THE SMART SET
INTRODUCING A WORLD-FIRST COLLABORATION WITH CHARITY SMART WORKS AND ITS PATRON, HRH THE DUCHESS OF SUSSEX
Securing your dream job is a challenge at the best of times, but for those without the necessary support, confidence and skills at their disposal, the interview process can be a daunting one. Founded in 2013, Smart Works is a charity that helps unemployed and vulnerable women gain the tools to return to employment and transform their lives.
As well as providing quality clothes for job interviews, beneficiaries have access to one-to-one interview training and the opportunity to join the Smart Works Network, meeting each month to further their professional and personal development. Thanks to the charity’s support, 64% go on to get a job following their visit.
John Lewis & Partners is proud to have helped create The Smart Set, a workwear capsule collection for Smart Works supported by their patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. Our contribution to the collection is an exclusive leather tote available in black and tan.
The Smart Works Tote has been designed with interviewees in mind. Made from premium leather with brushed-gold hardware, it has a classic silhouette and plenty of room to fit a CV or laptop. For every handbag bought, one is donated to Smart Works, a charity which dresses and coaches unemployed women for job success and which is supported by HRH The Duchess of Sussex.
“Empower another woman and be part of her success story. Not a handout, a hand held”
Smart Works Stories
Meet three women who have found jobs after help from Smart Works
Zara had been out of work for almost a year and had applied for nearly 20 jobs whilst dealing with some very difficult personal circumstances.
After support from Smart Works, Zara was successful at her interview and secured a job as a work coach. She is now a key ambassador for Smart Works, promoting the charity to clients she works with.
Andrea was referred to Smart Works by the Sutton Council Leaving Care team after being unemployed for almost six months. She had applied for 10 jobs.
‘When you’re from a care leaver’s background, you’re not used to people going out of their way to help you,’ she says. ‘After my Smart Works appointment, I felt like a celebrity.’ Andrea now holds roles as a personal trainer and receptionist.
Kate was referred to Smart Works ahead of her interview for an office manager role. She had been unemployed for almost a year whilst dealing with mental health issues and had applied for more than 100 jobs during this time.
After her appointment, Kate got the job and is loving her new role. She said that coming to Smart Works ‘reminded [her] of all the great qualities [she had] and why [she’s] a great candidate.’