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Gloucestershire Business News

Council offering support on path to employment

With the UK in recession and large scale job cuts looming, the future looks challenging for anyone entering the job market.

But throughout the ongoing coronavirus restrictions, Gloucestershire County Council has worked to help people of all ages and abilities to continue their path to employment.

The council's employment programmes ensure no one is overlooked, raising ambitions and providing support to help them into work.

AIM (Assisted Internship Model) internships work with education providers and employers to help young people with disabilities and health conditions develop employability skills.

And the Forwards and GEM (Going the Extra Mile) projects provide support for people who have significant challenges or barriers to work, offering bespoke and individual solutions to workers and employers.

Together they have helped hundreds of people across Gloucestershire to find sustainable paid work.

Councillor Kathy Williams, cabinet member for adult social care delivery, said: "Our employment services are still open for business and we remain committed to ensuring everyone will continue to receive the support they need to find work.

"We are proud to have one of the best offers in the country working closely with a range of partners including the Department for Work and Pensions, colleges and voluntary and community sector organisations to make sure people can access the help they need when they need it."

Among those who have been helped by the Forwards was programme, who was originally supported to secure a job at The Range in Cheltenham.

With the enforced break at the onset of the pandemic, he lost the routine of going in to work, missed his colleagues and had more time on his hands than he was used to.

And when the request to return to work came, it generated understandable concerns and anxiety with new procedures to be learned.

Forwards helped by gathering his concerns and new rules, supporting Tom's return with on-site job coaching, agreeing a schedule with him and liaising with store management.

Between them, the came up with a plan - discussing new arrangements before entering the building and establishing what to do in case of anxiety was present.

Tom applied himself and fared so well he only needed two sessions with his job coaches.

"We continue to extend our projects responding to emerging challenges including our Dragons Apprentice self-employment course, in partnership with Adult Education, and Community Works which will provide work experience placements in community settings," said Councillor Williams.

"It is important at this time we don't lose sight of the fact we will come through this and encourage people to continue seek help and work with us."

For more information, visit forwardsgloucestershire.co.uk or contact forwards@gloucestershire.gov.uk 

Read more about the Forwards programme and the people it is helping in your latest online Punchline magazine.

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