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: or on 01792 284450.