Suited for Success Hits the Road - bringing free employment services to West Midlands communities
25 October 2023 10:00 AM
Suited for Success, an award-winning Birmingham charity dedicated to empowering unemployed individuals with confidence-boosting interview skills and clothing, is proud to announce the launch of its new initiative: the Suited for Success Employment Bus.
The new pop-up employment bus is the next step in the charity’s commitment to breaking down barriers to employment for unemployed people across the West Midlands. The bus will provide free interview skills coaching, employment days, essential employment preparation skills alongside the FREE provision of professional interview clothing for unemployed people in underserved neighbourhoods with high unemployment rates, making it easier for people to access the employment support they need.
Design features include laptop stations, interview coaching booths, a tea and coffee area, rails of suits and workwear and changing rooms where stylists will work with clients to help them pick the job interview-winning outfit ready to make that crucial first impression.
Suited for Success CEO, Patricia White says:
“At Suited for Success our mission is to level the playing field for unemployed people to realise their potential and gain employment. The bus will take the help and support we offer right into the heart of areas across the West Midlands that have some of the highest levels of unemployment in the UK.
“The mobile project will allow more people to access our FREE support, giving unemployed people of all ages and backgrounds the tools they need to begin or continue their journey of preparation into employment equipped with the resources and skills to succeed. Our new bus will see us working harder than ever to reach more unemployed people.”
Rachel James, HR Director for National Express, said:
“We’re delighted to see our donated National Express West Midlands bus repurposed and ready to be driven into the heart of our communities.
“Suited for Success plays such an important role in supporting local people facing unemployment and we were more than happy to play a part in providing mobility to the valuable work that they do.
“We are really proud to have been able to support this incredible initiative which will make such a difference to people’s lives. We look forward to seeing the amazing impact that Suited for Success will have across the West Midlands, providing access to employment for those most in need of their valuable services.”
Kept closely under wraps, the bus was unveiled yesterday (Tuesday 24 October) at Snow Hill Square in Birmingham city centre after a breakfast launch event at PwC with close supporters. Existing supporters and businesses were invited along to get a first look at the new facility.
Today (Wednesday 25 October) the Suited for Success bus is holding its very first employment day onsite at the Bullring where jobseekers will be supported with CV writing, interview skills coaching, job applications and a free interview outfit for retail and hospitality job opportunities across the Bullring and Grand Central.
The bus, donated to the charity by the region’s biggest bus operator, National Express West Midlands, has undergone a huge transformation working in collaboration with multiple businesses. International rail infrastructure company Alstom, National Express West Midlands, Balfour Beatty and HEXIS UK Ltd have helped with design and project planning ready to take Suited for Success’ employment support into the heart of communities across the West Midlands.
The employment support charity hopes the bus will also bring new opportunities for businesses to actively contribute to bridging the employment gap in underserved West Midlands neighbourhoods ranked in the top UK areas of high unemployment.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, says:
“It’s great to see this remarkable local charity reaching out into the communities that need their support the most with the provision of this new bus. Not only will the new facility help more people take advantage of the career opportunities on offer in our region, but it will also give local businesses new and exciting ways to engage with a diverse range of talented people who just need a helping hand to get them into work.
“It’s encouraging to see how our business community has come together to support Suited for Success in the development of their employment bus. Working together with local employers and charities, we can change people’s lives for the better in the months and years ahead.”
The Suited for Success Pop-Up Employment Bus will visit various locations throughout the West Midlands, providing a welcoming and supportive environment for job seekers. To learn more about Suited for Success and upcoming bus employment days, visit the charity’s website at www.suitedforsuccess.co.uk.