Course helps single parents prepare for return to work

Kali-Anne Taylor, Jackie Crighton, Lisa Livingston, Caroline Christie, Ashley Johnston, Samantha Simpson.

Kali-Anne Taylor, Jackie Crighton, Lisa Livingston, Caroline Christie, Ashley Johnston, Samantha Simpson.

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Recently, nine local students who attended the latest course at the Lone Parent Employment Academy in Arbroath were presented with their Graduation certificates.

The four-week programme, which is delivered by Angus Council’s economic development Towards Employment Team in association with DWP, helps single parents prepare for returning to work.

The programme provides a range of support, including information about preparing a CV, advice about looking for a job and opportunities to brush up interview skills by taking part in mock interviews.

Montrose resident Caroline Christie, who attended the Lone Parent Academy, commented: “I found the course really worthwhile. I found the workshops and presentations very useful – there was something for everyone.

“I am now much more confident about getting back into employment.”

The programme also included short placements so participants could gain valuable work experience, as well as information about the skills employers are looking for and the chance to meet lone parents who have re-entered the world of employment or set up their own business.

The programme also included a variety of workshops, including a self-employment workshop delivered by Donna Williamson, who is a business adviser with Business Gateway.

Discussing the benefits of self-employment for lone parents, she explained: “In some cases, self-employment can provide much greater flexibility than working nine till five, which, for lone parents, can sometimes provide much better options for childcare provision.”

Arbroath business owner Stuart Scott of Stuart’s Fresh Fish provided one of the participants with a work experience opportunity.

Stuart explained: “Assisting the Towards Employment Team with their Employment Academy was very worthwhile.

“As an employer, I fully recognise the need to provide practical assistance to help people get back into work and, from my viewpoint, the Academy has been a terrific success.”

The graduation certificates were presented at a special ceremony by Councillor Sheila Hands, Vice Convener, Development and Enterprise Committee.

Councillor Hands said: “This programme is a very worthwhile initiative which helps lone parents gain the necessary skills and confidence so they are ready to return to work.

“By graduating from the Lone Parent Academy, these nine participants have proved that they would be a very worthwhile addition to any business.”