If you’ve have been out of work for a while and you’re feeling daunted about how to look for a new job or training, the Building Better Opportunities programme run by Hertfordshire Council Council could be just what you need.
I’ll be honest and say I hadn’t heard of this programme before I was asked if I would help to spread the word about it. Now that I’ve learned more about BBO, I can see what a great initiative it is and hopefully it could potentially help you, or someone you know.
What is Building Better Opportunities?
Building Better Opportunities (BBO) is jointly funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund and aims to provide support through a mentorship programme to Hertfordshire residents who are not in any paid employment and need a helping hand getting back into the workforce, training or education.
For example, your BBO mentor could help you find a suitable training programme to develop your skillset and get you ready for work. Maybe you need some help writing your CV. Or perhaps you’re filled with anxiety at the thought of trying to find work – your mentor could support you by finding a local course to help manage your anxiety and build your confidence so that you feel more ready to look for a job.
A lack of self-confidence is often one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when looking for work and is certainly a huge factor for mums or dads who want to get back into employment after an extended period out of the workplace. I think it’s great that BBO can help to provide support in this important area.
Finances can also be a barrier when thinking about getting back into work. The good news is that your BBO mentor can apply for bursary money for you – this can provide an essential financial contribution towards things like appropriate clothes to wear to interviews or travel expenses. Your mentor could even go with you to your interview to provide moral support.
Who can apply?
As long as you’re a Hertfordshire resident with the right to work in the UK, and you’re not in any form of paid employment, you can apply to BBO.
There are two programmes offered depending on your needs. The first is STRIVE in Hertfordshire which offers mentorship and transition routes into volunteering, training, education and employment. The second is Herts Youth Futures which supports young people in improving their employability and enter training or work through placements, volunteering and apprenticeships.
For more information
Getting back into work, training or education and feeling valued again can provide a huge confidence boost so I can see why the BBO programme has the potential to transform participants’ lives.
If you’d like to find out more about BBO and how it could help you or someone you know, please visit the Building Better Opportunities website.
And please feel free to share this with anyone who might be interested!