Smart Works Newcastle

Smart Works Newcastle on Female Employment Challenges

Smart Works Newcastle Female Unemployment Index 2023 sheds light on the hurdles, empowering women to navigate challenges and redefine their paths to success

Smart Works Newcastle says the job market is “bleak” for women seeking work, and the cost-of-living crisis has intensified the struggle pushing many women in Newcastle to apply for an average of 33 jobs without success, resulting in 40% being unemployed for over 12 months.

According to the 2023 Female Unemployment Index launched by Smart Works, a leading charity supporting women into work through high-quality clothing and interview coaching.

Figures showed that on average, women spent 23 hours a week applying for jobs, receiving little to no feedback on unsuccessful attempts, making job hunting time-consuming.

Local women reported obstacles such as demanding applications, unclear job descriptions, and highly competitive recruitment markets when looking for work. This led the report to highlight these ongoing struggles have financial and psychological repercussions on women with 24% reporting feeling less confident after applying.

The report showed that exerted pressure caused by the cost-of-living crisis led 68% of women to accept lower-paid and lower-skill roles, compared to 62% in 2022.

Helen Boyd, Centre Manager of Smart Works Newcastle says:

“The report shows that job seeking as a woman is challenging and we hope the Index highlights this and encourages positive change. As the Smart Works service shows, having a job is vital to financial independence, self-worth, and purpose. We will continue to support unemployed women with the confidence to succeed at interview and get the job.” 

Despite the challenges faced, 25% of women in Newcastle expressed that their primary motivation for seeking employment is a ‘sense of purpose and identity’.

Collay Dennis, a former client, says:

“I am happy to be a part of the Smart Works 2023 Index. Following my appointment at Smart Works Newcastle my confidence in my skillset skyrocketed. I felt much more equipped to navigate the world of work. Now I am working, my self-worth has increased, and I feel great”.

Smart Works Newcastle supports women ahead of interviews. 67% secure a job following their visit. These women have significant potential and determination to succeed, and the. Smart Works service can help them tap into this potential and transform their lives.
 
The report offered recommendations to employers for a more accessible job market, including:

  • Clear job descriptions with salary, location, and options for flexibility listed upfront.
  • Offer to reimburse costs associated with applications.
  • Regardless of salary and the qualifications expected, all roles should be advertised where unemployed people will see them.
  • Provide useful and objective feedback to unsuccessful job applicants. As the Smart Works service shows, having a job is vital to financial independence, self- worth, and purpose.  We will continue to support unemployed women with the confidence to succeed at interview and get the job.

newcastle.smartworks.org.uk