made lots of promises to me.
“Unfortunately, by the end of my first day, I realised the company was not what I had hoped.
“All the promises made to me before I agreed to take the position were broken and my job role was changed, with my duties reduced more and more. This destroyed my confidence.
“I was made to feel like I was inferior and like I could not keep up with the others - when the truth was far from that.
“Eventually I was told my contract was going to be cancelled. Not because I had done anything wrong, but because they did not think “I would be able to hit targets if they were increased.”
“I was now jobless again for the second time in a year, whilst still being trapped in the pandemic.
“Luckily for me, I knew someone involved in The Way Forward project who explained how it could benefit me. I decided to give it a go and I am very happy I did.
“I didn’t actually get a chance to use all the tools on offer to me through The Way Forward. But this was because I was lucky to find another position after just a few weeks. But I can see how it benefits people myself included.
“I met Nadia who has a wealth of knowledge and experience she was willing to share and use to help me in looking for a job.
“We started off using the Star technique to ascertain my strengths and weaknesses and Nadia advised what they could do to help strengthen the weaknesses I had.
“I explained that confidence was the biggest weakness I had now, due to the things I had gone through over the past year. Nadia instantly had options for me to try and help rebuild my confidence. I was also advised that I could get support if there was a training course that I felt may help. There were also group sessions for help in dealing with my finances and debt etc.
“During my time on the course I found that the staff were very kind and courteous and ready to help when you needed it. But they also allowed you space to work through things yourself.
“When I was able to get some interviews, Nadia worked around me, finding a good time to call me and go through the types of questions that I could expect. She also helped me to structure my answers to best make use of my experience and highlight my skills.
“This support definitely helped me during the interview process, and I am very happy to say that I was successful in being offered a job on my first attempt.
“I would definitely advise others to try this course. It would be great to see The Way Forward team being given more financial support, so they can build this programme, and help many other people as they have me.
“I would also like to see some big businesses in the surrounding area get involved and maybe partner with the programme to help give more options to people on the course.
“There were other people on the course whom I met during an open day and I am hopeful they will also find positions. I’m sure the BCHA team will do everything they can to ensure this happens.
“Thank you once again to Nadia who was fantastic. I only had the chance to meet Kate once during the open day, but I could see she was also passionate about helping people and had a real connection with those on the course as well.”
The Way Forward would like to hear from individuals who could benefit from joining the programme and also employers who are interested in learning how they can recruit employees from The Way Forward.
For more information contact The Way Forward on: 07971640948 or by email at: email@example.com