For our clients, securing a job and gaining financial independence changes the trajectory of their lives and, in turn, the lives of their families and communities.
The need for our service is clear
For the individual, unemployment is one of the biggest causes of poverty and associated with physical and mental health challenges, high mortality rates and academic underperformance.
For the state, one unemployed person costs £6,897pa in benefits and lost tax revenue (Joseph Rowntree Foundation). Following the pandemic, unemployment is predicted to peak in 2021, with 4 million out of work.
The women we support are at greatest risk of economic hardship and discrimination. In the last year, 43% of clients had been unemployed for over a year, 25% had been rejected from over 50 jobs and 14% had been rejected from over 100 jobs. In addition, 40% were single mothers, 13% have a disability and 52% were from an ethnic minority.
The impact of our service
The Smart Works service is transformational. After their appointment, 95% feel more confident about succeeding in their next interview, 97% feel more confident in their new outfit and 93% are more aware of their strengths and skills. We are proud that 62% get a job.
We have two clear measures of success: the number of women helped and the proportion that secure employment within a month of their visit. Since 2013, we have helped 20,000 women from eight centres and our success rate has never dropped below 55%.
Smart Works has a strong track record of success
20,000 women supported
62% get the job
95% are more confident
What our clients gain from their appointment
Trusted and externally validated
The Smart Works service is underpinned by an acclaimed Theory of Change and an external impact evaluation that validated our work at Level 2 in standards of evidence (as set out by Nesta, the Government’s innovation charity). This means we can capture data that shows positive change.
In 2018, Smart Works completed a process evaluation. The research concluded that the Smart Works service brought about a profound change in clients and highlighted the strength and quality of our volunteers.