Richard Jones: How the Employment and Skills Service is adapting to COVID-19

How the Employment and Skills Service is adapting to COVID-19

By Richard Jones
Development manager for the Employment and Skills Service

Undeterred by the Coronavirus, our Employment and Skills Service is working tirelessly to support people in Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley.  Working remotely, our community employment coaches are going the extra mile to provide much needed employability assistance to individuals living in our communities.

Through phone, email, social media and video calls, we’re ensuring the quality of service remains and our customers are given information, advice and guidance to suit their individual needs. 

Mindful that some people are more isolated than usual and that accessing services is difficult at this time, our coaches are maintaining regular contact with our customers, acting as brokers to source information to ensure people receive advice in a timely manner.

In response to the uncertain employment landscape and anticipating changes in the labour market, we are encouraging our customers to increase their skills through online courses.  We have developed strong links with learning providers and, through conversations with our customers, are identifying appropriate learning opportunities and helping people to access them.

One customer from Rotherham, Megan Clayton, said: “My vision of myself is much more positive….My confidence has grown and I am about to start learning a SAGE qualification so I can focus on applying for office and admin jobs.”

During lock down we’ve continued to support with job applications, CV creation, online interviews, government schemes and, by launching Facebook groups, we share relevant opportunities that our members can access. 

We’ve already received some incredible feedback from some of our customers: “You certainly exceeded my expectations. Each step you communicated with me; what you were going to do, when you were and even communicated the why too. WOW! I would recommend what the Coalfields Regeneration Trust do for people like myself 100%”

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