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Westward's partnership with Jobcentre Plus reaps benefits

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Westward's partnership with Jobcentre Plus reaps benefits

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Published by Slough for Westward Housing Group in Housing

Westward Property Services' Jack Slater Westward Property Services' Jack Slater

The latest success story from Westward Property Services’ (WPS) joint working with Jobcentre Plus has resulted in a permanent role for one of our volunteers Jack Slater after only a month.
WPS has been actively working with Jobcentre Plus to offer voluntary work placements for the unemployed as well as local colleges and volunteers are regularly accepted.
Jack, 20, has been appointed as a contract coordinator starting on June 30 after impressing on four weeks of voluntary unpaid work experience with Westward and passing a rigorous application and interview process.
He had been unable to work for two years due to caring for his mother after an accident but was ready to look for work experience through Jobcentre Plus following extra support from members of his family.
Jack, who has qualifications in Physics, Further Maths and Chemistry, said he was initially pleased to gain some long-term work experience from WPS after some initial short-term roles with a number of local businesses.
“Working at WPS helped me regain my confidence in the work place so that when this opportunity came up for employment I felt ready to apply. Getting a permanent job so soon was more than I could have hoped for and I am looking forward to working with a great local employer,” said Jack.
Volunteers can be long-term unemployed or those with little or no experience of work. Candidates can be with WPS for up to eight weeks gaining experience by working out and about with our tradesmen or in our Tarka Office in Bideford.
Sahara Stockwell, Employer Adviser at Bideford Jobcentre, said: “Work experience is a great way for people to get a feel for working in a particular job and to prove themselves to a prospective employer. We are delighted that Jack took full advantage of the opportunity.”
WPS Senior Contracts Coordinator Patricia Shaw said they were initially unsure how Jack would cope working in an office which can be very hectic.
She said: “Jack very quickly helped us with filing, data analysis and reporting and proved to be a whiz with computers and numbers. He then did some further analysis work for our IT Manager on our gas appointment booking system and was always willing and happy to do what was asked of him.
“In the interview he was self-assured, relating his experience to how he could fulfil the needs of the role. He has settled in brilliantly and has proven to be organised, process driven and calm.”

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