Smart Works Edinburgh

Case study

Since 2014 Smart Works Edinburgh has been supporting women into work by providing interview training and interview appropriate clothing to women who struggle to afford them. We offer a two-hour appointment once a woman has secured a job interview, ensuring that she can arrive at her interview feeling confident and prepared to do her best.

We work with Referral Agents across Edinburgh e.g. Job Centres, Fair Start programmes and third sector organisations to ensure that any woman who needs us can access our service through a simple referral process

The first hour of the appointment is dedicated to selecting the right interview clothes to suit the client. Many women do not have the resources to buy a new outfit for an interview. Our support also increases a woman’s chance of success by building her confidence. Having the right clothes gives a woman one less thing to worry about ahead of her interview process. With our help, she can focus on what she’s saying rather than how she looks. We provide an entire outfit and accessories, catering for sizes 6-30.

The second part of our service is an interview training appointment, provided by Executive-level volunteers with experience in HR, Recruitment or Senior Management. This session is one-to-one, and completely tailored to each woman’s individual needs and concerns. Many women don’t know how to translate their personal experiences into a professional setting. The interview training isn’t about coaching women to give set answers to questions – it’s about making sure that women are prepared to do their best. They leave us with a working booklet for reference and support during the interview process.

Once a woman gets a job, we invite her back to Smart Works to receive 5 or 6 more items of clothing to mix and match with her interview outfit, so that she has sufficient clothing until she receives her first pay cheque.

The service we provide is beautifully simple and extremely effective.

Last year, 69% of the women we dressed got the job. A third of the women we see are single mothers, and 20% have been unemployed for over two years. This year we aim to dress and train over 350 women from Edinburgh and the surrounding areas.

We are extremely proud of the work that Smart Works has done in Edinburgh so far. We hope to continue to support more and more women into work each year. To do this, we need high-quality clothing and accessories (shoes, handbags, jewellery and scarves).

The service we provide to our clients is completely free. At present, we raise most of our funds through running our own events. To continue helping local women, we would be delighted if you would consider donating to secure the future of Smart Works. This will ensure we continue to provide the correct support and resources to help women in Scotland return to or gain employment. For more information on donating to Smart Works, click here.

If you know someone who could benefit from our help or would like to become a referrer then please give our office a call on 0131 516 7787.