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Working Together – top tips for work placements

In June we exhibited at the National Housing Federation’s event called Housing and Employment – Working Together.

The event was awash with activity and discussion surrounding ideas all based on how to best help people back into work.

We exhibited at the event (debuting GUAC’s new promotional material) which helped attract a great deal of interest in GUAC and the work of our members, some of who were leading workshops and discussions at the event.

Some of the topics of discussion at the event included ‘collaboration and the greater social impact’, ‘disability and employment support’ and ‘work experience that works – an alternative pathway to employment support for residents’ the latter of which was a discussion chaired by GUAC advisor Jonathan Shaw.

The discussion heard from Stephen Jeffrey, Chief Exec of London Learning Consortium and Anne Willmot, Campaign Director for Work Inclusion. Both presenters talked about their approach to inclusive work experiences and the importance in people learning key skills to enable them to help gain employment via work experience.

Stephen Jeffery presented his thoughts on what makes a good work experience as:

  • Appropriate to career ambitions
  • Safe, supportive but challenging
  • Involved, active participants – not passive observers
  • Learning from those who can – and do
  • Feedback – on the good and the bad

and importantly – not just making the tea!

Anne also talked about the importance for adults to be offered work experience placements too, and the doors this can open in helping people back into work and building confidence in individuals.

Lorna Gibbons, Director of Dorset LEP presented an interesting session with GUAC members Spectrum Housing called ‘Housing and LEPs’ – partnerships for residents. Together they talked about their partnership and how the LEP network is ‘seeking to join up their services for the benefit of residents’.

We were thrilled to meet so many new organisations and catch-up with existing colleagues while of course being able to contribute to the discussions about youth training and work opportunities.

ERSA CEO Kirsty McHugh and GUAC members
Kirsty McHugh, CEO of ERSA (pictured) was among the attendees we talked to about the work of GUAC.

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