Prospects deliver the Work Programme prime contract for DWP in the south west. Always keen to find innovative ways to support people into work the team developed the People Fair concept.
As 2016 begins, Prospects is looking back over 2015 and sharing some key successes. Each day, over the next week or so, as part of #lookback2015 you can read about Prospects achievements last year and gain insight into plans for 2016.
People Fairs bring together employers with jobseekers on the Work Programme who are furthest from the job market and have been long term unemployed. At a People Fair, unlike at a traditional job fair, employers directly approach invited jobseekers to showcase their company and available vacancies. In turn the jobseekers tell the employers about themselves, with the aim of securing an interview on the day or at a later date.
People Fairs have been held in Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, and have enabled customers to engage with employers and many have successfully gone on to work as a direct result of meetings at People Fairs.
Carole Applebee, Devon Team Manager, feels People Fairs encourage a bit of healthy competition. She said: “The People Fairs are a great success, and it is very satisfying to know that Work Programme customers have now secured work because they attended a People Fair. Everyone involved benefits from their time there, it’s good to see so many people in the room at once – it encourages their competitive spirit where nerves are forgotten and everyone has to sell their skills to the employers.
“All of the employers involved in the fairs across the south west have fed back to us how useful they have found the fairs, with many feeling the People Fairs are much better than they expected. Most anticipate People Fairs will be like normal jobs fairs, where jobseekers are reluctant to approach them and are rarely work-ready, whereas we select jobseekers who are eager and enthusiastic to be recruited.”
Employers involved have included ASDA, Wise Employment, Sainsbury’s, Modus Care, Mears Group, SES Recruitment, Dominos, TK Maxx, Wetherspoons, Prestige Nursing, Toys R Us, Carillion, Nurse Plus, Devon Cliffs, Bourne Leisure and British Ceramic Tiles.
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