Council celebrates 100th work experience placement

Jamie Waller, left, with staff at Age UK Horsham District in Horsham town centre (submitted).

Jamie Waller, left, with staff at Age UK Horsham District in Horsham town centre (submitted).

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The council is celebrating the 100th work experience placement it has provided for a young person in the Horsham district in partnership with JobCentre Plus.

Jamie Waller, 18, from Horsham, has been given a placement doing work experience at Age UK Horsham District where he has been working in the kitchen alongside the Lavinia House team.

Jamie’s role has included preparing food for the two course lunches for its members, learning about special diets, serving teas and coffees, and helping with the running of the service.

The Government’s voluntary work experience scheme, ‘Get Britain Working’, is continuing to be successful with the district’s youngsters, who need to be aged between 18 and 24 and claiming Jobseekers Allowance to take part.

Since January 2012, the council and its partners have provided 100 young jobseekers with valuable and meaningful work experience placements in departments within the council as well as at other partnership organisations.

This in turn has led to around two thirds of these young people going on to find paid employment, some within the businesses they worked at, and some elsewhere.

The young people have completed two to eight week placements, during which time they have been able to ‘upskill’ their administration and office skills, as well as complete project work to give them something to discuss with potential employers, including an up to date reference.

Employers said they have been impressed by the quality of the work that they young people have been able to produce, as well as the voluntary aspect of the programme and the improvement in employability skills such as communication, literacy and IT.

Minister for employment, Mark Hoban, said: “Through our work experience scheme we’re giving young people the opportunity to prove themselves to employers, and make themselves invaluable.

“These are great opportunities for employers too, allowing young talent to be developed and making sure prospective employees know what the world of work is all about.”

Roger Paterson (Con, Pulborough and Coldwaltham), Horsham District Council’s cabinet member for the local economy, added: “Congratulations to Jamie for being the 100th young person in the Horsham District to take up the opportunity of a job placement.

“I’m sure this scheme’s success in providing work experience will help provide impressive evidence on the CVs of all these young people, and greatly assist their future opportunities to find more rewarding employment.”

Janice Leeming, chief executive officer at Age UK Horsham District, said: “We have been absolutely delighted to host work experience placements within the charity and have been very impressed by the skills and enthusiasm on offer.

“We have a wealth of interesting projects for young people to be involved in from running their own administrative projects to helping develop multi-media promotional material to working with our busy catering team to develop new products - we would welcome more young people coming forward to talk to us about opportunities.”

For more information on the work experience scheme in the Horsham district, contact Jan English, the council’s work experience co-ordinator by emailing jan.english@horsham.gov.uk or call 01403 215262.