Love Foundation has been hosting series of “one stop” job workshops in Belize City. These programs cater to those less fortunate who might be unemployed or underemployed and are looking for a place to work. They also teach participants the skills needed in acquiring a job. According to Managing Director of Love Foundation, Deborah Sewell, all participants have an opportunity to be fitted into a job of their interest and degree after attending these workshops. Sewell noted that they have establish several ties with companies which they then consult with to find a place for these participants to work. She noted that they have had an 87 percent success rate of these participants acquiring a job.
Deborah Sewell, Managing Director, Love Foundation: “When we work with employers we ask the employers to communicate with us so we are that bridge between the employee and the employer. So when the employee gets placed on a site if it’s not going well the employer will call us and they will speak to us about what’s happening, ,we would then speak to the employee which is our participant and we would let them know what is happening. If there is a way to work it out we will do that and if there are times when we can’t work it out and we need to remove them from that placement we will ensure that they are removed from the placement and we will ensure that we find them another placement but it doesn’t happen without communication. So we don’t ever want an employer to just fire one of our participants even though there are situations that may warrant that , we ask the employer to speak with us so that we are the ones who intervene and are the ones who are able to get them to understand why they’re being removed from that placement, why it’s not working out and work with them to find another placement. We have a really good success rate and how do we know that is because we do track them. So we don’t consider anyone employed until they have been in consecutive employment for 180 days. There is constant follow up. We have a job developer who follows up with employers and employees to ensure that they’re still working to ensure that the placement is still going well. So these are all things that we feel is necessary to ensure that our records are updated and that we have actual actual facts on our placement.”
Deborah Sewell stated that the workshop is free of cost to the participants but there must be dedication from them to succeed in it.
Deborah Sewell, Managing Director, Love Foundation: “I am aware that there are programs that do pay participants to attend the program. From the inception of this program we were adamant that we were not going to pay participants to attend. So I have known that there are programs where participants were receiving $125 a week if they attended the program, there is a program currently where participants are receiving $75 every time they show up to the program. We don’t subscribe to that because we feel that if somebody is really interested and they understand that this is an opportunity for them to be self sufficient and upgrade themselves that they will make the effort to come and I think that’s half the battle. If you are willing to sacrifice something to be able to have a better life and you’re willing to do it of your own free will I think there is a higher success rate and actually there are instances where that has been proven to be of a higher success rate than when you pay people to participate in these programs. So I’ve never been a proponent or an advocate of paying people to come to a program. There are a number of people out there who we have documented testimonies from people who have said that they went into an interview and before they even left they were hired. We have a very good track record, the proof is there and I think that we’ve done a really good job at documenting that proof and I think that like I’ve always said for anybody who wants to be employed there is a position for you it doesn’t matter what your background is, it doesn’t matter what your educational background is you can have a job. We do our follow up, we do our reporting and we always try to make sure that we have the documents in place. So I think if anybody is skeptical I would just say to them that they just need to just come in and try the program.”
Sewell noted that there is a $20 fine for people who want to become permanent members of the one stop Job Centre program. A member will have access to help from the organization if they ever need to find another job or need assistance in applying for one.