As a brand new state-of-the-art leisure centre opens it's doors in the heart of Ladywood, Suited for Success is absolutely thrilled to have supported 16 people from the Ladywood community into employment at the leisure centre.
Local jobs for local people
From gym and swim instructors, catering staff, cleaning staff and receptionists; Suited for Success worked in collaboration with the Ladywood Leisure Centre, Birmingham City Council WOW employment team and the Ladywood Job Club on an employment project to support unemployed people in Ladywood into jobs at the centre.
Based in Ladywood, Suited for Success works across Birmingham and the West Midlands. However, with the area of Ladywood having some of the highest rates of poverty and unemployment not only in Birmingham but in the UK, our aspiration at Suited for Success is to go the extra mile to support unemployed people right on our doorstep into employment.
The Ladywood Job Club
With this aspiration in mind Suited for Success works in partnership with another local charity called Karis Neighbourscheme and a local church (St Johns and St Peters church) to run a weekly job club in the Ladywood Community Centre. Every week we see a stream of unemployed people from the local area desperate to find work.
The new Ladywood Leisure Centre
From when the diggers arrived onsite of the new Ladywood Leisure Centre it was our mission to find out how we could get many of Ladywood's unemployed into job opportunities within the centre.
After sending several emails to the local councillors, the local MP and city council departments, we eventually were connected with the new leisure centre manager Dawn Page who was more than happy to work with us on a collaboration employment project together with Birmingham City Council WOW (World of Work) Employment team (Mandy Hubbard and Jayne Hanson) to get local people into jobs at the leisure centre.
Partnership employment project
As soon as the Ladywood Leisure Centre were ready to recruit then started a whirlwind of fantastic partnership working together with the Ladywood Leisure Centre and the WOW employment team. Starting with a recruitment and information day at the Ladywood Community Centre in May attended by over 50 people from the Ladywood community.
Leisure centre manager Dawn Page and her team talked about the many job opportunities, also announcing on the morning that everyone who had attended the info session and applied for a job opportunity would be given a guaranteed job interview.
People who attended were helped to apply for the jobs on the day supported by an army of volunteers from our job club, Trident Reach Pure employment team and business staff volunteers from KPMG, helping people to update CVs and apply for the jobs online. Read more about the recruitment day.
Interview prep days at Suited for Success
Ladywood applicants were then invited to interview preparation days at Suited for Success. We worked with the leisure centre to find out the format and expectations of the interviews so we could best prepare people for their interviews. We also offered one-to-one interview coaching appointments to help people with their interviewing techniques and supported people with FREE interview clothing.
A team of business staff volunteers from LMJV (Laing O'Rourke / Murphy Joint Venture) also spent a day with Suited for Success supporting clients with one-to-one interview coaching ready for their Ladywood Leisure Centre job interviews.
Ladywood jobs success
We are absolutely thrilled that 16 people from Ladywood were employed through our partnership working together with the Ladywood Leisure Centre and the Birmingham City Council WOW employment team. We’re also looking forward to keeping our partnership going with the leisure centre to continue to support and prepare unemployed Ladywood residents for ongoing employment opportunities.
Life changing new job
For some of the people we worked with who are now employed at the new leisure centre, getting their new job has been life changing.
One of the applicants we worked with, a single mom with two children said: "It’s great having a job so close to where I live that also works around me taking children to school and picking them up, also the free membership that comes with my job means that I can also bring my children swimming here too. I’m over the moon."
Lynne originally applied for a catering assistant role and previously worked as a part-time lunchtime assistant role in local schools and was successful in gaining the role as the catering supervisor at the new Ladywood Leisure Centre. Lynne said: "when I had the coaching session at Suited for Success I was encouraged to go for the catering supervisor job role, the coach said I had enough skills and experience. So I went for it and got it. I would never have gone for it if I wasn't encouraged to when attending the interview coaching day at Suited for Success, thank you so much"
"I nearly gave up!"
Another female who got one of the receptionist jobs – has been unemployed a while due to health issues. She has a great CV, qualifications and experience but struggled to find full-time employment. We supported her at the job club for over 8 months but with the struggle to find work she started to lose hope. Our female client was close to tears when offer a receptionist role.
She said: " I’m really excited to be starting a new job at the Ladywood Leisure Centre and to be put in position of trust. I just wanted to give up but the Ladywood Job Club kept saying don’t give up a job will come up for you. I‘m so pleased I didn’t give up and I’ve got a great job at the leisure centre.