Work Avenue’s new social enterprise “WAGE” in full flow

14th May 2021

Work Avenue, the Jewish community’s leading employment and business support organisation, has seen a demonstrable increase in approaches from people needing support to earn a living. Many are looking to change jobs, or even retrain in a new field, and for these people, there are greater challenges since vacancies are often scarce and they bring no experience with them.

Work Avenue knew that a solution to this problem was needed to cut through this cycle, and in the beginning of 2021 WAGE, Work Avenue’s first ever social enterprise was launched.

WAGE (which stands for Work Avenue Generating Employment) aims to both generate employment and grow businesses by training those seeking work in key disciplines to match the areas that small businesses require help in – so they too can grow and develop. In addition, a team of experienced mentors will quality assure the work to give extra guidance, as well as peace of mind, to both the businesses as well the members delivering the work.

Seven WAGE members have completed the first sales training course and are now ready and available for work projects from businesses in need. The more intensive Graphic Design, Web Design and Bookkeeping courses are also underway, with Digital Marketing, IT/Admin and Customer Service following soon. By the end of June, WAGE will have trained 75 members in new skills.

Although most of the courses have been fully subscribed, there are still a few places available on the Customer Service programme, which is set to commence in June.

WAGE Members have access to all of Work Avenue’s employment advice and guidance, events and courses and all this together with new skills and paid, relevant work experience will see them succeed when searching for a permanent role.  Additionally, the businesses that are being supported by WAGE can benefit from the full range of Work Avenue’s business support services to help them grow and prosper too.

WAGE is spearheaded by Jeremy Bohn, hired this year as Director.  He states: “We couldn’t be more delighted with how the launch and the first round of training courses have gone.  We also have businesses starting to use the services of WAGE on projects to grow and develop their own enterprises, and in so doing, everyone wins.”

He added: “I didn’t expect to already have businesses contacting me but it’s fantastic that this is the case. These businesses will be able to utilise our bank of fully trained WAGE members to work on individual projects in an affordable and timely way, with the knowledge that their mentor is there to oversee and add value to the work they produce.”

Rochel Taylor was one of the first trained members, and she says: “The WAGE sales course exceeded my expectations. Having been out of work for work for a while whilst raising a family, I was conscious that I needed to sharpen up and refresh my skills. The course has given me the confidence to utilise my natural people skills in a more structured way and I have now been offered a work placement for a business within the community.”

Moshe Morris, Chairman of Work Avenue, stated: “WAGE is an exciting progression for Work Avenue and takes our services to the next level. By creating this micro-economy, WAGE has generated a virtuous circle where everyone wins.  It will truly be transformational for our clients.”