The Mole Valley Employment Skills Hub celebrates its one year anniversary! – Latest news from Mole Valley District Council

The Mole Valley Employment & Skills Hub (MV Hub) celebrates its one year anniversary of opening to the community in Leatherhead, having now worked with over 650 Mole Valley residents in their search to find sustainable employment and helping almost 200 residents with free skills training.

In its first 12 months, the MV Hub has truly established itself as a practical yet welcoming ‘go-to’ venue for the residents of Mole Valley, not just helping residents and businesses with issues relating to employment and skills, but also assisting with many other aspects of life through working partnerships with Surrey Community Action, Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), Clarion Housing, NESCOT college, Dorking and Epsom & Ewell foodbanks and the Surrey and Hampshire Apprenticeships & Skills Hub… to name a few.

One of the employment sessions most valued by residents is the biweekly Job Search held every Tuesday (2pm) and Friday (11am), where members of the MV Hub team work to help residents who require help in searching for jobs, either because they have issues accessing the internet (“an increasing problem” according to MV Hub Manager Mandy Bosher), or no suitable device, or simply a lack of knowledge in where to start looking.

Other routine weekly sessions include the Employability Session (where candidates can work on their CVs, covering letters and interview skills) and Warmth Matters (providing advice on energy bills and debt management).

Meanwhile, downstairs in the bespoke skills and training room, a diverse range of training and skills sessions run throughout the week on topics ranging from security training and first aid, to money management and mental wellbeing. The Digital Skills course, run by partner organisation Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership, proved so popular that it developed a lengthy waiting list and is now looking to secure future funding to be able to continue and meet with demand.

As well as the bright, spacious, warm and welcoming premises at the Swan Centre, residents across the whole of the district can access the MV Hub through outreach sessions held at the Advice Café at the Leatherhead Community Hub, Dorking Community Harvest Church and the Christian Centre also in Dorking, ensuring help is made accessible to residents who cannot travel to Leatherhead. After a successful inaugural Cost of Living event held in Leatherhead on 21 July, the team are now taking the same event down the road to the Goodwyns Community Harvest Church in Dorking on 9 August to connect advisors from Warmth Matters, SES Water, Age UK, Uswitch and local foodbanks to residents who may benefit from practical help and advice on the matter. Department for Work and Pensions will also be there on the day advising on benefits. Plus, law firm South West London Law Centres will be on hand to offer free legal advice (relating to anything from housing to employment law).

In addition to helping residents, MV Hub also provides a free service to any business located within Mole Valley, supporting them with challenges such as recruitment, upskilling, traineeships, work trials, as well as sourcing candidates for individual vacancies.

Councillor Clayton Wellman, MVDC’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Economy and Security, said: “We couldn’t be more pleased with how the MV Hub has established itself within the community in such a short space of time, helping residents and businesses alike. Mandy and the team have been amazing and have worked tirelessly to bring together so many services under one roof. They have helped so many of our residents in real need. From residents desperate to get skills and into work, to businesses struggling to recruit, to Ukrainian refugees wanting to learn English, to those struggling with their mental health or the cost of living crisis, the MV Hub has been and continues to be a beacon of support for the whole community, through a very difficult time.”

Mandy Bosher, Manager of the MV Hub further said: “I am extremely proud of the work of the MV Hub team together with our partner organisations. In our recent survey 98% of visitors to the Hub said the facility was extremely or somewhat useful and 99% said they thought we had a role to play in the regeneration of the community. We opened our doors to the residents of Mole Valley a year ago, at a time when so many residents were facing pandemic-related employment struggles; we are now developing into what we set out to become – a local service for local people.”

For further information on the services of the MV Hub please see the Mole Valley Together website.

If you are a local business looking for more information on how the Hub can help with your training and recruitment needs, or you are able to support the work of the Hub (for example with volunteering opportunities or future funding for digital skills training) please contact Mandy Bosher on mandy.bosher@surreyllp.org.uk or 01372 379879. You can also follow the MV Hub on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

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