Working in
Partnership

Routes To Work & Jobcentre Plus – From Strength to Strength

At Routes To Work we recognise that we cannot meet the ambitions of our vision alone; and look to take every opportunity to create wider teams across North Lanarkshire working in partnership with other organisations. In North Lanarkshire we have found that we are able to work hand in hand with job centre plus as their aims for clients looking to get into work is perfectly aligned with ours in the area.

Locally our teams work together and have a presence in each others offices; bringing together the various parts of service delivery provides a unique opportunity to develop new and innovative approaches and local service provision and allows for a wider ownership. We are also able to pool resources including bespoke training delivery, exclusive employment opportunities and access to funding for shared clients. The effectiveness of our partnership has allowed us to gain great momentum across 2019/20 in getting residents of North Lanarkshire access to opportunities to realise their potential.

Success has been achieved through the commitment of a multi level partnership complemented by the relationships of local teams working for clients. The energy created through the utilisation and sharing of knowledge and skills from the our frontline workers has been key to the learning, commitment and development of our service in north Lanarkshire.

One client who is a celebration of this success was Annette who was referred to a Case Worker via Bellshill JCP. Annette had not worked in 30 years due to commitment to caring responsibilities.

Whilst attending Routes To Work,  Annette and her Case Worker discussed the possibility of going back to work as an option.

However, Annette’s confidence was low and she did not feel she had the necessary skills or experience to get back into the work environment.  With the assistance of her Case Worker,  she agreed to being referred to the Routes To Work Skills Team to support her in gaining the relevant training in relation to her employment needs.

After completing her REHIS Food Hygiene and First Aid qualifications in March of this year, Annette was referred to our External Link Worker; she was supported with interview preparation and put forward to one of our exclusive vacancies. Annette was successful and offered the position with them.

Routes To Work supported with funding of her disclosure application which allowed her to accept the role.

On commencing work with her new employer, Routes To Work supported Annette financially in the transition between benefits to earnings.  She was then referred directly to our In-work Support Team, to ensure that she is fully supported for the first 6 months whilst in employment.  This service enables the client to gain support as and when required in relation to financial and practical issues that may arise.

Annette said, “I am loving it.  Being in work has changed my life for the better” which is the goal both ourselves and JCP aspire to offer our people in North Lanarkshire.

“I am loving it.  Being in work has changed my life for the better.”

A Partnership to Be Proud – Veterans Event

November 2019 saw a special drop-in event held in Motherwell for service veterans and their families across Lanarkshire needing support in closing the employability gap after their service.

“It was a great way to help veterans in our areas and to meet other partners who we can work with to make a real difference.”

November 2019 saw a special drop-in event held in Motherwell for service veterans and their families across Lanarkshire needing support in closing the employability gap after their service.

The event, which was organised in partnership with Routes To Work, Skills Development Scotland, Citizens Advice Bureau and DWP, was designed to offer support, signposting and careers advice for a group whose transition back to civilian life and employment can often be a challenging period.

For this reason it was important to include agencies who have veterans’ particular needs at heart – including NHS Scotland and other specialist support providers, including employers who are signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant.

Twelve employers from across the region were available to talk about their businesses and vacancies, while 24 partner organisations were also present to provide wider support and guidance.

Veterans at the event were full of praise for the support on offer, saying: “It’s good to know someone actually cares.” Another commented: “There is a real buzz about the place and the support is amazing.”

Our partners also found the event a success with one partner stating, “It was a great way to help veterans in our areas and to meet other partners who we can work with to make a real difference.”

The success of the event demonstrates the effectiveness of working in partnership and therefore addressing the employability gaps for residents of our communities.

Johnny McConnell (Access to Industry) – A deserving winner

Routes To Work was delighted to present Johnny McConnell – our partner from Access to Industry – with an award for the great work and dedication he has demonstrated in supporting both our vision and the No-One Left Behind agenda.

Johnny has been an absolute credit to their organisation and has repeatedly demonstrated how a collaborative approach can generate the best results for clients.

He has gone out of his way to support clients alongside Specialist Criminal Justice and Housing Case Workers, as well as supporting residents of North Lanarkshire who are in the critical transition period of returning to their communities after being released from prison or part of the justice system on community payback orders.

Johnny also continues to build on the excellent partnership work that we have in place through the Third Sector Engagement Fund, and in conjunction with the skills team – delivering courses within the prisons.

He is a joy to work with and we are honoured to be working with him.

“It was encouraging to see so many employers and support services in attendance to offer their support to this client group.”

A 50+ event to
transform lives

Over 120 people came along to Routes To Work’s ‘North Lanarkshire’s Working’ drop-in event designed to offer advice, support, and signpost the over 50s living in the area into work.

Fifteen different North Lanarkshire employers joined the event to talk about their businesses and vacancies, as well as partner organisations including Citizens Advice, SAMH and Dress for Success, who offered wider employment support advice.

It proved a hit with all in attendance, with one resident telling us: “Overall, the range and diversity of information was really good.” Another guest commented: “I feel the day was very informative from all participants. I found it hugely rewarding and I now feel I have good information moving forward in my quest for employment.”

Robin Turner, Routes To Work Chief Executive, said: “We were delighted with the turnout of clients, employers, and support services at the 50-plus event. North Lanarkshire’s Working is an all-age service for unemployed residents in the area who are looking to enter or return to the workplace.”

“We recognise the specific challenges that the over-50s face in their journey to work. However, we also know the positive contribution they make to the economy. It was encouraging to see so many employers and support services in attendance to offer their support to this client group.”

Routes To Work has transformed the lives of more than 18,000 North Lanarkshire residents in the last 17 years, supporting them to achieve their personal and professional goals, whatever their age.

Winning at Work – Employer of the Year Award

Routes To Work was thrilled to announce one of our partner employers – TRJ Contracts – as our ERSA Employer of the Year for 2019/20.

We have been working with TRJ Contracts for several years and the business is committed to supporting our vision and values by supporting clients in the local communities with a variety of barriers, ranging from health conditions to family issues, to access, sustain and progress within employment.

TRJ recognises the positives and potential in these individuals and work tirelessly with Routes To Work and North Lanarkshire Council to ensure that they offer the best support and direction to develop some of our most vulnerable clients who otherwise may not have been given the opportunity.

The business has recruited several of our younger clients, placed them into apprenticeships and helped them through their journey to becoming fully qualified.

They have also given us their time to come along to events to promote our partnership and encourage other organisations to work with us in line with their community benefit clause with no personal or business gain.

We are proud to work alongside a business that places so much emphasis towards working with people in their communities. Well done on such an achievement.

Winning at Work – Employer of the Year Award

Routes To Work was thrilled to announce one of our partner employers – TRJ Contracts – as our ERSA Employer of the Year for 2019/20.

We have been working with TRJ Contracts for several years and the business is committed to supporting our vision and values by supporting clients in the local communities with a variety of barriers, ranging from health conditions to family issues, to access, sustain and progress within employment.

TRJ recognises the positives and potential in these individuals and work tirelessly with Routes To Work and North Lanarkshire Council to ensure that they offer the best support and direction to develop some of our most vulnerable clients who otherwise may not have been given the opportunity.

The business has recruited several of our younger clients, placed them into apprenticeships and helped them through their journey to becoming fully qualified.

They have also given us their time to come along to events to promote our partnership and encourage other organisations to work with us in line with their community benefit clause with no personal or business gain.

We are proud to work alongside a business that places so much emphasis towards working with people in their communities. Well done on such an achievement.

Enhanced employability despite redundancy

Staff who face redundancy from local employers can receive help and support from The Employability Fund team at Routes To Work via the scheme known as Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE).

Coordinated through Skills Development Scotland and in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council, DWP,  and New College Lanarkshire, the team delivers information sessions designed to inform staff of their options on facing redundancy and discuss potential training with them, arranging follow up meetings as required.

This approach has allowed us to support and successfully train several employees who were made redundant in 2019/20, upskilling them sufficiently to return promptly to the labour market.

We have supported clients made redundant from various employers covering a range of employment sectors, including Warehousing, Production, Retail and Waste Management.

Some examples of our success with this type of intervention include a client who was made redundant from a supermarket. Working alongside her Case Worker, she received training in SAGE Payroll which supported her return to work in an administration role.

Another client who was made redundant was subsequently trained in Counterbalance Forklift. This meant that he was upskilled to return to paid employment bringing fresh new skills that supported job security and added value to the employer.

We have supported clients made redundant from various employers covering a range of employment sectors, including Warehousing, Production, Retail and Waste Management.