Minister consults with national outplacement consultancy on government support for unemployed managers

The director of a national outplacement consultancy has met with Employment Minister Jim Knight MP to lobby for more support for white collar workers who may be facing redundancy for the first time. The Minister was visiting Swindon’s Jobcentre Plus on Thursday 16 July to see first hand what service the centre was providing, particularly for the long-term unemployed.

Phil Griffiths, director of Connect, believes that the government should adopt a more holistic approach for those facing unemployment for the first time if it is to help people take realistic and practical steps to a new career.

“I met with Swindon North MP Michael Wills earlier in the year to discuss my concerns that the increasing number of unemployed mid to senior managers are not being well catered for by government’s current support system,” said Griffiths. “I was delighted that the Minister was interested in hearing Connect’s concerns and it was good to have the chance to explain how a different approach might be valuable for individuals who are now struggling to find new roles.”

Michael Wills, MP for Swindon North commented: “I was glad that I was able to arrange the meeting between the Minister and local businesses such as Connect who have experience of guiding people in their future career choice. It is important that the government listens to all parts of the industry in order to provide the best service we can to jobseekers of all types.”

The focus of outplacement is to ensure that employees who are being made redundant are given professional guidance on the type of career which would suit them as well as support in finding new jobs. Outplacement providers such as Connect have had to adapt their services to meet the demands of large scale redundancy programmes. They have developed web-based support programmes, which help jobseekers to reassess where their real interests and strengths lie, rather than simply assume that they will find vacant positions in the same line of work.

“Given the sharp increase in the number of managers being made redundant, we can understand that the resources within Jobcentre Plus may preclude them from being able to offer professional one-to-one counselling,” continued Griffiths. “So it is even more important that the online support available via Jobcentre Plus encourages jobseekers to think about where their strengths lie first. It should then guide them to either relevant and available job opportunities / training or provide practical help should they want to set up their own businesses.”