Say hello to Courtney!

Ashmole & Co, one of Wales’ largest accountancy and auditing practices, recruited Courtney as a Business Administration Apprentice at the beginning of September after she graduated from Gower College, Swansea, with A Levels in English Language and Literature and Welsh.

Courtney is excelling in her apprenticeship and gaining hugely valuable experience in all aspects of businesses operations including IT, HR and Payroll. Courtney is also receiving fantastic support from her employer, completing various online courses and working towards gaining future qualifications to accelerate her progression.

“Starting a new job during a pandemic was daunting, but the support I have received from Better Jobs, Better Futures, my family and Ashmole & Co has been very reassuring. If you’re thinking of doing an apprenticeship and want to earn a wage while gaining experience, it’s a great option. I am excited to learn new business skills and bring that together with my own skillset. My family and I are pleased I have been given this opportunity to gain qualifications whilst having the practical experience to match.” – Courtney, Apprentice

 

 

“Our business needed an all rounded, office junior level of support, however we had much to offer someone who wanted to gain practical experience in the business environment. Taking on an apprentice is a great way to enhance the skilled workforce here at Ashmole & Co and we consider it a privilege to be able to assist in Courtney’s career development. The biggest benefit for me is that the candidates have the best attitude, with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. I would whole-heartedly recommend taking on an apprentice to anyone who has the opportunity.” – Sarah Stallard, HR Manager, Ashmole & Co

”We worked with Sarah at Ashmole & Co to provide support on the whole recruitment and onboarding process, ensuring an apprenticeship was the right fit for the role, and for the business. We worked hand in hand to advertise and fill the position. I am delighted that we were able to find the ideal candidate for Ashmole & Co in Courtney, who is now enjoying the opportunity to earn while she learns.” – Beth Fisher, Workforce Adviser

Meet Alina…

Alina is 17 years of age, originally from Latvia and has lived in the UK for the last 10 years. Alina was keen to find employment in Painting and Decorating, and received support from Better Jobs, Better Futures to update her CV, gain a CSCS card and search for appropriate opportunities.

Alina does not speak English as her first language and is from a non-working household, so has relied on an education maintenance allowance to support herself financially. Alina wanted to pursue a Painting and Decorating apprenticeship but knew this would be very difficult as she is unable to drive, often an essential requirement. Alina had also been unable to secure part time work to help her achieve this goal as she assisted with the childcare of her younger siblings on evenings and weekends.

With the support of the Better Jobs, Better Futures team, Alina quickly secured an apprenticeship and passed all of the required tests. The apprenticeship was offered at an increased pay rate and Alina’s employer has been incredibly supportive, wanting to help Alina progress in every way possible and even contributing to the funding of her driving lessons.

“During this hard time, I received lots of support. I was given lots of help with lessons and resources to pass my CSCS card and I am very thankful that they helped me find my apprenticeship. The team always kept in contact with me, so I was never worried about my future.” – Alina, Client

“Alina has recently started her decorating apprenticeship with us and has relished the challenges set for her. Alina is a welcome and valued team member already and we have high hopes for her future development. We would not have found Alina if it wasn’t for the help of Better Jobs, Better Futures. The continued support has been great, and we would recommend the service to anyone who is looking to recruit.” – Employer, Gower Paint Pro

 

Spotlight on…lockdown!

With the easing of restrictions combined with the re-opening of our Employment Hub for face-to-face delivery, now is the perfect time to reflect on all that has been achieved over the last few months.

The Employability Department quickly adapted to new remote ways of working, evidenced by the service reaching and supporting more than 3000 individuals. Clients and businesses responded very positively to these changes and benefited from the continuation of available support. Throughout the lockdown period many clients on the Better Jobs, Better Futures programme secured some fantastic opportunities, and others progressed through different stages of applications. Individuals on Reach+ further advanced their language and employability skills through new virtual learning techniques, and individuals supported through ‘Enterprising Futures’ continued to make excellent progress on their entrepreneurial plans. 

New and existing clients were incredibly grateful that our services continued, with many finding themselves out of work and requiring flexible support to help them move quickly into new employment, such as Better Jobs, Better Futures client Lowrie. With perceived barriers to securing her dream job being a lack of experience, qualifications and unsure how to navigate the job application process, Lowrie was supported by her Career Coach Lynsey to develop more confidence in her abilities and apply for a number of positions before securing the role she had always wanted.

“I was fed up in my current job and felt there were no other jobs out there, so I contacted Better Jobs Better Futures for help and advice. They helped me edit my CV and sat and chatted with me about the jobs I wanted. I didn’t have much hope, but they kept my spirits up. After daily interaction of discussing jobs I have now secured my dream job in Care. I did not think I would ever get this job especially during the pandemic.”

It was also pleasing to see many of our college students securing brilliant job and apprenticeship opportunities as a result of our employability support. Students like Jade who wanted to find the right opportunity to best utilise the knowledge and skills she developed through studying Food and Beverage.

“During this stressful time I have had help and support from my Career Coach Lisa. Without Lisa I would not have achieved many things. From helping me create a new CV to general day to day support I have finally found a job in a restaurant that is right for me.”

Despite the level of uncertainty in the economy a number of organisations continued expanding throughout lockdown and our team of Workforce Advisers were on hand to lend their support to employers to address a range of recruitment and workforce challenges.

Order Uniform UK is one organisation that witnessed an upsurge in demand, which translated into a need to bring additional specialist staff on board quickly. Despite initially furloughing part of the team as the company faced concerns over reduced sales, they began to see an increase in orders as their competitors temporarily closed their operations. This meant they were able to bring furloughed staff back sooner than expected. There was also an immediate need to recruit new team members, and purchase additional production equipment to service a greater volume of orders.

“Thanks to the ongoing workforce development and planning support from Better Jobs, Better Futures we were able to adapt existing job descriptions to advertise the roles quickly, implement a fair and equal recruitment process utilising interview scoring matrixes to be able to recruit the right staff to join the team in record time during lockdown.”

Kelly Jenkins

Director Order Uniform UK.

With Swansea seeing unemployment benefit claimants increase by around 70%, and approximately 20% of the local workforce currently claiming furlough, we are preparing for a significant increase in the scale and scope of individuals requiring our support. At the same time we are anticipating renewed demand from employers for our recruitment support as the economy gradually reopens, helping businesses to address their workforce challenges and providing valuable opportunities to the individuals we are supporting into new or better work.

If you are seeking new or different employment, or are an employer requiring recruitment or workforce support, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at: info@betterjobsbetterfutures.wales or on 01792 284450.

Employment Hub Re-Opening

We are delighted to announce that we are re-opening for face-to-face delivery from Monday the 13 July. We have made adjustments to the layout of the building and put in place all necessary precautions and safety measures to resume delivery in a safe, friendly and relaxing environment.

To find out how we can help with your employment journey, get in touch at 01792 284450 or email: info@betterjobsbetterfutures.wales