This is my second post dedicated to Women’s Work. I think we might need to rebrand as a Talent Acquisition business when I look at the skills, abilities and determination that the women we are able to support have to offer… and what they achieve.
Spring Star stories:
• Former NHS worker we had previously helped secure a driving job was determined to get back into a caring role. After a long process, a little bit of AFC intervention to gently refer the recruitment team to their own NHS Trust’s policy on recruiting people with convictions, she passed all the background checks and has started work as a vaccinator
• We met up with a wonderful young woman who years ago we helped onto the very last Jamie Oliver FiFTEEN scheme. She had previously worked at top London Restaurants but found lock down really hard. We worked with her over the last few months helping her regain her confidence and to renew all her food hygiene and related tickets, paying from our (non existing) hardship fund. Our Ops Director, Rozie, arranged a trial shift with one of the best known awarding winning “artisan” bakeries. They loved her and she’s started work, as a chef, on a wage that reflects her skills, last month
Around the Country
We continue to get contacts from all over the country. I got invited to Clinks Women’s Forum in March that was interesting and informative. The best part was meeting a woman, in the break out bit, from the BOSS project in Cardiff. They are also really keen on helping women help themselves through employment. I was immediately able to put BOSS in touch with NFN who have vacancies in Wales, in the Civil Service and also in the built environment. The logistics of setting up a through the gates service, when Welsh women are sent to English prisons, is not without its challenges. I am also going to try and assist them in establishing links with my retailers.
Then, randomly I met a great young woman on a telephone call. I was doing some employability interviews and had the chance to chat to a young lady who had been released from HMP Peterborough. Well educated, good work history, non-violent crime. She had even contacted the prison for help but was told nobody could help her with employment. I just thought this woman is too good to lose. To cut a long story short I was able to refer her to an ideal job. This is her letter to me
Although I used my time in prison as wisely as I could, by volunteering for various charities and working in the education department as a teaching assistant, I came home feeling very ashamed and with little or no confidence about finding work again.
Despite learning a very hard lesson from my previous mistake, it has led me to a better outlook on life and an appreciation of honesty. That being said in the 18 months that I have been home again I have struggled greatly to find and hold down a job. Maggie at A Fairer Chance has been phenomenal in helping me build up my confidence and to realise that although I made a grave error it doesn’t define who I am.
Maggie put me in touch with User Voice and thanks to her introduction I have been able to secure not only a new job, but a wonderful career opportunity. Thanks to Maggie this is the first time in a long time that I can genuinely say I feel hopeful for the future.
We have had another success with Civil Service with one of our women securing a digital marketing job through the gates.
We have also seen a huge rise in demand for women to work in rail, utilities and construction. Jobs range from muddy boots through admin to planning. I am talking with the fabulous Fran from Bounceback around the possibility of delivering some pre employment CSCS training in custody.
We have just been back in to HMP ESP with Beating Time, who support our work in custody, for the first time this year and I will write more about that next time.
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