An East Midlands housing association has helped some of its out-of-work customers get job ready with a week-long course designed to boost confidence and sell themselves to potential employers.
Seven customers of Futures Housing Group, provider of around 9,100 homes in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire, have attended careers sessions in Ripley, Derbyshire to help them learn how to put together better job applications, write covering letters, build their CV and sell themselves during an interview.
The course was run in conjunction with Access Training, a further education company which is co-owned by Futures and Nottingham Community Housing Association, and was targeted at customers who had found it hard to find work as part of a project dedicated to helping people kick start their careers.
One of the people on the course, Andrew Gerrard, 37, from Ripley said: “I’ve got a lot out of this course. It’s really good how the trainers explain things in a way I understand and I can work at my own pace. I have trouble reading and writing but they have supported me through this and helped me to achieve.”
Another attendee, Chloe Twiname, 18, from Alfreton said: “I’ve enjoyed the interview sessions and finding out what to say as I’ve never been to one before. I’ve also learned how to act and it’s given me more confidence to attend an interview.
“I’ve also enjoyed being in a group and working together, getting ideas from others and making suggestions too.”
Futures Housing Group Customer Experience Director Suki Jandu said: “Offering skills and employability opportunities is one of our key objectives as an organisation. It’s important that we invest in our community and give our customers the chance to earn a wage so that they can live independently in their homes.
“Projects like this give people the belief in themselves to go out and find a job that they enjoy. It’s great to hear about their positive experiences of the course.”
Kathryn Harrold from Access Training said: “We’ve been running activities all week to help the group unlock their potential and find out what they’re good at so that they can apply that to a job situation, and it’s been brilliant to talk to each of them about their own individual experiences.
“By talking to them and working with them, we’ve identified skills and experiences that employers are genuinely looking for.”
Futures Housing Group Employability Officer Jenny Ball said: “The skills and employability programme we’re running takes people from all different phases of their careers; from work experience, and apprenticeships through to those that have been out of work for a long time.
“The major issue for a lot of the people we talk to is confidence, but once we start talking to them about what skills and experience they already have you can see the turnaround in their mind set and confidence in their own ability.”
The skills and employability programme at Futures Housing Group, known as Futures Gateways, was recently nominated for a national award for its commitment to helping people get into work and volunteering.
The Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) awards, shortlisted Futures after the programme helped 16 customers into work and delivered more than 200 one-to-one careers advice sessions.
For more information on Futures Gateways and Access Training, click here.