14 January 2015

Libraries offering people help to find work

Jobseekers are being urged to try their local library for help finding work.

Brighton & Hove City Council’s libraries are offering a range of training and resources to assist people getting back into the jobs market.

Twelve city libraries, currently not including Patcham and Mile Oak, are now running Council Connect sessions to help people use computers and get on line.  At these, volunteers are available to help people update their CV, search jobsites and make job applications online.  There is also guidance on using web resources such as LinkedIn or finding online newspapers and magazines.

Other library-based initiatives are aimed at helping people find work, including advice sessions from the Youth Employment Service. 

The council’s Community Learning Team has published a leaflet and can be contacted on communitylearning@brighton-hove.gov.uk or on 01273 294287.

Libraries have a wide range of resources to help people brush up job-seeking skills such as interview technique and CV writing. There are also careers guides, college prospectuses and study aids - from GCSE to university level.

Other electronic resources are available via a Virtual Reference Library including E-Clips which contains information on over 1200 jobs and careers

Free web access at libraries means users can browse for newspapers, employers and recruitment agencies. Libraries also have ‘essential skills’ collections to help jobseekers improve maths and English and develop confidence in reading.

The council is looking to purchase a web-based job searching tool ‘My Work Search’. The system fully integrates with Universal Jobmatch and copies over all a user’s activities, ensuring they continue to evidence their job search activity with Job Centre Plus.

Libraries are developing targeted IT workshops to support job seekers in coming months.  They are planning to introduce special IT support sessions in Jubilee library for unemployed people after April  

Councillor in charge of libraries and employment initiatives Geoffrey Bowden said:  “These days, libraries have huge potential as a gateway to employment. There’s so much available either on the shelves or via our free computers.  There are also staff on hand to help and many courses available.  So I’d urge anyone looking for a job to start their search in a library.”

For further information phone 01273- 290800 or visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/libraries