Students during a class in the Inspiring Futures programme. / SUR

Inspiring Futures: a programme to help people find jobs after the pandemic

The goal is to help with labour reinsertion, life opportunities and moral support for those in need of it

SHAY CONAGHAN/J.M. MARTÍN

In mid-2021, San Pedro-based NGO Collective Calling created a programme with the aim of helping those who are looking for a job opportunity after the pandemic. The course, named 'Inspiring Futures', not only intends to ease reinsertion into the labour market, but also giving life opportunities and moral support to those who are going through a tough time.

The programme, which is free of charge, takes nine weeks to complete. Collective Calling defines it as "life training" and it will teach applied personnel coaching, allowing those who sign up to learn new skills to broaden their opportunities.

Programme manager Jacqui Braithwaite has been running the course since its inception and it has attracted a lot of interest. "We've had more than 20 students enrol in our previous courses and we can hold between 10 and 12 people per course. On the current one we still have capacity for a few more," she said. "We are going to continue into the new year and run it in Spanish and English to serve the whole community."

The programme's third edition began on 15 November and those involved got a taste of what's to come. "The first week is always amazing. We introduce the students, get people familiar with who we are, who they are, explain the programme and really start building it up," said Jacqui.

The course's success so far means that having an eye on the future isn't such a bad idea, especially if there's room to grow. "We really hope that Inspiring Futures is a programme that will be open and used by everyone on the Costa del Sol. We really want to offer the course to people from all walks of life and we really feel that anybody and everybody can benefit from it, in one way or another."

Regardless of whether they're Spanish or English, out of work or need a job, Jacqui said that the Inspiring Futures can help people in many different ways. "We can help students with interview skills and CV writing, as well as lending them a hand with their self-confidence or self-esteem," she said. "We also want to teach them how to achieve their goals, their targets and realise their dreams," said Jacqui.

This intention can be especially difficult in the current landscape, with a global pandemic serving as the perfect recipe for people to struggle in this aspect. "We want to help people who, perhaps after Covid, feel a bit depressed or haven't got a lot of hope for the future, or have lost their sense of self" she explained. "This course really helps people refind who they are so they can improve their options generally in life."

Collective Calling says that the course was created to help "inspire, equip and transform lives," also focusing on positive change, enabling personal growth and to strengthen mental agility. It includes units dedicated to developing efficient problem solving skills and learning basic technology abilities.

Inspiring Futures doesn't want Collective Calling's help to stop at the programme. "We want to reach those who want to get back on the job market and also include people who may need help with the basics, such as food and moral support at this point in their lives, if they can't work for whatever reason," said Paul Carr, the NGO's co-founder.