Home   News   Collaboration is key to the success of Council's Third Sector initiative for job-seeking parents

Collaboration is key to the success of Council's Third Sector initiative for job-seeking parents

Posted on 29 May 2024

 Almost 30 parents are on the road to workplace success thanks to a North Ayrshire Council partnership with Third Sector employers.

The Council’s employability service’s Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire programme teamed up with Third Sector partners to offer parents paid, mentored six-month placements.

Eighteen employers were involved in the scheme – called the Parental Employment Programme (PEP) – including Ardrossan Community Development Trust, Beith Community Association, Cunninghame Furniture Recycling, Irvine Community Sports Club, the Salvation Army and The Lennox Partnership.

In collaboration with The Ayrshire Community Trust (TACT), organisations across North Ayrshire were approached to identify opportunities they could offer people through PEP.

Successful candidates were registered with We Work for Families (WWFF) – which is a Council-funded service in Ardrossan that supports parents into work.

They also received Better Off calculations, which explain the benefits people are entitled to and how these could change when they start working.

Of the 28 parents who completed the six-month programme, nine have remained with the employer, four have found alternative jobs and the others are currently going through interview processes.

Successful participant Pamela Boyce is a mother-of-three who spent 12 years raising her family before deciding she would like to explore her work options.

When she found out that Beith Development Trust was advertising for a Business Support Assistant through PEP, she registered for the scheme and applied with support from her We Work For Families adviser.

Following her placement, Pamela was offered – and accepted – a one-year contract with the Trust as a booking officer, with responsibility for marketing Trust-owned Geilsland House Estate, in Beith, as an upmarket wedding venue and maximising income from its Air BnB lets.

She said: “I am excited about the future, and I would highly recommend the Council’s Parental Employment Programme to any parents who want to access employment.

“It has made a positive impact on my life and my family, and my children have commented on how proud they are of me and how much more energy I now have. They even joke about how my computer skills have improved!

“The care and support I have received all through the process have been fantastic.”

The skills and qualifications Pamela gained on her placement at the Trust include: A First Aid certificate, an Activate course through Glasgow University; IT and managing Air BnB accounts.

At the half-way stage of their placements, candidates were offered “moving on” sessions by the Council’s Your Next Move team using group discussions, interview preparation and CV support to ensure they felt comfortable making their next step, potentially into full-time employment.

Pamela explained: “The Your Next Move weekly check-ins helped me to develop my confidence, and recognise my own abilities and how these could fit into other businesses or roles I would never have looked at.”

The Council’s Employability Service delivers a range of support through its Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire programme.

Contracted partners delivering Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire include We Work for Families and CEIS Ayrshire, who all contribute to delivering a wide range of support to help individuals prepare and progress into employment.

To access any of the opportunities delivered by Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire please email employability@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

You can also find out how Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire can help you with things like CVs, application forms, Modern Apprenticeships, paid work experience, interview techniques and secure employment at Help finding work (north-ayrshire.gov.uk)

Follow the team on Facebook at Working North Ayrshire.