Over the last 12 months a Work Club set up at Telford college has helped several previously unemployed local people get back to work.
The group, which meets every Thursday between 9.30am and 12.30 pm, is open to anyone in the community.
It operates as an informal ‘drop-in’ session where support is offered in a wide breadth of areas to help individuals with their job search.
Those who attend benefit from activities such as CV preparation and interview skills as well as from being in a supportive environment where everyone has the same goals and aspirations.
The club seeks to motivate and inspire, boosts self-esteem and provide opportunities to secure that elusive opening.
It is also an important place to network, share experiences and increase contacts.
Thirty per cent of people who lose their jobs find a new one through informal networks and friends.
Where as just one-in-10 secure a new job through traditional avenues such as applying to advertisements.
The chances of finding a new job then would seem therefore to be increased by joining in with the Work Club.
Dave, a 51-year-old Falklands veteran from Hadley, had been unemployed for well over 12 months.
He was made redundant having worked for a logistics company on Stafford Park for 15 years, and has been attending the Work Club for several months.
For Dave the main benefit of the Work Club was the networking and support he received.
He said: “It was great to meet others in the same position, we helped each other with CVs and discussed the various vacancies and how to approach them.
“Just sharing experiences in the job search boosted confidence. The college staff were fantastic. They cared and understood our needs perfectly”.
Dave, who is a Health and Safety Adviser qualified to NEBOSH level, had applied for many jobs and made the short-list on several occasions.
“I’m currently volunteering one day a week, so I am keeping active in my profession and remain very optimistic that I will secure something ”.
Alan from Wellington is 25 and had tried desperately to find long term employment having been out of work for more than six months.
Despite leaving school with 5 GCSEs (including maths and English) and an ICT Level 3 qualification Alan found it difficult to secure a long term career.
“I’ve had many jobs, but they have all been short-term contracts or temporary positions,” he said.
Alan had been applying for about 10 jobs a week and the Work Club has helped him focus his search.
“Everyone was really helpful at the Work Club, I completed a six week Level 2 SAGE accounting course which provided me with some more options.”
Alan secured a six month placement at local firm Unique Copiers Ltd and has informed the college that they have now taken him on as an apprentice.
The SAGE course is one of several ‘Employability’ courses the college offers which are run in conjunction with Job Centre Plus.
These also include IT and administration, customer service, care, welding, fast fit, retail, construction, English for speakers of other languages, gym instructing and a hospitality programme which includes a work placement and guaranteed job interview.
Telford College liaises closely with Job Centre Plus and meet regularly with their advisers so that they can advise clients on which courses are available to meet individual needs.
One of the success stories from the employability programme is 19-year-old Jodie from Sutton Hill. She completed a short four week care course and placement.
“I absolutely loved it. Apart from the new skills I acquired the course helped me with job applications and interview techniques.
“It was particularly aimed at the care sector and I was able to practice interviews.
“Prior to this I really hated the thought of going through an interview but the staff really boosted my confidence and as a result I was offered my first full-time job. I’m thrilled to bits.”
For further information please contact Linda Wallace 01952 642251 or e-mail email@example.com.