March 2, 2012
With high unemployment nationally, even work experience can be difficult to secure. But Mayor Sir Robin Wales has commissioned a new scheme which gives the long term unemployed a chance to get back into work, and get paid while trying to get there.
We’re determined that the impact of the Games won’t affect the quality of life for residents. That’s why we’re recruiting almost 200 new street cleansing operatives – 60 of which will be employed via the Mayor’s Work Experience Programme.
Delivered by Workplace, the council’s job service, in partnership with East London Business Alliance (ELBA), the programme gives residents a week of training and a paid work experience placement that could lead to fixed term employment.
Robert Commodore from Stratford is one of the first to benefit. The former caretaker was made redundant during the recession. He said: “For two and a half years I was looking for work, applying and not getting a response. When the JobCentre suggested I visit Workplace I didn’t expect much. But it was the best thing I did.”
A training course prepares candidates for work by providing them with key skills and interview preparation. Robert said: “It was really good to meet people who were in a similar situation to me; it made me realise that I was not alone.”
After passing the course, Robert was offered three months’ work experience with the council’s cleansing team and paid the national minimum wage. After a glowing start and a successful interview, he has an eight month fixed term contract. After finishing three months paid work experience, he received a backdated payment which increased his wages in line with the normal salary for this role. All participants who complete the scheme receive this payment whether they continue their employment with the council or not. Robert is also receiving ongoing training.
Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: “The longer you’ve been out of work, the tougher it is to find a job. The work experience programme helps unemployed residents by giving them training and a paid placement which could lead to work. Most importantly they get new skills, confidence and something that updates their CV to give them a better chance of securing future employment.”
Let us sweep you off your feet If you’re looking for work go to your local Workplace in Stratford, Canning Town or East Ham. Please call 020 3373 1101 to find out more.