Stepping up into jobs

Rob1All the staff on the ‘Stepping Up’ programme have been working together to assist in improving our customers job prospects. Stepping Up is a programme being delivered exclusively in the Oldham and Rochdale boroughs. It has been developed by our local Jobcentre Plus partners as an intensive package of support to help those who need some work experience to boost their job prospects.

We have had a great variety of customers over the past few months with various skills and experience. Some customers have been seeking a career change, others have been seeking employment after a career break, whilst some have had self-confidence and other personal issues which have been a barrier for them to seek and sustain employment.

We aim to treat every customer as an individual and we offer additional support for customers where required. Since our initial cohort started in July 2014 we have had many success stories as detailed below.

Behrang joined the programme not long after relocating from overseas. Behrang had been continually applying for jobs in the architectural design field with no luck in securing an interview. Our staff supported Behrang with his applications and assisted him in preparing for an interview he had secured. Behrang has now started a career at local metals firm and has impressed his employer with his excellent design skills.

Ian required some help with interview skills and techniques and before we were able to arrange his placement, he secured work at Natwest Bank with our help and assistance on the work related training course.

Rebecca joined the programme with a range of job goals and we worked with Rebecca to improve her job prospects and help her make informed decisions on her future career. Rebecca expressed a desire to work in the care sector. We assisted Rebecca in securing a placement at Parklands Care Home and after completing her initial training she was offered permanent employment.

John started the programme and had some difficulties completing applications due to his additional learning needs. We supported John in completing applications and John successfully secured a position at Park Cakes with our support.

Adrian started the programme looking for a career change; he had spent much of his working life in the manufacturing industry. Adrian’s ultimate job goal was to work in a creative design job. Adrian is currently doing a placement at Capture Design.

Maureen joined the programme and was worried about her lack of interview experience, and had genuine concerns about finding a new job, as her previous employment had been sustained over a long period. Through our efforts we managed to secure Maureen a placement at AME Services, where she impressed her employer with her commitment to work. AME Services have now offered Maureen a position at the company on a full time basis.

Maureen commented: “I believe that Groundwork have provided me with a great opportunity and I am grateful for the support which the Groundwork staff have offered me.”

Mohammad started the programme and was not computer literate and had some self-confidence issues. We worked together with Mohammad to develop his confidence and self-esteem. We assisted Mohammad in securing a position at a local manufacturing firm where he is doing great. We also have noticed a positive development in his confidence and future outlook.

Joshua came to us on our initial programme. Over the duration of the work related training course Josh had some personal issues and was left homeless. We worked with Josh and offered him support throughout. Josh completed a placement as a stock assistant at a local retailer and impressed the store manager with his enthusiastic attitude; subsequently he was offered a job at the end of his placement at the store.

Joshua added: “Groundwork have been a massive help and I am forever grateful.”

Tracy came to us with confidence and communication issues, over the duration of the programme Tracy continually developed and overcome her personal barriers with our support. Tracy’s job goal was to work as an administrative assistant and she completed her placement at our Groundwork office, so we could support her with any challenges and have close contact. She worked well as part of the team and with our help has gained temporary employment at Trafford Council.

Nick joined the programme with caring commitments, and did not want to continue working in the manufacturing industry due to the hours of work required. Nick was seeking a career change and we successfully assisted Nick in securing a job as a Tenant Liaison Officer.

As a recent university graduate Akeem was searching for opportunities to work in ICT. Akeem was supported with submitting applications and secured a temporary position working at Salford University. Through our efforts we have a possible opportunity for him to start a career as an ICT tutor.

Ryan came to us for some assistance in finding a job in the logistics industry.Through our contacts we provided Ryan with an opportunity to work as a Class 2 Driver. His commitment and flexible attitude to work secured him the job.

Ange joined the programme and she had a range of job goals, Ange was looking for a career change and she was supported with guidance from our team. Ange decided she wanted to do a placement at C.E.X which we helped her achieve.She impressed her manager and successfully secured a job at the end of her placement. However Ange was given another opportunity to work in an office based role at a local housing provider which she has since accepted.

We continue to work closely with our partners at Oldham JCP and Rochdale JCP to make Stepping Up a success and help more people into employment. We’re also working closely with a number of local employers and are keen to meet with any companies recruiting or willing to offer work placements.

If your organisation would like to support a local charity in its efforts to help more people into employment then please contact Groundwork today. Either contact myself or Chris Jones, Placement Officer on 0161 624 1444 for more info.

Robert Glenn, Work & Employability Manager

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