Work experience success for local lads

Release Date: 14-Feb-2014
A work experience scheme in Lowerhouses and Primrose Hill is being hailed as a great success by all those involved.
Joel & Steve (Gecko), with Ryan & Rodwell. Photo courtesy Huddersfield Examiner

Joel & Steve (Gecko), with Ryan & Rodwell. Photo courtesy Huddersfield Examiner

KNH and contractors Landscape Engineering and Gecko Property Solutions have organised two twelve-week paid employment and two volunteer work placements for unemployed residents to help them gain experience and skills and develop their CVs.

The placements were funded by the neighborhood focus regeneration scheme, and the Council’s Tenant Led Budget scheme, which aims to improve employment opportunities for local people.

With support from KNH’s Outreach Team and the Council’s Integrated Youth Support Services, the positions attracted applications from several local people.

The two successful applicants who have gained temporary employment, Ashley Randle and Antony Docherty, have been working with Landscape Engineering on a project to revitalize the environment on and around the Armitage Street and Greenwood Street area of Primrose Hill. As part of their contract, Landscape Architects use local labour where possible and worked with KNH to ensure that short term employment was available for the duration of the contract.

A further two applicants, Ryan Gilroy and Rodwell Khumalo, have taken on a volunteering role with Gecko Property Solutions, on a project to improve the landscaping around the Lowerhouses Lounge ( a Young People’s Centre in Lowerhouses.) Ryan and Rodwell are learning building and construction skills whilst on site with Gecko.

All four have been put through site safety training to allow them to be on the two sites. This has been funded through KNH.
According to Ashley “I’ve enjoyed putting my college training into practice and gaining experience on site.”

Anthony agrees, saying, “It’s been great finding a new job in something I enjoy doing, and I appreciate all the help KNH and the Outreach team have given me.”

Darren Waring is a youth worker for the area. He said, “this is a really good example of different services working together with local residents to make a difference. The lads have put a lot of effort into updating their CVs and looking for work so it’s been good to be able to link them into these opportunities.

“They’ll all go away from the projects with a lasting legacy of the work they have done and will have improved community space within Lowerhouses.”

Gary Birdwell, Director of Landscape Engineering, said: “we’re a local, family-run company so it’s really important to us that we can help support schemes like these.

“Ashley and Antony have learnt a great many skills including team working, health & safety, site rules and procedures, grounds working and gardening and have also gained a lot of confidence in the workplace.

“They have been a real asset to us and we hope the experience they have gained will help them in the future.”

Cllr Cathy Scott is the Cabinet member responsible for investment and housing. She said: “business growth and jobs are a key priority for the council and schemes like this are one way that we can achieve it.

“Lack of recent experience or skills are major barriers to finding work, but placements such as these can really give people a competitive edge and I wish Ashley, Antony, Ryan and Rodwell every success.”

Area Housing Manager Paul Hertzberg, who oversees the scheme, said: “As well as looking after the houses and estates here, a key aim for KNH is to help communities be successful. Helping our tenants and residents get into training and employment is a really important way of doing that.

“This is a small scheme but one that we hope will make a real difference to the residents involved – and one that could be used in other areas too. These young people volunteered to improve the area in which they live and improve their future job prospects. Like many other young people-they just needed to be given a chance.

• KNH’s 'Tenants into Work' scheme helps customers find jobs and training. If you would like to find out more about how they can help you, please call 01484 221569.
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