Don Valley MP Caroline Flint has thrown her weight behind Our Community, a new work experience initiative to help young people into work.
The MP launched the initiative at a breakfast briefing for employers at the Keepmoat Stadium this week.
Said Caroline: “So many young people finish school or college and get trapped because employers are looking for people who have some experience in the workplace. The Our Community initiative aims to break that cycle by encouraging employers to offer work experience.
“The event had attendance from large established firms like Robin Hood Airport, Omega, Redline Aviation, Polypipe and Wavin, through to small employers like The Vanilla Rooms in Bawtry. I’m very pleased with how positive employers were.
“But most important, I believe firmly that this project can change the lives of some of these young people and lead to apprenticeships and permanent jobs.”
Said Alison Waller, Head of Human Resources at Omega plc, “I was very encouraged by the initiative. There are certainly advantages for firms like ours who want to find motivated, unemployed people from the Thorne area who might enjoy working for us. This initiative gives us a few weeks to get to know them, and if it doesn’t work out, they don’t lose any benefits. Firms as large as ours always have to prepare for staff leaving unexpectedly on occasions, and this initiative may help us fill those gaps and protect our reputation for local employment.”
Said Ed Termini, Managing Director, Redline Aviation Security Ltd: “I was delighted to join Caroline to see what we could do to help young people into work. This scheme is very low risk to employers, and because it is not compulsory for the young people who might come to us, they have an opportunity to get to know us, and ensures we don’t exploit their goodwill. We would never want a young person to walk away feeling they had been let down, but with nearly 70 staff and growing we want to find staff for the future who would like to work in our industry.”
Caroline Flint is working with Communitas, the training arm of Community Union, Jobcentre Plus and City of Liverpool College to ensure the success of this initiative. Under the Our Community work experience initiative, employers offer between 16 and 30 hours each week for between two to eight weeks. The scheme is entirely voluntary. The young person doesn’t lose benefits while on the scheme and has their travel to and from work paid. Before they go into the workplace each young person receives two weeks pre-employment training.
PHOTOS - Top: Partners at Work - L to R Christina Shepherd, Head of Skills & Learning at Communitas, Ian Hanks Jobcentre Plus, Caroline Flint MP, Sean Scorer, Regional Organiser, Community Union and Colette McKenna, City of Liverpool College
Below: Employers who attended the event, which included large employers such as Robin Hood Airport, Polypipe, Wavin, Omega, Redline Aviation Ltd through to small firms such as The Vanilla Rooms, Bawtry.