BUSINESS, skills and careers organisations in North Wales are supporting workers at risk of unemployment due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
North Wales Economic Ambition Board, the Welsh Government’s Working Wales programme, delivered by Careers Wales, the North Wales Regional Skills Partnership and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have united to provide job seekers with an Opportunity for Change.
With thousands of people across the country facing uncertainty or struggling to find a role in the wake of the global crisis, their aim is to help match them with essential job vacancies in alternative sectors, as well as offering online training and guidance to furloughed staff and anyone considering a change of career.
Collectively they are providing people with clear information – including a bulletin with new vacancies and a dedicated email and web service with advice and guidance that will be crucial in the months ahead – notably when the lockdown is eased and businesses start to reopen.
Working alongside the region’s employers and recruitment firms the organisations are focused on encouraging people to apply for essential positions in key industries such as health and social care, remote IT work, nursing, administration, transport and logistics and other sectors where there is reported demand.
Minister for North Wales Ken Skates AM said: “This is a time of great uncertainty for many people. There is advice, guidance and training available and it is good to see the partnership working across North Wales – through Working Wales and JobCentrePlus – bringing all these opportunities together.
“It’s important to highlight that people are not alone and that there is assistance to help find jobs, and new career and training opportunities.”
Cllr Dyfrig Siencyn, leader of Gwynedd County Council and chair of the Ambition Board, echoed those words, and said: “The uncertainty is worrying, so as partner organisations we wanted to create a simple process to make it clear what jobs, training and online tools are available to support people over the coming weeks and beyond.
“There are essential roles that need to be filled immediately – notably in administrative positions, logistics and healthcare – and there are thousands of workers across the region whose skills could be utilised in other industries.
“Our campaign doesn’t just apply to those unsure about their position because of Coronavirus, you might have already been looking to retrain, or want to try something new.
“The message is clear; we need you and we are here for you. There are pathways you can take into employment, and opportunities for a new start. Past weeks have shown us that we will have to think differently in the future, and that – as hard as it is – we have to be positive.”
The DWP and Working Wales are urging people to get in touch so they can work together with recruiters in North Wales to identify which candidates will be suitable for which roles.
An example is Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which needs administrative and HR staff.
David Roberts (pictured), chair of North Wales Regional Skills Partnership, said it was important those feeling distressed and concerned about the future are reassured that help is on hand.
“Now more than ever you are needed, there are industries out there looking to recruit, even at this challenging time,” said Mr Roberts.
“Ultimately, if someone is facing redundancy there needs to be a clear way for them to get advice, be pointed in the right direction and made aware of what opportunities are out there.
“That might be a different sector where their skills are valuable, the opportunity to retrain or to take part in online workshops and reskill.
“We will come out of the other side of this, but we have to work together, so this campaign is heartening and will hopefully help people quickly and efficiently when they need it most, which is right now.”
If you are looking for employment, a furloughed worker with concerns about your future, facing redundancy or just looking for a change of career and requiring employment advice and guidance, you can contact both the DWP and Careers Wales through the Working Wales service, which is delivered by Careers Wales.
Email the DWP at email@example.com or visit www.gov.uk/find-a-job. You can also support the ‘Be a Work Hero – Keep Britain Working’ campaign here: www.jobhelp.dwp.gov.uk and www.employerhelp.dwp.gov.uk or contact them on Twitter @employwalesJCP.
To find out how Working Wales can help you, visit www.workingwales.gov.wales to access the web chat, call 0800 028 4844, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact them via social media @Workingwales.
Follow the hashtags #opportunityforchange, #changeyourstory #northwalesjobs #walesjobslive and #teamnorthwales on social media.