Mentoring into Work

Becoming unemployed can be a worry and daunting prospect. Our Mentoring into Work service is designed to help people get back into employment swiftly.


By Basma Aboudihaj · January 30, 2021

In July 2020 the Government released their DWP scheme to help those who’ve been made redundant, lost their job, or been furloughed due to the covid 19 pandemic. The services needed to be delivered remotely to individuals all across the country and therefore had to be accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. We were awarded a substantial number of these short term Job Finding Support contracts due to our unique stance of promoting attitude and behavioural change and advocating for personal responsibility. Our service was designed for individuals who had developed job search anxiety and supporting them to identify necessary steps to overcome both their real and perceived barriers that impacted on resilience and motivation to enter or return to employment. The service was not just building job search skills but also focusing on mental health resilience. 

The considerable number of contracts that we won meant that we were delivering our services to over 900 individuals. Subsequently, we needed to recruit 30 new members of staff to be able to deliver the contracts and sufficiently train and skill them in 3 weeks. We needed to reinvent our referral process, establish policies and procedures, implement our infrastructure, and invest in licenses and equipment all in such a short period of time.

As well as these structural changes we had to adjust to, we were also faced with the challenge of delivering the service to individuals we hadn’t worked with before. We have previously delivered contracts to the hardest to help with multiple barriers, therefore, we had to change our approaches to help these recently unemployed to keep them motivated and optimistic in the job market. On top of all of this, we needed to be flexible. We had won multiple contracts within multiple DWP districts, each of which works in different ways. We needed to tailor our services to the needs of each DWP district whilst keeping the integrity and key principles that makes Intuitive Thinking Skills so unique. 

In order to recruit so many staff members in such a short period of time, we had to move away from our traditional recruitment process. We recruited through professional networks, liaising with partners, business network meetings, and capturing those who had also been made redundant due to Covid.
Our new members of staff had sufficient foundation skills that we built on in a very short space of time. We put in place the infrastructure and procedures to make sure they had access to high-quality training and induction materials, as well as Zoom and other programme licenses, and IT equipment. It was imperative that our new staff were focused on the right barriers and had the initiative to research the local available provisions of their assigned geographical area to best serve their learners.

As a result of these contracts, we have had some wonderful outcomes; with up to 35% of individuals acquiring jobs in some areas so far. We continue to receive inspiring feedback from our learners thanking us and our staff for giving them the confidence and skills they needed to get back into work.
We have already had repeat business in North London and across Wales, and the whole experience has given us a solid evidence base for potential partnerships within the DWP CAEHRS.

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