Jobless Copeland residents are being encouraged to consider self-employment as a career option.
The Copeland Work and Skills Partnership has developed a workshop to help people explore the concept of self-employment, and the first session was hailed a success.
Supported by Inspira and the Department for Work and Pensions, the half-day, online session was delivered by Dave Porthouse, Director at Money, Education and Support Services.
Attendees found out about the requirements, challenges and rewards of being self-employed, helping them to decide if it’s a career choice for them.
The short course is a forerunner to Entry into Self-employment, – a longer-term programme delivered by Inspira.
It is available to all unemployed people in Copeland, including those whose careers may have been affected by COVID-19.
Copeland’s mayor, Mike Starkie, said: “This is just another of the many wonderful projects run by the Work and Skills Partnership.
“By bringing partners together it is really reaching out to unemployed residents, finding out what they need, and delivering it. I wish the course participants every success for what I am sure will be a bright future.”
Chris Gibson, deputy area operations manager at Inspira, said: “People who attend these sessions will gain an awareness of the different types of self-employment, and of the myths versus the reality.
“They will also understand some of the essential skills and characteristics required for self-employment. We will support people who want to take this path, including helping them go on to access our Entry to Self-employment programme.”
Wayne Dixon, a participant at the recent session said: “I really enjoyed the course and found out things I didn’t know about starting up as being self-employed.
“The session was very useful in pointing me in the right direction. Dave was a great trainer and the course covered everything I needed to know.”
Dave Porthouse of Money, Education and Support Services, said: “Many people at some point consider self-employment, but are put off by how daunting it can seem.
“Self-employment is about taking an idea, identifying the barriers and then looking at how to overcome them. Unless you actively take those steps to find out more about it, you will never know what you don’t yet know.
“Exploring Self-employment helps people find out more about what it means to be self-employed and realise that is not as daunting as it first seemed.”
Some of those who attended have now progressed to Inspira’s Entry to Self Employment Programme.
The Exploring Self Employment course is one of several ways the Work and Skills Programme – jointly funded by Copeland Community Fund and Sellafield Ltd – is providing support to unemployed residents across Copeland.
The programme also offers workforce development support to employers through its Sector Based Work Academy Programmes and wage subsidy schemes.