Julia Marcus is the manager of Somers Town job hub, a project funded by Camden Giving's KX Fund. Here she talks about the success of the interview lab.
The Interview Lab got off to a great start – full houses for the first four workshops that have so far taken place – that’s 8 people attending each session. We feel that this number provides the right dynamic but is a small enough group for the less outgoing attendees to feel confidence to make a contribution. And as is so often the case at the Job Hub, our community never cease to surprise and delight us with how enthusiastic they are, even when we’re asking them to do something which takes them way out of their comfort zone!
I’d like to focus on the last Confidence & Motivation workshop which took place in November; over the last few months, we have seen quite a high number of clients aged over 50, who have recently been made unemployed by circumstances including redundancy and ill health. Having spoken to Camden Council about this, it seems to be a shift happening right across the borough. The impact on these individuals can be huge – many have been in the same job, or moved around very little since leaving school and have no idea about the current job market, how to build a CV or how to go about preparing for an interview – in other words, precisely the kind of people who the Interview Lab is hoping to support!
Four of the eight people attending the workshop were in this position, and the idea of participating in such an event was quite daunting. However, with the support of our wonderful facilitator Norma, the group were soon talking about themselves, interviewing each other and providing great encouragement to one another about their future job prospects. Their general demeanor at the end of the session was noticeably improved and they were all talking excitedly about having a follow-up session. One of this group has already attended an interview and is waiting to hear the result (the feedback from the employer was excellent!) and another enrolled on a Waitrose training course in January.
We’ll be rolling out the clothing vouchers soon, and I will be happy to report back on that, with Before and After pictures once it’s up and running!
This kind of wraparound support is what STCA is all about, and we’re grateful to Camden Giving for giving us the means to run this fab project.
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