What we do Young Adults and Adults Building Better Opportunities Building Better Opportunities What is Building Better Opportunities? Funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF), Building Better Opportunities (BBO) is a Worcestershire wide social inclusion programme to provide better, more comprehensive and coherent employment services. YSS, as part of a local partnership called Fusion, made up of housing providers and local voluntary sector organisations, employs a Job Coach who meets with BBO participants to assess their needs, agree work plans and arrange support to move them closer to or into sustained employment. How does BBO help? Our job coach meets participants on a one to one basis in the local community at times and places that suit the participant and supports them with: Creating a CV Setting up an email account Signing up to and using job search websites Creating covering letters Filling in application forms Interview preparation Career guidance Training and education needs including IT skills How much support is on offer? The support is tailored to each individual. Our Job Coach will look to meet at least once a week, more often if required. Face to face support is backed up by telephone and text contact and participants also have access to an out of hours helpline manned by YSS staff. What difference does BBO make? To date our Fusion Job Coach has supported 42 people. Eight are now in employment, whilst two have moved into training and eight are actively searching for a job. The support provided by the job coach includes helping service users to write a CV, practicing interview techniques as well as breaking down the barriers that people face when sourcing appropriate employment opportunities. These might include low confidence, poor literacy skills, no childcare or a lack of transport. We continue to support a very complex caseload who, without our support, are at risk of becoming socially isolated. Hear what real people have to say Before I met Phil I couldn’t read or write, he signposted me to an appropriate course to support me with my reading and writing, I am really enjoying the course and feeling more confident now. I was referred to Phil for support to find employment, he has helped me update my CV and I have now applied for about 10 jobs. Thanks to the support of BBO, I have secured employment. I have never worked, didn’t know how to find work, luckily Phil has supported me with this. Case study James was referred to BBO in July 2017. He left school with no qualifications or direction and had been removed from mainstream education due to his behavior and mental wellbeing. James' relationship with his parents was at breaking point due to his lack of engagement with anything and they feared he was on the brink of becoming involved in criminal activity. There was also some low level cannabis use which was at risk of escalating. When James first met his YSS Job Coach they discussed his interests and future aspirations. James was adamant that he did not want to return to education and that college was not an option. His main goal was to secure employment. He also wanted support around building his confidence, improving his motivation and strengthening his fractured relationship with his parents. Initially James worked with his YSS Job Coach to create an updated CV, and had a discussion about apprenticeships. After signing up to the National Apprenticeship website, with the support of his YSS job coach, James applied for several apprenticeships and received a call back from Vauxhall who were advertising for a customer service apprentice. James was invited for an interview at Vauxhall, which caused some apprehension at first. The YSS Job Coach conducted a number of mock interviews, which helped James understand what type of questions he was going to be asked, as well as offering advice around how he should present himself on the day. The YSS Job Coach transported James to Cheltenham for his interview, offering words of advice and encouragement on the way. Following a vigorous recruitment process James was offered an apprenticeship at Vauxhall, and over the past two months James has been really enjoying his new adventure and feels his relationship with his parents has improved dramatically. James said: "Without the support of YSS I would not have had the confidence to apply for the apprenticeship. YSS did not judge me on my previous behaviour, which gave me the motivation to succeed. I am now communicating more with my parents and enjoy spending time with them again. Thank you YSS." How to make a refferal If you feel you would benefit from the support BBO has on offer, or know somebody who would benefit from the service, please contact YSS to discuss further by calling Philip Sherwood (BBO Job Coach) on 07585 967183 or email [email protected].