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Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Skills for Jobs project – success story

The Skills for Jobs service run by the Colebridge Trust in North Solihull, supports people who are unemployed to get back in to work. And it has seen tremendous success, not just in terms of the numbers of people who have been helped back into work but in the unique approach that the project can take.

Theo’s story

Theo is a Smith’s Wood resident in his mid-twenties who has seen success through the Skills for Jobs project.

Theo came to Skills for Jobs to seek support with training and career planning as he wanted to do something different after his previous job in security came to an end. He wanted to pursue a career where he could support others and gain new skills. Having few qualifications and experience only in the gaming and security industries, this was a new challenge.

After spending some time career planning Theo was offered the opportunity to train as an Advice and Guidance worker with Skills for Jobs. Theo undertook a placement over 6 months where he learned about advice and guidance work and gained an NVQ in Advice and Guidance.

CV and Job Search

Theo found a local opportunity to help support the development of new projects in the area where he lived. He was supported by Skills for Jobs to update his CV with his new qualifications and experience and was supported to identify his skills and match them to the job role in his application. He was invited for interview and impressed the panel.

He was then able to use his newly gained skills and experience to secure an Apprenticeship as a Community Development Apprentice in his local area. Theo went from strength to strength and proved that his local awareness, marketing knowledge and skill set enabled him to be successful in reaching the aims of the company. As his apprenticeship role came to an end Theo was offered a part-time position to support the development of the Big Local Project in Smith’s Wood.

Developing Business Skills

Theo always had an interest in understanding why people are the way they are and their behaviour habits and Theo proved to have a great understanding of this through effectively engaging with people using Social Media. Alongside his part-time role with Big Local Theo decided to use his passion for people and social media marketing to add value to people’s daily lives. Theo was able to take up learning opportunities so that he could turn his passion into a business. Theo was self-taught and later mentored by some very successful people while building his business. Theo was able to do this whilst working and taking care of his family.  His ability to network and influence local organisations gave him a platform to share his knowledge on social media marketing. Theo opted to seek support to start his own company and was successful in gaining funding to help him launch his business.

Theo is now working on a range of social media marketing and branding projects and contracts for the local authority and other private and voluntary sector organisations across the West Midlands and has his own very successful business.

Someone to help identify strengths and weaknesses

Taking some time to figure out his strengths and interests has enabled him to move forward with a positive career choice that gives him flexibility in working hours and time to spend with his family whilst earning a healthy income.

Theo says, “Sophia was really helpful and actually listened and picked up on the direction I wanted to go. Sophia quickly spotted my strengths and weaknesses and helped to point me in the right direction. Sophia and the Skills for Jobs staff speak to you as real people not just as someone who is paid to work there so their approach is very different to other places.”

To find out more about Big Local please visit their Facebook page at

To find out more about Theo’s Social Media Marketing see Nourish Social at

To find out more about Skills for Jobs and how they can help you get back into work please contact Sophia on 07825 414 372 or find us on Facebook at or search Skills for Jobs

You can also find local vacancies on the North Solihull Job Vacancy Page on Facebook