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One-stop shop at libraries to help people into work

Published on Wednesday, November 16, 2022

3 minute read

The Pork Pie library and community centre in Leicester

Leicester’s libraries have teamed up with local Jobcentres to help people get better off by getting into work.

Specialist work coaches are now available on the spot in eight city libraries, providing local people with individually tailored advice to help them find their next role – even if they’re new to the jobs market or have been out of work for a while.

To use the service, simply ask for more information at your local library or give them a ring, and they will make an appointment for you. Work coaches can offer help with looking for jobs, writing a CV, interview skills and redundancy support. They can use a benefits calculator to show how much better off you would be by taking a specific role, as well as checking you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to.

Work coaches can also advise on options for childcare, or talk to employers about the hours you can work. They have direct links with training and education providers, plus support for young people, if you need to learn new skills for employment.

Translation services, British Sign Language and hearing loops can all be made available.

Single parent Parvin made an appointment with work coach Nipa Naik at the Pork Pie Library and is now £71 a week better off as a result.

Parvin was determined to work and be a role model for her children, but she was worried about how she could manage parenthood and a job.

Nipa was able to show Parvin the financial difference part-time working would make, and she showed Parvin how to use a benefits calculator so she can keep track of what’s she is entitled to if her circumstances change.

Nipa then helped her with a digital job search and reassured Parvin that they would find something to suit her. Nipa spoke to an employer and arranged an interview for Parvin on the basis that she would work only in school hours, if successful.

Impressed by Parvin’s interview, the employer offered her a role immediately and she is now in work, which has helped her to gain confidence as well as improving hers and her children’s lives.

Work coach Nipa said: “It’s really fulfilling to see the positive change made to Parvin’s life by moving into work. It’s very rewarding for me to be able to help people change their lives in this way, so I absolutely recommend local residents make contact with us at your local library, we are ready and waiting to support you!”

Assistant city mayor for neighbourhoods, Cllr Vi Dempster, said: “Parvin’s story shows how helpful it is to local residents to have services like job-seeking support available on your doorstep at your local library. We’re very pleased to have teamed up with the DWP to offer this, and I hope this service will continue to make a positive difference to lots of people during these tough times.”

Deputy city mayor for anti-poverty, Cllr Sarah Russell, added: “We know benefits calculators like our own BetterOff Leicester tool can be a great way for people to maximise their income. Alongside this, it’s fantastic to see work coaches providing tailored support to people so that employment becomes something that is within reach rather than a daunting prospect.”

Work coaches are available every week at:

  • Belgrave Library – Mondays 10.30am-1.30pm
  • Beaumont Leys Library – Wednesdays 1-4pm
  • The Brite Centre – Fridays 10am-1pm
  • Highfields Library – Tuesdays 11am-2pm
  • New Parks Centre – Thursdays 10.30am-1.30pm
  • Pork Pie Library and Community Centre – Thursdays 10am-1pm
  • St Barnabas Library – Tuesdays 10am-1pm
  • St Matthews Centre – Fridays 9.30am-12.30pm

To make an appointment, call in to your local library or give them a ring. Contact details and more information are available at