A SINGLE mum from New Parks has been helped into work thanks to support from a work coach at her local library.
Library customer Djeneba Thiero, 42, wasn’t having much luck finding work and was worried that she was missing out on potential job opportunities because her IT skills were holding her back.
She met DWP work coach Jay Adatia after seeing a poster about Jobcentre Plus support being available in libraries. A work coach is at New Parks Library every Thursday from 10.30-1.30, with weekly sessions available at a total of eight libraries across the city.
Djeneba said: “I often use New Parks Library, so when I saw there was job help, I thought I would give it a try. I wasn’t confident in my job searching skills, especially online, but Jay helped me. She showed me how to use email and job sites so that I could start looking for vacancies. She also told me about jobs fairs and other events I could go to.
“I was also worried about how I’d manage work with the kids, and I was concerned about the cost of childcare.
“Jay helped me to look at vacancies that would fit around my family, and she did an in-work benefit calculation, so that I could see how much better off I’d be in work, even after paying for breakfast and after-school clubs.
“That was a deciding factor for me. We worked out I could be around £221 better off a week if I took up a care vacancy I’d been looking at. I submitted the application and was offered the job following a successful interview.
“I’m really enjoying being a care worker, something made possible by the great support I received from Jay to help overcome the barriers I faced. It’s proved life-changing for me, giving positivity to both myself and my children. I would recommend work coaches to anyone!”
Assistant city mayor for neighbourhood services Cllr Vi Dempster said: “We’re seeing lots of great, positive success stories like Djeneba’s coming out of our libraries through our partnership with Jobcentre Plus.
“It just goes to show the fantastic benefits of having services like this available on your doorstep at your local library.
“Our libraries also provide easy access to computers, printers and reference materials so they’re the ideal place to start a job search.”
Specialist work coaches provide 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 the library a ring, and staff 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.
Our libraries offer free computer and internet access, basic IT support and lots of books and information on careers. Printing is available for a small charge.
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
Contact details and more information are available at www.leicester.gov.uk/libraries
People can also check they are getting the benefits they’re entitled to using the BetterOff Leicester tool. Find it at leicester.betteroff.org.uk