Chickenley work experience scheme success

Release Date: 06-Jun-2013
A work experience scheme in Chickenley is being hailed as a great success by all those involved.
Liam Bowness prepares a garden, ready for the fencing scheme

Liam Bowness prepares a garden, ready for the fencing scheme

KNH and contractor Gecko organised two eight-week work placements for unemployed residents to help them gain experience and skills and develop their CVs. The placements were funded by the neighbourhood focus regeneration scheme, which aims to improve employment opportunities for local people.

With support from the Chickenley Community Centre’s job club, the positions attracted applications from 10 local people.

The two successful applicants, Daniel Blackburn and Liam Bowness, have been working with Gecko on a project to prepare the estate for a fencing project. As part of their contract, Gecko use local labour where possible and worked with KNH to ensure that short term employment was available.

A third applicant, Liam Smith, has taken on a volunteering role with the KNH estate caretaking team. He’s shadowing the team and helping with small jobs, gaining valuable experience that he’ll also be able to use in the job market.
According to Daniel and Liam, it’s been a great experience and a good opportunity to expand their knowledge. They’ve also both found it very rewarding to make a difference to the community where they live.

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

“Daniel and Liam 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 Peter McBride is the Cabinet member responsible for investment and housing. He 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 Liam, Daniel and Liam every success.”

Area housing manager Lisa White, 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.”

KNH also has a Kirklees-wide 'Tenants into Work' scheme, a joint initiative with Jobcentreplus aimed at helping 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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