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Work Club Announcement

So one of the Conservatives big ideas has come to fruition.  Work Clubs ... remember ... we all rolled our eyes and said, "That'll be a Job Club then - what's new about that?!"

What's new is that no one is going to be paid to run it!  It isn't a government funded contract it's a Big Society idea to involve the community in helping people get back to work.  The Club would sort out their own venue, their own marketing, their own resources, their own delivery etc.  The idea is to organically grow a network of locally-led, community-based support groups to offer additional support to the unemployed using local knowledge and resources, providing a place to meet and exchange skills, find opportunities, make contacts, share experiences and receive support to help them in their return to work.

The government apparently sees this as a precursor to the Work Programme so unemployed people can access the wealth of knowledge that exists in the community about finding employment, before they have to pay providers to deliver the Work Programme.  However, as they aren't paying for it, it isn't exactly something JCP can direct people to attend so that may be the master plan but we'll have to see how it works out.

A Work Club guide has been published explaining the concept and giving ideas for a structure and activities such as mock interviews, dress for success ... sound familiar?! Employer involvement is highlighted throughout encouraging the Clubs to meet on employer premises, getting employers to support interview skills sessions etc.  Now stop rolling your eyes ... we all know it isn't that easy, but it is a great idea.

Now this DOESN'T mean that Work Programme providers won't have to deliver jobsearch training and support because the service will be available free all over the country.  That isn't going to happen.  However, it would actually make sense for potential Work Programme providers to host a Work Club to support local unemployed people outside of their programme delivery.  May we suggest that it would even be worth supporting the development of local Work Clubs and factoring this into those Work Programme bids?  Just a thought!  This Big Society bandwagon is possibly worth clambering onto or at least following closely until it picks up momentum.

Click here for the inside info on Work Clubs.


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