Preparing for the workplace
Debt – it’s a destroyer of lives, relationships and incomes. Back in February The Tribune highlighted the story of ‘‘Wendy’’ and ‘‘Malcolm’’ who had dug themselves a deep and diabolical debt pit.
There seemed no way out, and no one seemed able to help them escape. Then the couple were made aware of a service run by Gail Marquet of Christians Against Poverty (CAP) at All Saints Church.
The CAP programme gave them hope and restored their dreams by helping them take charge of their finances.
This month CAP has embarked on a new project, helping jobless people prepare themselves for the job market by equipping and supporting them back into paid work.
‘‘We picked this up because quite a few of our debt clients are on benefits,’’ Gail explains. ‘‘Many lack ideas about what they are able to do, about preparing CVs, or even how to go about looking for a job.
‘‘There are those who have made mistakes in their lives which they feel either disqualify them from applying, or makes them unattractive to employers. Others lack confidence in their abilities or lack of experience. There are also those who suffer from depression.’’
Many feel inadequate. For instance, the value of motherhood as a preparation for outside paid work, she says is often underrated. Mothers have a range of valuable skill-sets. Volunteering can also be a valuable way of getting a foot in the job door.
CAP launched its eight-week Job Club at the end of the school holidays. Gail describes the club as a community where members can support and encourage one another with objectives such as goal-setting, writing CVs and job applications. There are visits from employers who talk about what they look for in a job appli- cant during a job interview, and the qualities and attitudes they like an employee to have.
They will also conduct mock interviews and give members feedback on things like confidence, grooming and dressing.
‘‘It’s a way of giving people the right strengths to get in front of an employer.’’
Gail stresses it is a club, not a programme. ‘‘Yes it has an eight-week course element, but members help each other to put it all together.’’
Gail Marquet at All Saints where there’s a job club set up to help people back into paid work.