Joanne Wood OneStop Youth Employment Hub Coordinator
Joanne is the OneStop Youth Employment Hub Coordinator, a joint project between A&WC and the DWP; she has been in this role since June 2021.
Jo is thrilled to be a blogger for the council and share stories from the hub as well as related happenings with her role and the world of careers.
Prior to Jo's appointment at the council she was the Careers Leader at Davison CE High School. She is a Level 6 Careers Advisor and has over 15 years experience working in higher education, further education and secondary education.
Jo cannot wait to be able to go on new adventures with her family when the world fully opens up. She enjoys creating, in particular sewing and making clothes, and loves a good fictional read.
You can read Joanne's current blog posts on this page below:
See also: One Stop Youth website
My name is Alex Lawler, Kickstart Manager at Adur & Worthing Councils, and I'm taking over Jo's blog this week to give an update on the success of our Kickstart Scheme.
The Kickstart Scheme was introduced by the Government back in September 2020, to assist young people from ages 18 to 24, who would otherwise be at risk of long-term unemployment, into work.
Since April last year we have been able to introduce 50 young people into the Councils' using the government's Kickstart Scheme. And since May, I have had the pleasure of being able to coordinate this huge project for the Councils - getting young people into work on the fantastic placements and helping them move on with the skills and experience our teams have been able to bestow upon them. And what an experience they have had!
Local authorities are seen to be “full of grumpy old men”, to quote one of our Kickstarters! Or seen as just dealing with Council Tax and bins, so this has been a fantastic opportunity for me to meet young people and tell them about what the Councils are really like and for them to come into many of our teams and inject a young person's perspective. A win-win for all.
Feedback across the board has been amazing, with 94% of young people saying that they felt their experience helped them to gain valuable skills and experience. Comments have included:
“This placement has been amazing for starting my career and I now have a full time job!”
“I have felt like my time here has helped me develop my skills so much, and even my character. I know I am much more confident now and I am looking forward to moving on and seeing what I can do next. Thank you everyone.”
“I think it's a brilliant opportunity to take up as the Councils' have a very friendly and supportive environment that allows you to grow as an individual. There is always support available when looking for work.”
I still have another 17 placements currently available, bringing our total up to 65. So, I am hoping that with COVID restrictions being lifted, it will mean I can get back into the Jobcentre to speak to young people and tell them all about the fantastic Kickstarters we have already had, as well as the amazing opportunities that could open up for them by spending six months with us.
Photos: Three of our Kickstarters - Jaime, Dan and David
Next week is National Apprenticeship Week and the OneStop Youth Employment Hub in Worthing is celebrating with a week of engaging opportunities.
Apprenticeships are a fantastic alternative to traditional further education routes after secondary school or in later life. The breadth of choice is amazing and the organisations that offer them are phenomenal.
It can be a tough choice for a 16-year-old to break the mould and do something other than college, but the rewards can be huge. An apprenticeship is a paid job which also provides learning from level 1 to degree level. An apprentice spends at least 20% of their working hours in a learning environment - this could be at a college, online or a training centre. If you are 16-years-old or above and live in England you can apply for an apprenticeship, there is no upper age limit.
Kayleigh went to school in Worthing and gained top grades at her GCSEs. She went off to college in Brighton and soon decided that this wasn't for her:
"I began my apprenticeship in the Worthing NatWest Commercial Banking team in October 2015. I had left college and was looking for an opportunity to access a real career that would allow me to begin learning (and earning) immediately and gain real life experience at the same time.
“It was such a rewarding role - I was able to speak to local businesses and really see how my work was impacting them on a daily basis. Before discovering professional apprenticeships I had thought I would need to go to university to access the kind of roles I have had since, but that's just not the case anymore! I have since worked with local government in a corporate role, been part of a new exciting Fintech lending business, and currently manage partnerships with some of the UK's leading businesses.
“Apprenticeships aren't just a credible option, they're an incredible option!”
Ben is working for South Downs Leisure as a Social Media & Marketing apprentice.
He first Joined South Downs Leisure in May 2021 as part of the government's Kickstart Scheme - a scheme which helps young people get into work on a guaranteed 25-hours-per-week, six-month contract, while gaining experience and being paid. Ben's Kickstart placement went so well that his journey with Southdowns Leisure has continued!
After the end of Ben's Kickstart role in October, he was offered an apprenticeship in Marketing at South Downs Leisure which he gladly accepted. The South Downs Leisure team made the process from Kickstart into the apprenticeship smooth, enjoyable, and extremely useful for Ben.
He speaks so highly about the team and company - from the training provided throughout the role with various staff members in different sectors, the friendly welcoming team that helped him settle into the roll quickly, the flexible ethos of the company allowing him to maintain a good work-life balance, plus all the real life and on-the-job experience he has gained while earning a valuable qualification. Ben recommends an apprenticeship at South Downs Leisure to anyone who may be thinking of it!
Come and meet Ben at OneStop Youth Employment Hub on Monday 7th February 2022 from 1pm to 3pm and he will happily tell you more about his experience. We also have:
- Vocate training here to speak to employers about recruiting apprentices and to anyone interested in starting an apprenticeship.
- The British Army will also be at the Hub on Thursday 10th February from 10am to 12pm, speaking about the vast range of apprenticeships available with the armed forces.
- Plus, Thales will be here on Friday 11th February and are keen to speak to anyone who would be interested in an apprenticeship in science, technology, engineering or maths.
- There are a number of drop-in sessions too, with the team on hand to support anyone looking at or applying for an apprenticeship or traineeship.
Just pop down and you will be warmly welcomed to the OneStop Youth Employment Hub at 24 Marine Place, Worthing, BN11 3DN.
You can search for an apprenticeship here:
We have had a busy start to 2022 at the OneStop Youth Employment Hub as we have been hard at work preparing a couple of great opportunities for young people that we have coming up.
A big part of our work is trying to break down the barriers that young people face and have found that a number of the young people we speak to have little self belief and lack confidence. This may be due to not achieving in school or not having positive role models giving them positive reinforcement. Or maybe the last two years have had such an impact that some young people feel lost and need to find themselves again.
With that in mind, the OneStop Youth Employment Hub has kicked off 2022 with a focus on confidence and self-empowerment.
We have teamed up with WEA (the Workers Educational Association), a charity dedicated to bringing high-quality professional education into the heart of communities. They are running a five-week course in Confidence at the Hub, starting this Friday (21st January 2022) from 2pm to 4pm. The course will define confidence and self-esteem, provide tools for developing confidence and understanding communication styles and how they link to assertiveness. Those on the course will also learn some anxiety management techniques to help improve confidence levels in stressful situations.
We still have some places left for this, so if you are between 19 and 24 years-old and in receipt of benefits you can sign up for free (or for £36 if not in receipt of benefits). This course will then run on every Friday from 2pm to 4pm until 18th February.
We are also partnering with LoveLocalJob Foundation on another great opportunity for young people this month. Dare to Dream is a three-part inspirational programme for young people that comes with one-to-one business mentoring. The first session, entitled 'The Journey' takes place on Thursday 27th January at 11am at the OneStop Youth Employment Hub. The course is led by Jack 'The Lad' Hayes who was a DJ on Heart FM and can now be heard on More Radio's Breakfast Show. He will be sharing his lowest of low points and the amazing high points in his life and career so far.
This is a free event for young people aged 18 to 24 who could do with an injection of inspiration and the opportunity to be mentored. The following two sessions will be held, all starting at 11am - there will be a free lunch too!
- Thursday 17th February (The Skills)
- Thursday 17th March (The Ultimate Goal)
By taking small steps, making connections and hearing others' journeys we can feel that things are possible for ourselves, that we don't need to worry quite as much and that we can reach out to the bright wonderful world and start to explore. Even if that's just to the shops at the end of the road. These courses can begin to make a real difference, so if you know someone that would benefit from joining us, please click the links and book them on.
This week's blog has been written by Ellie, who is nearly at the end of her six-month Kickstart placement with the Council. Ellie's role is the KickStart Assistant working with Alex, our Kickstart Manager.
We have been lucky to have Ellie work at the OneStop Youth Employment Hub once a week for the last couple of months and it has been a real privilege to work with her, and have her extra support.
Ellie has not only supported us with some admin work at the hub but she has also featured on our Instagram page talking about events we are running at the hub, another example of how she has pushed herself out of her comfort zone and grown in confidence.
We'll miss you Ellie and wish you a fantastic future, you are amazing!
Here is Ellie's Kickstart story:
I started my journey by applying for universal credit when I left college as I had no idea what I wanted to do, and jumping into a full-time job seemed quite intimidating for me. I went to a jobs fair at the Town Hall where I first met Alex and found out about a Kickstart placement that I thought I would enjoy. Leaving college, I had little to no confidence so applying for the role and then being accepted was a big step for me.
Since starting my placement, Alex has really helped boost my confidence by encouraging me and giving me the opportunity to try to take part in new things that were perhaps out of my comfort zone. I've met so many people - from those in similar positions as I was, to local MPs - from being involved with the jobs fairs myself.
Now, I feel comfortable enough to engage in conversation with people who I have never met before, still feeling a little awkward of course, but I'm able to push myself to do it as I know it's a part of my daily life.
Photo: The OneStop Youth Employment Hub
As a career professional I am frequently supporting people with the idea of making a change to their situation. Change Management is an approach towards making change in many types of settings. It is well placed when looking at an individual’s career journey and career education. There are many small steps towards creating change, in relation to career guidance these steps are grouped together in three named areas: Unfreeze, Change, Freeze.
So if you are feeling a bit agitated with your current career situation, have a read through these stages and maybe use this as a little spark to begin the first stage of Unfreeze.
Unfreeze: the stage in the process where something has shifted and there is dissatisfaction with the current situation, for example unfulfillment in a current role, unhappiness in the workplace, or being unemployed. This self-realisation and non-acceptance of the current situation is the key to start a process of change.
As an individual you may find that you have accepted or been in denial about your situation for a while. With the help of family, friends and professionals to encourage you to look at your situation and ask you to think about what would happen if you didn’t change and what could happen if you did change can be powerful in thawing resistance towards change. You will only be able to Unfreeze if you have a willingness to change.
Change: this stage comes from within you, once you have ‘unfrozen’ and feel ready to move forward. It is at this point, with the support of a career guidance practitioner, work coach, friend or family member, that change can be planned. This will involve exploring opportunities, building connections and seeking out solutions.
The Adur and Worthing Business Partnership are currently offering a one-off grant of up to £500 to individuals to pay towards training such as CSCS cards, or towards a course where the individual would have to pay full cost because they don't qualify under eligibility rules. What an opportunity! Individuals can get more details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Many actions and engagements will form your stage of Change, and they are individual to you. This is a motivating process of discovery in which you plan what you are going to do and implement it, such as building a CV, researching a course, attending an interview, going to an open event, accepting a job offer!
Refreeze: The final stage of Refreeze comes when you have accepted the changes you have made, implemented them and are able to sustain them. With support from your network, your new environment and situation needs to successfully integrate into your life for it to be sustainable. If needed, your network can work with you to find techniques to help sustain the new situation and give encouragement.
The OneStop team within the council are here to support you. OneStop Employ helps people back into work, OneStop Money can help you improve your financial health, OneStop Digital offers basic digital support and myself and the team at OneStop Youth are supporting young people aged 18-24 years with this process. Please get in touch with us if you would like support to make a change.
Photo: Couple looking off Worthing Pier
It's true isn't it, we don't really talk about money, we never ask someone what they earn or how much rent they pay or what is left on their mortgage. This can mean that some people are silently financially struggling, without support ...
'Talk Money Week' is an annual campaign to get the nation talking about money, it runs from 8th to 12th November 2021. The idea behind this week is to encourage people to talk about money, whether that is piggy bank savings or remortgaging to release equity.
The OneStop Money team is contactable throughout the year for support with your financial health. You can refer yourself for this support using the referral form on the OneStop Money website.
The OneStop Youth Employment Hub is aware of the financial pressures on young people especially with the escalating costs of living.
We are pleased to have partnered up with MyBnk, who are delivering a two-day Money Management course, at the hub, on Monday 8th and Friday 12th November.
MyBnk delivers financial education for 5 to 25 year olds with UK schools and youth organisations. This Level 1 accredited course in Money Management is perfect for those that want to take control of their finances and is open to young people in Adur and Worthing who are aged 18 to 24yrs.
The course runs from 10am to 2:30pm and attendance on both days is required to complete the course.
One of the young people accessing the hub said:
“I hope this money course will help me understand my money each month and that I'll learn how to spread my spending until I get paid again. Some months can be tricky; working out what I spend my money on and generally being skint!”
Many people have been hit hard financially by the Covid pandemic, but for advice and support please follow the link:
Please get in touch if you think this course would be helpful to you too
- Email email@example.com
- or call 07775 013 908
I've just had a wonderful sun-filled weekend in the Isle of Wight with my girl friends. In the pub after dinner on the Friday night, I overheard a young lady being told she had completed a great trial and impressed the landlady. She was then officially offered the waitress role, to which I internally whooped and gave a little clap to as there in front of my eyes youth employment was happening. Of course I couldn't help but celebrate!
I never let an opportunity go by to try to spread the word about the issue of youth unemployment as Mims Davies MP, Minister for Employment, and Tim Loughton MP, Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, discovered when they visited the new JobCentre Plus office based on Montague Street, Worthing, recently.
The JobCentre Plus is a government-funded employment agency and social security office aimed at helping people of working age find employment in the UK. I was there and was fortunate enough to be able to talk to them both about the work we are doing at the OneStop Youth Employment Hub (OSYEH).
National youth unemployment figures are dropping and it is fantastic to hear that the Kickstart scheme, providing funding to employers to create jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit, has been extended for three months to the end of March, this means more opportunity, more upskilling and more experiences in industry, thank goodness!
My Kickstart colleague, Jaime, was our Social Media Assistant here at the Councils. He was such a talented and valued member of the team; and I am thrilled that he is now in permanent employment at Worthing College, which he is thoroughly enjoying and settling into. This means that our Social Media Assistant role is now open again for a new Kickstarter so if you know a young person who is claiming Universal Credit, who would be interested in this please let them know about this role and ask them to contact their Work Coach who can refer them for it.
This Wednesday (20th October 2021) we are holding a seasonal job fair at the OSYEH from 10am to 12 noon and 1pm to 3pm. This fair is open to our whole community, not just the younger generation, so if you are interested to come along, please do! I'd love to meet more people who are looking for work and who are interested in what we are doing, just head down to the OneStop office at 24 Marine Place, Worthing, BN11 3DN.
Photo: From Left to right, Mims Davies MP, Joanne Wood, Tim Loughton MP and Kickstarter Ellie Carter at the new JobCentre Plus office in Worthing
It's such a joy for me to be offering support to young people who are seeking employment. My past roles have been focussed on continuing education at colleges, universities and apprenticeships; now I am at the sharp end supporting young people to invest in their lives by gaining employment.
The message we want our young people to hear is that they are not forgotten, the pandemic has not made them invisible. The hub is a space for them to come to, feel good energy and meet people and other services who really want to connect with them in an impactful, positive way.
The overall goal of the hub is employment, however we are also about creating opportunities for friendly conversations between peers, offering engaging and sometimes unusual activities, and general upliftment and empowerment of individuals. Currently we have a weekly session on SFX makeup and the gruesome outcomes that have been created are utterly believable!
I am always keen to build links with employers who would like to work with us and business mentors who have time available to inspire young people and raise their aspirations.
Our project requires collaboration to have the biggest impact possible, and by giving our young people purpose, community, reward and opportunity we hope to see a change in their daily outlook and more glints of joy across their faces.
Please follow our Instagram page OneStop_Youth and tell everyone you know that we are here, at 24 Marine Place, Worthing, ready to help our young people get into work.
The hub is open from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm for drop ins and self referrals to work with our Youth Coaches can be made via our OneStop Youth website.
Joanne Wood, OneStop Youth Employment Hub Coordinator
Page last updated: 15 February 2022