Cestria ambassadors help young tenants prepare for workplace
Published by Ailsa Macmillan for Cestria Community Housing in Housing and also in Communities
Housing association staff have become ambassadors to help the next generation of tenants in County Durham to enhance their employability skills.
Seven members of staff from Cestria Community Housing, in Chester-le-Street have become Business Ambassadors for the Durham Education Business Partnership (Durham EBP), which is part of Durham County Council.
Durham EBP aims to bring businesses and education together to enrich the education of students and to enhance their employability skills.
The members of Cestria staff who have signed up to become ambassadors have already undergone training and have attended a number of school events.
Arshia Bhatti, Corporate Services Officer at Cestria Community Housing, said: “We are one of the biggest employers in the Chester-le-Street area and we want to support our residents as much as possible to create a vibrant community.
“This initiative is a great opportunity to help our next generation of residents and tenants to get the skills they need for the workplace for the best start in life.
“We are really pleased so many of our staff are happy to volunteer and get involved; its a great opportunity for staff development too – young people have a lot to teach us as we have to teach them.”
Cestria staff have worked closely with pupils from Park View School on the Building Brighter Futures project to create a leaflet aimed at tenants aged 16 to 25.
They have also been given challenges designed to educate them about working within the housing sector.
Within the project they have learnt about different careers within the industry and experienced mock interviews, career profiling, business events and various workshops.
Sandra Stephenson Business and Learning Coordinator at Durham EBP, said: “Key to the success of Durham EBP is the excellent support we receive from local businesses.
“Cestria Housing is a highly valued organisation which has made a significant contribution to our work in schools.
“They took their involvement in the Building Brighter Futures project very seriously and nine Year 11 pupils from Park View School have gained valuable knowledge and experience of the world of work as a result.
“Cestria developed a number of interesting and informative challenges designed to develop the pupils employability skills, introduced them to members of staff from key areas of the business and offered individual support and advise of how to become a successful future employee.
“The Cestria staff are excellent role models for young people and a credit to their organisation.
“We are delighted to have developed such a successful partnership with them and are very grateful for their support.”