Published: Thu 08 Nov 2018

Sometimes its great to stand back and think ‘yes I made a difference this week'

Im fortunate I've got my health and happiness and I'm in a job I really enjoy but I also know not everyone is in this position

Being long term unemployed must be tough not only on your pocket but also a massive knock to your confidence

So I was delighted to bring together JobSkilla (a Wayra startup) and Northumbrian Water Group and help them create a digital skills programme where 21 mature long term unemployed people in the Durham area were offered a 2 week return to work training programme concentrating on improving digital skills

Gaining digital confidence is really important in todays online world and even more so if your trying to get back into work where all job applications are now done on line as well as the dreaded psychometric tests and even video interviews are becoming more of the norm so the learners were delighted to be told they could keep their laptop at the end of the course and this will undoubtably help them all continue their digital learning journey

The great news is one of the learners has been offered a 3 month placement at NWG and 20 other people left the course much more confident having gained new skills for work plus new skills for life - and given that all important confidence boost!

So as I wrap up the week Id like to thank Martin Jackson & Sophie Pickup from Northumbrian Water Group for giving 21 people the opportunity to change their lives and also to Sam Siswick & the JobSkilla team for the work you do helping unemployed people maximise their potential to get back into work

So what’s next? We have offered ongoing CV workshops for all the learners and are delighted to be supporting the next programme Jobskilla are running in Newcastle in mid November and for me personally Im about to mentor a lovely lady who does lots of charity fundraising for the NSPCC on top of her day job and also a career break returner as part of the o2 'return to work' programme because as a friend said to me very recently its time to reach out and give a helping hand to someone with their career journey