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Helping people into work on the Isles of Scilly

26 August 2015

Prospects is the prime contractor for the National Careers Service in the South West, which includes the Isles of Scilly. The region is mostly rural, often making it difficult to reach customers, and the islands present unique challenges.

The Isles of Scilly population is 2,300; tourism is its main income source, making most jobs seasonal. In May 2015 three people claimed Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), compared with 10 in November 2014. Most islanders have two or more jobs, with many working on boats during the tourist season and harvesting flowers at other times.

The support Prospects and its subcontractor, Isles of Scilly National Careers Service (ISNCS), provide reflects the islands’ employment market, where the most effective ways to promote job vacancies are through word of mouth, advertisements in shop windows and social media. ISNCS is based at the Harold Wilson Carn Gwaval Lifelong Living Centre on St Mary’s where Trish Peacock and Jo Evans meet customers in person; they use Skype for those on other islands.

Helun Jones, Prospects Quality and Training Manager, has been working with ISNCS on delivering careers information, advice and guidance mainly to non-priority customers, supporting them into education, employment or training and linking with the islands’ healthy living strategy. Popular courses include CV writing, ICT, interview skills, marketing and digital communication, Institute of Leadership and Management level three Diploma in Management, and the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).

Helun, who visited the islands at the end of July, said: “The islands are idyllic, but their small size and reliance on tourism make it difficult for many residents to get adequate work. Prospects and Isles of Scilly National Careers Service are working hard to provide targeted support, and help islanders into sustainable employment.”

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