Employability Day 2019
Morton in the Community delivers a range of bespoke programmes designed to meet the needs and enhance the lives of the community of Inverclyde. The delivery on sports, health & wellbeing, personal development and employability programmes is intergenerational, reaching from eighteen months to one hundred and four years old, improving physical and mental health. In terms of employability, the Health and Employability Project Workers work in the same team to jointly deliver programmes which take a personalised approach to delivering health and employability support.
Inverclyde is an area which faces many challenges, with high levels of deprivation and child poverty, with a local unemployment rate which is more than double the national average. Morton in the Community have identified in their Employability Strategy a focus on the larger groups of people who are furthest away from the labour market and to whom limited service provision is available.
The organisation operates a holistic approach to service delivery with a deep understanding of the dependency between health and employability. Using the Morton FC badge and Cappielow Stadium as engagement tools, participants are met with a friendly and informal atmosphere. At their own pace participants explore their aspirations and through guided conversations begin to explore and identify what they like doing, what skills they have and primarily gain the confidence and resilience to discover that they could do something positive based on their own interests and ambitions. This can be a huge turning point, for many ending a period of hopelessness, as based on local surveys eighty-one per cent of long-term unemployed people in Inverclyde have stated that they don’t want to work.
Team Talk brings a group of men together on a weekly basis, encouraging conversation and informal peer support with the primary goals of reducing social exclusion, improving male mental health and reducing the male suicide rate. Through time the project workers and participants begin to identify and resolve existing challenges and begin to build confidence and resilience within the group to increase health and well being, and for some this may progress on to an employability journey.
The organisation itself is flexible and proactive. They can deliver employability provision funded by local housing and job centres to get people into employment but are equally skilled at creating and delivering bespoke projects for public, private and third sector organisations from scratch, building effective relationships with participants through respectful partnerships. Their biggest strength is their person centred approach, showcasing their flexibility in tailoring programme design to the group/ individual. Skills Trail is a programme aimed at secondary school pupils who are struggling to engage within the school environment and curriculum- which is proving successful and illustrating great partnerships with local organisations such as West College Scotland as well as evidencing positive outcomes and sustained engagement from the participants.
Morton in the Community believes investment in an individual’s personal development, ensuring they have the employability and soft skills for finding a job which fits into their lives is essential for ‘closing the gap’. This empowers the individual to achieve and sustain employment which is right for them and their families.
For many people, there are many practicalities and challenges which prevent them from entering the workplace which need tackled before their journey can begin, let alone progress, so therefore a pragmatic long-term approach to employment is key to closing the gap.