WATCH: How DWP helps to ‘suit up’ jobseekers

Department teams up with charity to provide women with interview clothes and extra coaching
Photo: DWP

By CSW staff

09 Feb 2023

A joint initiative between the Department for Work and Pensions and charity Smart Works has helped more than 5,000 women to shine at job interviews by providing new clothes and top tips on technique.

Smart Works specialises in supporting unemployed women of all ages and backgrounds into work.

As part of the partnership with DWP,  Job Centre Plus work coaches refer women who have lined up interviews – and expressed an interest in the programme – to Smart Works.

Following a clothing consultation, where participants are provided with a formal interview suit that they can keep, Smart Works provides a one-to-one mentoring session from a specialist coach who will offer advice and a further boost of confidence.

DWP said 72% of people who take part in the programme secure a job. Successful scheme participants are entitled to a further five items of clothing from Smart Works to help them build a working wardrobe.

Social mobility minister Mims Davies said she was proud of the initiative.

“Feeling confident can make all the difference,” she said. “Whether a new outfit or extra coaching, this service goes hand in hand with government support by providing women from all walks of life – at whatever stage of their careers – with a vital boost as they look to progress through work.”

A short film about the project can be seen here.

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