Pre­par­ing for the work­place

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

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.’’

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Gail Mar­quet at All Saints where there’s a job club set up to help peo­ple back into paid work.

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