Customer Stories

Make 2019 work for you with Harlow Works

04 March 2019

Harlow works is an exciting new scheme for Harlow residents who are working and claiming in work benefits. The scheme offers support to get a promotion, earn more, access training, negotiate better hours or gain more holiday. To benefit from this scheme residents will need to sign up by the end of April 2019.

Harlow Works is a service for residents who would like to develop their skills, improve their job security or become more confident in their working life. The support is provided by Shaw Trust, a charity helping to transform the lives of young people and adults across the UK and internationally, on behalf of Essex County Council. Prospects is part of Shaw Trust. 

The service provides mentoring and coaching support for participants focusing on previous experience, qualifications and skills, and provides tailored CV and interview preparation support. The Harlow Works team will also support participants to access training courses, some of which may be free and work around people’s lives. Unlike traditional job support the service provides tailored individual career support for residents and could involve a combination of one-to-one support, group sessions, drop-in clubs and/or peer-mentoring. The end goal is to secure a role suitable for the person not just a job!

Harlow residents can sign up to Harlow Works by contacting Bushra Saleem on 07973870300 or emailing New participants will need to sign up to the service before April 2019, with mentoring and coaching support running through to September 2019.  

The Harlow Works team also work with employers to identify new employment and work experience opportunities for participants. They can help develop career pathways for new and existing staff, offer support to backfill any vacancies caused by the promotion of staff or support with identifying new ways to recruit staff, getting the best candidate with the right skills.

The scheme has already seen success in the short time that it has been running. A mother on a zero hour contract who was struggling financially managed to secure a full time role with one of the largest employers in the area, Stanstead airport. The guidance and help from her Harlow Works support manager helped her to secure this stable job. Since starting the role she has been able to achieve her goals and start paying off her debts, she feels happy in her role and is now looking forward to saving for a holiday!

Andrew* is a Harlow resident, who has taken part in Harlow Works. This is his story - Andrew signed up with the Harlow Works programme in October 2018. He was in a difficult situation after losing his job as retail assistant, which had been a zero hour contract. He has a range of experience in retail, warehouse work, cleaning and vehicle repairs. Andrew had previously worked towards a BTEC in vehicle maintenance but had to postpone the course for family reasons.

His lives with his family in rented accommodation, unfortunately he was already in arrears with his rent and was facing eviction when he lost his job. His Harlow Works Support Manager worked with other agencies to delay his evection and relief some pressure from Andrew whilst he concentrated on securing employment.  

Support Managers will help identify suitable opportunities for participants, in Andrews’s case his support manager identified a local hospital porter vacancy and helped him with the application form.  He was offered an interview and did very well, but the job was offered to a candidate with more experience.  With guidance from Harlow works Andrew requested feedback and discovered that he came second in the interview and would be kept on the reserve list for three months, meaning that if another hospital porter position became available Andrew would be offered the job without an interview. Two weeks later a position became available and Andrew was offered the role. Within a short period of time Andrew was able to secure a permanent full time position that offered him security and career prospects from an organisation that valued its staff wellbeing. The help and support that Harlow Works provided Andrew meant that he was able to focus and take some time to secure a job that would provide him security in the long term without the worry of his family being evicted from their home. He was able to secure a role that would stabilise his housing and financial situation by providing him with fixed hours.

Karen Mitchell, Shaw Trust Regional Operations Manager, said:

“It is increasingly recognised that employment by itself is no longer a guaranteed route out of poverty. Harlow Works is an innovative project designed to help residents to progress into better paid, more secure employment. This benefits not just the individual and their family but the business they work for and society more widely.”

Find out more about how Harlow Works could help you or your business by contacting Bushra Saleem on 07973870300 or  


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