News
 

Unemployed to paid through partnership working

Date : 2014-05-30


“Every young person will have the personal confidence, skills and
opportunities to contribute and achieve more than thought possible.”

 

The Build Surrey steering group and Surrey County Council worked in partnership to
identify forthcoming employment opportunities on Surrey County Council construction
contracts. Each construction site managed by Osborne aimed to provide social
employment and training opportunities through various initiatives. The south-west
employment development officer (EDO) assessed sites that may be suitable to offer
work experience or paid work opportunities and then discussed appropriate timings
with site management.
Osborne communicated entry level roles in Surrey five months before starting
recruitment, on a new school build in Deepcut. A gate person was required to
manage the deliveries and traffic on-site, book in visitors and communicate personal
protective equipment (PPE) requirements. Applicants had to have a Construction
Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) card and be able to get to Deepcut for 7.30am, plus
work for at least eight hours per day.
A number of young people supported by the Youth Support Service were interested
in applying for the role however transport and CSCS challenges meant no suitable
applicants were available at the time of recruitment.
The EDO partners with a wide range of not-for-profit organisations, charities and local
government organisations and distributed the role to local service providers. Ethos, a
Guildford based employment and housing charity, was working with a 23 year old
man who met the requirements. Stefan had been unemployed for nine months and
had a young daughter and partner to care for, and another baby on the way. The
EDO met the young man and introduced him to the site manager at Osborne for an
interview. Stefan discussed his previous experience, how he would travel to work and
even offered suggestions on improving security at the main gate. Osborne was
impressed.
Osborne offered Stefan a 12 month contract, likely to be extended to 18 months. In
addition to full time paid work Stefan was provided with ‘vehicle banksman’ training
that qualifies him to direct site vehicles safely. Stefan started work at the beginning of
April 2014.

 

Hudson Holt, Site Manager for Osborne:
“It has been great to see Stefan take ownership of his responsibilities. He is always
punctual and hasn’t been phased by the rain, despite the five miles of cycling to and
from work. Having someone so reliable has made the management of the site much
easier for us.
“Stefan is forthcoming and has communicated new ideas for site entrance security
and controls, becoming an invaluable member of the team. Stefan communicates
well and is good at exerting authority over drivers with regards to ensuring site
security procedures are followed and delivers the site induction in a practical and
professional manner, making sure drivers and visitors do what we need them to do.
“We now plan to provide Stefan with first aid and fire marshal training, in addition to
the vehicle banksman training he has received.”

 

Femi Yusoof from the Ethos Project:
“Before being referred to the ethos project in Guildford [a housing and employment
project that supports local residents into employment and training] Stefan had been
out of work for just over nine months. He was briefly on job seekers allowance (JSA),
but decided to come off JSA and not sign on. Stefan had worked in various customer
service and labouring roles in the past.
“Other than his CSCS card, he had no other specific qualifications, but had good
computer skills and customer service skills and a great desire to get back into
employment. Stefan has been offered a full time role, paying well above minimum
wage. This is a great example of partnerships working together to solve local resident
challenges and problems.
“I would like to thank Jessica Brush for her tireless work in keeping us updated on
progress and highlighting the job vacancy in the first place. We certainly need more
big companies such as Osborne coming forward to support our community project,
helping local residents to find work.”

 

Jessica Brush, Employment Development Officer (south-west):
“This is a great example of how working in partnership can support businesses,
charities and the local community on so many levels. Surrey is lucky to be able to
work with organisations such as Osborne who deliver on their offers and genuinely
incorporate social employment into their contracts.”