On Thursday afternoon The Salvation Army hosted their first Employability & Universal Credit Advice drop-in at BDP. We sat down with Lee, who co-runs the new drop-in, to find our about their Employment Plus service.


Thursday 2 - 4pm at BDP

Lee explains that this new drop-in at BDP allows them to introduce a new audience to the employment support they are offer at The Citadel on Ashley Road in Stokes Croft and on Dead Lane in Bedminster.

Employment Plus is a tailored service, focused around what the individual feels they needs, “Someone comes in and we do a basic skills assessment with them and then we have a talk with them about what they want”, leading to their four main pathways of support, from Wellbeing & Lifeskills to Training, Employability, and right through to In-Work Support.

Even if employment isn’t their focus because of health conditions or addiction, if they come to us and begin to build a little bit on their skill set, they leave a bit more confident and have more tools in their armoury, so that they’re ready when they do need to navigate the benefits system or housing.

Wellbeing & Lifeskills and Training

We offer basic literacy and numeracy courses and courses around food hygiene, online banking, keeping information safe - basic life skills that we take for granted that they have lost due to their circumstance.

We also offer online IT courses via iLearn and Learn My Way, which we can support them doing. If they come to the Citadel or Bedminster we have computers they can use totally free of charge. If they want something more advance we can signpost them to numerous providers around Bristol.

Employability

If someone is looking to go to work, we can help them job search, create a CV, update their CV, increase their job searching skills and sometimes forward them to employers we have good relationships with. If someone comes in with a particular skillset, we contact local employers that might be able to utilise that and let them know we’ve got someone who is really interested.

Employers like us being involved because it’s another avenue for support for their employees and if the employer tells us they’ve got a couple of vacancies we can help match people and get them into interviews and help explain away big gaps in employment.

In Work Support

We offer something called in work support, if someone has found employment, we will support them while they’re in work. We ring them and make sure that everything’s okay and become an advocate for them with their employer if they have any questions of problems.

After being unemployed for a period of time and finding employment, they’ve got to sign-off benefits and start a new job at the same time and sometimes there’s anxiety and fear that will come from that. So we’re there to sit them down and walk them through any issues.


For more information visit The Salvation Army Citadel, Ashley Road, BS6 5NL on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9.30am - 4pm.