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Guildford’s Job Clubs Helping Unemployed People And Those Facing Redundancy

Published on: 8 Sep, 2020
Updated on: 11 Sep, 2020

Help for people who have been made unemployed and those facing redundancy is likely to be needed more than ever as a result of job losses linked to the pandemic’s effects on the economy.

Job clubs, as they are usually known as, have been operating in Guildford for a number of years, giving advice on job hunting, CV-writing, filling in application forms and interview techniques.

The free service offered by Guildford Advice To Employment (GATE) usually meets on Mondays at St Nicolas Church, Guildford (Bury Street entrance) with three advisors present. However, meetings have of course been suspended. It also normally meets in Farnham  – on Tuesday mornings at the Hale Community Centre and Tuesday afternoons at Farnham Town Council’s offices.

However, it is continuing to offering support via email and telephone, and from Monday, September 14, is introducing one-to-one meetings.

The secretary of GATE, Geoff Averill, said: “We shall be offering one-to-one meetings by appointment only, and these will be via Zoom.

“Our plan is to re-commence our usual weekly meetings, 10am to 12.30pm, at Hale Community Centre, Upper Hale, following strict Covid guidelines and protocols.

Click here for more details on GATE’s website.

And Guildford Borough Council has announced it will be launching a “virtual job club” in October, called Skills for Employment, to coincide with the ending of the government’s furlough scheme.

The council says the aim is to enrol 50 people in the first programme from mid-October to March 31 next year. And from April 1, 2021, an annual programme is planned, providing support for at least 100 members.

There will also be help for school leavers and graduates “by aligning with the government’s Kickstarter scheme for those aged 16 to 24”.

The council has enlisted the services of the Godalming-based Stuart Mitchell Group, that offers training and software development.

GBC’s press release states: “Business experts will help individuals learn new skills, enabling them to return to employment or start a business of their own through an interactive online programme of lectures, group workshops, one-to-one mentoring, tailored training and educational resources. Practical advice will include CV-writing and interview techniques. Participants can also support each other in a community forum.

“Collaboration opportunities through referrals and partnerships will be sought, working with the Department for Work and Pensions, Jobcentre Plus, local employers and employer organisations such as Surrey Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.”

Previously, the Guildford branch of debt counselling charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has run a job club with courses typically over an eight-week period. The previous was in May 2019. Click here for story on The Guildford Dragon NEWS.

A job club called Future World of Work (part of business called Positivity in Progress) is currently listed on Guildford Borough Council’s Guildford Works Directory, within a PDF file that can be downloaded.

It states it runs two job clubs each week at the Park Barn Centre and the Guildford Children’s Centre in Bellfields on Mondays and Fridays respectively, as well as “specialised positivity training”.

However, it is noted on the Companies House website that the business, incorporated on July 28, 2015, was dissolved on October 30, 2018.

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