Jobseekers in Bristol have the opportunity to boost their career and training prospects on ‘Blue Monday’ next week, as the annual Ways2Work Jobs Fair is held online for the first time.
More than 40 organisations are taking part in the virtual event on 18 January, which aims to connect jobseekers with employers who have positions to fill, as well as offering expert training and careers advice.
Held for the past five years on ‘Blue Monday’ – so called as it is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year - those attending the virtual event will also have access to advice on a range of subjects including mental health support, debt issues and housing and benefits.
Councillor Anna Keen, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “We know that looking for a job in the current climate is extremely challenging and that jobseekers are facing real barriers. The Ways2Work virtual jobs fair gives people an opportunity to speak directly with prospective employers online to help find the right job or training for them, for whatever stage they are at in their career.”
“Additionally, the virtual event offers the opportunity to find financial and emotional support, which sets it apart from other job fairs. We encourage people from all over the city to reach out for support at this difficult time.”
The event is organised by Bristol City Council’s Ways2Work team, Centre for Sustainable Energy, Department for Work and Pensions, Future Bright and the National Careers Service.
Employers taking part will come from a range of sectors including health, adult social care, engineering and construction, and includes: Heat Network Associates, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston, Proud to Care, Agincare, St Monica Trust, OCS Cleaning and Openreach.
Proud to Care is a regional campaign helping people to find work in the care sector. They work closely with Bristol providers to fill full-time and part-time roles, including apprenticeships.
Lorna Laing, Proud to Care Bristol Lead, said: “It’s fantastic that the jobs fair is going ahead virtually this year. We’ve seen an increase in demand for health and care workers since the pandemic began and have lots of vacancies available. The work is incredibly rewarding, and you don’t need any previous experience. We’re looking forward to discussing career options with jobseekers and answering questions at the virtual event.”
Support services on hand to give advice includes: WECIL, Bristol Mental Health Employment Service, Well Aware, Changes Bristol, St Pauls Advice Centre and the Centre for Sustainable Energy.
The event takes place online on Monday 18 January from 11am-3pm, on the Ways2Work website: ways2work.org.uk/blue-monday-2021
Those who aren’t able to get online and access the website on Blue Monday can discuss their options with the Future Bright team and ask for their details to be passed onto any of the available organisations for a call back. For more information about this option, contact Future Bright on 0117 922 2250.
For more information and to see the full list of organisations exhibiting, visit the Ways2Work website: ways2work.org.uk/blue-monday-2021