One-stop online employability shop opens

A new ABZWorks campaign, which sees Aberdeen City Council and the Aberdeen Employability Training Providers Forum working together, will showcase the support available to those seeking help to secure employment, training, education, and much more.

Aberdeen City Council leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “Aberdeen reacted rapidly to the challenges presented by the declining economic situation, pulling together organisations from across the city to work in partnership to deliver the Council’s Socio-Economic Rescue Plan which covered three themes: People, Place, and Business.

“Relationships were strengthened, and partnerships blossomed through a common will to secure and strengthen the city’s economic future; safeguarding jobs and businesses, helping people to train and get work, and looking after our citizens.”

To date 14,268 business support funding applications from businesses and the self-employed have been processed by Aberdeen City Council, with payments to the value of £72,320,233 being made by the end of August 2021.

Grants totalling £1,245,960 were provided to 8,420 applicants from the two tranches of Family Hardship funding in late 2020 and Spring of 2021. Up 47% on 2019/20. This support continues.

Today (Monday, 20 September) sees the launch of the ABZWorks website, a one-stop online employability shop, borne of an action for Aberdeen City Council’s City Growth Employability team in the Socio- Economic Rescue Plan, to create a website which would promote opportunities in the city.

This dovetailed with an aspiration of the Council’s Education team to create a website to promote skills and career pathways, with a particular focus on growth areas. The result was the ABZWorks website.

Funded through Young Person’s Guarantee, ABZWorks provides a broad range of information, advice, support, and guidance to job seekers of all ages, including school pupils considering their careers, people facing or experiencing redundancy, long-term unemployed, families experiencing poverty, including in-work poverty, and information for parents and guardians to help guide their children.

It sets out career pathways, promotes learning and training opportunities, and links to support services. The site uses friendly ways to get its message across, with a mixture of animations, infographics, videos, and text. Crucially, it takes a local focus, linking to the best national resources where appropriate, but is firmly rooted in the Granite City.

Aberdeen City Council Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “Although our economy has been hit hard in recent times, Aberdeen remains a city of opportunity. Green shoots of recovery are starting to show. Job postings are increasing with new jobs coming and businesses hiring again as they move back to business as usual.

“The oil and gas sector and supply chain are undergoing a transition to decarbonisation and we are already seeing the pace of new technologies and new industries. We can build on the foundations we have from offshore and subsea engineering in wind and the link to H2 Aberdeen as we continue to recover, diversify, and grow.

“It is essential that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from these exciting developments and the ABZWorks campaign will ensure that everyone in the city can access the employability, skills training support they need to secure jobs."

Young North-east filmmaker Erin Smith, of Pink Sphynx Media, was commissioned to produce the ABZWorks film, with a brief to showcase Aberdeen as a city of opportunity, bringing home the wide variety of roles available here, including in the energy sector - particularly renewables, health and social care, life sciences, construction, tourism and hospitality, and more. You can watch it here ABZ Works - YouTube

Erin, aged 23, said: “This was a really great project to work on and quite fitting for me given that I’m just starting out on my career. Hearing about the plans to promote the city, the opportunities here and the huge variety of jobs available was exciting, particularly hearing about the future of energy in Aberdeen. It was fantastic to be able to capture some of what Aberdeen has to offer on film."

The Aberdeen Employability Training Providers Forum (ETPF) members are: Apex, Triple A’s, Tullos Training, Pathways, Skills Development Scotland, Aberdeen City Council, Department for Work and Pensions, North East Scotland College (NESCol), Station House Media Unit (SHMU), Barnardo’s, North East Sensory Services (NESS), Start Scotland, Aberdeen Foyer, Working Rite, Instant Neighbour, CFINE, Enable, Prince’s Trust, ACVO, and Volunteering Matters.