Women who have been unemployed for a long time cannot afford smart clothes to wear to their job interview. They suffer from low self esteem and often face multiple barriers into employment such as bereavement, family breakdown, domestic abuse, mental health problems or a criminal record. The prospect of a job interview fills them with anxiety and fear, and their lack of suitable clothes adds to their sense of failure and inadequacy.
Smart Works restores women's self-confidence and helps them believe they can succeed. By offering women on low incomes a professional outfit to wear to their job interview, we help them look stylish and smart which immediately makes them feel much more positive about their upcoming interview. We reinforce this with one-to-one interview training so that they know what to expect and how to answer difficult interview questions. One in two of the women we help gets the job.
By helping women secure employment we are helping them become economically independent so that they can take control of their lives and the life chances of their family. 42% of our clients are lone parents, so by getting a job and increasing their skills these women can provide a better future for their children and break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage within their family. This has a positive benefit for the wider community by increasing employment and reducing welfare dependency.