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A Better Start Southend - Work Skills

We provide friendly and supportive events to help parents of children under 4 in the 6 ABSS wards of Southend-on-Sea, to find work, training, education and volunteering opportunities.

Our key provisions

Adult learners and Professional Qualifications

The project has 6 key areas:

1. Learning for Mum and Dad skills workshops

We run sessions around employability skills (such as CV writing), resilience (including assertiveness and confidence building), and accredited courses such as Emergency First Aid for Work and Food Safety.

2. Intro 2 Enterprise business course

4 sessions are delivered by a business expert, covering topics such as marketing and finance. The aim is for parents to develop their business ideas and learn about self-employment. The final session includes a marketplace where they can get information and support from services such as BEST Growth Hub, high street banks, and DWP.

3. Enhanced Industry Visits

A unique chance for parents to see behind the scenes of businesses in Southend, speak to staff, find out about the type of jobs available and how to apply. We’ve run sessions with Holiday Inn, Waitrose, Cliffs Pavilion, Southend Adult Community College and many more!   These are currently taking place online, and combine recorded sessions with some exciting live sessions!                            

4. Industry Taster sessions

These sessions provide an insight into specific industries, with a particular focus on the growth sectors of Southend Borough Council, including Care and Hospitality.

5. One-to-one career support sessions

Parents can have an appointment with a member of our team to talk about their career aims and put together a focussed action plan. The action plan will include Work Skills events that will support their career goal, as well as signposting to other relevant services such as local colleges and community hubs.

6. Job Fairs

The first Work Skills Job Fair will take place in 2021 and will feature local employers that are looking for staff.

Support for Employers

If you’re looking to recruit, then an Industry Visit or Job Fair could help you to find the perfect member of staff. The project has already helped to recruit for Southend Care, Holiday Inn, even the A Better Start Southend project.

Promotional material goes out across the borough, social media platforms, and the Council’s business pages, and your company could be part of it.

The Work Skills team supports businesses very closely in organising the Industry Visits. They'll draft the event brief, do all the marketing and promotion, get attendees there, and the Work Skills team will be there on the day to help!

Participate in a Big Lottery Funded Project that focusses specifically on the Southend Borough, and is aimed at improving the lives of young children and their families.

Why us?

  • Hundreds of parents have attended our events since 2017
  • 63 have found employment
  • 46 have gone on to further education or training
  • 20 have taken up volunteering roles
  • 18 parents have started their own business following our Intro 2 Enterprise course

Case Study: Agnese, Southend

In September 2018 me and my youngest (17 months at the time) were at our weekly Stay &Play session at the local Friars Children's Centre when I was approached by a very smiley and friendly Lucie from A Better Start Southend. I was offered to attend several A Better Start events all of which are provided with FREE childcare. As a mum of 4 I know how difficult it is to get away from your daily routine with little ones around, so I immediately realised - I have to take this opportunity!

I chose the 4-week course “Intro 2 Enterprise” (How to start your own business). However I always wanted to be independent and do something I really enjoy, at the beginning of the course I still had no idea what it is. Then week by week it came clearer and at the end of the course I was certain - I will be a fitness instructor - International Kangoo Jumps® instructor. To admit, my little one was very well looked after, he even managed to get a quick nap while mummy is busy learning.

The information and support given during and after the course is marvellous and so much appreciated. Since then I have obtained Aerodance aerobic certificate and 3 programs of Kangoo Jumps®: Kangoo Power™, Kangoo Dance™ and Kangoo Discovery™, I have also passed First Aid course. I am now self-employed, I successfully applied and been approved for South East Business Boost Grant which is great help for new enterprises, and any day now am planning to start my classes. Wish me luck!

I can't believe it's all happening with me in less than a year! I'm so grateful for this opportunity and saying a big thank you to everyone at A Better Start Southend!”


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