summary of project
Connect Community Trust provides community services for members of the Easterhouse Housing Regeneration Alliance (Easthall Park, Provanhall, Calvay, Gardeen, Ruchazie, Blairtummock, Wellhouse and Lochfield) as well as working in boarder partnerships. Its Job Clubs operate in the Connie, the Glenburn Centre, the Pavillion, the Calvay Centre and the Hub in Wellhouse (learning centres which are part of the John Wheatley Learning Network). The Job Clubs integrate digital inclusion into the support provided for job seekers, and operate on an open access basis, with links to flexible learning tutor support provided by Glasgow Kelvin College, enabling cetrificated learning outcomes, strengthening applications.
The underpinning philosophy of Connect's job clubs is to combine open access and one-to-one support with skills development encouragement, so that clients develop capapcity, rather than requiring work to be done for them.
While success is in terms of the job clubs is measured according to planned objectives and outcomes agreed with funders, staff in the service also have a more fundamental measure which brings home both the need for the service, describing it in terms of "we've not had anyone working with us sanctioned in the last year".
who is it aimed at?
The job clubs are aimed at local job seekers.
how is it funded?
The clubs are funded from a variety of sources including limited grant from the Departmenr of Work and Pensions, with in-kind support provided by Glasgow Kelvin College.
housing organisation resources provided
The Easterhouse Housing Renegeration Alliance provides funding towards the costs of the Connect Community Trust community services
what partners are involved?
The Job Clubs are provided by Connect Community Trust with in-kind support (tutor time) from Glasgow Kelvin College
The main challenges faced by the job clubs have been client confidence in using IT and client attitudes.
The confidence problem is described by Pauline Smith, the manager who oversees Connect Community Trust operations, as more than lack of confidence - often fear of having to use technology with which people are unfamiliar, with people "sweating, crying and shaking".
The attitudinal problems are less frequent than they were, but were associated with DWP referrals and fear of sanctions
Connect Community trust recognises the benefits of playing a long game, building trust and enabling word of mouth recommendations to bring in clients on a voluntary basis.
People still attend because of the need to demonstrate that they are job seeking, which is more easily done online and through universal job match than by other means, but they also become interested in other aspects of digital life and develop skills supporting them - which also leads to interest in non-digital activities because of the social aspect of the skills development and job seeking support programmes. The digital inclusion work associated with the job clubs is embedded within them.
Originally, the job clubs, were, as Pauline puts it, "fighting against aspiration to remain on benefits", but now they find that they're mostly working with people who are self-motivated in their serach for employment.
Pauline Smith, Chief Executive, Connect Community Trust email@example.com