In March 2015 I reported on the launch of a new programme at JEM (Jobsearch-Employment-Mentoring) to support a small number of people, typically from ethnic minorities, with focussed professional support from Dr Patrick Boateng, who is the Founding Director, and Rex Panti-Amoa.
The objective was to ensure that all of those that attended, had a high-quality of support, and developed a sustainable approach to their employability.
JEM received the funding, through Futures Advice, from the European Social Fund, and targeted 12-15 people in the March-July 2015 period. Fourteen learners were actually helped. Of these, 2 found employment, 2 are doing voluntary work, and 10 are in further education. The project has helped improve the confidence, self-esteem and employability skills of all participants. The group was made up of 2 people from the Caribbean; 2 Pakistani; and 10 Africans.
Sarah Bull of Futures Advice said:
“JEM was extremely successful in achieving their contracted targets and providing first class support that helped 99% of their participants to move into positive outcomes to improve their lives”
Comments received by the participants on the benefits of the programme:
‘‘They provided excellent tuition. I now have the ability to apply for jobs and write CVs and Covering letters. I would recommend the JEM Project to other people seeking employment’.’
‘’I have learnt computer skills, and the group sessions were very helpful’’.
‘’I have really enjoyed the computer training, the support provided plus my presentation and language skills have improved, and I feel confident and positive about getting back into employment’’
Although JEM has formal connections with the Job Centre Plus, no referrals were received from there, or any of the other organisations trying to promote employability within the BME community. All of the participants were as a result of JEM’s own publicity, and perhaps, most significantly, word of mouth.
JEM also maintains close contacts with all of the participants so the guidance and mentoring can continue for as long as the individual wants it. It also means that JEM has a good appreciation of the success of their clients on a personal level, and the value for money that they provide from public funds – a position which is rare within Derby.