Aligning our skills offer with employability

Routes To Work’s mission is to support client progression no matter where each individual is in the Employability Pipeline. With this in mind, we have a robust skills offer which compliments the 1:1 support that clients receive from our Case Worker service. The offer encompasses a range of support including employability, personal growth, and accredited training.

Our portfolio of SQA-accredited courses already includes the Employability Award and Health & Safety in a Construction Environment, but in 2019/20 we have added Digital Literacy, Mental Health & Wellbeing, and Enterprise & Employability. In addition, our new Skills Training Service is designed to improve clients’ wellbeing and enhance their employability skills while on their journey – providing support ranging from boosting self-esteem and confidence, managing stress, CV and interview advice, to job searching techniques and computer skills.

Our trainer colleagues are continuously updated with accredited training, including IOSH, Assessor & Verifier Qualifications, Health & Safety in Construction Award, CSCS card, PX2 Facilitation, Level 2 Certificate in Mental Health Awareness and Digital Skills.

104

clients gaining accredited certification

190

group sessions within our partner services and additional support session with clients

73%

percentage of clients we upskilled on courses

What our clients said about our training service:

“I am going to apply the knowledge gained for stress management and interview skills to help me get the right job for me.”

“The course was great and really helpful in preparing for the job at hand as well as for the future.”

“I feel more confident now, I feel like I can speak to other people.”

“It has changed the way I look at things, see myself and what I’m capable of.”

The tools to change young people’s lives

Routes To Work regularly deals with young clients who need to change their mindset and build up their confidence for a better future. With this in mind, we supported five of our colleagues in securing their accreditation in PX2 – a goal-setting programme that teaches young people to achieve their potential – so we can offer it to residents of North Lanarkshire.

PX2 can be a life changing experience for young people as it focuses on promoting improved communication and relationships. By developing effective thinking skills, participating clients will participants will gain the knowledge to change their thinking, generate motivation for their futures and help them achieve a positive destination.

Our colleague Laurence, who took the training alongside his teammates, said that the training had a double benefit: “Though it was designed for training younger people, we saw that aspects of the programme could also help us see the world differently, and work more positively for our clients.”

“Though it was designed for training younger people, we saw that aspects of the programme could also help us see the world differently, and work more positively for our clients.”

Building a knowledge & understanding of mental health issues for clients & staff

Mental Health and Wellbeing is an SQA Accredited Award at SCQF Level 3. Routes To Work completed a pilot delivery of the qualification to 3 of our clients and 6 of our staff by trainer Alison Marden.

The award, based on a mix of classroom sessions, Q&A and research, gathers evidence from learners throughout their course as they take part in practical discussion and completion of a workbook for assessment.

Topics covered include how to recognise and understand mental health issues; what influences mental health and wellbeing; and how to build mental resilience using coping strategies. A stigma remains around these issues and this award can help change attitudes by arming people with an understanding of the impact of mental health on behaviour.

Last January and February, 6 of our Routes To Work colleagues successfully completed the course as part of our commitment to furthering professional development across the team. Julie Davidson, Team Leader said “our aim is to ensure that all our staff get the opportunity to undertake this course and build a team that is both resilient and sympathetic to all aspects of mental health.”

The feedback during the sessions from both clients and staff was that they had not only learned new things, but actually changed their opinions on some things they had made assumptions on, which is a significant issue in the realm of mental health.

Commenting on the course, one of our clients Karen Watson said: “This was one of the most interesting courses I have ever been on. I was not aware of the many different mental health conditions that exist, and Allison’s knowledge and encouragement made the interaction in the group extremely valuable.”

“This was one of the most interesting courses I have ever been on. I was not aware of the many different mental health conditions that exist.”

Karen Watson