Robert Ward and Toni Sartain
Thursday, 10 April 2014
Out of work young people in Worcester are being given opportunities to help them into employment, thanks to a partnership involving Worcester-based housing associations and a local charity.
Recent statistics show more than 2,000 18-24 year olds in Worcestershire are currently unemployed.
Now, to tackle the issue, Nexus Housing has teamed up with Worcester Community Trust, Worcester Community Housing and Vestia to support young people in the area through a course aimed at improving their employability.
The course is part of the wider ‘In to Work Worcestershire’ scheme, which involves five housing associations across the county. It offers support to young people, who may have faced barriers preventing them from finding paid employment, and aims to increase their chances of getting a job. The programme was developed after Vestia (part of The Community Housing Group) teamed up with other local organisations to deliver a successful pilot back in 2009.
Students who complete the course, which is run by Vestia, will achieve a City and Guilds Award in employability and personal development, as well as receive tips on how to conduct themselves in the workplace, advice on CV writing and interview training.
To put the skills they have learned into practice, the students will then complete a work placement with Nexus Housing and Worcester Community Trust, with the two most impressive candidates gaining a business administration or customer service apprenticeship.
Annette Parsons, housing services manager at Nexus Housing, said: “We know how difficult the job market is for young people at the moment and how hard it is for people to get a foot on the job ladder.
“We are delighted to be able to offer young people in Worcester this opportunity. All of our students are looking for work, and they will now have the skills and experience to give them a better chance of finding employment.”
Richard Metterick, jobs coach at Vestia, said: “We have received a lot of positive feedback from the young people who have attended the courses so far. Not only have their chances of finding paid work improved, but they have also gained valuable skills and the confidence needed to be successful in their future careers.”
Edd Terrey, service development manager at Worcester Community Trust added: “Being a community based charity, it has been great to work with other organisations to offer these opportunities to local young people.”