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Bury Residents

The Skills for Employment service which operates across Greater Manchester and provides personalised support to adults who are out of work, is having a huge impact in Bury.

The service has supported 562 local residents to improve their skills, with 58 going on to secure long-term employment to date.

Funded by the European Social Fund and Local Growth Funds, Skills for Employment is delivered by The Growth Company – an organisation dedicated to enabling growth, creating jobs and improving lives in the communities in which it works. The strength of the service is in its ability to provide a highly personalised and co-ordinated package of local support.

Local resident, Julie Westlake, is just one of the many Bury residents who’ve been helped into work through Skills for Employment.

Julie’s story

Julie was working 10 hours per week in a labour-intensive cleaning role, but the heavy physical labour was affecting her health, and the hours she worked were not enough to financially support her and her daughter. Julie wanted to find an administration role, but didn’t have the confidence in her own abilities to pursue this.

When Julie was referred to The Growth Company’s Skills for Employment service she received 1-to-1 support from a learning mentor and was able to complete the ‘Positive Futures’ course, which enables individuals to increase their confidence in looking for employment and learn practical skills in preparing for the selection process.

Through the support she received, Julie was able to apply for a placement with the NHS, where she was interviewed for a role as a ward clerk. As a result of the experience she had on the ward, Julie undertook a 4-week course and achieved a BTEC Vocational Studies Award. Through her placement, she is now also working on her Care Certificate,and developing her skills has given herthe boost in confidence she needed.

Julie is thoroughly enjoying her placement and doing tasks she never thought she could do, including filing patient records, arranging translation services for appointments, andmaking sure the nursing staff have all the correct information they need.

Speaking of her experience, Julie said: “Skills for Employment has been amazing and I would 100% recommend it to others. The support I received from my Learning Mentor was just what I needed to help me overcome the confidence and skills barriers that were holding me back.

I’m finding my work placement really exciting and my confidence has grown in all areas. I feel like a kid in a sweet shop!”


Mark Hughes, Chief Executive of The Growth Company said: “At The Growth Company we don’t just want to help people find work, we want to help them stay there and improve the overall quality of their lives. Often this means helping people to deal with different, sometimes complex, problems at the same time, addressing their barriers to work once and for all.

I’m delighted that we’re making such a positive difference in Bury. The success of our Skills for Employment service here is due in large part to the partnerships we have in place with local skills and employment providers, including Job Centre Plus, Bury Adult Learning and Bury College.”

Councillor Andrea Simpson, deputy leader of Bury Council, said:  “Jobs and education are key priorities for the council, which is why we support Skills for Employment, helping to ensure that Bury people are well equipped with the expertise they need to fulfil their career ambitions and find long-term employment.  It’s great news that hundreds of local residents have already benefitted from this initiative, and I’m sure there will be many more successes to come.”