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17th Jan 2014

The fourth of five Work Fit courses to support lone parents back into work starts in Reading on Tuesday 21st January 2014.  A unique fitness-based employability project, Work Fit is a successful collaboration between three organisations: Adviza which runs the courses,  Reading Jobcentre Plus which commissioned the programme, and Sainsbury’s which provides interview practice. 

Work Fit is an innovative project developed to support the Jobcentre’s long-term unemployed single parents whose children have now started school. The programme’s aim is to change their own and their families’ lives for the better – to improve fitness, wellbeing, employability and ultimately to move into employment.

The part time, term-time course offers one-to-one and group support sessions from careers advisers, help to create an up-to-date CV, confidence building and self-esteem workshops, practical skills for juggling work, family and income, and uniquely, a tailored fitness programme with a personal trainer and 3 months free follow up gym membership to encourage the participants to get fit for work and life.  As part of this latest course, Sainsbury’s will conduct mock interviews on Wednesday 5th February at its Superstore on Bath Road, Calcot. These will provide an insight into the selection process and valuable interview practice for the course participants.

The programme, which started in May 2013, aims to work with a total of 70 unemployed lone parents over 12 months and has already received positive feedback.  Karen Brown, Employer & Partnership Manager, Department for Work and Pensions said: “Reading Jobcentre Plus have been delighted to work in partnership with Adviza, supporting some of our claimants who face significant barriers in accessing the labour market. We have received nothing but positive feedback about this innovative programme from participants. The hard work of the Adviza team is starting to bear fruit as so far 8 recent participants have now left the unemployment register.”  Since the start of the programme, over 80% of participants have started work experience, had job interviews or been offered jobs.

In November 2013 Adviza won an award from the Careers Development Institute (CDI) for the Work Fit programme for Best Practice in delivering career development services for adults. Julie Skinner, Assistant Director Business Development at Adviza commented: “We are delighted that our innovative Work Fit programme received this award – it shows the value of working creatively and holistically to change the lives of the whole family. We aim to help even more single parents over the coming year”.

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