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New Opportunities Hubs will help South Somerset residents’ access free support to find work

| District

South Somerset District Council has opened three dedicated employment and skills hubs that offer free tailored support to all South Somerset residents aged 16+. Known as ‘Opportunities Hubs’ they are based in Chard Library, Yeovil Library and Wincanton Balsam Centre.

The coordination, delivery, and continued development of the new Opportunities Hubs is being delivered by Abri, one of the south of England’s largest housing providers. Abri’s employment service are sharing their expertise to develop staff, volunteers, tools and systems at the hubs to provide a creative, flexible and resilient employment support and service.

Where are the new Opportunities Hubs and when are they open?

  • Chard Library Holyrood St, Chard TA20 2YA
  • Wincanton Balsam Centre Balsam Park, Wincanton BA9 9HB
  • Yeovil Library King George Street, Yeovil BA20 1PY

Check out the Opportunities Hub website for opening hours here.

 Who can use the new Opportunities Hubs?

The hubs are open to ALL South Somerset residents 16+. This includes:

  • People who are currently unemployed and looking for work
  • People who are looking to upskill or retrain
  • People who want to change jobs

What will the new Opportunities Hubs offer:

  • FREE Qualified employment advice to discuss your options
  • Work on your CV and help to apply for local jobs
  • Meet local businesses who are hiring
  • Receive mentoring support
  • Develop an action plan to get you into work

Chard Opportunities Hub

Yeovil Opportunities Hub

Wincanton Opportunities Hub

Find out more

For more information or to make an appointment with an advisor pop into one of the Opportunities Hubs or visit the new website www.opportunitieshubsouthsomerset.com/. The brand new website also promotes and exhibits opportunities and take the next step to advance your career, whether you are looking for a new job, training opportunities or want to improve your existing skills. 

Talking about the new hubs, Councillor John Clark, SSDC Portfolio Holder for Economic Development including Commercial Strategy said, “The opening of the hubs reflect the importance that your District Council places on skills and employment.  It is vital that we upskill to increase wages for our community and productivity for our businesses, and the hubs provide an important step.”

Debra Scarratt, Head of Employment and Education at Abri, said, “We know that securing training opportunities or sustained employment is more than just skills and experience. We want to create a community, working with our partners and other agencies, to not only offer support but also bring residents together. That is why we will also have learning opportunities and training to help people develop financial independence and encourage good health and wellbeing. It’s what our Community Strategy, and five-year £15m investment is all about - creating thriving communities and empowering people.”

Councillor David Hall, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member responsible for libraries, said: “We are delighted to host the Employment Hubs in two of our libraries, which always provide supportive and safe spaces for anyone to access. The Hubs complement our popular iPad loaning scheme for jobseekers, as well as free Wi-Fi, bookable library computers and of course, our excellent range of books to support people looking for employment or setting up a new business. I would encourage people to visit their local libraries and speak to staff, who will always be happy to help them access any of our services”

About Abri

We exist to create thriving communities and empower lives. It is our central mission and one we fully believe in. But what does that look like in real terms? Between 2020 and 2025, it means we are investing £15m in communities to increase employment, improve health and wellbeing and empower people to take the lead where they live. In addition, it means building at least 12,500 new homes by 2030.

We believe everyone has the right to a safe, warm, and sustainable home, and to be part of a community where everyone has the opportunity to belong, grow and thrive.  So our priorities are: 

  1. build more homes;  
  2. invest more in our existing homes;  
  3. 100% customer satisfaction;  
  4. create thriving communities;  
  5. create a great place to work;  
  6. to manage our business to the highest standards;  
  7. climate change: the challenge of a generation.  

 Find out more at www.abri.co.uk  

Images:

 - Chard Opportunities Hub Chard Library– pictured left to right

Councillor Val Keitch - Council Leader of South Somerset District Council

Councillor Jason Baker - Chard Holyrood Ward

Denise Brister – Chard Library Supervisor

Sue Crowley – Strategic Manager for Somerset Libraries and Registration

Martin Clayton – Abri Hub Co-ordinator across Yeovil, Chard and Wincanton

Karen Chalke – SSDC Specialist - Economic Development

Emma Mercer – Senior Development Officer for Somerset Libraries and Registration

 - Yeovil Opportunities Hub – pictured left to right

Karen Chalke – SSDC Specialist - Economic Development

Councillor John Clark, SSDC Portfolio Holder for Economic Development including Commercial Strategy

Councillor Val Keitch - Council Leader of South Somerset District Council

Martin Clayton – Abri Hub Co-ordinator across Yeovil, Chard and Wincanton Opportunities Hubs

Paul Hawkings – Yeovil Library Supervisor

Emma Mercer – Senior Development Officer for Somerset Libraries and Registration

- Wincanton Opportunities Hub Balsam Centre– pictured left to right

Stephanie Nankervis – Employment Support Worker – Balsam Centre

Councillor Henry Hobhouse- Cary Ward

Karen Chalke – SSDC Specialist - Economic Development

Martin Clayton – Abri Hub Co-orindator across Yeovil, Chard and Wincanton

Sue Place – Chief Executive Officer – Balsam Centre

Councillor John Clark, SSDC Portfolio Holder for Economic Development including Commercial Strategy

- Opportunities Hub Coordinator Martin Clayton coaching a client to upskill

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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