Finding a Better Job initiative for Manchester homeless

Cornerstone Centre, Salford Diocese
Cornerstone Centre, Salford Diocese

This week Manchester University Catholic Chaplaincy made further strides in its Empowerment+ programme through a new initiative to target those in need with its ‘Finding a Better Job’ workshops, which aim to help attendees hone their job search skills using faith principles.

Chaplaincy Interfaith Co-ordinator Hinna Parvaz  and Professor Brian Grim, founder and president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, met with Mark Wiggins, CEO of Caritas, and representatives of Cornerstone, the Diocese of Salford’s centre for homeless people.

The aim of the meeting was to offer a programme of workshops, run by trained volunteers, to clients of Cornerstone, many of whom are street homeless, from a range of faith and cultural backgrounds.

“We ran the first series of workshops in January” explains Hinna, “we had 24 participants in three groups, and nine trained volunteers, one of whom took part in our Launching Leaders programme last year.  The training focussed on English language in CVs, language and pronunciation for personal statements and “lift pitches”, and networking skills.  Although originally devised as small group sessions, some participants found one to one help more useful, so we adapted our methodology and have learned from that in refining our approach to the new course.” 

The course follows a manual and materials provided by Professor Grim’s Religious Freedom and Business Foundation. “Participants who have completed the course are beginning to see improvements in their prospects with more interviews and job offers.  They definitely report feeling more hopeful and confident as a result of the course,”  Hinna reported

The Empowerment Plus programme, is a fruit of years of research undertaken by Professor Grim. As the founder and president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, he has looked extensively at the link between religious freedom and economic growth. His findings have shown that there is a positive correlation between the two, and that countries and regions where religious freedom is stifled have experienced economic decline.

“Many economic and social problems are overcome when people of different religions and beliefs work together in faith and action,” he says.