First steps to employment
Published by Holly George for Mears Group PLC in Communities and also in Education, Housing
Candidates have a go at wiring a plug
Seventy young people from across Kent, braved last Saturday’s bad weather to get their first step onto the career ladder. The young hopefuls met with local companies for a chance of gaining an apprenticeship and getting some valuable work experience.
Housing repairs and maintenance company Mears brought local employers together to provide support and guidance for job seekers - they were also offering 7 apprenticeships, 3 work placements and 2 full-time places .
All the attendees had the chance to talk informally to local tradesmen about what it’s like to train and work with organisations including; Mears, East Kent Housing, Swale Heating, WW Martin and Town and Country Cleaners. Thanet and Canterbury Colleges were on hand to give out information about local training courses and CSK (formerly Connexions) and Kennedy Scott attended to give advice on getting into employment.
Practical and fun assessment sessions tested candidates’ aptitude at plastering, wiring electrical appliances and deciding how to prioritise a repairs’ request from a Council tenant. Each of the employers have shortlisted their most promising applicants.
Local MP, Sir Roger Gale visited the event and said “It is a great credit to Mears and the supporting sponsors that in spite of appalling weather and competing Saturday afternoon attractions so many, mostly young, people turned up in search of job opportunities, apprenticeships, training and skills. And it is an equal credit to those young people – and great example to others – that they turned out to try their luck. The feedback that I received , as I visited the various presentations, was highly positive”.
Tim Goss from East Kent Housing said "It was a terrific day and a great way for many of EKH's contractors to work together to promote and provide local opportunities - Well done Mears!”.
The event also received great feedback from applicants. Ashley Dury, 24, said “The group sessions and layout of the event worked well. I enjoyed the experience and it was a good insight of what would be expected of you”, and Victor Komolafe, 31, added that the event “gave me confidence to find a job”.
Successful or not in securing one of the many opportunities on offer, we hope that all candidates will gain valuable experience and confidence in talking to employers and will find out more about the sort of work that is on offer locally.