‘Schools not preparing pupils for job market’
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’