Housing Trust lends a helping hand to the unemployed
Published by Laura Beckett for Halton Housing Trust in Housing and also in Communities, Education, Environment
Derek Tuer, 49, and Mark Heymans, 43
Two Halton Housing Trust customers who have been unemployed for more than 15 years between them have started work placements.
Derek Tuer, 49, and Mark Heymans, 43, are working in the Trust’s Landscaping Team for eight weeks and they hope to inspire others to follow their lead.
Mark suffers from depression and has been unemployed “for years” after working at a farm for over a decade. He wants to encourage other long-term unemployed people to consider voluntary work: “Many unemployed people my age get put off work placements because you don’t get paid, but having voluntary experience on your CV can really help in the long run. I’m really enjoying my placement -it’s good to keep motivated.”
Derek, from Runcorn, has struggled to find employment since he was made redundant in 2001. Derek worked on a private estate in southern England for ten years but when he returned to live in Runcorn, he couldn’t find work. He said: “I’ve been doing voluntary work since 2008, mainly in landscaping as it’s all I’ve known. Placements are great because it gives people experience of a job and hopefully improves our employment chances.”
Environmental Services Team Leader, Balazs Varga, has been supervising Derek and Mark: “At Halton Housing Trust we like to create opportunities for local people. I really admire Mark and Derek - they have both been out of work for a long time, but they decided to apply. We were impressed with their strong motivation to improve their lives. They are doing really well and have become valuable members of the team over the last few weeks.”
Sue Baxendale, Director of Human Resources, said: “We have been increasing the work we do to provide our customers with opportunities that will give them a greater chance of getting into employment.”
“We have started to offer work placements to our customers because it really does help improve their job chances and I’m thrilled that we have been able to give Derek and Mark an opportunity. Voluntary work and work experience can make a real difference as it enables people to develop the skills and experience that employers want. Quite often this will give applicants an edge because it shows they are serious about their career.”
Halton Housing Trust is committed to helping local people improve their life and wealth chances. We currently employ ten apprentices who work across a variety of different departments ranging from Construction Services through to Human Resources and Housing Services and provide paid internships via the Career Academy, where young people experience work in a number of different areas.Two former Construction Services apprentices have recently secured permanent roles at the Trust after successfully completing their studies.
If you are a customer looking for employment, training or voluntary work, please contact Debbie Jameson on 0151 510 5185 or Michelle Phillips on 0151 510 5184.