Published On: Fri, Jun 29th, 2018

Fitted for Work: helping women experiencing disadvantage get into work and keep it

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Fitted for Work is a not-for-profit dedicated to helping women experiencing disadvantage to regain their confidence and secure and maintain employment. Every woman has the right to economic security. When a woman achieves financial security, the flow on effect is transformational. Not only does she reap the benefits but so does her family, her community and ultimately the Australian economy. Fitted for Work assists women from varied backgrounds.  For example, they may be older women; survivors of domestic violence; single mothers; experiencing homelessness; recently released from prison; a newly arrived migrant or refugee woman; or have a disability.  They all have one factor in common. They want to work.

 

Transition to Work and WomanKind programs

We develop each woman’s confidence and self-esteem as well as her skills and knowledge to obtain work through a suite of tailored pre-and post-employment services, including personal outfitting, resume assistance, interview preparation, mock interview practice and mentor placements.

Since 2005 we have helped over 28,000 women. 64% of the women sampled who access our suite of services find work within just 4 months and 100% report increased confidence and job readiness after completing our Transition to Work and WomanKind programs.

In 2018 Fitted for Work became truly national with the launch of our Virtual Services model, which aims to help women experiencing disadvantage in regional and rural areas to secure sustainable employment by providing them with skills, confidence and work appropriate clothing and products through Virtual Service delivery, via phone, email, Skype and post.

One third of Australian women live in rural and regional areas. Virtual Service has allowed us to assist women across Australia who wouldn’t normally have access to a service like ours. Women have reported ‘they no longer feel alone’ and that ‘they feel supported’ when connecting with our Virtual Team.

At Fitted for Work we are committed to becoming financially self-sustainable through establishing innovative and profitable social enterprises. In 2016, we launched The Conscious Closet, our retail initiative. The shop is stocked entirely through donations that are not suitable for our Outfitting Service and all proceeds from sales at The Conscious Closet go directly to supporting our Fitted for Work programs and services.

SheWorks

We are committed to utilising our donations in the most effective, sustainable way and believe that offering great quality recycled clothing at affordable prices not only supports our client services but promotes a planet friendly shopping alternative. In the last financial year our Melbourne store re-homed more than 7,350 items of “unwanted” recycled fashion and accessories.

Our second social enterprise is SheWorks, an initiative that connects work ready women with businesses trying to attract and retain quality female employees. We work with a range of employment partners to connect our clients with work opportunities. Fitted for Work candidates are connected with our Staying Employed program and mentor support, to help them navigate their transition into work and help them to stay employed.

We focus specifically on helping women gain employment not only because work provides financial security but also a sense of social connectedness, dignity and pride.  We believe that when a woman is fitted for work, she is fitted for life.

 

“My interaction with Fitted for Work came at the right time. I was jaded, cynical and nearly out of puff job seeking and being rejected, even after a lot of short listing.

 The problem was interviews. 3 volunteers assisted me with my resume, letters of application and my interview technique.  No excuses, no phaffing around and solid help to identify where I could strengthen my job seeking skills. These women remind you of your skills and to value them and how to promote them.

Fitted for Work was the catalyst I truly needed but I hadn’t found it up to then. I grew to respect the level of skill of the volunteers and their insight – don’t underestimate that – my respect is hard won.

 They were also committed to my success – not just talking about it and the issuing the standard banter about “you can do it” and that tired old stuff.

They understood me and gave me a tune up when I sank back into the loser comfort zone. I really did learn. I contacted them weekly for 3 months.

 I had such a shift in my self- awareness through this whole process. That you are of value in your experience and work ethic. They believe in you when that fragile thing starts to waver.

They believe in you until you can believe in yourself. I’ll always be grateful for Fitted for Work.”

 

*Liz, Fitted for Work Client

*Name has been changed for privacy.

 

w: www.fittedforwork.org | www.theconsciouscloset.org.au | www.sheworks.org.au

 

About the Author

- Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of My Entrepreneur Magazine and publisher of My Making Money Magazine, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain. Nkwocha has published a number of books on running your own business and in 2011 his team won the Specialized Information Publishing Association (SIPA) award for best use of social media. In the UK he runs a successful consultancy called Social Biz Training which trains people on how to use social media for business.

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