LEICESTER’S libraries have joined forces with Jobcentre Plus to provide people with increased access to job-seeking support at the heart of the city’s neighbourhoods.
As part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs, Jobcentre Plus has partnered with Leicester City Council to provide help with finding work and benefit advice, particularly for those affected by the pandemic.
Leicester Jobcentres have a growing team of outreach work coaches, some of whom recently joined the Department for Work & Pensions as part of a successful recruitment drive to hire 13,500 new work coaches across the country. Each work coach will provide local people with individually tailored advice, to help them find their next role, and to find out more about the other support available.
Work coaches are already based at St Barnabas, Beaumont Leys and Pork Pie Libraries. From this week (w/c 25 Oct), the service will be expanding to support communities at libraries in Highfields, St Matthews and New Parks.
Session times when work coaches are available are as follows:
- St Barnabas Library (0116 299 5450): Tuesdays 10am-1pm
- Beaumont Leys Library (0116 299 5460): Wednesdays 1pm-4pm
- Pork Pie Library & Community Centre (0116 299 5480): Thursdays 10am-1pm
- St Matthews Centre (0116 222 1045): Fri 9.30am-12.30pm
- New Parks Centre (0116 229 8200): Thurs 10.30am-1.30pm
- Highfields Library (0116 299 5494): Tues 11am-2pm
This service is open to all jobcentre customers and appointments can be made by telephoning the library of your choice, or making an appointment at the library reception. Translation services, British Sign Language and hearing loops can be made available where required.
Paul Gisbey, Jobcentre Service Leader for Leicestershire & Northamptonshire said: “We are constantly looking for opportunities to reach out to our local communities and undertaking outreach services in local libraries is an essential part of that work. We are very grateful to Leicester City Council for making this possible. This will be a valuable service. Working in the community supports some of our most vulnerable customers and I know it will make a difference to the people looking for work and seeking support.”
Cllr Kirk Master, assistant city mayor for neighbourhood services in Leicester, added: “It’s great news that more Jobcentre Plus work coaches will be holding support sessions in even more of our libraries. We know how important it is that people can access the services they need in their own neighbourhoods, and by extending this offer we will be able to reach more people who will benefit from the specialist help and advice that work coaches can provide.”
Services available include helping local residents to find employment, for example by offering help with CVs, employability and job searches. They will also be able to help calculate in-work benefits, offer interview coaching, and provide advice on training, action planning and other work-related activity. Work coaches will also assist people to help with specialist support to overcome any barriers they might have such as health and childcare.
Leicester’s libraries also all provide access to a wide range of books, audiobooks and other media for borrowing, plus study space, computer access, reference materials and an online eBook service. Find out more at www.leicester.gov.uk/libraries