A group of seven received the back to work training during the six week course at RBLI’s Aylesford training centre where they gained knowledge of where to look for work, how to make a successful application, how to secure an interview and how to be successful at interview.
They also attended a personal development workshop to increase self esteem and motivation. Russet, part of the Circle group, provided welfare support and benefits advice to complement the employability programmes.
The scheme has seen a number of early successes with several members of the group securing job interviews and two members setting up their own businesses.
Steve Sherry, RBLI’s Chief Executive, said: “For those who have been out of work for some time, it can be difficult to know where to start to look for work, particularly in the current economic climate.
“It’s been really rewarding for RBLI to use the expertise it has in assessment and employability skills development to work with Russet Homes to deliver this exciting new initiative.
“Everyone who attended is now thinking very positively about work and has a long term plan which they will continue to progress after they leave the programme. They also have an opportunity to link back in with RBLI Advisers for additional advice and support to help maintain focus. We’ve been delighted to work in partnership with Russet Homes, who have a very proactive and forward thinking approach to supporting their residents. This fits well with our own philosophy of achieving independence through empowerment to achieve sustainable work.”
Russet Managing Director, Steve Woodcock, said: “Tenants without work can become isolated and we’ve been really encouraged to see individual members of the group grow in confidence over the course of the programme.
“Not only have they benefited from the more formal elements of the course, but working together towards a common goal has undoubtedly enabled them to develop as a team.
“None of the attendees knew others on the course, but as they move on they have developed a real bond which I have no doubt will continue and help reduce the risk of isolation in the future, even if some individuals do not secure employment in the short term.
Russet Homes is committed to enhancing the lives of our residents and we hope this will be one of many such innovative schemes to enable us to continue to do this.”
Duncan Watson, who has been out of work for 18 years due to injury, said: “As far as work goes, I know what direction I’m taking now. It’s a brilliant course and it doesn’t matter what feelings you have about work, it will sort itself out. I was a bundle of nerves when I came here and things have changed a lot, very quickly”
# # #
RBLI is an independent charity based in Kent providing a range of services to Armed Forces communities. These include healthcare, welfare, accommodation, housing as well as assessment and employability training for both veterans and those transitioning out of the Armed Forces due to injury or health condition.
Russet is part of the Circle group, are the largest provider of social housing within Tonbridge & Malling, owning and managing over 6000 properties, ranging from one-bedroom flats to four bedroom (and a few larger) houses.