WorkCentres build Local Capacity A WorkCentre builds upon the Work It Out approach: - It provides a place to meet - Has computers & Internet - Offers tea & coffee - Supports friendship with colleagues - Has a Facilitator/Coordinator to support the group
Instead of sitting at home on their own, people have a place and a positive purpose to meet with each other: - To develop their workpieces - To support each other - To learn new skills - ebay, ebooks, facebook, etc.
WorkCentres therefore provide: - a friendly and welcoming place to meet colleagues and build new supportive relationships. - sustained opportunities to uncover and build upon each participant strengths, passions and experience - and help them to create a series of workpieces (work projects) - a focal point and supportive space for skills development, idea creation ,opportunity sharing and encouraging enterprise. - opportunities for participants to develop income generation skills by e.g. working on projects, creating items and selling services. - examples of success, role models and learning that can be replicated by others. - a new ethos based upon the following principles: - Working collectively to share knowledge, ideas and experience in small workgroups - Supporting others and offering to help - Being proactive - asking for help and not being stuck - Being successful every day in moving their workpieces forward - it's all about small steps.
The Gap in Provision WorkCentres are part of the new generation of work agency. Jobcentres still advertise some vacancies but there is little active support in identifying participant needs, looking at potential opportunities for people and helping people to actively build their career. The old job centre network seems to have become much more focused around the administration of benefits.
In tandem with this, the bulk of job support provision has become product driven through schemes, initiatives and programmes. For many people these are seen as just more 'hoops to jump through'.
This has created a huge service need. Who is going to fill the gap and help people to build their futures, earn money and find work?
This is where local WorkCentre have an important role to play. The WorkCentre is rooted in the local community, delivered and managed by local organisations, focusing on building opportunities for participants and supported by the Work It Out! framework. It's a bottom up, active engagement initiative that addresses participant needs, supports capacity building, promotes wealth creation and is sustainable.
How do WorkCentres Work? WorkCentres are set-up and supported as a franchised training, learning and working facility.
Assistance with the creation and setting-up of local WorkCentres, staff training and ongoing support is provided through Diversiton - a non profit making body dedicated to inclusion and the promotion of opportunity for all. The materials, methodology and management processes are copyright to Diversiton.
The WorkCentre has: - Action plans for each individual - Daily team updates - WorkGroups - ebay, etc. - Workpieces - own / others - Structured action packed week - Income generation projects for individuals - Roles for everyone – skills, experience and team leaders - Loads of energy, urgency and a focus on achieving results for each person.
Who can set up a WorkCentre? The initial WorkCentres are being set up with Local Authorities, Faith based organisations, Charities, Training bodies, Community Groups and Prisons. All those committed to providing practical help to those who are struggling to find work are invited to work with us.
Location and Facilities Some thoughts on the location of your WorkCentres for e-offender post release
1. Premises - e.g. a Community Centre, Vacant Shop, Spare Offices, Workspace Unit, Church Hall, Training Centre - indeed any under-utilised space. Premises need to be smart, professional and welcoming.
2. Central location with easy access for pedestrians/public transport.
3. Access. Regular fixed access times are important so that Participants can make the best use of the facilities. Seven day access is ideal (given participant's likely different domestic arrangements) but a number of fixed sessions every week is essential. Morning, afternoon and evening availability also needs to be considered.
..and your facilities
4. Computers with internet access. Computers can be shared initially. Some WorkCentres are looking at tablets/ipads.
5. Refreshment facilities. Access to kitchen facilities to make tea/coffee/cold drinks and snacks.
Remember your WorkCentre should be inclusive for all and provision may need to be made for those with particular needs - e.g. childcare support, disabilities, transport, religious traditions, etc.
Our aim is to set the highest standards in all aspects of delivery and operation
Numbers, Progression & Capacity Building Numbers 12 – 20 participants per intake. It is expected that each WorkCentre can cater for around 6 intakes per year – around 100 participants. This number can be increased by running parallel sessions with appropriate facilitators.
Progression Participants will be actively involved as they develop their first workpieces. Everyone succeeds at their own pace. Most people have created successful workpieces within 6-8 weeks (often much more quickly). The accredited facilitator will be responsible for making sure that no one falls through the system or fails to achieve the positive outcomes they plan.
Capacity building Some participants will become the Team Leaders and Mentors for future intakes.
What Support & Help is available to those setting up a WorkCentre? - Initial advice on setting up the WorkCentre (e.g. location, facilities, recruitment of participants, etc) - Support in the selection and training of the WorkCentre Facilitator(s) - Work It Out training modules, delivery plans and trainer materials - Marketing plan and promotion materials to help find participants and establish your WorkCentre. - One day induction workshop with all WorkCentre participants - Monthly sessions to review progress of participants - Ongoing coaching and mentoring for facilitators - Regular updates to promote linkages across WorkCentres - Sharing of best practice and case studies promoting participant successes
A Franchise approach All documentation and training materials are copyright to Diversiton and can only be used under a franchise agreement. The concepts Work It Out!, Workpieces and WorkCentres are intellectual property and are fully protected. This however goes beyond copyright and protection. The aim is to build a 'Community of WorkCentres' which share a common ethos, support each other in their learning and link people together in new and empowering ways. The organisations developing WorkCentres are key partners and stakeholders in the 'Community of WorkCentres' and the ongoing development of the network. All WorkCentres have joint branding - with your organisation name first on signage. It is in all of our interests to protect and promote the integrity of the work and to ensure high standards of delivery in every part of the process.
Who can be a WorkCentre Facilitator? WorkCentre Facilitators are committed to supporting practical outcomes for participants. Facilitators can be paid or voluntary positions e.g.
- current Prison staff - secondments or placements from a local organisation - current prisoners / ex offenders - 'retired' individuals looking to utilise their experience - experienced managers looking to give something back - staff especially recruited to manage the initiative
Re-settlement WorkCentre - Overview 1. Prison based + Community based WorkCentres help to provide a bridge to the new world of work by building relationships and workpieces in Prison that are the foundation of successful work based activities post release.
2. 12 weeks + 12 weeks WorkCentres span a period pre-release and post release. These timescales can be flexed in line with individual needs and delivery practicalities.
3. No computers + computers WorkCentres deal with any potential computer and internet limitations within Prison.
4. Prison Facilitated + Partner Facilitated Some Prisons define the WorkCentres link as providing two stages of one transition process. The management of the two elements needs to be carefully co-ordinated to ensure consistency.
Monthly Support Sessions These are designed to look at ten key factors: 1. The initial impression impact of the WorkCentre for participants and the public 2. Daily performance indicators (e.g. attendance by team members, participation in different teams and overall usage of the WorkCentre) 3. Individual participant progression and achievements (facilitator/participant feedback) 4. Records of success - individual (e.g. workpiece success stories) 5. Ethos, approach and energy 6. Promotion of individuals and the WorkCentre - sharing best practice 7. Links to other WorkCentres and participants 8. Support session for the WorkCentre facilitator 9. Opportunities for further enhancement of each WorkCentre and the participants 10. Income generation and sustainability of the WorkCentre
Developing a Re-settlement WorkCentre If you would like to explore the possibility of utilising a Work It Out! approach and/or introducing a re-settlement WorkCentre, here are a number of routes identified by other Prisons:
1. Delivery of a local ‘Strategy Day’ with key partners and staff to help design a local re-settlement WorkCentre. 2. Delivery of a 5 day Work It Out! programme for current 'participants'. While this is taking place, options for supporting Work It Out! beyond release can be explored. 3. On-site review to see how the Work It Out! can be incorporated into current programmes.
Creating Your Local WorkCentre Here is a brief overview of the process: 1. Initial meeting with potential Franchisee organisation or group - to detail Work It Out! approach and discuss the local situation. 2. Possible delivery of a 'tester' half day with participants and local organisation personnel. 3. Franchise agreement completed. 4. Premises identified and operational structure detailed. 5. Recruitment of Facilitator(s) 6. WorkCentre opens 7. Recruitment of initial Participants 8. Initial Induction session - delivered by Work It Out! 9. Facilitator training day - delivered by Work It Out! 10.Monthly review and support sessions (on-site)