22 February 2018
Glasgow Libraries have launched a new Business and Employability Hub in Gorbals Library.
Split into two distinct offers, the pilot hub will offer support to both individuals seeking to gain employment and those looking to launch their own business, in the familiar setting of their local library. If successful, Glasgow Life hopes to replicate the model in other libraries across the city.
Delivered in partnership with Jobs and Business Glasgow and Glasgow Clyde College, the Business and Employability Hub at Gorbals Library will bring together existing support for job seekers and business start-ups through free skills workshops, drop-in sessions and learning courses such as the popular Goals4Work programme alongside dedicated resources and book collections.
Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Thanks to this new Business and Employability Hub residents will be supported to explore their potential and launch their dream business, all in the comfort and accessible surroundings of their local library.
“Our city’s libraries already offer a range of employment services in partnership with Glasgow City Council, Jobs and Business Glasgow, Glasgow Clyde College and Citizens Advice Bureau and I am delighted that we will be further extending the service to provide free employability training, workshops and courses in Gorbals Library. I look forward to creating opportunities for more people across the city to access this vital service in their local library.”
Building on The Mitchell Library’s successful Business at The Mitchell offer, which sees almost 1,000 customers every year, the business strand of the hub has been developed to provide new start-ups with the tools they need in order to launch their new business from scratch.
Andrew Reeve was one of the first people to come along to the Business and Employability Hub. Looking for support to help launch his new online adventure tourism business, Andrew attended a Business Start-up Session workshop at Gorbals Library. Andrew said:
“I’d had the idea of doing venture tourism and sea kayaking tours for a while but I didn’t really know where to start. So when I came along to the session I was trying to find out as much as I could about how to launch the business, and doing some market research into other similar businesses at the same time. Having this hub in the library, and knowing you can just go along and chat to someone about your idea, was really useful.
“The Business start-up session ran through all of the online resources available through Glasgow Libraries but COBRA is the one that sticks in my mind, as that was the most useful for me. It provides access to lots of detailed market research and guides and resources, websites and contacts for all kinds of businesses, which isn’t something you can easily find online.”
Having identified a gap in the market, Andrew hopes to launch his business delivering sea-kayaking tours around the Isle of Harris in May this year. He continued:
“I think having business start-up information in a community library is a good thing. Libraries are generally in accessible places in the community – places you would be visiting anyway, so by having these sessions in a library it makes you think that starting a business is possible.
“If you’re looking to start your own business I’d absolutely recommend coming along to a session at the Business and Employability Hub.”
In addition to the tools and workshops for start-up businesses, the Hub is also devised to support Glaswegians seeking employment or further education opportunities in the city, by providing access to a wide range of training courses, advice and support.
All employability sessions are free and tailored to the individual’s needs. Workshops delivered by Jobs and Business Glasgow include an Introduction to Working in Retail and Introduction to Working in Social Care, whilst Glasgow Clyde College run a dedicated ESOL Employability training course.
Glasgow Libraries hopes that by providing employment and training opportunities in a library setting service users will also benefit from the range of services associated with library membership, including access to free computer suites and public access Wi-Fi, innovative learning programmes and a wide range of books, magazines and online resources.
The Business and Employability Hub is supported by the Scottish Government Public Library Improvement Fund which is administered through Scottish Library and Information Council.
If you would like to attend one of the free Business or Employability workshops or training sessions, or are keen to find out more, please visit: www.glasgowlife.org.uk/libraries or simply pop in to Gorbals Library for more information.