Juggling Work and Parenthood
As part of a joint employment initiative, EN:Able Communities funds an Employment Advisor at Newground Together who works to get people into work in local communities in Northern England.
A single mum of 4 children between the ages of 2-16, Jenny was keen to secure part-time employment after being out of work for the past 4 years. After being referred to Newground Together at the end of April 2020 by the THG Sustainability team, Newground’s Employment Advisor worked with her to build confidence, identify her skills, and search for jobs.
When Jenny first spoke with her Employment Advisor, she explained that she didn’t have a CV, had limited IT access, and was unsure what sort of work she was capable of. With two toddlers, she was also worried that she might struggle with childcare: especially because of Covid-19 and the national lockdown.
In order to begin to tackle these worries, Jenny and her Employment Advisor first sat down to talk about the transferable skills from her work history, family life, and leisure activities. It was pointed out that she was extremely resilient and had great organisational and time-management skills. Using these skills as a basis, they produced a CV together that helped showcase Jenny’s potential. Another worry for Jenny was that she didn’t have any references: however, her advisor contacted her previous employer who remembered her fondly and was more than happy to be a referee.
Jenny was also worried about her finances, and how work would affect her income support. Her advisor helped her calculate her finances based on working 22 hours a week, and they found that she would be substantially better off. Not only would work improve her mental well-being, but she would be able to provide a better quality of life for herself and her family.
From there, Jenny and her Advisor looked for jobs that both matched her various skills and worked around her family’s needs. Together they identified several possible roles that she could apply for while still working around the childcare needed for her young family. Providing support over the phone, the advisor helped her complete the application forms for these roles and, in May 2020, Sam was invited to interview with a local business.
Following some interview training given by Newground Together’s Employment Advisor to help her confidence, Jenny attended the interview and was successful. She was offered a part-time job at 20 hours a week, which she accepted.
Her Employment Advisor helped her contact the Department of Work and Pensions to explain that she was starting employment, and helped her apply for universal credits. As Jenny struggled with IT, her advisor was available on the phone to help her every step of the way, guiding her through the different procedures she needed to complete.
During this process, Jenny also mentioned that one of her teenage children has specific education needs, and she was able to be referred to the Efficiency North funded RISE programme, which is now providing specialist support for her children. Together they are working to get her teenager back into education, build their confidence and introduce them to routines that will enable them to cope going forward.
Jenny started work in June, and is loving her job. She is managing well, juggling both the need of her children and the requirements of her role. Jenny and her Employment Advisor have continued to speak on a weekly basis, something that will continue over the next few months so that they can provide emotional support and address any other issues that may arise.