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Groundwork NE & Cumbria is top performer for national employment scheme

Samantha Dawson with Sharon and John Rodenhurst

[F]ollowing the news that the number of Cumbrians claiming unemployment benefits has risen to 5280, Groundwork NE & Cumbria is encouraging those out of work to use its employment support services.

According to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, 1.8% of the region’s population is currently claiming an unemployment benefit.

Groundwork is the top performing partner in the Journey 2 Work programme, which it delivers on behalf of G4S in Workington, Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness, and has so far supported more than 100 people into work.

Journey 2 Work, which is funded by the European Social Fund, wants to change this through bespoke support, delivered by Groundwork’s mobile team, who specialise in delivering support from community venues to ensure that they are accessible to as many Cumbrian job seekers as possible.

The experienced career specialists offer individual, tailored support to help those furthest from the labour market, helping them to overcome barriers, upskill, retrain and move into permanent work. They provide bespoke support to help clients with the development of CVs and cover letters, finding vacancies, job applications and hone interview technique.

Samantha Dawson, Cumbria Project Manager for Groundwork NE & Cumbria, said: “It is disappointing to see a rise in the number of people in our area out of work. We know that it is difficult for those furthest from the labour market to gain the skills and support they need to move into work, which is why I am so proud of the progress my team has made in delivering the Journey 2 Work scheme.

“To be the top performer for a national scheme is a real achievement and demonstrates our approach to supporting those furthest away from the labour market is working.

“Our success is down to our relationship with clients. We support each person with an individual approach, ensuring that we work with them to find employment which not only suits their skillset and experience, but is also something they enjoy.

“While employment as a whole has increased nationally over the last few years, many people still struggle to access support, which is why schemes such as Journey 2 Work are so vital.

“If someone has an ambition to progress in any given area, gain new qualifications or retrain and enter a new sector, we are able to help them source that training and support them through it.”

Semi-retired couple John and Sharon Rodenhurst, who recently relocated to Cumbria from Wales, have both found work thanks to Groundwork’s support.

John, who had a background in agriculture, first approached the Journey 2 Work team in May and received help to develop his CV and source vacancies. Through Groundwork’s employer engagement programme, he has gone on to secure a role with a local landscaping business – a position, which suits his lifestyle and skillset.

Groundwork also secured a job for Sharon in the Village Store in Flimby, which suited her previous experience in retail and customer service roles.

John said: “When we relocated to Cumbria from Wales, we hadn’t anticipated how difficult it would be to find work as older people, but Groundwork’s team were fantastic with helping Sharon and I to find jobs.

“From our initial meeting they were fantastic in helping us to update our CVs and find jobs to apply for. Within weeks they had found each of us roles, which suit our skills and semi-retired lifestyle.

“I would recommend that anyone who is out of work gets in touch with Groundwork. They make sure that the support they give is tailored to suit you as an individual, your skills and the kind of work you are looking for.”

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