Council helps residents into work with important purchases

20 March 2018

The Council is helping vulnerable adults to attend job interviews by paying for their transport and buying them smart clothing.

People who are keen to apply for jobs and attend interviews but can’t afford to do so are being given a donation from an Employment Enabler Fund, which is part of the Council’s new Building Futures project.

One person who has benefitted from this fund by securing a job is Jane (this is not her real name because she wishes to remain anonymous). Jane is one of the millions of adults in the UK every year who have suffered from domestic violence. 

The abuse was such that her only option was to flee from her home and start a new life in a new part of the country. Jane came to Ellesmere Port but when she arrived she had nowhere to live, no job and no family to support her.

While Jane was living in supported accommodation, she registered with Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Work Zone for support in finding a job. A Work Zone mentor suggested Jane take an IT qualification to improve her skills and she began work as a receptionist on a voluntary basis to build her confidence and administration skills. 

When she was called for an interview, she had little clothing and nothing suitable to wear. Jane was able to buy a pair of trousers, a top and shoes for £33, paid for through the Employment Enabler Fund. She later found out she had got the job.

Over the next two years, the Employment Enabler Fund will be available to help people access work or progress in work. It is aimed at people on low incomes and will prioritise people from the following target wards: Ellesmere Port Town, Rossmore, St Paul’s, Netherpool and Grange.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, said: “Entering employment can often fail due to the lack of money to pay for ad hoc items and the amounts involved can often be very small.

“Our work stream is also looking to help people in work on low pay who are not able to access training or pay for licences due to low household income as well as those who are unemployed who need some additional financial support to enable them to find work.” To be eligible for this funding, adults must be Ellesmere Port residents, engaged with one of the Building Futures partner organisations, either looking for work or in work and looking to increase their income and meet one of the following eligibility criteria: Household income less than £25,000 pa, in receipt of out of work benefits, in receipt of Housing Benefit or in receipt of Council Tax Reduction. People can access the fund via the Work Zone or other partner organisations.

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