Workforce challenge

AmarAmar Lodhia experiences a day in the life of a local enterprise and employability service (LEES) worker

Speaking at an event last week on how entrepreneurship can help ex-offenders re-integrate into society and reduce reoffending rates, it struck me how important our frontline workers are to everything we do at TSBC. They’re the face of TSBC with all our participants and delivery partners on the ground, as well as the driving force behind our successes. So, I’d like to devote this month’s column to giving you a bit more of an insight into our LEES workers, what they do and why they do it.

I spent a day with Vicky Scott, our worker in the London Borough of Merton. She only joined us about eight weeks ago and is based at the MACs project, which provides recovery and support service within the Merton drug and alcohol treatment system.

Vicky starts her day contacting service users to remind them of their sessions with herself and/or meetings with potential employers, interviews, attending open days at colleges etc – they sometimes need a little nudge.

Then the rest of the morning is generally given over to preparing for her individual sessions with service users. As TSBC provides a unique service that is tailored to each participant and their action plan, the preparation and research ahead of each session can range from making contact with local employers to meetings with services such as housing support. She also tries to arrange for them to meet local people and inspiring role models.

The afternoon is the most client-facing part of her day, where Vicky actually delivers sessions with service users. The content, which she’s developed in the mornings, and key objectives of the sessions depend on the progress each service user has made against their actions. For example, if it’s the first introductory session, they agree the action plan and what the service user wants to get out of their engagement. Vicky helps them to plan their ‘journey’ by setting SMART goals that they will work together to achieve, throughout their engagement with TSBC.

Like every job, there is some admin, and Vicky will admit to leaving this to the end of the day (or end of the week, if she can!). But TSBC does allow her to maximise client-facing time and our project support officer at head office is on hand to help when she’s ‘super busy’. She also contacts referrals received at the end of the day, and books appointments with clients.

‘What I love about the role is being able to be such a key part of a client’s recovery,’ says Vicky. ‘Being directly involved with the participants and allowing me to share my first-hand experiences, and to see the positive effects of my efforts and planning with the clients – seeing them engaging in the programmes is so inspiring.’

‘I believe the uniquely designed programmes that are delivered in such a personalised manner allow participants to progress at their own pace, depending on their level of recovery,’ continues Vicky. ‘Not every participant will complete the programme with a job or even enrol into college but they WILL have at least progressed in their life’s journey. They will have gained relevant and essential skills or tools along the way, which, I feel, can be carried with them throughout their lives.’

TSBC are actively recruiting LEES workers across the Midlands and London. For more information contact Vanessa Bucknor-Scott, head of people development and resourcing on and follow me, our daily updates and industry news on Twitter by following @tsbclondon. Don’t forget to use the #tag DDNews when tweeting.

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