Smart Move – Motiv8 Teams Up With Smart Works

In a smart move, Motiv8 has teamed up with Smart Works, which provides interview clothes and coaching services to women, to help Motiv8 clients put the finishing touches to the final hurdle of securing a job.

Motiv8 helps people aged 25 or over with tailored support to help them overcome multiple, complex needs preventing them from accessing training, job search and employment.  A personalised action plan helps people to address their individual needs and to help get them back on track.

​​The programme was set​ ​up​ ​thanks​ ​to​ ​£9.7m​ ​of​ ​funding​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Big Lottery​ ​Fund​ ​and​ ​European​ ​Social​ ​Fund’s​ ​Building​ ​Better​ ​Opportunities​ ​Programme. This funding​ ​was​ ​awarded​ ​to​ ​Manchester​ ​Athena,​ ​a​ ​partnership​ of ​social​ ​landlords​ ​across Greater​ ​Manchester,​ ​which​ ​was​ ​formed​ ​to​ ​work​ ​together​ ​to​ ​bid​ ​for​ ​and​ ​deliver employment​ ​and​ ​health​ ​programmes​ ​across​ ​the​ ​region.*  Motiv8 is led by New Charter Group with delivery partners from Stockport Homes, ForViva, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group and Bolton at Home.

Smart Works, which opened in June 2015 and is based in Stockport, provides interview clothes and a coaching and confidence building service to women in the Greater Manchester area who have a confirmed job interview for a paid position or a year-long apprenticeship.

Appointments to Smart Works are made by referral.  Currently, referrals regularly come from  Jobcentre Plus, work programme providers and charities working to support women back into employment.

Fiona Gunnion, Smart Works Manager, said: “We are delighted to be offering our services to Motiv8 to help their clients in the final stages of their job searching. We give the women who come for an appointment a complete outfit of clothes and accessories (theirs to keep) in a personal styling session which is delivered by our volunteer stylists. All our clothing is donated by other working women or direct from our retail partners such as Hobbs, Whistles, Next, Evans and Bobbi Brown. In addition, we also have a team of highly skilled, fully trained volunteers who provide one-to-one interview preparation and training so that the women we see feel more confident and start believing in their own ability to succeed.”

Motiv8 has already had a client who has benefitted from Smart Works support.  Sarah* (name changed to protect identity) is thankful to both Motiv8 and Smart Works for helping her get back on track.

Sarah came to Motiv8 following a traumatic period in her life, having left her home with nothing due to domestic violence. With the advice, encouragement and help of her Motiv8 key worker, Sarah began job searching and secured a job interview.  She was referred to Smart Works, and was provided with an interview outfit, accessories and makeup, which enabled her to go to the interview feeling calm and confident.

 Sarah said; “After a brief job trial, I was successfully appointed and I had a follow-on session with Smart Works who provided me with suitable clothes to help me until I was able to buy some of my own.  What they do is amazing.  It’s not just the clothes – they make you believe in the future and made me feel strong and independent.  I want to thank everyone for their support.”

Hazel Clarke, Programme Manager for Motiv8 said; “We support some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​most​ ​vulnerable​ ​people​ across Greater Manchester. We work with our partners to get the best advice and support for our clients and this link with Smart Works is already providing us with a great service.”

To​ ​qualify​ ​for​ ​support from Motiv8,​ ​participants​ ​need​ ​to​ ​be​ ​aged​ ​25​ ​or​ ​over,​ ​live​ ​in​ ​Greater​ ​Manchester and​ ​have​ ​the​ ​right​ ​to​ ​remain​ ​in​ ​the​ ​UK.​ ​​ ​They​ ​also​ ​must​ ​not​ ​be​ ​involved​ ​any​ ​other​ formal ​training or​ ​employment. To find out more, please visit their website www.motiv8mcr.org or call 0161 331 2048 or email info@manchesterbbo.co.uk.