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350 jobless do work experience in Blackburn
A SCHEME to get people back into work by undertaking work experience has had an uptake of 350 people in Blackburn.
The government initiative, which is voluntary and does not affect the benefits that people can claim, offers people the chance to undertake unpaid work experience to improve their CV and skill set. Minister for Employment, Mark Hoban, has praised businesses and charities in the town for helping people into work by taking part in the government initiative.
Figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions show 350 people in the town have taken part in the work experience scheme since January 2011.
Another 120 people in the town have had work experience placements in a specific sector, with added training and a guaranteed job interview.
However the number of people offered jobs from work experience placements were unavailable. Mr Hoban said: “I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to business owners in Blackburn for helping so many young people to get their foot in the door by offering them a work experience placement.
“Helping them to experience the world of work increases their chances of moving into a job. I would also like to appeal to other local businesses who aren’t yet involved in the scheme to get in touch with their local jobcentre and give many more young people like them a chance.
“It can be good for your business too as young people bring with them new ideas and enthusiasm which can help your business to expand and grow.”
‘It enabled me to stand out from the crowd’
ONE of those to benefit from the work experience scheme is 53-year-old Lynne Hargreaves-Walker.
Despite having many years’ experience in project management, Lynne found herself unemployed and had numerous job applications rejected because of the competition from people with similar expertise.
After three months being unemployed Lynne went on a work experience placement at Positive Footprints in Rosegrove, Burnley, where she impressed bosses with her skills and was offered a permanent managerial job within the company.
Now, Lynne finds that she is the one to give advice and guidance on employment as part of her job visiting schools and speaking to pupils.
Lynne said: “Doing work experience at 53 may seem a bit of a step backwards to some people but it enabled me to stand out from the crowd and prove what I could do. It’s resulted in me getting back in to work in a job I really enjoy.
“Undertaking work experience gave me the chance to show what skills I had and get to know people in the company and show how I could fit in with the team and the company ethos.
“I would recommend anyone to just go and get stuck in because it might lead to a permanent job opportunity.”
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