For school-leavers and young adults struggling in today’s competitive job market, the world of applications and interviews can seem like a daunting place. And the longer a person stays out of formal education or training, the more difficult it becomes to take those first steps towards full time employment.
Luckily for local residents, valuable resources and support are available to guide them through this process at the ClementJames Centre on Sirdar Road, North Kensington. The award-winning charity provides advice, training and employment opportunities to around 1,200 people a year.
Ladbroke Grove resident Haleemah is one such beneficiary of the ClementJames Centre’s advice and support. Having graduated from Westminster University with a history degree in 2012, Haleemah, like so many fresh graduates, had no clear career path ahead of her.
Following a number of unsuccessful applications and, keen to gain some valuable work experience, Haleemah began volunteering at a law centre, advising clients on housing and welfare issues. Although she enjoyed the experience, Haleemah was frustrated that she was still making no further progress in terms of establishing a career.
Having seen an advert for the ClementJames Centre in a local newsletter, Haleemah’s mother encouraged her to get in touch to see what they could offer. “Although they didn’t actually go out and find me a job, they gave me all the tools and preparation to help me land it on my own,” says Haleemah, who is now working for Lloyds Bank in its Oxford Street branch.
“They guided me through the entire job finding process, from helping draft covering letters and CVs to mock interviews. By the time the interview came around I felt fully prepared and knew what to expect,” she says.
Having cruised confidently through the interview process at Lloyds, Haleemah was appointed as a Customer Service Assistant and is now undergoing more formal training internally.
She enjoys the customer-facing nature of the role, which combined with the variety and fast pace of the jobs, means that “days go very quickly and no two days are ever the same”.
Despite some initial nervousness, Haleemah says that she has settled into working life very well, helped in no small part by a friendly and helpful team at Lloyds’ Oxford Street branch. “The best thing about this job is definitely the people. Everyone has been so supportive and helpful and there’s a real team culture here. I never feel exposed and there’s always someone supporting me along the way,” she adds.
So as one of ClementJames’s success stories, what is Haleemah’s advice to other young jobseekers? “My advice would be to go to ClementJames straight away. Don’t waste time sending out CVs and applications before speaking to them first. They will make sure you’re doing everything properly and will support you through the whole process.”
About the ClementJames Centre
The ClementJames Centre is a charity part funded by Catalyst that provides training and support to jobseekers. The learning centre offers tools and resources to support people in their search for work. Services include:
To find out more, please contact:
The ClementJames Centre 95 Sirdar Road, London W11 4EQ