Work, learning and training are important aspects of everyday life. It takes a variety of skills and knowledge. It might be the skills to read and understand job adverts or the digital skills to apply. Sometimes, it helps to have the maths skills to work out how to budget household income.
As well as that, there are challenges that all people and households need to navigate. Sometimes, people have other things to consider, like caring for children or a loved one.
It can be even harder to access jobs or learning if you have a disability or a long-term health condition.
Our Skills and Employability team supports people to benefit from learning, training and work. They support people who have a range of health conditions and disabilities. Our advisors listen to people so they can develop support that suits their needs.
As well as our teams, we work with partner organisations and services to get the best results.
A Skills and Employability advisor that we spoke to said: “Some of the people we work with might have had bad experiences of learning or jobs in the past. A supportive advisor that gives impartial information and guidance can make a big difference.”
Another advisor said: “Boosting confidence and access to the right support can help people. We work to find opportunities that suit them.
“We help people with their applications and interview preparation. Sometimes, we even go along to support them. It’s important that people have somebody to help safeguard them. Having these measures in place helps them to have a successful experience in their new roles.”
A final advisor added: “Some of the people we work with might have visual impairments, they might be a carer, or they might have found themselves in a situation which means they have difficult financial challenges. At other times, it might be substance issues or difficulty travelling around the borough. Accessing jobs or learning is about more than getting there on time. It’s about working with people to overcome problems that can seem difficult to solve. Our team have a lot of experience working with people to speak about and tackle these problems.”
As well as these conditions, we also have teams that support people with a learning difficulty, learning disability or autism. Our Supported Employment and Volunteering team are here to help.
They have many years of experience in helping people access opportunities in the borough and flourish in the workplace, with their approach now being replicated in Sheffield and Doncaster.
They work with employers and match residents into roles. Like our Skills and Employability team, they help people to use their skills in a job that's right for them.
Supported Employment helps change local people’s lives, such as Alex. He has been able to learn new skills and feel more confident with the help of his job coach, helping him to find a role in the area he aspired to work in. He said: “I love working in Market Kitchen, I’m really happy and everyone is friendly. Working makes me proud.”
Councillor Robin Franklin, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “Our borough is a place that fosters and grows ambition, enabling everyone to be the best they can be. It’s wonderful to hear from some of the team members from just a couple of the organisations that help people to achieve their goals for learning and work.
“Unfortunately, many people with a health condition or disability face difficult experiences. We strive for more support to be available, and we work with a range of partners. If you are finding it difficult to access the possibilities in Barnsley, I would encourage you to reach out to see how they could help.”
People can also access support from Job Centre Plus advisors. They’re trained to support people with disabilities and can help people find jobs and prepare to get started in work. They can also support people who may be struggling at work due to a health condition or disability. They have advisers in the NHS Talking Therapies scheme to help people who are struggling with mental health issues.