‘Schools not pre­par­ing pupils for job mar­ket’

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BYBARRYTOBERMAN

A CHAR­ITY help­ing un­em­ployed Jews from Lon­don and the sub­urbs to find work is re­port­ing in­creased de­mand from school leavers and new grad­u­ates.

Finch­ley-based Re­source sup­ported 415 new clients last year, just shy of the record 427 who reg­is­tered in 2014.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Vic­to­ria Ster­man re­ported that while the av­er­age age of clients was 43, more than 20 per cent of those it helped were aged 30 or un­der.

Re­source is look­ing to take its ad­vi­sory work into schools, which “in gen­eral, are not pre­par­ing pupils for the job mar­ket. They need ‘soft skills’ to make them em­ploy­able. It’s no good get­ting an in­ter­view if they can’t hold a con­ver­sa­tion or main­tain eye con­tact.”

Through one-to-one ses­sions with its spe­cial­ist ad­vis­ers and a range of sem­i­nars and work­shops, Re­source helped around 200 clients into paid po­si­tions in 2015. Oth­ers se­cured vol­un­tary or train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, which Ms Ster­man said was im­por­tant in terms of boost­ing both a per­son’s con­fi­dence and CV.

How­ever, it was still ac­tively sup­port­ing 300 peo­ple of all ages and skills, with an av­er­age 65 vis­its to its premises weekly. “We see peo­ple from all walks of life, from the pro­fes­sions to cler­i­cal work,” Ms Ster­man re­ported. “It does show the large de­mand from peo­ple who need sup­port to get into em­ploy­ment.”

Re­source usu­ally has up to 40 job ad­ver­tise­ments for clients log­ging on to a pro­tected area of its web­site. School ad­min­is­tra­tor, of­fice man­ager and ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gramme man­ager have been among jobs ad­ver­tised re­cently and the po­si­tions are mostly within the Jewish com­mu­nity. The char­ity will gen­er­ally help some­one for six months but will do so for longer if their cir­cum­stances dic­tate.

As an ex­am­ple of Re­source’s broad­en­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, it ran an event In Oc­to­ber for 20 clients at HSBC’s Gold­ers Green branch. Most of the branch’s cus­tomers are Jewish and it is closed on Satur­days. Yet Ms Ster­man said it had no Jewish staff.

“The aim was to help our clients into work but also to use their net­work­ing skills — at least 70 per cent of jobs are never ad­ver­tised. HSBC saw the value in meetingapoolof jo­bready peo­ple.” Two have since reached an ad­vanced stage of the job in­ter­view process.”

‘It’s no good get­ting an in­ter­view if they can’t hold a con­ver­sa­tion’

Vic­to­ria Ster­man

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