K and D both attended Carlisle Job Centre on 02/11/2023 and signed onto Cumbria Youth Alliances Outreach Project working in partnership with the DWP Youth Hub program. This program was enabled through DWP Flexible Support Funding.

Their main barrier was where they lived; living in a small village 10 minutes outside of Wigton. They had no access to their own transport, so relied on the local bus service. Their only bus was a service that runs through to Carlisle. The service was irregular meaning K and D would often have to catch early buses to attend any appointments/interviews and would have to wait around in Carlisle until the return journey. Other barriers included their lack of interview skills and having no Wi-Fi connection at home. To enable them both to access Cumbria Youth Alliance support we hired out a space in a local venue for one-to-one sessions and paired this alongside telephone appointments.

It soon became clear the only real option for work was live-in roles. We began to focus our job search on this, specifically focussing on the hospitality industry. K was happy to apply for front of house roles where D was more looking for kitchen or grounds work roles.

We started our work by creating them both a current CV and a general cover letter which they would be able to edit to fit each job they applied for. We also did some work looking at how to write a successful application form and worked on improving their interview skills.

Once this was all in place the focus of our sessions became job searching and submitting applications. K and D engaged well throughout attending 1:1 sessions in Kirkbride and Carlisle. They attended interviews for roles in Carlisle, Keswick, Ambleside, and Pooley Bridge; another positive of this is they proved they were successfully able to plan their own travel and manage their time well.

On 13/03/2023 K and D attended an interview at TJ Bar and Restaurant in Pooley Bridge. They both felt the interview had gone well and were optimistic. Within a few days they were both offered roles, starting on 04/04/2023. K is working as a waitress and D as a Kitchen Porter. The role also provided them with a well-equipped and spacious caravan to live in, overcoming the isolation and access barriers. This role also provides them with the opportunity to experience living in a new area and develop independent living skills.

Since starting the role, I have visited K and D who both let me know “The jobs going really good thanks!” and told me “We went into Pooley Bridge the other day and it was lovely and there is an hourly bus service into Penrith we have used!” When asked what CYA had supported them with, they said “When you helped update our CV’s we started to get more interviews. You also helped improve our interview skills.”