Young people in Birmingham are amongst the hardest hit in the UK by unemployment during the recession, but thanks to funding we are helping them back into employment.
The Future Jobs Fund (FJF) was a government scheme aimed at creating 170,000 jobs across the UK for young and long-term unemployed people and generated paid work placements to benefit communities and give people a foot on the employment ladder.
Although the new coalition government has decided to end the FJF we want to highlight what the scheme has allowed us and the people we have been able to offer placements to achieve.
We received funding from the FJF through a national partnership between Groundwork UK and the National Housing Federation. Be Birmingham , the city’s local strategic partnership, has also provided funding to offer placements.
In total we have offered 29 six-month placements within the business.
We have already seen 14 FJF employees work with us from November 2009 to January 2010 and four of these have since secured fixed term contracts with us, three have gained permanent employment externally, and one has returned to college, which is an excellent result.
A second group of 15 FJF placements started with us in March 2010.
Kandyce Downer, our training and employment coordinator, explained: “Birmingham has one of the highest proportions of unemployed young people in the UK.
“These are real jobs. We have seen what these employees have to offer and it has been refreshing for staff to have people on FJF work placements coming into their teams.
“We have been lucky to get a real mix of people on the work placements. We have young people who have never worked before, others who have been made redundant, and lone parents who have had to stop work to bring up a family and are now coming back into the workplace.”
From painters and decorators to customer service advisors and project workers, placements are offered across all areas of the business through the fund.
Family also offers people on the placements in-house training once a week. This includes an introduction to social housing, confidence building, CV writing, interview skills and team building, as well as giving everyone on a placement the opportunity to gain an NVQ in customer service delivered in partnership with Accent on Training.
For more information on employment and training initiatives at Family Housing Association please contact Kandyce Downer on 0121 766 1100.