Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Council's Help Is Just the Job

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Council's Help Is Just the Job

Article excerpt

For one Stockton woman -we'll call her 'Jane' -support from Stockton Council and its partners has changed her life for the better.

She has overcome poor confidence, feels more positive about herself, has taken on voluntary work and begun a college course - all huge steps towards her career goal of becoming a counsellor. Soon 'Jane' will be ready to apply for paid work.

'John' is another to benefit. A recovering drug addict, day care and treatment helped him to overcome this. Volunteering to work with the local Drugs and Alcohol Action Team as a voice for others trying to overcome their problems, he learned to read, write and use a computer, completed a counselling course and earned an award. Drug-free, he's now a case worker helping people with addictions. These are just two of more than 500 residents the council has helped towards employment so far this year.

It particularly targets under-25s, over-50s and those out of work for some time, focusing on low levels of skills and enterprise and the borough's most disadvantaged areas. Many such people find particular barriers to work -they may be carers, lone parents, homeless, leaving care, have low skill levels, long-term health conditions, disabilities or suffer financial exclusion.

Working closely with community organisations, the council helps them fulfil their potential and secure sustainable employment.

For each, a personal advisor will develop an individual plan to overcome their particular barriers, offer coaching, create CVs and arrange help with lifestyle, childcare or other difficulties.

The advisors support training and work placements, help develop confidence, interview techniques and the skills needed to land and retain a job.

So far, around 1,700 Stockton residents have benefited, with well over 300 now in work. Another part in the jigsaw encourages some of the most disadvantaged young people overcome particular barriers to work, such as disabilities, teenage pregnancies, drugs or the trauma of periods in care. …

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