Project manager to help Winchester people back into work

Press Release: 14/08/2014

Winchester City Council is working with the national agency Sova to provide a new service to help jobseekers to find work.

The employment mentoring service will recruit and train volunteers to mentor jobseekers across the Winchester District. Locally-recruited mentors will provide practical and moral support as well as basic advice and signposting to other services for unemployed residents in the Winchester District from all age-groups and backgrounds.

Sova is a charity that works with people who find themselves in difficult situations. They do this by making sure those people have someone on their side to help them to build better lives. They secured the contract in Winchester through a competitive bidding process, and come with a 35-year track record of delivering high quality mentoring services across the country.

Sova is now looking to recruit a project manager to run its employment mentoring programme for the Winchester District. The successful applicant will recruit, train and manage volunteer mentors, accept referrals of jobseekers from other agencies and provide a ‘matching’ service to make sure that the right mentors and mentees are paired together. Volunteers will help improve employability, focusing on those in greatest need in the Winchester District, and working closely with the agencies such as Jobcentre Plus, local voluntary organisations and the Council’s own housing staff.

The project manager role will suit someone with excellent communication and project management skills coupled with experience of managing volunteers or staff. They should have an understanding of health and safety legalisation and safeguarding practice, as well as experience of working with unemployed people or hard-to-reach groups.

The full-time post will involves working from Winchester city centre, travel around the Winchester District and some evening and weekend work.

For a full job description and person specification visit

Cllr Robert Humby, Leader of Winchester City Council, said:

The aim of this programme, which is funded initially for two years by Winchester City Council, is to reduce dependency on benefits and move jobseekers towards employment wherever practicable. There can be a number of barriers to employment and locally-recruited mentors will help to break down the barriers and help people back into work.

Peter Bradley, Area Manager with Sova, added:

We are delighted to be awarded this commission by Winchester City Council and look forward to working with local volunteers and agencies to make a real difference to the lives of residents of the Winchester District. We know from long experience that providing one-to-one support is a very effective approach to dealing with barriers to work and sustainable employment. In an area like Winchester which has high levels of volunteering, I am sure that a mentoring scheme is the perfect way to forward.