Across the country coronavirus is causing a rapid rise in unemployment. Surrey is no exception. Fortunately in the Epsom Partnership we have a group of official and community organisations cooperating to help local people find new work or retrain.
Training support was a key issue at the group’s meeting on 11 November.
The partnership is convened by Alison Barrett and the team at Epsom Job Centre Plus. Alison reported a more than doubling of people claiming universal credit since lockdown began. New work work coaches are joining to help customers find jobs but also improve their skills and future prospects.
Workers’ Educational Association, WEA, has announced a new initiative in partnership with Surrey JCPs, the Surrey Care Sector Based Academy. There’s an intensive week’s training and a work placement in a sector expected to grow significantly.
Surrey Lifelong Learning is offering skills training on the Epsom and Ewell Employment & Skills Institute Facebook page.
Many Partnership members are increasing their support for existing and recently unemployed people. Housing associations Mount Green and Southern Housing are providing careers help as well as recognising the new causes of rent arrears facing some residents.
Local Citizens Advice charities are natural members of the Epsom Partnership.
CARBS reported the recruitment of new staff advisers to help deal with a rise of 150% in requests for for help with employment and benefit issues. With our colleagues at CA Epsom and Ewell we provide the Help to Claim service and advice on coping with unexpected job loss and financial pressure.