A local housing association is offering an employment boost by taking on new recruits under an initiative to get young people into work.
Amber Valley Housing has created two work placements through the Future Jobs Fund, with recruits Tom Fox (aged 24) and Kayleigh Skellett (aged 18) based at its offices in Derbyshire.
Launched by the previous government, the Future Jobs Fund aims to provide placements for 18 to 24 year olds who have been out of work for more than six months and are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Each six month placement will focus on a different area of the business, with positions in customer service and business development.
The placements are designed to help build experience in the working world while developing the skills required to access other training and job opportunities in the future.
Paul Parkinson, executive director at Amber Valley Housing, said: “Latest figures show that nearly 30 per cent of those claiming unemployment-related benefits in the Amber Valley Borough are aged 16 to 25.
“We hope offering young people work experience in an office environment will help them to develop skills which will improve their chances of employment in the long run.”
Amber Valley Housing is part of Futures Housing Group, which has created a total of five positions through the fund.
Tom, from Belper, left school after taking A-levels in maths and business. He didn't want to go to university as he was worried about mounting up student debt, and instead joined his father's tiling business as an apprentice tiler.
Unfortunately, there wasn't enough work to support them both, so he started to apply for other jobs.
He said: "The biggest barrier was lack of experience and that was why I was getting turned down. My advisor at the Job Centre suggested this position through the Future Jobs Fund. It is ideal for me because it gives me the experience I didn't have, even if it is only for six months it will give me an important first step on the ladder.
"I have started in the HR team and my manager is keen to ensure I get access to as wide a range of roles as possible. I have already been able to take up extra training, such as completing a first aid course, which is good for my CV. I believe the placement will really expand my chances of future employment."
The initiative is part of the organisation’s commitment to tackling worklessness, which includes training and volunteering opportunities and two electrical apprenticeships.