At DWP's Leicester Child Maintenance Group, we’ve been actively involved in Movement to Work for quite some time. While some centres operate a ‘cohort’ system, we specialise in the one-to-one approach. That way, we can offer targeted support that varies depending on the individual who is with us at the time.
For example, I was approached by a work coach who had a young woman who needed extra support, owing to social problems and a general lack of confidence, both in the area of work and life in general. We had a chat, and I went to see the young person in question during one of her appointments with her work coach. We all agreed that a personal approach would be worth trying. We also thought that she should be accompanied by her work coach for the first day of her placement with us.
So, she turns up on the first day, very nervous, scared of her own shadow, and shaking so much she could barely hold the pen steady to sign the confidentiality form.
Over the first few days, I worked very closely with her and assessed what she was capable of, what she had a flair for and where her strengths lay. She had a great ability for general administration and was conversant with the most common software packages, so that’s what I had her doing.
Once I’d found a solid base to work on, she grew wings and flew. Within a few days it was like she’d been here for years, and she was showing us ways of working with our office software that we’d not seen or used before. She became a really valuable asset to us. Yes, she still needed support, and I coached her intensively, but she was a sponge and soaked up everything.
We had found the key to unlock the door of her potential.
Let’s wind on a couple of weeks. Civil Service Live 2019 loomed on the horizon, and I was at the Birmingham event. I asked her if she’d like to come along and relate her experiences to delegates visiting the stand. She jumped at the chance, and came with me to help out. It was difficult for her, and a few weeks earlier she wouldn’t have had the confidence to do it, but she was fine. There were hundreds of people there, so it must have been daunting for her, but she coped, with our support.
From the shy, quivering person who presented herself to us on day one, she left us a far more confident and competent person, more than ready to take on everything that the world of work can throw at her.
We stay in touch, as the support given by Movement to Work doesn’t end when the placement stops. She’s still having the odd wobble, like we all do. But she’s doing her best in the world of work.
And that’s what Movement to Work is all about.