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About Southwark Works

What we do

Who are we?

Southwark Works is a free employment service for local job seekers and employers. We provide friendly and expert-led support for residents of all ages and backgrounds, creating better work opportunities for everyone in our community.

Assigning you with your own personal adviser, we offer assistance throughout each stage of your career – whether that’s finding your first job or your next role, helping you prepare for an interview or delivering on-the-job guidance.

Working across a wide range of sectors, our highly tailored services have been developed with 15 years of experience and have helped thousands of people reach their personal career goals.

If you live in Southwark and you’re looking for a job or you want to achieve better pay, hours and career prospects, we’d love to welcome you. We look forward to discussing the next phase of your career progression with you.

Who can access our services?

We work with residents of all ages, skillsets and backgrounds. Some people we work with have encountered difficulties finding employment. Others are re-entering the job market for the first time in a while. Whatever your current situation, we’re here to help.

Alongside permanent and part-time jobs, we also have opportunities for volunteering, internships and apprenticeships, allowing you to gain skills and contacts outside of traditional employment routes.

The only criteria you must meet to access our free services is to be a Southwark resident and be eligible to work in the UK.

How do we work with job seekers?

At Southwark Works, we tailor our services to you, meaning you can receive as much or as little support as you like.

Although the way we work depends entirely on the individual, below you’ll find a brief outline of what you can expect from our team.

  • An initial assessment and questionnaire.
  • You’ll be matched with one of our qualified advisers.
  • Get one-on-one support for your employment needs, whether that’s job-searching, updating your CV, finding a better job or enrolling on a training course.

How do we work with employers?

Matching businesses with our large talent pool of local job seekers, we work with employers of any size and in any sector. Offering a free and tailored recruitment service, we can help with anything from producing job descriptions to shortlisting candidates, arranging interview spaces to amending role specifications.

If you’re interested in working with Southwark Works, you can get in touch with a member of our Employer Relationship team to discuss your recruitment needs.

Please note employers suitable for our services must provide good working conditions, pay at least minimum wage and be able to offer future employees an employment contract.

Meet the team

Shirley Embleton

Families Matter Employer Relationship Manager

Shirley is a qualified Careers Adviser and part of the Families Matter team.  She is the Employer Relationship Manager responsible for sourcing family friendly opportunities, especially part time and term time jobs for the Southwark Works team.

Jayne Couchman

Job Title Programme and Network Coordination Manager

Jayne is responsible for coordinating and managing service delivery for the Southwark Works network including –  office management and provider co-ordination, employer liaison, strategic review and implementation of company policies (Health & Safety, Communication, Equalities, Environmental, Safeguarding, GDPR etc) ensuring continuous improvement to services and auditing our quality standard ISO 9001.

Deborah Robinson

Quality and HR Manager

Deborah is responsible for HR and is our Quality Manager.  Debs looks after staff and partner inductions;  upskilling staff and partners to ensure they can meet common standards;  production of the Staff Handbook, recruitment processes, holidays and absences, plus staff training/development records. Debs is also part of the Management team who help to review company policies and review our quality standards.

Jaime Reina

Hanlon Coordinator

Jaime is a new recruit to the team and is responsible for helping the Southwark Works network meet its performance and monitoring objectives, including the day-to-day operation of Hanlon for the provider network and ensuring shared standards in monitoring are achieved.

Paula Friel

Hanlon Coordinator

Along with Jaime Reina, Paula is responsible for the production of monitoring reports on outputs, milestones and finance for Southwark Council, ensuring all advisers have targets and deadlines, providing training on the Hanlon database and having regular performance reviews with advisers.

Sarah Williamson

Southwark Works Office Manager

Sarah is part of the Management team and the go to person for  day to day operational running of the Walworth Road hub office – room bookings, allocation of space etc, Health and Safety in the office; IT queries; plus all facilities issues, including compliance and office risk assessments.  When she has the time, Sarah also likes to work with clients on a one to one basis and is a qualified Employment Adviser.

Elizabeth Mahecha

Employment Adviser

Elizabeth has over 10 years experience of working with people both as an Adviser and as an HR Consultant. She has been working at  Southwark Works for 4 years, supporting people into work and advising people about training and developing new skills. Elizabeth has a Psychology Degree from South America and a Masters Degree from the University of Wales. She is “Always grateful for life – ready to listen and find people’s best potential”.

Melsada Stapleton

Lead Construction Adviser

Mel is our lead Construction Adviser and with over 9yrs of working in and around Construction sites, she has a wealth of information and experience to pass on to local residents looking to get into a career in the industry.  Mel has seen and worked on some of the most iconic buildings on the Southbank and the Olympic Park.  At Southwark Works she supports residents with access to training courses such as a CSCS Card which offers an entry and insight into the industry. There is large scale development happening in the borough and Mel welcomes local people to “come and help be part of the future”.

Nathan Barnes

Employment Adviser Integrated Offender Management (IOM) Team

Nathan is an Employment Adviser on the IOM team – a multi agency team including Probation, Police, Housing and Substance services – supporting those with prolific offending histories.  Nathan helps to change the lives of his clients by supporting them back into training or employment.

Andreia Popa

Employer Relationship Manager

Andreia is an Employer Relationship manager. She works with a wide range of local employers, large and small, offering a free recruitment service and providing screening and interview support for businesses.  She is also a qualified Adviser and works with Southwark Works clients, offering careers advice and helping to prepare them for interviews and advise them on specific job roles.

Charmaine Dawkins-Alder

Employment Adviser

Charmaine is a very experienced Employment Adviser working on the Southwark Works Families Matter team.  Charmaine works one to one with parents and families and is also a qualified Trainer. She delivers vocational training such as Food Safety and First Aid to small groups of clients.

Spencer Fraser

Employment Adviser

Spencer is an Employment Adviser for Southwark Works, working as part of the Community Harm and Exploitation Hub (CHEH).  The Hub provides support for individuals aged 16-25yrs involved in, or at risk from, gang related crime and serious violence. They offer a range of interventions, specifically tailored to each individual – to help them to find training, apprenticeships and job.

Zena O'Reilly

Apprenticeship Co-ordinator

Zena O’Reilly is an Apprenticeship Co-ordinator who sources apprenticeships for Southwark residents of all ages – providing one to one support to clients to help them obtain new learning and career development opportunities. Zena supports clients with applications, interview preparation, CVs and looking for training to access the right qualifications in order to secure an apprenticeship. Zena is also an adviser on the Families Matter team working closely with Parents and Families as well as young adults. She supports clients back into employment and training, helping with benefit queries and childcare issues.

Kerry Stoddart

Southwark Construction Skills Centre Support

Kerry Stoddart supports the Construction team at Southwark Works and looks after our construction apprentices.  She is the first point of contact for any Southwark resident looking to kickstart their career locally in a growth industry.  Kerry works closely with Southwark candidates to ensure that they meet the standards and entry requirements that training providers and employers are looking for and is the key contact with the Southwark Construction Skills Centre.

Jesana Bravo

Trainee Employment Adviser

Jesana Bravo is a qualified Employment Adviser – supporting the Hub office team.  Jesana works one to one with clients and to help them into work. A fluent Spanish speaker, Jesana is an asset to the Southwark Works team.

Agnes Kabuto

Employment Adviser

Agnes is a very experienced Employment Adviser who has been providing information, advice and guidance to unemployed Southwark residents for many years. Agnes is welcoming and empowers people to find paid/unpaid employment and to enhance their skills set through internal and external training.  With her broad range of contacts in the borough, she can help make referrals to many other agencies for specialist advice and is able to promote Southwark Works’ services through her networks.

Leigh McNamara

Families Matter Project Manager

Leigh heads up the Southwark Works’ Families team and with over 10 years of experience working with Southwark families, has a wealth of knowledge in supporting parents, carers and young people throughout their employment journey.  Leigh is a qualified Employment Adviser and also a valued member of the Management Team.

Julian Wright

Employment Manager, Southwark Anti Violence Unit (SAVU)

Julian manages the employment support team for the multi agency Community Harm and Exploitation Hub (CHEH), working with young people who are involved in, or at risk of gang violence.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

  • We offer friendly and professional advice on employment and training
  • Help with CV writing, application forms and interview techniques
  • Access to training courses in a range of industries
  • Advice on money management
  • Support to help you progress to better pay, hours and career prospects • Help to business looking to recruit local talent