Work experience scheme provides steps to employment
Published by Becki Ord for IPB Communications in Housing and also in Communities
Winston Meredith is now working with Keepmoat on the regeneration of Pendleton Together
A WORK experience scheme to help unemployed Salford residents get a foot on the career ladder has had its first success story and promises many more opportunities for people looking for a job.
The scheme run by Pendleton Together, the £650 million project regenerating Pendleton in Salford, offers jobseekers the chance to gain eight weeks’ work experience in a variety of different roles.
The consortium behind the regeneration of Pendleton plans to offer around 2,000 placements over the next 30 years and wants to hear from anyone interested in gaining work experience.
Winston Meredith, 51, is the first person to benefit from the scheme after being referred by Jobcentre Plus, after being laid off from his job as a security guard at the beginning of the year. The father-of-four had experience working in construction, but was struggling to find full-time work.
He spent eight weeks working on site with the scheme’s construction partner Keepmoat as a labourer. Fearing he may never work again, Winston was delighted when Keepmoat offered him a full-time role with the company.
Winston said: “I was really worried when I lost my job in February last year. I have a mortgage and feared I would never work again. I was willing to try anything that would help me back into work and thought this experience would stand me in good stead, even if I wasn’t offered a job at the end.
“Being out of work really knocks your self-esteem, so it was brilliant to be offered a full time role. I would recommend this scheme to anyone who wants to take a big step forward in getting back to work.”
Winston, who started a 12-month contract with regeneration specialist Keepmoat at the end of November, is now hoping to gain more qualifications and wants to become a gas engineer in the future.
He said: “I am over the moon and my kids are so proud of me. This job has given me hope for the future and it is great to be part of a scheme which will see the lives of the people of Pendleton changed forever.”
Jean Thompson, Supporting Communities Manager with Pendleton Together, said: “The scheme is offering many places for people wanting to get back into work.
Winston is just the first and a great example of how undertaking work experience can lead to future full-time roles. We have many work experience opportunities and we would urge people to get in touch if they want to find out more. ”
Frank Mondino, Keepmoat Area Director, said: “We were delighted to be able to offer Winston a full time job. He is hard working and has already become a valued member of the team.
“Anyone undertaking construction work experience on this project can expect to leave site with the experience they need to find a full-time role.”
The project, which aims to breathe new life into the Pendleton area of Salford, will see more than 1,600 new homes built and 1,250 existing homes refurbished. There will also be huge changes across the community including new parks, open spaces and even a community farm.
Work experience opportunities are available in a range of jobs including labouring, joinery, environmental services, administration and civil engineering, and are open to people of all ages.
Assistant Mayor for Employment, and Langworthy Councillor, Paul Dennett said: “I’m delighted for Winston and his family that he has been given this new opportunity. He’ll get his self-esteem back, learn new skills and help to build a better future for Pendleton’s residents.
“The Creating a New Pendleton scheme is helping to transform the area and now it is changing lives.
“The scheme will make a huge difference to the local area, bringing new housing, new jobs and opportunities, and new business to Pendleton.”
In addition to the new homes, the regeneration of Pendleton is set to generate 500 jobs; create 24 new small and medium business enterprises; provide skills training for 3,200 local people and 2,000 work experience opportunities.
The consortium, Pendleton Together, which is delivering the regeneration project, includes social landlord Together Housing Group and building and regeneration specialist Keepmoat. Pendleton Together is working in partnership with Salford City Council.
For more information on the training opportunities available please visit the website http://www.pendletontogether.co.uk/looking-for-a-job/ or call 0300 555 5567.