Eight Work Programme customers in Dorset took part in training last week, in the purpose-built woodland environment at Whitehorse Leadership Centre, near Dorchester
The initiative is part of a course of training and confidence building activities run by Prospects to help jobseekers acquire new team working and leadership skills, to become more successful in applying for jobs and attending interviews. .
Regan Hall, Prospects Ascent Team Manager, said, "This is just one example of how we help our jobseekers get back to work, by instilling confidence in their abilities. Our programmes help by offering advice and direction tailored to each person's needs, while developing new skills so they have the best chance of finding new employment opportunities."
"Through this training, customers developed their leadership and team building abilities, undertaking a series of practical skills such as learning to navigate effectively using only a map and compass. Working as a team they took part in an exercise where they located an imaginary injured child lost in the woods; they also learnt first aid." Regan added.
Prospects is a prime contractor for the Work Programme in the South West, covering Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. Over 16,000 customers in the South West have started on the programme with Prospects. Each is given individual support based on their needs and challenges. They are helped to overcome unemployment problems specific to the region, such as lack of public transport.
Prospects offers over one hundred activities and thirty-six different workshops, such as "Heroes to Inspire", where Royal Marines act as mentors and role models to help customers improve their motivation. Recent inspirational speakers have included Paralympian Helen Arbuthnot, 'Apprentice' winner Michelle Dewberry, and customers who have returned to employment, who speak to jobseekers about their experience in finding work. Jobseekers are helped with health and lifestyle issues and supported in finding work experience with employers, charities and local organisations.
The Prospects team has secured many exciting opportunities to help customers gain new skills and self- confidence, such as taking part in Christmas carol singing at Wells Cathedral, marshalling at the Bridgwater half marathon, participating in clean-up campaigns at local beaches and fundraising activities to support local food banks, Comic Relief and Children in Need.
More than 120 Prospects staff work across the region in offices and outreach locations including Poole, Bournemouth, Frome, Yeovil, Wells, Truro, Tiverton, Newton Abbot, Taunton, Exeter, Tiverton, Torquay, Penzance, Redruth, St Austell and Bridgwater..