City Council scheme opens doors to employment and training opportunities

Press Release: 20/06/2017

Cllr Humby, Katie Lynas and Leslie Horrigan

In a work placement scheme organised by Winchester City Council, District businesses are helping local job seekers find employment. Since January this year over 25 businesses have signed up to the scheme, supporting over 30 trainees to secure high quality work placements and training opportunities devised to build skills for work in areas such as catering, construction, retail, cleaning, customer service and data entry. Jobseekers and businesses are being invited to join the scheme.

The Council’s scheme co-ordinator, Carolyn Jay, tailors the work placements around each job seeker’s individual needs and hours. Although there is no requirement for trainees to be in receipt of benefits, the scheme also looks to secure training or apprenticeship opportunities for people registered as unemployed.

Winchester resident Leslie Horrigan spent two weeks on a work placement with idverde, a Winchester City Council contractor for horticultural and street cleaning services. He said:

I learned new skills, improved my health and safety awareness and was given the opportunity to try something new. I felt nervous at the beginning but I quickly settled in after my induction. idverde are a great employer to work for and I now feel more positive about my future job prospects.

idverde Manager, Katie Lynas, added:

Les worked really hard during his placement and we would certainly consider employing him should we have the chance in the future. We were delighted to offer him this opportunity.

Councillor Rob Humby, Winchester City Council, commented:

Work placements can give job seekers experience of a new area of work, help them to improve their existing skills and learn new ones. They also help build self-confidence - vital for people who have been out of the job market for a while. In the end, getting people back to work benefits the community as a whole and the degree of take up across the district and demonstrates a high level of corporate social responsibility from local businesses. We are delighted with the initial response from businesses to this scheme, and the positive feedback from the job seekers taking part means we know it is making a difference to people’s prospects.

This local initiative builds on a successful employment mentoring programme, delivered by national charity Sova, and recruits and trains volunteers to support unemployed people across the Winchester District find jobs and improve their IT skills. If you are a business located in the Winchester District and would be willing to provide a work placement for a job seeker, or a job seeker looking for a work placement, please contact Carolyn Jay on 01962 848 417, email cjay@winchester.gov.uk or visit www.winchester.gov.uk/business/employment/work-placement-scheme