At least 17 young jobseekers in South Lincolnshire have been helped into employment through a specially-designed course to give them confidence, motivation and improve their presentation and communication skills.
The week-long course was part of a Youth Week organised by A4e, the public services provider which delivers the Government’s Work Programme in Grantham, Sleaford, Stamford, Spalding, and Boston. More than half of the attendees ended up off benefits and in work.
Craig Clark, 21, from Grantham, had been out of work for 14 months – after a shoulder injury ended his career as a plasterer – when he was referred on to the course.
It helped him win a full time staff job at a high street restaurant chain.
He said: “I was sending off hundreds of job applications and getting nothing back. I was feeling useless and worried I might never get a job.”
“The course helped me get past my total lack of confidence and understand how to best present myself through mock interviews. When it came to the real thing, I performed well using the techniques I had learned and got the job. I felt great to put that misery behind me and now I feel I have a future again. I’m sure it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been on the course.”
Craig, who is planning to do an NVQ in catering through his new job, was one of eight A4e customers from Grantham who gained employment after the course.
A4e staff selected 30 customers from South Lincs aged 18-24 who they believed might benefit most from the week of intensive support. Seventeen are now in posts ranging from apprenticeships in plumbing and teacher training to retail and catering.
Others are awaiting news from interviews or lined up for interviews.
Robert Wright, Team Leader A4e South Lincolnshire, said: “The Youth Week has been an amazing success.Â Â Some of the young people started the week low on confidence and self belief.Â However, due to their hard work and desire to be successful they have made amazing advances in a short space of time and should be very proud that they have secured sustainable employment as a result.”
The Work Programme, now in its fourth year of operation, provides tailored support for unemployed customers who need more help to undertake active and effective job-seeking.
A4e has been working hard to establish an excellent team of professional staff with a range of specialist skills to support individuals across the UK.
The flexibility given to service providers by the Work Programme has meant that A4e has been able to create a number of innovative programmes and specialist training to support local customers.
A4e is delivering the Work Programme on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Job Centre Plus. The Work Programme is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). The ESF in England is investing in jobs and skills – focusing on people who need support the most and helping them fulfil their potential.