A new “job café” opened in Wisbech this week (Monday, January 20) to help people who are struggling to find work.
The drop-in café will be open at the Queen Mary Centre in Queens Road for two hours each Monday (10am-noon).
Designed to back up the services provided by Jobcentre Plus, it offers a range of support in a friendly setting, with free tea and coffee provided.
Staff from various different organisations are on hand to deal with any job-hunters’ enquiries, including giving general careers advice and information on training and skills courses and volunteering. They can also help people draw up their CVs and look for jobs online.
Next Monday (January 27) there will be specific help available for people interested in a career in agriculture, with someone attending from EDGE Apprenticeships in Food and Farming.
The café is a pilot scheme that will run for the next three months. It has the backing of Fenland District Council, the Ferry Project and Circle Roddons as well as Jobcentre Plus and Cambridgeshire County Council.
Anyone can call in to the café regardless of age or personal circumstances or whether they are already in work or are claiming any benefits. No appointments are needed and people can stay as long as they like.
The café is also being actively promoted among employers by Russell Beal, the Fenland Business Connector who is on secondment from Anglian Water and has the task of encouraging businesses to play an active part in helping local communities tackle their social and economic challenges.
Councillor Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council’s deputy leader and Cabinet member responsible for skills and job stimulation, said: “The Job Café offers something a bit different from other services. It’s very relaxed and informal and anyone is welcome to drop in.
“It is not trying to replace other services but to support them. It has got off to a very encouraging start which we’re looking to build on in the coming weeks as more people get to hear of it.”
Mr Beal said: “It’s great to be involved with the Wisbech Job Café and all the people there. It is a key part of the vision for the Queen Mary Centre as a thriving community, youth and business enterprise centre.”