Companies based in the North East working together with The Cyrenians’ on Business in the Community’s Ready for Work programme (part of the Business Action on Homelessness Campaign) have helped 64 people into employment in the last 12 months.
At an event on Thursday 26th April hosted by Carillion at its Regent Centre headquarters, the 73 work placements and 64 permanent jobs were celebrated by employees, trainees, employers and trainers alike from across the region; Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham and Tees Valley.
Notwithstanding the challenging market conditions, The Cyrenians Employment programme has succeeded in supporting over 220 people, who were vulnerable or suffering from exclusion such as homelessness, through training and re-employment programmes. Most have been referred from organisations such as Crisis, the Salvation Army, The Cyrenians, Five Lamps in Middlesbrough and SHAID in Co Durham.
The 64 permanent jobs include full time appointments including IT technicians, HR advisors, finance officer, senior business administrators, concierges; retail assistants; support workers, warehousemen and apprentice craftsmen including joiners and turbine technicians.
The jobs are with a number of businesses either based in the North East or which have significant North East operations. Businesses supporting the programme include:
- Marks & Spencer
- Coast & Country Housing
- TCUK Property Services
- Barclays Bank
Celebrating the success of ‘Ready for Work’, Stephen Bell, OBE, Group Chief Executive of The Cyrenians, said:
“These results speak for themselves – The Ready for Work programme is an excellent, value for money and recruitment process. Both job-seeker and employer have the opportunity to effectively ‘try before they buy’. Over 60% of people going to work placement have moved into permanent jobs.
“Our team spends a lot of time in proper preparation with both job-seekers and employers and provides ongoing, common sense support for both.
“Employers are responding really positively to these basics – they know we understand their needs and that everyone they take on is a properly qualified candidate and a realistic prospect of working in that role in the long term. After that it’s down to personal chemistry between the people themselves.”
Jane Braybrook, Community Liaison Manager from Carillion explained:
“We have been particularly impressed with the Ready for Work programme; it’s delivered great results for us over many months.
“We’ve recruited 12 people so far and we will continue to offer both work placements and jobs. The Ready for Work team is a preferred supplier for us for recruitment in the region – I’d encourage any company currently recruiting – and there are lots out there - to get in touch.”
A Ready for Work client said;
“‘Head held high’, a feeling of self-worth and the pride in ‘contributing to society’s purse’ are phrases I honestly thought would never be uttered by me again, following my struggle with addiction. Here I am, 15 months into my permanent contract and still as motivated and grateful as the day I finished ‘Ready 2 Go’ training.’ Ready for Work has been life changing for me.”
Anne Wilmot, Business Action on Homelessness Director, Business in the Community said;
“To date, this has been the most successful Ready for Work scheme nationally in terms of the number of sustainable jobs achieved in the shortest time from the launch. We are delighted.
“Ready for Work is life changing. It’s important to remember that every single job here is a personal story which represents real achievement, courage and commitment; and symbolises triumph over adversity. Well done to everyone and thank you for the inspiring example you have set and your continued hard work.”
Val Nevin, Group Assistant Director of The Cyrenians who is responsible for delivering the Ready for Work Programme in the North East said:
“This is a momentous occasion for many people. We are so grateful for the belief and support shown by everyone here – trainers, trainees, employees and of course employers.
“We’ve achieved so much – but we have scope to deliver much, much more. I’d like to invite everyone to pledge to support Ready for Work – it’s so easy... companies can offer training space, work placements, work place visits as well as job opportunities... the list is endless.
“And I’d like to reassure businesses of all sizes of the value of the service – we believe we can help you to reduce your recruitment costs significantly whilst improving the chances of finding someone who is a perfect fit to your needs.”