Workers facing redundancy will be helped to find new jobs, develop skills or start their own businesses through a comprehensive programme of free support being co-ordinated by Derby City Council.

Online workshops and a virtual jobs fair will be among the activities aimed at helping individuals whose careers have been impacted by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative is being led by the Council as part of the Derby Economic Recovery Task Force response to the COVID-19 crisis and will harness the expertise of partners from the National Careers Service, Department for Work and Pensions, Derby Adult Learning service and East Midlands Chamber.

Gareth O’Donovan, the Council’s Head of Economic Growth said the initiative was part of a redundancy and redeployment pledge that the authority was making to workers and employers.

“We want people to know that we are with them at this difficult time and will do all we can to help displaced employees find new jobs. We will also work with companies who fear they may have to make reductions in their headcount to understand their options and to help their staff connect with new opportunities.”

Key features of the programme include:

  • A series of virtual workshops, run by the National Careers Service, to help people understand how their existing skills might transfer to fresh opportunities and give advice on gaining new skills. There will also be assistance with job-hunting, information on further and higher education and sign-posting to other support services. Those wanting to take part can register online
  • Virtual employability courses, delivered by Derby Adult Learning, to assist people with creating a CV, understanding job adverts and person specifications, completing an effective job application and standing out in an interview. More information can be found online.
  • Opportunity to register with a manufacturing, engineering and construction web portal which directly connects candidates with businesses. The web service is provided by Talent Retention Solutions and enables job-hunters not only to apply for hundreds of vacancies but also to upload their details for potential employers to view. People can register for the service online.
  • A free programme of online workshops and support for budding entrepreneurs who are thinking of establishing their own companies. Delivered by East Midlands Chamber and jointly supported by Derbyshire County Council, the D2 Business Starter Programme will assist participants in establishing their business goals, understanding their customers, defining a marketing approach, getting to grips with commercial and financial planning and appreciating their legal responsibilities. People can register their interest on the website, by telephoning 01332 851289 or emailing derbyshirestartup@emc-dnl.co.uk.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader of the Council said the authority and its partners wanted to give practical support to those whose livelihoods had been disrupted by the current crisis.

“We know that people losing their jobs because of the economic downturn caused by coronavirus will be concerned about the future. But we want to ensure that there is expert help available.

“Derby is determined not to be beaten by this terrible virus. We are working hard with our partners to support businesses, attract investment and create new opportunities. We will do all we can to ensure that talented local workers are well-placed to benefit from those opportunities.”