A PIONEERING new programme has been launched by Oldham Council’s Get Oldham Working (GOW) team to help those already in employment gain more skills and gain better paid and more secure work.
The council knows it must ensure that inclusive growth – where all residents and communities benefit – is at the heart of their economic and regeneration strategies.
So they are investing £250,000 into the Careers Advancement Service to help move residents into better paid jobs and reduce the impact of welfare reforms which will see working families lose up to £2,000 per year from in work benefits.
The service – the first of its kind in Greater Manchester – will seek to work with 400 employed working-age residents in its first year. The scheme will also help local firms grow and support their staff, thanks to a partnership with the Manchester Growth Company.
Each resident who signs up will receive a service tailored to meet their needs and helping them to climb up the career ladder.
GOW staff will provide 1-to-1 support and help with a personalised development plan.
Residents will also be able to take part in a psychometric test and various bespoke assessments, which can help them understand their own strengths and areas for improvement, and will assist in obtaining that next step up the career ladder.
Support will also include workshops and networking events, support to navigate the jobs market, assistance to apply for Advanced Learner loans, and help with self-promotion via social media.
Councillor Shoab Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Employment and Skills, said: “There are lots of hardworking and talented people across the borough who the GOW team have helped over the years.
“Like all of us they want to do better for themselves and their families but they feel they can’t take the next step because they don’t have the right skills or are unsure what their key strengths are.
“Our Careers Advancement Service will hopefully help change that – we are doing our bit to help and support them.
“By doing this we are investing in skills – helping residents advance their careers and helping Oldham businesses and the local economy to grow.”
The Careers Advancement Service will work in partnership with the National Careers Service and local training and support services and is an extension of GOW.
It builds on the ongoing and successful Warehouse to Wheels project, which is run with Mantra Learning Limited, of Chadderton.
That scheme, which has been praised by industry leaders, has seen a number of warehouse workers upskilling and training to become Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) drivers – gaining them higher paid jobs.
If you have previously been helped by the GOW you can visit the team at Metropolitan House, Hobson Street, Oldham, OL1 1TT – across the road from the Job Centre Plus – weekdays from 9am until 4pm.
Local businesses and organisations interested in a skills check or able to provide traineeships, apprentices or jobs for local people can also get in touch.