Pioneering Job Ready Programme offers vital employment advice to Brent, Harrow and Tower Hamlets residents
Young people in Brent, Harrow and Tower Hamlets who are struggling to find employment are encouraged to sign up for an innovative scheme which will help get them on the career ladder.
Leading housing organisation Network Housing Group (NHG) has joined forces with youth charity Futureversity for the second year running to offer the Job Ready Programme – an initiative for 16-25 year olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).
Youngsters from Brent, Harrow and Tower Hamlets are being targeted for the scheme which offers vital employment advice and support.
Sheriesa Naicker (22) was struggling to find a job before taking part in the Job Ready Programme last year.
She said: "I read about the Job Ready Programme on the Futureversity website and thought it would increase my prospects of finding work. It looked really appealing.
"There was a lot of one-to-one mentoring, they really got to know us, and the whole process kicked-started my career."
Not long after completing the programme Sheriesa was offered permanent employment with NHG and is currently working towards becoming a qualified accountant.
She added: "The quality of my job applications improved significantly after the course. I started getting interviews, which had never happened before."
Recent figures released by the Government show that there are almost one million young people between the ages of 16 and 24 across England who are NEET. The Job Ready Programme is hoping to go some way towards reducing these numbers in London.
Futureversity and NHG’s Job Ready Programme teaches participants interview techniques and shows them how to write the perfect CV and cover letter. It also allows them to gain an insight into a range of professions in order to make informed decisions on their career direction. Those on the 11 week course will also have the opportunity to spend time with older people from NHG housing schemes who can share the stories of their youth with them.
Participants will also receive a two week work placement within Network Housing Group.
Patron of Futureversity, Benjamin Zephaniah, who is one of the most well-known figures in contemporary English literature, recently praised the scheme. As someone who left full-time education at 13, Zephaniah can empathise with youngsters who come under the NEET category.
The poet, playwright and author said: "The great thing about Futureversity and the Job Ready Programme is that it’s very practical. It focuses on what the students can do, whether that’s music or journalism or photography – I think one of the problems is that society is so driven by different groups who keep saying everyone has to go to university.
"I am a professor at Brunel University and passionate about higher education and getting the most out of our young people – but not everyone has to go to university. We must develop alternative routes to employment.
"Futureversity gives people hope. There are a lot of young people out there who really want to make something of their lives and Futureversity allows them to see that there are things out there for them."
Lola Ahonkhai, Job Ready Manager is keen to see young people from Brent, Harrow and Tower Hamlets sign up to the scheme.
She said: "Our dynamic Job Ready Programme gives young people employability training which is both practical and fun. Job Ready is designed to re-energise young people who have found themselves not in employment, education or training as well as open them up to career options they had perhaps not previously considered. Signing up to this programme will kick-start your journey into employment."
The next programme, delivered in partnership with housing association, Network Housing Group, is 2 October-13 December 2012. If you have any enquiries about the programme, contact the Job Ready team on 020 7247 7900 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Job Ready Programme visit: http://www.futureversity.org/content/1556/Job-Ready
NOTES TO EDITOR:
Claire Brooks | email@example.com | 0844 842 5241 | 07789 721543
Suzanne Hart | Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org | 0844 842 5240 | 07730 415096