Say hello to HOPE
Suited for Success is hitting the road bringing employment support to communities across the West Midlands with a new pop-up bus
The new pop-up employment bus is the next step in the our commitment to breaking down barriers to employment for unemployed people across the West Midlands. The bus will provide free interview skills coaching, employment days, essential employment preparation skills alongside the FREE provision of professional interview clothing for unemployed people in underserved neighbourhoods with high unemployment rates, making it easier for people to access the employment support they need.
Design features include laptop stations, interview coaching booths, a tea and coffee area, rails of suits and workwear and changing rooms where stylists will work with clients to help them pick the job interview-winning outfit ready to make that crucial first impression.
Suited for Success CEO, Patricia White says: “At Suited for Success our mission is to level the playing field for unemployed people to realise their potential and gain employment. The bus will take the help and support we offer right into the heart of areas across the West Midlands that have some of the highest levels of unemployment in the UK. The mobile project will allow more people to access our FREE support, giving unemployed people of all ages and background the tools they need to begin or continue their journey of preparation into employment equipped with the resources and skills to succeed. Our new bus will see us working harder than ever to reach more unemployed people.”
The big reveal
Kept closely under wraps, the bus was unveiled on 24th October on Snowhill Square in Birmingham city centre in partnership with Colmore BID after a breakfast launch event at PwC with close supporters. Existing supporters and businesses interested in working with the charity are invited to come along to get a first look at the new facility.
On the following day (25th October) the Suited for Success bus held its very first employment day onsite at the Bullring where jobseekers were supported with CV writing, interview skills coaching, job applications and a free interview outfit for retail and hospitality job opportunities across the Bullring and Grand Central. Then a final stop at Brindleyplace on (26th October) where the bus was parked for business and hospitality tenants to pop and see the bus. Another bus employment day is also already in the planning for later this year in Walsall.
The bus, donated to the charity by the region’s biggest bus operator, National Express West Midlands, has undergone a huge transformation working in collaboration with multiple businesses.
Rachel James, HR Director for National Express, said: “We’re delighted to see our donated National Express West Midlands bus repurposed and ready to be driven into the heart of our communities. “Suited for Success plays such an important role in supporting local people facing unemployment and we were more than happy to play a part in providing mobility to the valuable work that they do. “We are really proud to have been able to support this incredible initiative which will make such a difference to people’s lives. We look forward to seeing the amazing impact that Suited for Success will have across the West Midlands, providing access to employment for those most in need of their valuable services.”
A life changing makeover project
International rail infrastructure company Alstom, National Express West Midlands, Balfour Beatty and HEXIS UK Ltd have helped with design and project planning ready to take Suited for Success’ employment support into the heart of communities across the West Midlands.
Nina Atwal, Alstom Skills, Employment & Education (SEE) & Diversity Lead: “We are proud to have been able to support Suited for Success through our Alstom Community Project Fund. The Suited for Success bus will provide valuable services and space for those local community members most in need, widening access to opportunities. It has been a pleasure to see this project develop and grow with some of our apprentices supporting the refurbishment work.
These projects really are life changing for the people who are supported to gain confidence and skills through employability activities and positive interactions with businesses. Alstom look forward to continuing to support Suited for Success driving forward social mobility, by levelling up skills and access to employment opportunities, delivering this in the very heart of the local communities thanks to this project. Congratulations to the Suited for Success team and all those involved in this fantastic project!”
Into the heart of our communities
The employment support charity hopes the bus will also bring new opportunities for businesses to actively contribute to bridging the employment gap in underserved West Midlands neighbourhoods ranked in the top UK areas of high unemployment.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, says: “It’s great to see this remarkable local charity reaching out into the communities that need their support the most with the provision of this new bus. Not only will the new facility help more people take advantage of the career opportunities on offer in our region, but it will also give local businesses new and exciting ways to engage with a diverse range of talented people who just need a helping hand to get them into work.
It’s encouraging to see how our business community have come together to support Suited for Success in the development of their employment bus. Working together with local employers and charities, we can change people’s lives for the better in the months and years ahead.”
Levelling the playing field
At Suited for Success our mission is to level the playing field for unemployed people to realise their potential and regain employment. We often hear the term ‘hard to reach communities’. Our bus will take Suited for Success on the road to reach and support more unemployed people living in communities across Birmingham and the West Midlands with some of the highest levels of unemployment in the country, helping people to access our charity’s support to gain employment.
Birmingham's unemployment rate is the highest among the UK’s core cities and well above the UK average. Several areas across the city are experiencing some of the highest levels of unemployment in the country with the highest concentration in Birmingham’s inner-city areas – where Suited for Success is located.
Employment changes lives
We help people to unlock their potential and make that first move back into employment. Our FREE interview coaching, job interview outfit and FREE new job start work clothing support gives people the tools they need to begin their employment journey. So when they're ready to take that first step into the interview room, or a new workplace, they're equipped with the skills to impress, look and feel the part, ready to step into the rest of their life.
We are so incredibly grateful to National Express West Midlands for believing in our vision and donating us a bus to help carry out our mission.
The Suited for Success Pop-Up Employment Bus will visit various locations throughout the West Midlands, providing a welcoming and supportive environment for job seekers. A list of locations and dates will be updated on our website soon.
Donate to support our new bus project
Your financial donation will help to fund the development of our bus project to support the unemployed into employment, research and develop new ideas, have stability and make long-term plans. We offer a number of simple ways to make a financial donation to us. Visit our donate to us page.
Get onboard and support us
If you're a business or individual who would like to know more about how to financially support or new bus employment project including sponsorship and funding opportunities we love to hear from you, please get in touch Email: email@example.com
Or text HIGHFIVE to 70450 to donate £5.
(plus the cost of a standard rate message.)
Donate by bank transfer
Account Name: Suited for Success
Sort code: 40-46-13
Account number: 42047632
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