A leading West Midlands businesswoman, who has a long and successful track record in empowering women to help them reach their potential, has been appointed a trustee of the charity Smart Works Birmingham.
Award-winning consultant Julia Regis, who has more than 25 years’ experience in delivering training for both individuals and companies, joins the five existing trustees who run the Birmingham charity that provides high-quality work clothes and interview training to help women in need back into work.
Julia, who is invited to speak regularly at international events, will work with the volunteer trainers and staff to ensure they maintain their skill levels in advising the women who use the service as they prepare for job interviews.
“I loved the concept of Smart Works from day one, so when I was approached to apply to join the board, I didn’t hesitate. Providing women with good-quality, work-ready clothing helps them to feel more confident and stronger mentally, while coaching them for a job interview is invaluable.
“I hope my skills will help to develop an even stronger training strategy for the organisation so that women come away more confident and really impacted by the coaching they receive. I’m a strong advocate of empowering women and building their confidence.”
Julia is also chair of the Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust, a charity set up following the death of her pioneering football husband Cyrille Regis, and she is an Ambassador for the international charity Wateraid, which improves access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the poorest communities around the globe.
Chairwoman Philippa Pickavance said:
“We are delighted that Julia accepted our invitation to join our Board at Smart Works Birmingham. Julia’s reputation as an excellent communicator and facilitator, as well as a first-class businesswoman, means she will complement the excellent variety of skills provided by our existing trustees and help us move towards our aim of getting more women back into work year on year in our region. ”
Since Smart Works was founded in London five years ago it has helped more than 14,000 women across the UK.
Smart Works Birmingham, which was established in 2016, is now based at the BVSC Building, Digbeth, and has helped more than 700 local unemployed women in need, by providing one-to-one interview preparation skills and confidence building, as well as free outfits for interviews, plus additional free clothing if they are offered and accept a job.
Clients to the centre must come via referral partners, such as JobCentre Plus, other charities and homeless shelters. Many women who are referred have completed up to 50 unsuccessful job applications before they get to Smart Works. Over the last three months, the charity has had an average success rate of 68% of helping women back into work.
Smart Works Birmingham is open for appointments on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10am-3pm, and Fridays 10am-2pm. For more information about Smart Works, visit: smartworks.org/Birmingham