Rotherham Council Employment Solutions team has been hugely successful against the challenging backdrop of the pandemic to help over 200 people into work in 2021. The team has worked closely with the Kickstart scheme as well as providing their own employment solutions.
Rotherham Council’s good news story of 2021
In 2021 the Employment Solutions Team has supported over 200 people into employment since November 2020 and each one of those is a good news story in its own right.
On a personal level, I was referred a person who was registered homeless back in January 2020 and this particular customer had a number of barriers, as one would expect. Financial barriers to employment, as well as confidence barriers.
My initial work with them was to understand what was holding them back from moving forward. I also wanted to help them re-engage with services and education as this would improve their prospects of moving into employment and a new home.
Linked with our Support officer we were able to use Policy in Practice’s Benefit and Budgeting Calculator to get a picture of her current income and expenditure, and provide a calculation that demonstrated how quickly her picture could change by entering employment. This was vital in providing the motivation and understanding that she could turn her situation around.
Through that new determination and my support in increasing employability skills, the person was successful in obtaining employment in March 2021 and since then has both increased her salary and job responsibilities.
The new found employment and continuing work with our Support Officer led to her being offered a property by a local housing association the weekend before she started work. We were further able to help this person to obtain a discretionary housing payment which meant she was able to secure this home.
There is no better way to explain the difference the Employment Solutions Team makes than this direct quote from one of our customers who fulfilled his ambition of working in the care sector assisting those with learning disabilities. This customer was helped by being introduced to specific care employers and increasing his employability:
“My job is going really well, I am passing all of my training, progressing and I am loving it. Thank you for everything you have done to help me, I could not have done it without your help and support. I am hoping to book our first family holiday at the next opportunity!”
Andy Johnson, Employment Solutions Team Leader, Rotherham MBC
Learn more about Rotherham Council’s good news story
In our field of work, the major challenge has been the ability to maintain engagement and interaction with our customers. The very nature of our work is helping people to access things that they are unaware of or access new skills to help them move forward.
Having a year where, in the most part, contact has been maintained in a verbal or digital manner means you don’t always get to connect and fully understand the needs of a person compared to that of a face to face environment.
A big part of what we do is providing motivation and inspiration to our customers to help them see what is attainable and realistic.
Policy in Practice’s Benefit and Budgeting Calculator lets us show the customer, even via email or verbally explained, that they can improve their income and finances, better their lifestyles, and build a more prosperous future for themselves and their families.
In 2021 we worked heavily with a younger group of customers than expected due to the government’s Kickstart scheme and our involvement with that.
Policy in Practice’s Benefit and Budgeting Calculator has been used to showcase the increase in income and help to budget. We also use it as a tool to inspire and motivate people who may not yet have begun their working lives. Being able to explain and detail the financial gains that entering work has, and using the tool to evidence some myths around moving off of their benefit into employment, has been invaluable.
At present we have supported around 50 young people into their new roles and these calculations played a big part in getting them there.
The Benefit and Budgeting Calculator is used as a motivational tool, as what better way is there to show someone how they can improve their situation by entering employment than by seeing that big difference as a financial figure?