Sup­port for job­seek­ers

The Jewish Chronicle - - CLASSIFIED -

It can be dif­fi­cult to stay mo­ti­vated when job hunt­ing, writes Suzanne Baum. How­ever, the sup­port pro­vided by a char­ity set up to help un­em­ployed Jewish peo­ple get back into the work­place, could make the process a whole lot eas­ier.

The Em­ploy­ment Re­source Cen­tre, in Finch­ley, North Lon­don, has helped more than 6,000 peo­ple in their search for em­ploy­ment since it opened in 1992. With the sole aim of pro­vid­ing the best pos­si­ble ser­vice to help clients find a job, the char­ity has suc­ceeded in meet­ing the needs of both the Ortho­dox and less ob­ser­vant mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

The char­ity pro­vides a one-to-one ad­vi­sor for each of its clients, from school leavers search­ing for their first job through to the el­derly wish­ing to work a day a week. There are 25 vol­un­teers giv­ing job-search ad­vice at the cen­tre.

If a client wishes, he or she can at­tend train­ing ses­sions at the cen­tre, cov­er­ing a num­ber of dif­fer­ent skills to help land a job.

Top­ics in­clude how to write a CV, in­ter­view skills, lessons in start­ing up your own busi­ness, as well as com­puter train­ing.

It is the last that David Arnold, chair­man of the cen­tre, be­lieves is vi­tal when it comes to help­ing a client se­cure a job.

“Nowa­days, so many jobs re­quire staff to be com­puter-lit­er­ate, so we try to pro­vide them with the ba­sic, as well as ad­vanced, level of com­puter train­ing they may need.”

As well as over­see­ing the char­ity, Mr Arnold works as one of its vol­un­teers and has seen all sorts of peo­ple walk through the char­ity’s doors.

“Kids with no qual­i­fi­ca­tions come to us for ad­vice, as well as pro­fes­sion­als who have, for ex­am­ple, been made re­dun­dant. It can be a dif­fi­cult time for them, so to know there is a com­mu­nal place that can help is a good thing.

“We helped one Ortho­dox man find a job work­ing for a gov­ern­ment de­part­ment. One of his con­cerns was that he was un­easy about ask­ing for time off on Shab­bat and Jewish fes­ti­vals, but we ad­vised him on the cor­rect way of han­dling this mat­ter.”

As well as run­ning a net­work­ing de­part­ment out in the com­mu­nity, the char­ity has a grad­u­ate train­ing pro­gramme ev­ery year, to ad­vise univer­sity leavers on how to find a job.

“This pro­gramme is hugely pop­u­lar,” Mr Arnold points out. “Leav­ing univer­sity and try­ing to find work can be a bit scary at first, but we try to make the process a whole lot eas­ier.”

Clients also like the fact that they can use the char­ity’s of­fices as a base. As well as hav­ing ac­cess to com­put­ers, in­clud­ing the In­ter­net, clients can use the of­fice sta­tionery, tele­phones and pho­to­copier. They can also read the daily news­pa­pers in the of­fice and use the on-site ref­er­ence li­brary.

“Be­ing able to of­fer th­ese ser­vices for free is great as it has kept the char­ity go­ing,” ex­plains Mr Arnold. “My aim now is to make the com­mu­nity more aware of what we do.”

It is thanks to trust funds and money raised by the com­mu­nity through private func­tions that the char­ity has the back­ing that it so greatly de­serves. And with the cen­tre’s proven suc­cess rate, Mr Arnold is keen this year to ex­pand the fa­cil­i­ties of the char­ity and en­hance its web­site (www.er­centre.org) to make it use­able for un­em­ployed peo­ple in other cities.

“I want Jews out of Lon­don to be able to use our web­site as an on­line re­source cen­tre where they can ac­cess the in­for­ma­tion they need with­out hav­ing to visit our Lon­don of­fice.”

The Em­ploy­ment Re­source Cen­tre of­fers prac­ti­cal and per­sonal as­sis­tance

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