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Dream job has home comforts for Sean

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Published by Becki Ord for IPB Communications in Housing

Sean Parkinson spent almost two years searching for work Sean Parkinson spent almost two years searching for work

A Salford man who feared he could be left on the unemployment scrapheap says he’s ‘thrilled’ to have landed a job helping to regenerate his own community.

Sean Parkinson spent almost two years searching for work before finally securing a role working on part of a £235 million project to improve more than 14,000 homes across West Salford owned by City West Housing Trust.

The 23-year-old from Pendleton was initially given a six month role as an admin assistant with City West after attending on open day for the Future Jobs Fund (FJF) initiative. But after impressing bosses he was put forward for a full-time post with Keepmoat, one of the contractors carrying out the work. 

“Like a lot of people I know, I struggled to find a job when I left education,” explained Sean, who is a former Pendleton College student.  “I had a few odd jobs, but I spent the best part of two years unemployed.

“I heard about an open day being held by City West to help people in the area looking for jobs. From that event I managed to secure a temporary position through the Future Jobs Fund working for City West. “I did well in that position and received some training and got put forward for a job with Keepmoat.

“I’ve now been taken on in a full time role and I’m thrilled I can keep working on the scheme. I feel I’m finally on track with building a career and can start looking to the future.”

City West is currently carrying out an investment programme to refurbish thousands of homes across West Salford with new kitchens, bathrooms, heating systems and double glazed windows. Keepmoat is working with the West Salford-based housing association on its homes in Eccles.

Sean was amongst 65 local people who have landed work on the project through the Future Jobs Fund, which provides jobs, training and work experience opportunities for young unemployed people.

Before taking up his post with Keepmoat, Sean undertook a training course run by City West, designed to build his confidence and prepare him for the world of work.

The ability to plug the skills gap and create jobs during a period of economic uncertainty is testament to the commitment of City West and its contract partners. The skills programme will mean an estimated 250 new jobs by 2013, of which almost two thirds will go to unemployed people from Salford.

Sean’s new job sees him working closely with residents in the area to make sure they are happy with the work being carried out on their homes. As part of his new role he also completed his Business and Administration NVQ Level 2 course and after six months as a trainee was offered a full time role with the company.

Sean added: “I love the fact that I work on a project that is helping improve people’s homes in the area where I grew up. I often get letters from people saying what a great job we’re doing and how the regeneration scheme has improved their lives.

“It’s great I’ve been able to finally get my career on track and I’ve already asked about a management training programme with Keepmoat, so hopefully I’ll be able to climb the ladder here.”

Keepmoat Director Paul Hughes said: “Our partnership with City West has helped a number of young people into work in their local area.

“We saw a lot of potential in Sean when he first started working with us and were delighted to take him on full time. Hopefully he will be able to build a bright future with the company.”

Colette McKune, Deputy Chief Executive of City West, added: “City West is committed to supporting people in our communities who are looking to find employment and build careers in this tough economic climate.

“Through our investment programme we hope to create around 250 jobs for local people, while improving homes for thousands of our customers in the area.

“There are a lot of people who live in our communities who are currently out of work, but are determined to find employment. Sean is a shining example of how we are helping people meet their goals by creating and identifying opportunities.”  

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