Author: Elliot Young

Elliot is imployables account manager and content writer

An Ex-Offender’s Christmas: Anna’s Experiences Serving Time During the Holiday Period

For those involved in the rehabilitation or resettlement process, Christmas is a struggle. Separated from loved ones, far from home, and unable to change the circumstances they have to, “make the best of a bad situation.” It forces them to adapt and do everything in their power to make it as beautiful as possible for family, those around them and themselves. After all, Christmas is about goodwill, love, and kindness. 

Christmas offers time to reflect and plan for the future. A time for development and growth. In prison, they are life-changing moments that do not leave you. Prison can make people selfish because they spend so much time alone and not being responsible for day-to-day things. They can forget the impact their absence has on those at home and can put their grief above everyone else’s.  

The experience creates a divide within the self, like the locks used to segregate the person and isolate the halves of the whole; The survivor and the showman.  

The survivor is the half locked behind the door processing complex but natural emotions; grief, anger, frustration, guilt, envy and shame. The survivor hasn’t learnt to express those emotions healthily and wants others to feel their pain. Sometimes it isn’t intentional, they know no different but it hurts those closest to them. 

The survivor needs to develop emotional intelligence to understand their feelings, their root causes and stressors, to learn how to manage and healthily express them. 

The showman is the selfless side determined to focus on the future and rebuild all that has been damaged.  It has been developed to manage what they can control, is open about their feelings and is a constructive presence on the wing because they are conscious of other people needs. They make cheery and enthusiastic phone calls to loved ones governing what they say and asking about their lives and how they are.  

Both sides are valid and necessary. With growth comes pain. The tearing down of previous patterns of behaviour so that positive change can be made. Uniting them is an intrinsic step in development, even if you don’t realise it at the time.  

It means using the survivor’s time behind the door to accept responsibility for themselves.  Owning up to what went wrong so it doesn’t happen again in the real world; Processing and releasing past trauma so that it doesn’t sit like the poison of self-sabotage anymore. Hoping you can be better by enacting accountability and putting the work into action straight away. On prison landings that looks like talking about your feelings with people going through the same experience as you, supporting and encouraging one another through a really painful and dark time. Everyone is missing home. All mothers are grieving their children. Everyone carries shame.  

Self-development and emotional intelligence come much later in the sentence. It takes willingness and time. When you settle into prison the first two lessons learnt are patience and that you only have control over yourself. Everything else is governed by the regime. Things take time to process and nothing is quick. Why would self-discovery be any different? 

Often you hear guilty mothers saying, “We shouldn’t be laughing or enjoying ourselves.”  

The thing is, punishing themselves will not make Christmas better for anyone at home or themselves. They’re in prison regardless. It is already bad enough. It is the time of year that you feel your exile from society most keenly. Whether you enjoy it or not, it is still going to happen. You cannot change it. What you can control is your approach to the day and when everyone does that it is a beautiful thing. Call loved ones and try to embody the excitement that children have. Yes, it will hurt, but you will feel like a part of it and so will they. 

The staff plan creative activities, games and offer emotional support during the run-up to Christmas. Engage in them. It makes a positive difference for everybody. 

I know this system works from lived experience. I served through two Christmases. The first was diabolical, the second brilliant.

The second Christmas was different because my attitude and perspective had changed and matched those of the people around me. I engaged in craft activities and decorating competitions during advent. It gave me things to talk about to loved ones, enhanced the atmosphere on the spur and helped my mental health. Out of scraps, I made a huge model of the Coca-Cola truck (including hubcap screws if you please!). I loved that, previously reluctant women came to help, sharing hints and tricks to make it better. Another woman made an incredible, gingerbread house and it had the same impact. It even generated ideas for ways to improve Family Day for the children because the majority of the women got involved.

Every year, the staff dress up and serve the prisoners Christmas dinner to give the women working in the servery a day off. It is a traditional turkey dinner with pigs in blankets and The Salvation Army come in and play Christmas Carols on every houseblock. It holds a kind of magic in my memory because of the way it made me feel at that moment.

I had one month left to serve and I was getting more anxious about my release. At Christmas, everything shuts down. Prisons operate on skeleton staff, courts close so there are no new arrivals and all agencies close for the festive break. If you are released close to this time then your resettlement into society is impeded because you cannot access help. I was lucky that I wasn’t being discharged just before or immediately after the Christmas break.

I realised I was upset to be leaving and that stirred conflicting emotions for me. I felt so little was in place and ready. I was already venturing into an unknown quantity with the usual barriers a criminal record generates, and I was in a safer position than most.

Things that should be prepared before release:

All of these things are out of the offender’s control. This adds to the fear because it is a new set of rules to accept, but this time the ramifications of that can leave you homeless and reoffending, doing all the things you’ve worked so hard to change.

Accommodation –I was going to live with family for a bit as I wasn’t allowed home immediately. But, with under a month to go, probation still hadn’t carried out the necessary checks to approve this. Some offenders cannot be released unless it is to an ‘approved premises’ (IAPS) where there is additional support and supervision to protect the public. At that time there were only TWO IAPS available to women in the UK.

Approved Premises are premises approved under Section 13 of the Offender Management Act 2007. The term currently applies to over 100 premises, providing over 2000 bed spaces, managed either by the National Probation Service or by independent organisations. Currently, the independent sector provide around 10% of the overall Approved Premises Estate.

(Association, n.d.)

JCP (Job Centre) – The Resettlement Department schedule an appointment for the first week of your release. This is to set up benefits, complete housing applications and start job searches. Some charities provide clothes for interviews.

Probation – The Offender Management Unit schedules an appointment for the first day of your release.

Substance Misuse – Keyworker will have signposted to local services and sometimes help attend the first meeting.

Employment – This is the element that offenders could take control of if given the appropriate means. The Work Skills Programme had stopped within the first year of my sentence. The CV I had written was already out of date and I was nervous about disclosure, but I was optimistic and chomping at the bit to apply for jobs. I had completed ROTL [Release on Temporary Licence] for two separate work placements and been offered positions in both firms. But I was relocating 200 miles away, I’m open to a commute but that was impossible!

Had the Imployable app been on the houseblock ‘pods’ [computer system which managed everything, applications for appointments, visits, menu choices, canteen orders and charitable donations] or accessible in the Resettlement Department, with access to an updated CV, many people in my position would have been applying for jobs and arranging interviews ready for their release from prison.

Their goal is to change their lives for their families. They understand the importance of employment to resettlement and the hurdles that a criminal record presents to securing a role and succeeding. But they are determined, spurred on by the need for financial security and the honour of being able to provide for their loved ones, especially after so long of not being the one to do so. For those leaving over winter, the added worry of homelessness and the cold are visceral.

The opportunity to take initiative and use the app, or have a method to job search and apply in advance would have been a weight off. The knowledge of the current job market, attainable roles, hours and rates of pay would allow them to plan and talk to the JCP and OMU about their support needs comprehensively, avoiding the disconnect between organisations and shell-shock on release as all the information hits at once. Crucially, it would have built confidence, restored some pride and independence. All of which take a huge knock upon release when it hits home that society isn’t as forgiving as you’d hoped, regardless of your self-development, atonement or how many Christmases you’ve served.

I look back on that second Christmas fondly. The memories are warm, I think of the women and staff and hope they are doing well. I miss that Anna at times, the one before I became jaded and had the hope knocked out of me, but then, without her, I wouldn’t be here, having started Blotted Blog and supporting people just like me.

imployable Cohort: The Cohort Management Tool

Visum Cohort The Cohort Management Tool

Any business that deals with a large selection of people, for any kind of service, will know how important organisation and analytics are. You can easily keep track of these people within databases, but how do you effectively organise that, and pick out exactly what you need at any given point? Not to mention the various categories these people will fall under, that may overlap with one another. What’s the best way to split up these data sets using many different factors? The answer to that is called cohort management, and it is vital for both your organisation, and the cohorts in question. 

Why use cohort management?

So why would you want to use cohort management in the first place? No matter what your database is based around; there will always be certain factors that differentiate one singular person from another. So, it’s best to divide out categories within these databases. 

For example, say you’re a training organisation and you have a cohort of 100 learners to train and support through to employment. Each learner will need to be effectively and efficiently managed through to the end of the course; with evidence of outcomes and learning along the way. Having the cohort system allows the training organisation to see their individual qualifications and skills. Yet it also shows them as a collective and how they fit to an employment opportunity. This is what a cohort management system is all about, as well as a platform to share resources and message individually or all at once.  

When trying to take into account all of these elements, things can get messy within a database. That’s when you need another tool to sort through all these factors in an easily digestible way. 

Who should use cohort management

The example provided before doesn’t just apply to training providers, but can be utilised in any databases for a group of people, such as: universitiescolleges, recruitment companies, local councils, etc. The list is endless. But we believe this has so much untapped potential for other organisations to take advantage of. 

Here at imployable, our training division deals with thousands of learners each month. But keeping track of all of these individuals is a mammoth task. We were very lucky to receive an Innovate UK grant to build technology to help us see our individual cohorts, and help these learners progress through to employment. The technology is called Visum Cohort.  

imployable Cohort

imployable Cohort is a nifty piece of technology that essentially allows an organisation to track and manage its own cohort of learners… but how? 

Through our career management app. We built this technology within our already up and running app, so its ease of access means anyone can use it. Each member of the cohort is sent a link to sign up to the imployable app. The organisation can then support the ‘cohortian’ with their learning; through sharing resources, sending them notifications, and direct messaging them. The technology also shows the organisation skills, qualification and experience-based data on their cohort; to help the organisation make informed and strategic decisions to further their business and support their learners 

After some digging; we surprisingly found nothing on the market that delivered this type of service. So we decided to build it ourselves. We’re able to license it out to any training providers; education establishments; councils; and contract providers who need a piece of efficient technology to track, manage, and analyse their cohort’s progress. We truly believe this will allow many organisations to really push the boundaries when helping their individual usersWe’ve launched this platform in the beta version, so if this is something you believe your organisation can benefit from, and you would like a demo of it. Then be sure to give us an email at and we’ll go from there! 

The Weirdest Jobs Around the World

The Weirdest Jobs Around the World

Our society runs on the job market. If someone needs specific tasks doing, they can pay someone else to do them. These jobs can come in all forms, needing specific and tailored skill sets to be effective at them. However, there are some jobs out there that require some very unusual skill sets. Jobs that most people will struggle to believe exist. We did a bit of digging into these weird jobs, and have collated a top 10 list, in no apparent order, that we believe are the weirdest jobs around the world. 


1) Dog Surfing Instructor 

Surfing is a popular hobby to take part in if you live in a coastal region. A fairly tough sport to master, it can be incredibly fun and freeing for any who partake in it. But what if you wanted company on your board as you surfed? Luckily, there are certain professionals who can teach your own dog to surf with you! Aptly named Dog Surfing Instructors; these guys will take the time to get your dog comfortable on a surfboard, and make sure they keep balance whilst carving those waves. Very popular in parts of the USA; they even have dog surfing competitions to judge who’s the greatest dog at surfing (they all are in our eyes!). 


2) Passenger Pusher 

Japan is a country of efficiency. With many of their population opting to use public transportation, rather than using personal vehicles. However, when so many people need to use the public transportation at one time; things can get backed up and cause late arrivals. That’s where the Passenger Pushers come in. Although they might sound quite aggressive; their job is to make sure as many people can fit into the train carriage as possible. Utilised around rush hour, they’ll cram people through the entrances of the carriages, making sure the train is at full capacity. You’ll be surprised with how many people can fit into one carriage. It’s much like fitting your sleeping bag into its sack. It looks like it won’t fit, but after a bit of elbow grease, it fits snuggly. We just hope the passengers don’t mind having no personal space for a while! 


3) Wrinkle Chaser 

No this isn’t someone who’s going to chase your grandma down the street (though I’m sure she could use the exercise!). Rather this is someone who irons or presses out any wrinkles found in shoes. A job many people wouldn’t have considered existing, but makes sense considering the lack of wrinkling found in the majority of shoes. They would use specialist machines designed for various types of shoes. From loafers, to walking boots, and to high heels. The wrinkle chaser will make sure every shoe has a sleek and smooth finish. 


4) Parmesan Cheese Listener 

Italians take their food very seriously, only using the best ingredients within their meals. Any avid pasta consumer will know how perfectly parmesan goes with it. However, parmesan takes time and effort to make, and it’s difficult to know when the cheese will be ready. That’s where the Parmesan Cheese Listener’s come in. Unfortunately, they aren’t our lactose rich friends’ therapist for when they’re ‘blue’. Rather, they use a silver hammer to tap the cheese and listen to its timbre, as this is used to judge how ready it is to be consumed. These professionals will need to have near perfect pitch though, and are normally required to have a background in music education; as a wrong decision can ruin a whole batch.  


5) Online Dating Ghost-Writer 

The world of online dating is a fierce one. You’re competing against many others trying to win the heart of your potential soulmate. This means that you need to make a fantastic first impression within your profile. Picking the right profile pictures, and forming witty or interesting anecdotes about yourself. But what do you do if your writing skill is a lot to be desired? Well, you hire an Online Dating Ghost-writer of course! These professionals will create a profile for you that will wax poetic, and be sure to grab the attention of any potential partner. Unfortunately, they can’t help you out with the actually dating part though! 


6) Blunt Roller 

Out of the other weirdest jobs within this list, this is definitely the most specific. This is exactly what you think it is. It’s no secret that many big names in the music industry basically run on weed. However, at times their busy schedule means they don’t have the time to roll out a joint to smoke. That’s why they’ll hire a specific person to do this for them. Names such as Snoop Dogg and Lil’ Wayne have admitted to use Blunt Rollers, which isn’t surprising considering Snoop has once claimed he smoked 81 blunts a day! If this is true, his blunt roller definitely has their work cut out for them! 


7) Pet Psychic 

An addition to our weirdest jobs list, that will no doubt have some eyes rolling. A Pet Psychic claims they will telepathically communicate with any pet, alive or dead. This is apparently done by either connecting with the animal’s spirit, or their electromagnetic energy. Whether you believe it or not, there are others out there who would like to know what’s on their pet’s mind, or to perhaps say goodbye to a pet who has passed away. So, they would hire a Pet Psychic to try to open communication with the pet. Although I’m sure 90% of my dog’s thoughts are about food. 


8) Water Sommelier 

We all know of Wine Sommeliers, who can recommend and pair a wine with any meal. But how about a Sommelier of water? Cropping up around the US, Water Sommeliers use all their senses to judge different attributes of water; from the pH balance and acidity, to the mineral content. They can provide various bottles of water to taste test, and will pair one with a meal, much like Wine Sommeliers. Arguably it makes sense due to water being one of the most important commodities in the world. Although tap water is apparently a no go for them; though clearly, they haven’t tried our tap water down in the south-west! 


9) Banana Ripener 

Bananas are a fickle fruit. It always seems you have a tiny window to eat them when they’re fully ripened, else you’re left with bananas that looks like they had a full 12 rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson.  However, the process to get them to ripe is actually quite a difficult and precise one.  They need to be kept in specialised ripening rooms; where they need to be air tight and insulated, with ways of regulating temperature and humidity. Though these conditions are changed according to the banana’s current ripeness. The Banana Ripener judges and oversees this whole process. They’ll judge the bananas colour, temperature, aroma, and other factors to determine how they’ll be kept within the ripening rooms. This’ll ensure the bananas will be ready to consume once they reach their intended destinationI just wish I could judge when they’ll go mushy. 


10) Hippotherapist 

The final entry in our weirdest jobs list. No this isn’t a therapist for your hippopotamus. Rather, a hippotherapist will treat various ailments using horse-riding and a horse’s gait. These issues could be physically, occupational, or speech therapy. The thought is that the natural movements of the horse will provide motor and sensory input, which can help with issues of paralysis or mental health. An unusual treatment, however there have been successful cases in the past, with studies still being carried out in the field (no pun intended). 


Those were some of the weirdest jobs around the world that we discovered, though there are many others out there. Keep an eye out for any you might find, and be sure to let us know in the comments! 

Company Culture: The imployable Way

Company Culture: The imployable Way

Company culture. It’s a phrase you’ll hear a lot from various businesses. With many being very proud of their culture. But what does this exactly mean? How can a company have a culture and what does it mean to you? 

What is company culture?

From the conception of the business, a company will have goals they would want to achieve. These can be varied depending on the industry this company works in. It could be anything from wanting to push the boundaries of innovation on any specific technologies; creating sustainable products to help towards the fight against climate change; or could just be to make a shedload of cash. These goals will be the driving force behind a company and will dictate the paths they will go down. 

Whatever path a company will want to take, they will have to find employees to help push the company and drive it forward. However, these employees would also need to be on board with the ethos of the company, else there will be a complete lack of motivation and productivity. That’s why many companies won’t accept employees if their primary motivation is making money. 

The imployable Drive

So, what drives us at imployable? Well of course as we’ve grown, our drives and inspirations have expanded into different territories, but we will always have one that trumps the rest, which caused the inception of this company.  

You may have heard this story before, but as it’s relevant to this, it’s worth reiterating. After our CEO Pete Kelly finished his time with the Royal Marines, he suddenly found himself in an awkward position. One where the skills he built up over the course of his service weren’t desirable to many companiesAs more time passed while job searching, the more frustrated he became at the recruitment system. This was when he met up with Kieron Yeoman, who had his own coaching business, and knew too well the frustration that many people feel when job seeking. That was when they came up with the idea of imployable. To give people, no matter the background, the tools they need to find their perfect career. 

So, it’s all well and good stating what are intentions are, but actions speak louder than word right? That’s why we put our money where our mouth is (quite literally in this case!). As our company’s business revolves a lot around jobseekers, we had the idea to potentially set a jobseeker up for life. Picked randomly, we gave a lucky jobseeker a 1% stake in our company, which was worth £32,000 at the time. As we grow, this stakes value will only multiply, and the jobseeker in question could potentially be dealing with a lot of money. We know how difficult some of these job seekers situations are, and we wanted to randomly help out how we could. If you’re curious to read more about this story, be sure to read about it here 

Operations and perks within company culture

On top of the general drive and motivation behind the company and employees; the way the company operates also accounts into the culture. No one company will operate in the exact same way. Through the past 100 years, where companies have been growing in terms of reach and workforcewe’ve found various means of producing efficiency from employees. However, these ways are far from perfect, and some can even prove to be detrimental in the long run. Back then, many businesses had the ethos of just heads down and get to work. After time this grew resentment and exhaustion from employees, and if the employees aren’t happy, it complicates matters for the company.  

These days, many companies have recognised this and will provide a myriad of conditions and perks for their workforce. Some companies may provide the opportunity to work flexible hours, others may provide free lunches, or paid team getaways. 

imployable and the 4 day week

Our company took a big risk at changing up how we work. We took a look at many of the Scandinavian countries usage of 4 day working weeks, and implemented that within our own company; with an added hour onto the 4 days. Overall, this has proven to be very successful for imployableWith those of us on the 4day week, coming in each week with a fresh mindset. According to Forbes, there have been reports of other companies facing similar results, with a 40% rise in productivity, and a 23% decrease in electricity costs. Our company isn’t afraid to completely shake up the status quo to test out what could be better, and we believe more companies should try it as well.  

imployable flexibility within company culture

Starting off as a start-upimployable went about its business in a very casual way. Even when I first came to be interviewed; it was less them interviewing me, and more them explaining the company and what I could do to help. However, just from their explaining of the company, I knew this was an idea I could get on board with. Having struggled for months to find a suitable job, and even going to the job centre, I was feeling extremely frustrated with the whole process and the job seeking environment many companies perpetrate. So, to have a chance to help push innovation in this market, I was all for it. 

When I came to work, we only had a small team of 8 people; half of which in positions unfamiliar to them. I was one of them. Yet we were given the tools and guidance to push ourselves and find familiarity within our given roles. Though if the role wasn’t working for us, we had the options to try out other roles. For instance, I started off in sales, then moved to account management, and now I’m in marketing. This is because as time has progressed, underlying skills have become more apparent, and we have the flexibility to try out these skills in other job roles.  

Consistent growth of imployable

Since then, we have grown in leaps and bounds, with the team increasing dramatically. As we have grown, so too does the space that we occupy. Within a couple of years, we’ve moved into our third office so far. Yet each office we occupy, we love to make it our own. Currently the office we occupy features: 

  • Mini putt course 
  • The Jobseekers Tavern – A fully working bar (Used out of office hours of course!) 
  • An Xbox 360 for use in downtime 

We love to keep our surroundings interesting and a fun place to be in. Using either the golf or the large dice we have around the office, to decide who makes the tea and coffee. That’s what it comes down to in the end within our company. The chemistry and camaraderie we share between us. Making each day working with one another a memorable one. 

imployable office

The imployable Office

From the inception of this company, we had a very much relaxed way of tackling problems; letting us find solutions in our own ways. Even today that ethos rings true, albeit with more efficiency. As we have driven the company forward, we reached the point where we will drop the moniker of a start-up, and become a fully-fledged business. However, we know we’ll always want to tackle problems in our own unique way. Sometimes it may take some trial and error, but as long as we’re learning as we progress; we’ll always keep pushing on. 

Showcase your company culture

So that’s what makes up our culture here at imployable. Our goal of making recruitment that much easier is always in sight for us, yet we push towards it together as team, no matter how much bigger we get. If you’re a part of a company that is proud of its culture, then be sure to check out our company profiles feature within the app. Here you can show off what makes your company unique, and attract potential employees who share your philosophy.

Be sure to sign up to showcase your company culture on our app, sign up here if you haven’t already.

The Human Element of Recruitment and Why It’s So Important Alongside Digital

The Human Element of Recruitment and Why It's So Important Alongside Digital

Recruitment has come a long way within the past couple of decades. As our technology within networking and computers has increased, recruitment has been following suit and adapting with the changes. Now recruitment is mainly done within the digital world. With candidates applying for potential positions within the comfort of their own homes. This has been a great transition and destination for recruitment overall; however, there are times where we can focus too heavily within the digital landscape of recruitment, and end up neglecting the main focal point of recruitment. Us as human beings. The human element of recruitment can be forgotten about within todays world. So we believe it’s within all of our best interests to focus on this today, and remind people about the human behind the CV.

This isn’t just the case for recruitment, but can be found in everyday life. The fact we’re able to reach out to one another from across the globe is astounding. However, this ease of communication has also left people apathetic to meeting in person. We are social creatures by nature, but communication from behind the screen has proven to not be enough to stimulate our social needs. What we really crave is face to face interactions with our peers. Now, by the time I’m writing this blog, face to face meetings are prohibited due to Covid-19 and the lockdown we in to keep us all safe. But this issue has been on the rise since before the pandemic surfaced.  

The positives of the digital world

Now of course, this goes both ways. Digital communication is a fantastic tool when meeting F2F isn’t strictly necessary. If there’s a meeting you need to attend across the country, digital communication can let you take part in this meeting from the comfort of your own home or office. Meaning you won’t need to needlessly waste money on potential traffic and hotel costs. It has made our quality of life increase dramatically; but of course it is a fine line we need to find and balance between digital and F2F. 

This also applies to recruitment. Digital recruitment has improved by leaps and bounds within the new millennium; allowing us to automate the vast majority of applications that come through, calculating various metrics behind the scenes, and generally cut off most of the fat built up by recruitment over the years. The efficiency of this process is remarkable, and it will only get more efficient with the new technologies that will inevitably be released. However, it is easy to get swept up in the current of productivity that digital recruitment brings to the table

The human element of recruitment

When recruiting, it is always important to remember the common, yet unique factor between the various applications you’ll receive. All your candidates will each have their own unique personalities, backgrounds, hobbies, loves, fears, regrets… The list goes on. Sometimes when dealing with recruitment we tackle it within a certain mindset that focuses on facts, figures, and data. But there’s plenty that this data can’t pick up on. It’s all well and good that digital recruitment can look into qualifications, past work experiences, relevant skills etc, but it can only give an estimation on how well a potential candidate will fit into your team. Whether their approach to work will cooperate in harmony with your current employees, or if it will sow discontent within your team. The only way to get a good sense of this is to conduct thorough interviews and chances to speak face to face. 

Using imployable to consider the human

Our company is aware to always keep the individual in mind when it comes to recruiting. That’s why we’ve implemented a video CV feature within our app. Letting any candidate record themselves, in a matter they see fit. Detailing about their qualifications, experiences, and personal lives. We’re proud of this feature as it allows our users to be much more creative, rather than just using a preformatted digital CV. It also makes the application much more personal. In a general sense, when you’re considering applications and checking CVs, you’re just reading faceless documents. These can create a complete disconnect from the applicant in question. When dealing with a video CV, you gain an insight on how this person presents themselves, how they communicate, their general mannerisms, and even perhaps their sense of humour. Which in turns gives you more insight on how they’ll fit in within your team. 

If you’re happy with a candidates application, and want to invite them for an interview; you can simply drag them to the ‘invite to interview’ section of your account. From there it’ll give them a notification and you can openly direct message each other, to gain a better understanding before the formal interview. We believe more dialogue should take place between the employers and employees before hiring. Then both parties can gain a small insight into the potential relationship of working with one another.

In conclusion

So despite all the benefits that come within the digital world, they can overshadow our needs as human beings. The new technology that’s being released day by day, is very exciting. However, when he fail to acknowledge our needs, it can have a negative effect on our overall mental health. So the main take away from this blog, would be to try to slow down when in the world of automation and recruitment. Try to build more of a chemistry between any potential recruits and keep communication open. That way they know they aren’t just enough number within the recruitment machine. That’s why we believe the human element of recruitment to be an increadibly important topic.

Training Course and Qualification Advertising on imployable

Training Course and Qualification Advertising on imployable

Our company doesn’t hide our roots and what our goals are. If you’ve followed us for any period of time, you’ll definitely know it by now. Though we believe it’s always worth reiterating. Our objective since the company was created, was to change up the jobs market, and try to enable people to achieve their dream job. We’ll do this by allowing people to map out their careers and visualise how best to achieve their goals. Of course, there’s a focus on recruitment in there, but we’re using recruitment as a final step in this map. The real meat on the bones of these plans are the qualifications and training opportunities. If a candidate doesn’t have either of these under their belt, then they won’t get far when searching for this ideal job. 

The importance of the training course

Training courses and qualifications have risen in importance now more than ever. With the ever-expanding skills gap that has been making its presence known. This term has been used a lot in recent times, but in case you’re unsure of what it is; the skills gap is when the skills that employers are looking for, don’t match the skills that the employees possess. This can cause these so-called gaps. This causes organisations to either underperform in terms of efficiency, or lose revenue by retraining or hiring the right employees. To learn more about the skills gap in detail, be sure to check out our blog: Exploring the Skills Gap Issue, and How Best to Deal with it. 

This is why training courses have become a staple in the world of recruitment. To shorten this skills gap; employers and employees will need to utilise these opportunities to expand skill sets in any given subject. However, as the skills gap becomes more noticeable, the bigger the market becomes for training providers. In turn, this means that more training providers will be created; so competition will suddenly increase for getting candidates to apply for courses. That’s where many training providers will have to turn to marketing and course advertising to stay ahead of the competition; though it’s definitely not a cheap endeavour. 

The training course and imployable

Training courses are known to be an extremely valuable tool in our company. That’s why we’re constantly looking at courses to put our workforce through. As of writing this blog, seven employees of our company are attending specific training courses for their job roles; with an extra two who have already completed their training course. We believe it’s important to keep progressing forward in our technical abilities surrounding the role we have in the company. This way we can keep pushing the company forwards with new and smarter ideas and processes. 

If you’re a training provider, you’ll already know the high costs involved in advertising your courses. So much so that it can be off-putting. We’re well aware of this, which is why we offer free advertising of any training course on our app. We believe it is extremely important to be able to offer a wide range of training opportunities to our users, so they have a wide selection of paths to pursuit towards their ideal career. Our userbase is constantly expanding, and many of them will be looking into finding the appropriate training. Training that will contribute towards them finding the best career for them. If you would like to take full advantage of this, be sure to sign up here.

Apprenticeships: The alternative to degrees

On top of the standard training course, wherein you’ll attend classes and gain a qualification towards the end, apprenticeships have been increasing dramatically in popularity. When the tuition fees were increased to £9000 a year in 2012, the prospect of getting a bachelor’s degree became too much of an investment for many people. Since then, we’ve been seeing a large number of apprenticeship programs rolling out. 

There have been many discussions on the benefits of either going through an apprenticeship vs completing a university degree. Howevermany graduates have found themselves struggling to find a job in their chosen subject. This is where the apprenticeship has a leg up on getting a degree. Although a degree may open up more prospects in the future; it has proven to be fairly difficult to get your foot in the door of your chosen career. However, apprenticeships allow you to learn as you work. And if you’ve been successful and worked hard, you could find yourself with a stable job once you’ve completed it. 

Apprenticeships in imployable

Our company knows how valuable apprenticeships are. Wherein some of our workforce have completed or in the process of completing an apprenticeship themselves. Whether that’s to do alongside their current job roles, or as a way to kick off their career. Even our CEO Pete Kelly has been taking part in this, where he’s currently in the process of completing an apprenticeship, as part of the degree he’s partaking inThe skills and knowledge gained during the process can be extremely useful in your chosen career, and we’ve seen the skills of our colleagues increase dramatically. 

Overall, training courses have become a staple tool for learning and bridging any skills gaps you, or any colleagues/employees, may have. In recent times we’ve been seeing a surge of new training providers, and it’s becoming easier by the day to sign up to new training courses/apprenticeships. The range of learning opportunities that can be provided is endless, and there will always be a training course/apprenticeship designed for any skill. So be sure to use our app when searching for training courses, and we’ll be sure to provide the best. 

Covid-19 and its effect on Recruitment

Covid-19 and it's effect on Recruitment

The year 2020 proved to be an extremely tough year; with extreme political divides, violencedisasters causing mass destruction, and mass spread of misinformation. Though all these are eclipsed by the worldwide pandemic caused by the virus Covid-19. It is safe to say most of the world was unprepared to deal with a pandemic of this scale. Covid-19 shook the world to its core, with economies tanking globally and countless jobs being lost, it triggered a global recession that we as a whole are attempting to pull ourselves out of. 

From the moment our company was founded, our mantra has been to give the general public all the tools they need to achieve their dream career. From career mapping, training and volunteering opportunities to a jobs platform catered to the user, etc. Our philosophy has only become more resolute in the wake of this pandemic. However, we also have our sights set on the business end of recruitment. We want to trim down all the fat that has accumulated within recruitment, and present the most ideal candidates for our clients. 

Covid-19 and the furlough scheme

As Covid-19 started spreading throughout the world, our government made the right decision to put the country in a lockdown state. This state meant that we couldn’t leave our homes unless: it was to attend a job, wherein the company required you to be there; daily exercise; or to pick up groceries. It was requested that people would work from home if it was possible, to reduce the amount of people needlessly travelling and mixing with others not in their own ‘bubble’.

However, many businesses would, and at the time of writing this blog still are, temporarily shut; due to the fact that they wouldn’t be able to receive any business during the lockdown. Any employees in these businesses – and others who wished to opt in – would be placed on the furlough scheme; wherein they would refrain from working for the company, and the government would pay 80% of their wages. 

This furlough scheme was a great strategy for the employees and employers. However, as time went on and the issues surrounding Covid-19 were becoming more apparent; many businesses found themselves struggling financially. As there were many restrictions put into place, many businesses were not making enough money to stay afloat, and would eventually has to close their doors for good. Unfortunately, many employees would go under with the company, and find themselves unemployed. According to the Office of National Statistics, the unemployment rate went from 4.0% within Jan-Mar 2020, to 5.1% in Oct-Dec 2020. Meaning the employment rate increased by 1.1%. To put that in perspective, that meant 750,000 people suddenly found themselves without a job and an income.  

Covid-19 in the present day

Now we are slowly pulling ourselves out of the pandemic, we need to be quick to rectify this rising unemployment within our society. Our company has been working tirelessly with the Department of Work and Pensions to provide coaching sessions to job seekers. We’ve seen great success with our experienced coaches delivering support to these job seekers and as of writing this blog we have delivered our services to 611 clients, wherein 104 have found work following the coaching sessions. We are immensely proud of the work our coaches have been producing, and we plan on continually boosting those numbers. 

We now have an exit strategy for this lockdown we’re under. Eventually our lives will turn back to how it was. However, this trying time has proven that maybe there are some aspects of our career driven environments, that aren’t necessary.  

The benefits of remote working

This period has shown that a large majority of our white-collar jobs do not need to be performed within an office each day. It would be beneficial to find our own personal balance of working from the office and from our own homes. Although working from home has been tough due to us missing a lot of social interaction and not be able to meet colleagues/clients face to face, it has also come with many benefits, one being a decrease to our own travel costs and time spent travelling; which can be steep depending on the distance between our homes and our jobs.  

Another benefit being the roads will be clearer at peak times; reducing our carbon footprint as a whole within the country. In fact, the 2020 period has proven to be very beneficial for our country’s emissions. According to the BBC, emissions have dropped by 7% this year, the lowest it’s been since World War II. In a world where the threat of climate change is very real, this has been a silver lining on an otherwise large and terrible cloud.

An additional benefit would be if you had children who are too young to be attending school, or children on a school break. To be working from home would mean you wouldn’t have to find paid support to look after the children. Keeping an eye on them, and balancing your work around them, can really help ease your mind. We just hope they aren’t too distracting! 

Using imployable to kickstart your recruitment

Overall, this Covid-19 period has been an extremely tough time for many people across the world. However, we believe it’s important to learn from this and to perhaps consider some changes to how we work. This time has shown us that working remotely is possible for many of us, and may be beneficial in terms of efficiency depending on the employee and the job role. Although the unemployment rate has increased by a wide margin; now is the time to look at utilising the untapped potential within the many who have lost a job. 

If you are looking to build up your company; then be sure to look into our app to pinpoint the right candidates for any positions you may have. We offer various packages, all with their own tools. However, just by using our app, you have access to unlimited jobs postings; all completely free. We want to make the recruitment process as easy and streamlined as possible. So to best achieve that, we removed the ludicrous costs attached to recruitment. So we hope that you have coped well during these trying times, and if you need to hire additional help; our services are always here at no cost.

Exploring the Skills Gap Issue, and How Best to Deal with it.

Exploring the Skills Gap Issue

If you’ve been in the recruitment, education or economic developmentsector for any length of time; you would have no doubt heard the term ‘skills gap’. This term has been parroted by various sources a lot these past years, but in the era and beyond of Covid-19, this gap will change dramatically.  

The creation of the skills gap

We’re living in an ever-expanding world of technology. The innovation we’re experiencing with factors such as computing and networking, are driving us forward within technology at an accelerated rate. Although these innovations are fantastic for broadening our horizons; we’re finding ourselves within a crux in recruitment. As new technologies are being created, and old ones being improved; we find our general workforce struggling to keep up with the skills needed for these technologies. Whereas many businesses want to capitalise on this, this has created what’s known as a skills gap. But how do we best rectify this situation, and how can we prevent it in the future? 

What is the skills gap?

So, what exactly is a skills gap? In a basic definition, a skills gap is when the skills that an employee possesses don’t match what the employer needs. This can go both ways; wherein an employee either doesn’t have enough skills for the required job, or they’re too skilled, but the company doesn’t have a position to fully utilise them. This can create these so-called gaps. These gaps means that the company isn’t meeting its potential maximum efficiency, which in turn means the company wouldn’t be bringing in as much revenue as it could be. In turn, it also means that any potential job seekers will have a tough time finding a well-suited job, due to them missing these skills. 

Skills gap aren’t always necessarily created from boosts in our technological capabilities. They can be created from a lack of targeted education or training in certain areas. Studies have found that the vast majority of graduates, don’t find themselves in a job related to their degree. This can be down to there not being enough jobs in their related field, or their particular skill set isn’t valuable to many employers. This will then cause these dedicated skills to not be fully utilised, and wrongly placed and wasted. 

It’s worth noting that there will always be a small skill gap in the marketplace. As the general population becomes better educated and skilful; the companies will still want to find the best of these. So, they’ll increase the requirements for their jobs. Requirements for certain jobs will always be higher than what the average person has, as the companies don’t want average. 

How it affects your company

On top of not reaching peak efficiency within your company; the skills gap can even cause many companies to lose revenue. This is through the costs of sending employees through relevant training courses, or through longer and more rigorous recruitment avenues to find the right candidates. The Open University Business Barometer released a report, detailing that 6.33 billion pounds are lost in businesses nationwide, due to the skills gap. As the skills gaps will widen, this astronomical figure would only go up. 

What can we do against it?

So how do we shorten this skill gap? What’s the best process? If you’re wanting to shorten the skills gap internally within your company, you’ll first have to gather some data. For any results driven roles, this is relatively simple by putting in, or using pre-existing KPIs. If any of your employees are struggling to hit their KPIs, it suggests there may be specific skills they’re lacking. From there you can look at up-skilling the employee to build up these lacking skills. 

Another angle for employees to take, would be to consider a career transition to a career that works better with their skills. That way their skills are being utilised and they’re filling a gap that company may have. If a career transition is something that might be of interest to you, we have written about it in our blog here Career Transition: Turning a New Leaf in your Career 

Using imployable to combat the skills gap

Our app features many opportunities to gain skills that you, or your employees may lack. Through either training, volunteering, or apprenticeship opportunities. Many of these are completely free to apply for as well, whilst also requiring only a few hours to complete. It’s a great way to build up specific skill sets to try to fill any gaps that may be present within your company. 

Our company has also been busy this past year, developing a new state of the art technology called VisumVisum is built around the analytics around live labour market data. One feature of it being a geographic skills analysis, wherein the technology analyses skill levels within any part of the UK. This will prove to be very useful when attempting to bridge the skills gap. If you would like to know more information, you can it here within our website. 

What your company can do against the skills gap

In summary, the skills gap is a very real and damaging concept to our economy. However, there are steps we can take to minimise this gap, and increase efficiency within our own companies. 

Be sure to capitalise on any affordable training opportunities 

Some of your employee’s strength may be better utilised within other roles within your company. However, they may need to small push with training, to kickstart their progress of gaining these skills. As mentioned before, we feature many free training opportunities within our app, so be sure to consider that. 

Foster an environment where upskilling is applauded 

Some encouragement can go a long way when attempting to upskill and learn new traits. Sometimes an employee’s morale can dip when faced with a difficult task or subject, and a small word of praise and acknowledgement would normally be enough to keep them progressing. However, when these are neglected, the employee can lose all motivation and give up. Thus, causing the skills gap to remain open. 

Take note of moments where any employee’s flourish within a task, and consider them elsewhere within the company 

Keeping an eye on your employees when faced with tasks out of their comfort zones, can be a great indicator on their best strengths and weaknesses. After witnessing them work for a while; you should have a good indicator as to whether their role is best utilising their skillset. If not, then it might be beneficial to open up communication with them. You can let them know your thoughts and see whether they would prefer to work in another role that would suit them more. Ultimately, they should be the one to decide though. If they decide not to move position, then you can only look at finding them relevant training opportunities to build up any skills they may be missing. 

Importance of Cyber Security During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Our cyber security expert Finn

As Covid-19 has swept through the world, the general public have found themselves having to remain indoors and work from home. Here in the UK, our government brought in the furlough scheme. Wherein some workers, depending on their employers, could be placed in a hibernation-like state. The government have generously paid 80% of their wages as long as they stay at home, and refrain from doing work for the company.

Many workers on this scheme have found themselves with plenty of free time. Although a good percentage have binged their favourite TV shows, movies and video games; a large proportion have looked inwards at any missing skills or talents they may be missing. Allowing them to branch out and try new activities. 

Although many workers are furloughed, the employees who are still working have to do so from home if possible. This means communication across team members and work done has to all be online. This has increased activity across the web, including an abundance of sensitive data being shared. Data that would prove to be very valuable to those looking to access it through unscrupulous means. However, we have talented individuals looking to stop these attacks, performing under the banner of cyber security.

What is cyber security?

Throughout the past couple of decades, our society has adopted the internet for personal and corporate use exponentially. However, as our online presence and tools become more advanced, so too do the individuals and tools looking to steal this data and information. Many of the largest companies have experienced large data breaches in one form of another. With some losing billions of revenues as a result. So, it quickly became apparent there would have to be dedicated software and individuals to combat these rising cases of online espionage. This quickly became what is known today as Cyber Security. 

Cyber security has proven to be an extremely lucrative business. Seeing as there are potentially billions to be lost through hacking online; the top companies are willing to invest vast amounts of resources into cyber security, so they will never find themselves in a less than ideal position. Nevertheless the world of cyber security is a complicated beast. One that needs its defenders to be constantly updating their knowledge and skills to keep ahead of the ones they’re trying to stop. Really, the whole ecosystem of cyber security is a never-ending race. One where the only goal is to keep ahead of your opponent. 

The new wave of defenders

Now this brings us back to what this blog is all about. To get into the business of cyber security, one would need to put the time and effort in to learn all the fine details of networks, hacking techniques, and preventative measures. To juggle this and a full time job is no easy task. However, with our government creating the furlough scheme; many people suddenly found that they had this free time. And seeing how most of the general public has a home computer; a proportion of these furloughed workers looked to dip their toes within Cyber Security. 

Cyber security and imployable

We here at imployable know how important it is to have someone dedicated to this role. Our work and company is primarily online-based, and it would prove disastrous for us if our systems were broken into a sabotaged. That’s why one of the first few positions we hired for would be dedicated towards this. Luckily, we found Finn, who has taken on the role of Information Systems Security Officer. His hard work and perseverance has been noticed throughout the company, and he has revealed how many attempted attacks we receive on a daily basis. This past year, we have had over 1.6 million attempts to access our data, from across the world. All of which have been prevented thanks to Finn and the systems he has put into place. It was when I learned of this that I realised how important cyber security is.

Our cyber security expert Finn

Our Information Systems Security Officer Finn in his new office, along with his assistant ‘branch’ manager Chase!

Where to learn about the cyber world

If cyber security is something you, or an employee, would like to learn about and pursue a career in; we’ve been partnered up with Bluescreen IT for a while and can vouch for them. They’ve delivered many courses successfully to a range of clients, with one of these clients being our CEO Pete KellyAlthough our company has Finn, who is constantly vigilante and dedicated to stopping any attacks; we believe it’s extremely important to be personally aware of what goes on behind the scenes. The more employees that are aware of the dangers and executions of cyber-attacks, the less likely a mistake will occur due to negligence. 

Your company and cyber security

As of writing this blog, our government has been tirelessly sending out vaccines across the country. The general morale is hopeful that we’ll be leaving this pandemic in the near future and can return to normality. Nonetheless, our online presence will drop, but not by a wide margin. However, this era has proven to many companies that we do not necessarily need to be in an office to work. Thus the demand for cyber security will only increase as we move on from this trying period. Make sure that you and your company are well equipped to deal with any potential invisible threats from hackers across the world, and start investing your resources to make sure you stay protected against any cyber-attacks. 

Career Transition: Turning a New Leaf in your Career

Career Transition

Having a career that you find engaging and enjoyable is extremely important within our society. When on average, we dedicate approximately 40 hours a week to this career; we want it to be as fulfilling as it can be. Otherwise, being in the wrong career can damage our mental health, and may not give us the resources we need for our daily life. When this is the case, what is the best path of action to take? Well sometimes the best answer is the one that’s sat right in front of you; that is a career transition.

Being in the wrong career – a common scenario

To feel you’re in the wrong career is a fairly common sentiment. According to this article from The Gazette, more than half of UK employees were hoping to move jobs in 2020. In reality, we’ve all been made to make a choice on a career at a relatively young age. An age where we’re still trying to find out who we are, what our interests are and our defining skills. Though at this age, this can change dramatically within a few years or even decades. At which point we can suddenly find ourselves in a career or life-path; one we don’t have an interest in anymore. From here the decision to make a career transition has to be made. Though just making this decision by itself is no easy task either. 

Making that first step into a career transition

Making the choice to career transition is a tough one. There are many apprehensions that would be running through one’s mind when considering it. Transitioning can seem like a leap of faith, but there are considerations to take into account to make this leap easier. If your current career path is negatively affecting your mental health, then a career transition is paramount to keeping your headspace in good shape. There is also a phenomenon called a sunk cost fallacy. This is where you don’t want to leave or let go of something. Mainly due to the resources you’ve already dedicated towards it. So, this would be your time and relevant skills you’ve acquired within your career. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that these resources you’ve invested in your current career would not be lost, but rather are a stable stepping stone into a brighter career. 

The ways to transition successfully

Once this decision has been made, you can look on how best to make sure your career transition is a successful one. The first step would be to look at any transferrable skills that you may have. These are skills that you’ve gained through your current employment, that would translate well over to the next career you had in mind. The idea is to make yourself as desirable as possible to any potential recruiters within this new career. If there are skills that are missing though, the best option is to look at training opportunities. 

Training opportunities are a great way to acquire any skills or qualifications that you may need to have a successful career transition. Though there’s a common misconception that they are either too expensive or will take up too much of your time. In reality you can get a host of training courses that are completely free and will only take a few hours to complete. Our app prides itself on the vast array of different training opportunities we provide, that fit these criteria. We feature over 1000 unique training courses from the open university on our app, which are all completely free to the user. The majority of these take less than 12 hours to complete; so it’s worth giving them a go, even if you aren’t looking to do a career transition. 

Transition within your head, as well as your career

It is also vastly important that you keep a humble attitude whilst transitioning. You may have gotten quite far up the corporate ladder in your current career, but that isn’t to say you’ll be entering your new career at the same level. Being aware of this will save you disappointment in the long run, as it may feel you’re starting on the back-foot compared to your previous position. When really, your dedication towards this transition will be much better in the long run. That’s the most important aspect when going through a career transition. The attitude you have towards it will dictate how smoothly it plays out and can save a lot of stress.

After the transition

Once you have successfully completed your career transition, the results should be noticed very quickly. For one, your mental health should increase dramatically. Having a fresh start in any activity is enough to keep ones mind active and engaged; but when combined with starting in a career you have a vested interest in, it can have fantastic results. This will always been the most important benefit for a career transition; however, there could be additional benefits depending on the career and company you have entered.

Depending on the industry, the opportunity to climb the ranks and earn more money may be available. Though this won’t be a priority to everyone and shouldn’t be the sole dictator for which career you want to transition into. You may also gain company specific benefits within a new career, benefits that can include: private healthcare, gym memberships, free lunches, free counselling, etc. The list can go on. So it’s important to do your research beforehand, to see how you can benefit from joining this company.

In conclusion

Though a career transition can seem like an incredibly daunting task; it can prove to have miraculous results for both your mental health, and future prospects. When fully engaged with your career, you’ll strive to keep on improving and raising the bar of your productivity, whilst also keeping your mind active and happy. Although this is a task that only you can decide on, you can utilise tools to research and plan your best strategy for doing so. Our app is one of these tools, including everything you’ll need to plan accordingly. From relevant training and volunteering opportunities, a coaching suite to learn new tips and tricks, a page to gain insights into various industries, and a jobs board to finally make that last step. So be sure to use the app if you ever plan your own career transition.