Job centres are failing young women, finds Young Women’s Trust report

carole3Young Women’s Trust is calling for more flexible and personalised support for young women as a report launched today shows that job centres are failing to help them into work.

Only 19 per cent of young women who visited a job centre in the last year said it helped them find a job, according to the ‘Work It Out’ report. 44 per cent said Jobcentre Plus had not given them useful information about work and training opportunities.

The charity is concerned that job centres are driving young women away and alienating them from claiming the temporary financial support they need.

The vast majority of young women surveyed were negative about their experiences of job centres. 59 per cent described their time at the job centre as “humiliating” and 68 per cent said it was “stressful”. 21 per cent said they were treated with no respect by centre staff.

Young Women’s Trust research shows more needs to be done to support young women into work. More than half say they lack self-confidence generally and nearly 40 per cent say they are not confident applying for a new job. 62 per cent say they will not apply unless they feel they meet all the criteria, compared to 54 per cent of young men. 85 per cent say they do not receive feedback when they do apply.

The report shows Young Women’s Trust is successfully tackling these problems through its ‘Work It Out’ service. The charity provides free coaching and personalised advice on job applications in a way that empowers young women and fits around their lives. 100 per cent of young women using the service said they were able to speak to a coach at a time and in a way that suited them. 93 per cent found the service helpful and 69 per cent felt more confident applying for a job.

Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive of Young Women’s Trust, said: “Young women are more likely to be out of education, employment and training than young men.  They want to work and be financially independent but they aren’t getting the necessary support. It is clear from this report that job centres need to change.

“Young Women’s Trust’s report offers solutions based on what we have found works. We are calling on the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus to learn from this and improve the advice and support they offer.”

‘Work It Out’ client Isis Mason said: “My coach was fully flexible and ever supportive of me. We’d arrange to talk after I had tucked my daughter into bed, and spend the evening focusing on me, my achievements, and where I wanted to go in life. She gave me practical ways to deal with anxiety and overcome issues that made me feel as though I wasn’t good enough.  By the time my coaching had come to an end, my confidence was fully restored… I secured part-time employment and had begun the process to apply for postgraduate study.”

‘Work It Out’ is available to women aged 18 to 30 and more information can be found at http://www.youngwomenstrust.org/what_we_do/services/work_it_out.

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