Housing Trust helps IT boffin get foot on career ladder
Published by Laura Beckett for Halton Housing Trust in Housing and also in Communities, Education
Michelle and Eric
A man who has been unable to work for two years due to an industrial accident has been handed a lifeline by Halton Housing Trust.
Technology-mad customer Eric Pniewski is looking forward to starting a HND in Computing and Systems Development at Riverside College in September, all paid for thanks to a bursary from Halton Housing Trust’s Customers Into Employment (CIE) programme.
Polish born Eric, who moved to the UK in 2005, previously had a career in warehousing - but an industrial accident meant that he had to take time off work to recover, avoiding any physical activities. Eric said: “I’ll be 36 soon and it’s never too late to change careers. I’ve always been interested in technology, so I’ll be hopefully turning my hobby into a career. I also really enjoy photography and I’ve been taking photos since I was nine.”
As well as paying for Eric’s HND course, the Trust also paid for Eric to complete an NVQ IT Technician course last year and gave a bursary for a new printer.
The funding came from the Trust’s CIE programme, an initiative that helps customers to find meaningful work, training and volunteer opportunities in a bid to reduce unemployment in the borough. As well as offering a job vacancy matching service, the team provides bursaries to help customers kick start their careers.
Michelle Phillips, customer involvement officer at the Trust, said: “Eric is a great example of someone who wants to change his life and he’s been a pleasure to work with. When you meet Eric, it’s obvious that he loves technology and he would be an asset to any employer. He’s also a fantastic photographer, which is another string to add to his bow.”
Since the programme was launched in August 2012, the Trust has issued 33 bursaries that have been used to pay for college courses, work licences and equipment.
Michelle continued: “We offer bursaries to our unemployed customers, ultimately to help them in their search for work as courses can be quite expensive. Over the last twelve months I’ve met so many talented and ambitious people - they just need a little bit of help to realise their goals.”
As the majority of jobs are now advertised online, the team also work with customers to improve their IT skills by helping them to set up email, search the internet and find the best internet and computer deals by linking up to any funding.
If you are a Trust customer and want to find out more, contact Michelle on 0151 510 5184 or Debbie Jameson on 0151 510 5185.