Smart Works Reading dresses and coaches unemployed women across Berkshire and the surrounding areas; we support women to grow their confidence, get the job and change the trajectory of their lives. We are raising funds to help us on our mission to double the number of women we support.
Unemployment is one of the biggest barriers to financial independence and high self-esteem. During the pandemic and now through the cost of living crisis, women’s confidence has been badly impacted, and remaining unemployed only deepens that lack of self-belief. There are 9600 economically inactive women in West Berkshire alone, with 15.5% of Reading’s young people living in poverty, so there is a need to support women, and parents, into the labour market.
Smart Works Reading opened in 2015 with the ambition to support local women to ace their interviews and secure employment, ending their cycle of unemployment, and introducing more women into the local workforce. We provide a free interview outfit, and capsule work wardrobe once a role is secured. 32% of clients for this service have been unemployed a year or longer, and 35% identify as lone parents yet 78% secure a role within a month, with 93% leaving us feeling more confident.