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Coaching service helps boost sustainable employment in Wales

A North Wales community interest group is helping people of all ages in part-time and temporary work progress their careers through free one-to-one career coaching.

RCS, which provides wellbeing support for individuals and businesses across North and West Wales, launched its tailored service to help broaden job opportunities for individuals looking to move to full-time or permanent positions.

The programme can be accessed as part of RCS’ In Work Support Service which operates across Denbighshire, Conwy, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion.

The scheme, which consists of four one-to-one professional coaching sessions, uses an evidence-based appreciative approach, meaning participants can map out their goals based on success and opportunities rather than focusing on negatives.

Initially launched as a pilot project, the 12-week programme has now been ramped up to include an online hub of resources to support learning outside of the monthly meet ups.

Participants are guided by Marian Rosefield, who has more than two decades of experience in professional coaching, with sessions tailored to best suit individual learning styles and help better understand career aspirations.

Joy Gurr, 63, and Jacqueline Ingram, 28, took part in the pilot and after working with Marian, both have benefitted from increased confidence and a clearer vision of what they want professionally.

Joy, a branch coordinator in employment services from Rhyl, decided to sign up as she was struggling to find direction and fulfilment in her job, as well as feeling unqualified to take on additional responsibility.

Joy said: “I’m an overthinker and had a poor attitude towards myself and my abilities. I was facing a bit of a mental barrier because of my age and felt that I wouldn’t be capable of or considered for taking on a managerial role.

“When I started, I wasn’t used to talking about myself, but Marian helped me see my abilities and highlighted to me all the experience I had previously, which really gave me perspective on everything I was capable of.”

After taking part, Joy was able to build up her confidence and has since taken on extra responsibility in her role, supporting people with finding employment.

Joy continued: “The creative methods used in Marian’s sessions such as drawing, writing, and speaking through my ideas made me realise there are lots of skills I have learnt throughout my career which I could implement.

“I now feel really active at work and have started to manage and support seven other employees as well as help the company form new partnerships with local hairdressers and barbers to help the people that come to us feel fresh and ready for job interviews.”

Starting out in her career following graduation, training administrator Jacqueline was also able to build her confidence and set a clearer vision for her future through the scheme.

Returning from university to her home in Rhyl at the start of the pandemic, Jacqueline was unable to find employment which fell in line with her ambition of working in the heritage sector.

During the sessions, Jacqueline was able to map out a clear career path through vocalising her interests, resulting in her taking up experience at Ancestry before landing a permanent position at the Welsh Ambulance Service.

Jacqueline said: “I really benefitted from the structure of the meetings and having someone to speak to who didn’t know me personally.

“Marian helped me switch my mindset to see my career as a journey and she opened my eyes to the options around me so I could visualise what I want to do and how I can get there.

“Not only am I learning new, transferable skills in my current role, but through analysing and combing through my interests, I revisited my childhood passion of teaching and have plans to return to university to get a teaching qualification.”

Even though the standard structure of the sessions take place on a monthly basis, the programme can be adjusted to spread the coaching over a longer period of time if this is more suitable for participants.

Marian said: “Finding a meaningful occupation isn’t just for those who aren’t working, as by helping people find out where their strengths lie and a job which suits them, we are safeguarding sustainable roots to employment.

“It’s fantastic to see people like Jaqueline and Joy in all their glory after they take part. As their confidence grows, they start to see what we’ve been seeing all along and they feel worthy of going for and achieving their career goals.”

RCS provides its In Work Support programme, which is part-funded by European Social Funding through the Welsh Government to help people improve their wellbeing at work, or to return to work from sickness absence.

The programme has provided support and therapies for over 7,000 people across North and West Wales since 2015.

Ali Thomas, chief executive officer at RCS Wales, said: “Joy and Jacqueline’s experiences of the pilot scheme have highlighted the importance of helping people move towards livelihoods which are right for them.

“Strengthening the initial programme through a designated online portal makes it even more exciting to welcome more people interested in developing their careers onto the service.”

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Marian Rosenfield, (left) RCS Career Coach with service user Jacqueline Ingram

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RCS is an award-winning not-for-profit company which provides support and training for businesses across Wales to help create positive wellbeing cultures as well as ensuring people with health conditions can enter, sustain, and thrive in employment. RCS has seen a significant growth in demand for its services throughout the pandemic, with more than 2,500 people whose wellbeing has been impacted by Covid-19 helped since March 2021.

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