When conducting an IAG interview it is vital as an advisor that I am able to clarify the client’s requirements and circumstances in order to agree with them the best course of action to help them achieve their goals or to be able to signpost them to other external organisations and charities. Most clients I give advice and guidance to are jobseekers aged between 18 and 60 or those who are at risk of redundancy. All of my clients have a variety of different situations and aspirations and need to be treated as individuals. The room in which IAG is conducted in is private, spacious and clutter free in order to allow the client to feel secure and allow them to feel relaxed and to enable them to get their thoughts in order. Some clients sometimes find it difficult speaking about what they have done in the past or about personal situations at home or things that they may have done that may hinder them in reaching their desired requirement.
I have worked with people who have criminal records and who have drug addictions that they do not wish to speak about, it is important that my body language is not threatening and that I look relaxed and open, I sometimes try to use humour in the situation to lighten the mood of the client. I ask leading and probing questions in order to try and get the details I require so that the full picture can be seen. I also explain to the client why I am asking for the information that I am and what could happen if I don’t receive a complete picture. When a client and myself are exploring possibilities to move them closer to their goals it is essential that they are given accurate and up to the minute data regarding all applicable services. Accurate data can demonstrate to the client the advantages and disadvantages such as the service being one bus ride away as opposed to two and the service usage is during school hours so that they are able to make and agree an informed choice to utilise the service. I have a specialised IAG file in the office listing everything from counselling and childcare services to agencies, employers and job vacancies.
As my clients come to see me to help them to find work through either training or employability skills it is important that I have had information on the local labour market, job roles and training courses for them to browse. I also have information, that from my experiences within the employment and welfare to work sectors I have found to be useful to clients when exploring the reasons that they are currently unemployed. Such information is on benefits, local authorities, counselling services, childcare provision, support groups and volunteering resources. I also have established links with a large number of third sector and employability agencies that I am able to refer and signpost clients to.
When conducting advice and guidance interviews, it is essential that the client has fully understood a service or a particular course of action so that they can agree that it will be helping them towards their goals and fit in with their individual circumstances. If any such service does not fulfil the requirements and needs of the client then another option must be suggested, or a solution so that the client can use the service. One of the most common examples of clients not being able to attend training sessions is due to the cost of childcare, or having nobody to look after the children. I have agreed with Job Centre Plus that childcare provision can be arranged and paid for by them on behalf of the client to enable them to use the service.
During each advice and guidance session with a client, I complete an action plan which is signed by the client which outlines each activity agreed and records a client’s progress. There is sometimes the need to complete additional activities in order for a client to reach their goal one step at a time and review their achievement after each step. Occasionally I have to refer to services other than my own so I inform the client that GB Training can not provide all the services that they require so I have to refer to another training provider or College. I have brochures from all the local providers and am able to get an IAG advisor from that organisation to attend the interview so that the client can get the best available information to make their decision.
One such example of this is that a lot of people who are facing redundancy would like to start their own business decorating cakes or providing beauty treatments, GB training can not provide the beauty or decorating courses so the client will have to learn this elsewhere. If I am required to send a client to another service provider I have to complete a due diligence form and provide each client with the equality and diversity policy, data protection policy and the appeals and grievance policies for the alternative service provider. I also have to ensure that the client is properly inducted within the new service provider and understands what is expected from them regarding attendance and conduct.