On Monday 16th January – a cold and rainy day – there was a glow of energy and activity down at the Galleries where the New Monday job fair was underway and the new Bristol Launchpad was officially opened by the Lord Mayor. The Launchpad is providing a fantastic flexible space for employment and skills services. This results from strong partnership working between the Council’s Employment, Skills and Learning Team, the City of Bristol College, the DWP and the National Careers Service. A sizeable unit has been converted into two fully equipped training rooms, hot desking facilities and space for local people and entrepreneurs who want to test out their products and services in a prime retail area. Here, front line workers from across lead partner agencies are meeting clients and providing face to face advice – working together closely to improve our collaborative offer. Hot desks and training facilities are also bookable (for free) by other community-based organisations who support young people and people of working age looking for new employment and skills opportunities. A massive thanks to everyone who has made the Launchpad possible – including ESL colleagues who rolled up their sleeves and got going with paint brushes to make essential finishing touches in time for the grand opening. Hope to see you there!