Finding work can take time, but as Nottingham City Homes (NCH) resident Sarah* shows, improving your skills and employability can really help.
When Sarah began looking for a job after several years of unemployment she knew that she needed to gain confidence, knowledge and new skills to help her get into work.
She made a great start by volunteering with the British Heart Foundation, doing some painting and decorating. This helped her get back into a routine, and broadened her skills. It was at this time that Sarah got involved with the NCH Women in Construction programme. There she found a supportive environment and plenty of inspiration and advice. She enjoyed the taster workshop, and decided it was a line of work she was interested in.
With her confidence growing, Sarah enrolled at college to study joinery. She also gained some work experience with Keepmoat, helping with the renovation of Garfield Court - an Independent Living Scheme in Radford. This gave her a real insight into the world of construction and the types of jobs available in the industry.
Sarah subsequently gained further work experience with the NCH Home Preparation Team - part of the NCH Caretaker Traineeship programme. This included working towards a City and Guilds Extended Award in Employability with local training provider Access Training.
Following the traineeship programme, Sarah was referred to the Next Steps project, a one-to-one employment support programme run in partnership between NCH and Nottingham Jobs. Sarah soon felt ready to begin work and applied for a number of jobs. Although unsuccessful at first, she was determined to carry on and find a job. To improve her employability still further she did eight weeks work experience with the NCH Voids team.
Sarah’s determination and hard work paid off. On a work placement with NCH’s Estates and Caretaking Team, she spotted a job advertisement for a Block Caretaker. She decided to apply, and to her delight was offered the job. Sarah said: “I cried tears of joy when I heard I had been successful in getting the job”.
Sarah has settled in really well. She said: “Estates and Caretaking have been very welcoming, and since starting work the days go by so fast”. She quickly became a valued member of the team, one colleague commenting that she feels that Sarah has been there years.
Sarah is no longer on benefits, and her self-esteem has really improved. Her advice to others in a similar situation is: “Don’t give up and don’t rush it, you will get there."
Congratulations Sarah, we wish you the best of luck for the future!
If you are interested in improving your own employability, contact our Employment Support Service. Please register on our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*name changed to maintain confidentiality.