Nottingham City Homes (NCH) is helping unemployed local people into work through ten new trainee posts as part of its Step Ahead employability programme.
The programme, which has been joint funded by NCH and Rebalancing the Outer Estates Foundation, and delivered in partnership with Nottingham Jobs Hub, has been set up to provide support for locally unemployed people and includes 30 hours per week paid work experience as well as employability skills training which will be delivered one day a week by Access Training.
The ten trainees are now out in the workplace with teams from Nottingham City Homes and contractor organisations including VPS who are also supporting the scheme.
The trainees will spend six months working on a rotation of placements which will enable them to spend time with different teams and organisations gaining a range of experience and skills.
David Pearce, 46 trained as an engineer and having enjoyed steady employment in his earlier career, has found it more difficult to find permanent work in his industry and thought the Step Ahead programme might provide an opportunity to re-train, he explains: "It’s become really difficult to find work in the area I trained and I’ve been looking for a new career path for a while, I need something that gives me stability.
"I found out about this programme through Business in the Community and applied straight away, I’m an NCH tenant so I already knew about the organisation and the kinds of jobs available but I thought caretaking would offer a broad range of skills that I’d be able to apply to lots of roles. I’ve spent a few weeks with VPS now and we go into empty properties to prepare them for new tenants. We do everything from clearance to general cleaning and just making sure the property is ready for people to move into."
Jason McCormack has spent his first few weeks with NCH’s caretaking team, he said: "I’ve been working on jobs across the city. I’ve been able to do so much different stuff, from general care-taking duties at flats to garden maintenance and clearing alleyways for tenant access. I thought I’d just end up doing one job, I didn’t expect to get to try so many different things."
Nottingham City Homes aims to be able to help participants gain permanent employment during the six month rolling programmed and will continue to offer paid work experience to other unemployed residents.
Chief Executive at Nottingham City Homes, Nick Murphy explains: "We wanted to be able to support members of our local communities who have been unemployed for a while and lack the experience or qualifications to access work. We set this project up.
to offer Nottingham residents real life work experience, to get training and to get paid at the same time. We are a major local employer in Nottingham, and support the Council’s Business Charter which aims to create employment and training opportunities for local residents. This project is a very practical example of doing just that."
Graham Allen MP, Chair of Rebalancing the Outer Estates Foundation adds: "Rebalancing the Outer Estates Foundation is delighted to have partnered with Nottingham City Homes to offer traineeships people in Nottingham North. This practical support and experience is a great way for our local people to progress. This is particularly important in Nottingham North, which is currently the UK's second most deprived constituency in terms of education and skills. We wish the trainees every success with their future careers and look forward to following their progress."