A unique Wolverhampton scheme aimed at boosting residents' career prospects has been hailed a success.

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The Park Village Employability Scheme, which was set up to help people overcome barriers stopping them accessing job opportunities, has helped people get back into work or on to training programmes.

The 12 week coaching and mentoring programme was co-ordinated and delivered by Manjit Cheema and Karen Sahota, from the North East Neighbourhood Services Team.

It focused on the needs of each individual and helped to build their confidence and motivate them to achieve their career goals.

In all, 15 residents took part with 2 gaining employment and 1 with a job interview coming up shortly.

Other successes have included 1 resident taking up an apprenticeship in hospitality, 2 moving onto train as teaching assistants and another exploring setting up a catering business with her husband.

Some of the residents involved in the programme have also gained qualifications by attending courses provided by Wolverhampton College in Food Hygiene, Introduction to Care Work, First Aid, Manual Handling, Risk Assessments etc.

The Park Village Employability Scheme has been run in partnership with a number of providers who have contributed to its success including the Wolverhampton Adult Education Service, Wolverhampton College, YMCA and Aspiring Futures.

Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "We are delighted with the success of this scheme.

"We are committed to helping people get back into work or training to help them boost their career prospects and this programme has helped achieve that.

"Credit must go to all the learners and to Karen and Manjit for their hard work to ensure the scheme was a success."

Sue Lindup, Constituency Manager, North East, Neighbourhood Services Team said: "Congratulations to everyone who has taken part in the scheme.

"This has been an innovative approach to working in a small community area where unemployment rates are high.

"With the skill and expertise of Neighbourhood Services staff, many of those who attended have managed to gain additional skills, the confidence to apply for jobs and in some cases have secured a job in a relatively short space of time. This level of intensive support has really made the difference."

Kirstie Marie Taylor, who has successfully found employment, said: "I have found it very difficult to find work but I feel this scheme helped me to achieve my ambition of gaining employment as a Carer with Sevacare".

Joanna Jodin, who attended the programme and will be training as a teaching assistant, said: "I particularly found that the coaching and mentoring programme very useful as the one to one support and the training sessions were appropriate to my needs and gave me the guidance and confidence to overcome the barriers I was facing in progressing my career."

  • released: Wednesday 9 April, 2014