At our London HQ, we dress and prepare women for interview. This works: over one in two get the job. We want to deliver this service across the UK. Women face tough challenges to get jobs. They can lack confidence in their abilities and often face long gaps in their employment history. We give a woman an entire outfit (to keep) and advice on her interview. This transforms her self esteem so she can go on to succeed and get the job.
There are nearly a million unemployed women in the UK, facing real and perceived barriers to returning to work. Our female clients come from prisons, refuges, mental health charities and job centres. 47% are single mothers. 43% have been looking for a job for more than two years and the majority have failed at more than 20 interviews. This leads to low self esteem and a negative self perception which in turn hinders the search for a job.
We know the Smart Works dressing and interview service in London works. We would like to take this operation and set it up in three new places across the UK by the end of 2015. To do this we need to identify the centres, recruit volunteers to run the service, get the stock to dress clients, and reach out to women who would benefit from the service. We aim to dress 10 women per week in each new centre by the end of 2015.
By taking Smart Works to more cities in the UK, we will directly help at least 10 women per centre per week back into the jobs market. We also believe that this project will allow us to lay strong foundations and the number of women that each centre will see will increase by a large number once the service is established. We hope that by the end of 2016, we will be dressing 1500 women in each centre, so more than 4500 women a year.