Setting the PACE for jobseekers
LEADING agencies involved in work schemes and training have come together to sign a Memorandum of Understanding which is aimed at helping unemployed people find jobs.
The document will formalise the already strong relationship between key organisations including City College Plymouth, Plymouth City Council, Jobcentre Plus, Outset Plymouth, Pluss, Achievement Training, Tomorrow's People, Outset Finance, Working Links and Careers South West Limited.
The alliance has been set up to help people back into work by improving their work skills, training and confidence.
This is being done through City College Plymouth's dedicated advice centre in Union Street, The Plymouth Advice Centre for Employment (PACE).
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The centre was set up this year to offer a free programme for job-seekers which includes a variety of courses aimed at improving an individual's employability prospects.
Workshops range from money management and self-confidence to job applications and preparation for work.
PACE aims to provide a "one-stop shop" to direct adults to the best advice and training for them.
Joanna Dennison, director for progression and community studies at City College Plymouth, said: "The unique strength of this initiative (MOU) is all agencies working together so people know where to go for help, and have the best opportunities that Plymouth can offer to get them into work."
Mark Hodges, manager – learning disabilities employment services at PLUSS, the social enterprise supporting disabled people to find work, said: "PACE is a great example of agencies working together to help provide easier access to a range of services that can help people to improve their chances of getting and keeping a job and a career.
"Pluss already works successfully in partnership with City College Plymouth to deliver Project SEARCH and is very happy to be a part of this college-led initiative to facilitate the PACE partnership in a similar fashion."
Project Search aims to give young people with learning disabilities the skills to gain competitive paid employment.
In Plymouth, the initiative is delivered jointly by PLUSS and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, City College Plymouth, and services company Serco.
PACE is open Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm.
Members of the public can drop into a free open session to sample some of the workshops, or call 01752 305300 for advice and guidance on what's available.
The centre is holding a Christmas information event on Thursday, December 20, between 2pm and 5pm.
Visitors can drop in for a mince pie and obtain information about the opportunities available.