Street Elite Lambeth Intervention visit to Smart Works
Each client has a personalised styling session with two Smart Works volunteer stylists, receiving a complete outfit of high quality clothes and accessories for their specific job interview, which are free and theirs to keep. They make sure that all of their clients look fabulous, feel confident and have everything they need, from a winter coat to a pair of tights.
After their dressing, each client receives a one-to-one interview preparation and coaching session with an experienced HR professional or senior manager. The interview session focuses on increasing the awareness of her own strengths, answering questions effectively and understanding what is expected of her at interview.
Once a client is successful at interview, they are welcomed back for a Second Dressing to receive five additional pieces of clothing. This means that they can start their new role with a capsule working wardrobe which will see them through until their first pay cheque.
As we know, having the correct working attire can actually be a real barrier for unemployed young people, particularly when disposable income is an issue. This can also breed confidence issues which can then lead on to something far deeper and something that we are really looking to avoid. The young women we work with have all reported reduced self-confidence since pregnancy, so something we have been really working hard on is redeveloping their sense of self. As we know, when you ‘look the part’ you often ‘feel the part’ so this exercise has been incredibly important in helping to change the mindset of our young women and get them to think positively about themselves and their potential.
Street Elite, supported by The Berkeley Foundation, engages young people on the edges of gangs and crime across London, helping them transition from NEET (not in education, employment or training) into work, apprenticeships, training or education opportunities. Over the last 5 years 244 out of 305 participants have successfully moved out of NEET status. For more information about Street Elite please contact Ross.
This article originally appeared on the Berkeley Foundation website here.