Long term job seekers in Pendle are working on Pendle Council’s frontline crews and many are making a fresh start into work.
David Alexander, Pendle Council’s Senior Environmental Officer said: “We’ve teamed up with Nelson Job Centre Plus and Lancashire Adult Learning to find new recruits for our recycling, waste collection, street sweeping and litter picking teams.
“We provide work placements for long term unemployed Pendle residents by providing work experience with our crews.
“At the end of the placement we give participants who’ve worked well the chance to apply for two jobs with us,” he explained.
“It’s a win win. People get back into work and we get tried and tested new recruits,” he said.
Lancashire Adult Learning helps the scheme by providing health and safety training and other training to help them achieve a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)
David added: “We now have over four staff with permanent jobs on our front line who’ve benefited from this initiative and they provide valuable services to local residents.”
Jason Potts who works for the Job Centre’s Employer Relationship Team said: “By working in partnership we’ve helped to make a real difference to people’s lives.
“Being jobless in the long term is a major challenge for people.
“That’s where our work coaches can help – by building confidence and looking for opportunities to turn things around for individuals,” he said.
“Job Centre Plus is there to help people find work, including people who’ve been jobless for a long time,” said Jason.
One such individual is 22 year old Joshua Bullen from Brierfield who was supported by Work Coach, Sarah Halford from Job Centre Plus on Netherfield Road, Nelson.
Joshua explained: “I’d had ongoing issues around anxiety and depression and I was living in supported accommodation in Nelson.
“I honestly thought I’d be spending my life on benefits.
“But my Work Coach, Sarah Halford encouraged me to apply for work experience on the front line with the crews at Pendle Council.
“Sarah was amazing! She helped me get prepared for my interview and build up my sense of self- worth and confidence.
“Thanks to Sarah, I was successful in getting employment with Pendle Council.
“It felt great to come out on top for something as I felt I had never achieved anything up to that point,” said Joshua.
Sarah Halford, Joshua’s Work Coach said: “It’s lovely to see him. Josh was one of those people who come into Job Centre Plus with
no confidence and no clear direction.
“It’s really rewarding to work with people like Josh to build their confidence and give them the tools to get a job,” she added.
Talking about his new job at Pendle Council, Joshua said: “I love it. It’s given me a new purpose and I take pride in my work, going above and beyond to do the best I can.”
Other people who’ve come through the same work placements scheme include John Eastwood from Earby who’s now been working at Pendle Council for five years. John said:
“I’ve never had a day off or been late in all of my five years at Pendle Council!”
And Kyle Bashford from Nelson, joined the team over a year ago after being unemployed for eight years said: “I’m very happy to get this job. I didn’t want to do factory work again.”
Thanks to support from Nelson Job Centre and Pendle Council, Joshua added: “I am now looking to the future and am saving some of my wages so that I can get out of supported accommodation and into my own place.
“Through Sarah’s continued encouragement I have achieved things I never thought I could and I cannot thank her enough,” he added.