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Published 11 August 2020

A new virtual employability hub to support residents into work is being launched in West Dunbartonshire this Friday.

The hub will offer advice and support to any resident who is looking for a new job, wants to improve their skills, or is looking to undertake further training.

Officers from the Council’s Working4U service will be on hand online to run employability workshops on topics such as  creating a CV, preparing for interview, searching for jobs and sector specific training.

The mix of group and one to one sessions will all take place over Zoom and residents can be referred to specific support after registration with the Working4U team. The hub will also provide opportunities to  hear advice directly from employers during information sessions .

The virtual hub will mirror the support that the service offered in a face to face capacity pre-Covid, and ensure that the pandemic does not disadvantage any resident who wishes to improve their skills, find a job or change career.

It is intended that the service will also provide a community aspect, where local people can ask advice of their peers. The new service will be open between 10am and 3pm everyday and the service is for people of  all ages.  To access the Virtual Hub please follow this link   https://working4u-west-dunbarton-gov-uk.zoom.us/j/93038277743

The launch event for the hub will take place on Friday 14 August at 11am – 12.30pm, and attendees can find out more from partners including DWP, West College Scotland and Skills Development Scotland about  the support on offer.

Councillor Diane Docherty, Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “I am delighted to see this new virtual hub launching and pleased that the team are considering how they can continue to provide their much-valued support to residents during these unprecedented times.

“Although being face to face is difficult at the moment, it is vitally important that residents can still get the support they require to ensure they are employable and have up to date skills when they are seeking a job.”

Councillor Caroline McAllister, Vice Convener of Housing and Communities, added: “The Working4U service is vital in our area because it is helping our residents help themselves and it is really great to see that the service is adapting so quickly to this situation.

“The difference Working4U is making to people’s lives cannot be overstated and this support is even more important now than ever,  in a time when many residents may be worried about their financial and employment future due to uncertainty brought about by the pandemic.”

To sign up for the launch information event, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/virtual-hub-open-day-tickets-114538712372?aff=VirtualHubOpenDay

Working4U officers are also providing  additional support  to young people across West Dunbartonshire throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, with a range of digital services introduced.  

The team has adapted the approaches they use to ensure that no young person is disadvantaged due to restrictions introduced as a result of the virus.  

Working in collaboration with Educational Services and the Youth Alliance, they continued to offer existing initiatives including Care Connections, which supports care experienced young people; holiday programmes with a view to reducing holiday hunger as well as providing a range of social experiences; and Family Opportunity Hubs, which provide vulnerable families with work, learn and money support.

During the pandemic, the Working4U team has also supported digital youth work, which has included online classes and training with skills including cooking, dancing and martial arts.

In addition, they have delivered meals to residents and foodbanks, and dropped of activity packs for vulnerable young people.