London's largest college today launched a Sector Based Work Academy for all those aged 19 plus , in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance and genuinely interested in working within the construction sector.
On the day when employment figures reached a 17-year high of 2.64 million, Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, officially entered into this Sector Based-Work Academy (SBWA) in collaboration with employer CC Developments UK 2007 Ltd and Job Centre Plus (JCP) to provide a solution to tackle the growing number of locally unemployed.
SBWAs were first introduced in August 2011 as part of the Get Britain Working measures which encourages the JCP, providers and employers to band together to match local people to employment opportunities.
Darren Bolger Managing Director of CC Developments UK 2007 Ltd, the 'inventor' of this particular programme, approached the JCP in West London with a host of opportunities and apprenticeships putting in motion his desire and vision to play an active role in ensuring local people could access these opportunities.
The College, with a reputation for providing quality award winning programmes with learners at its heart and, with its well-established relationship with the JCP was the learning provider of choice to join the SWBA as its Pre-Employment Training Provider.
Mr Bolger said "This partnership will ensure that those who have been unemployed for a period of time will have every opportunity to regain skills or obtain new skills. We are offering a complete package of support for those that want to turn their lives around."
The six-week programme will provide students with an Ascentis accredited Entry Level Certificate in Introduction to Employment in the Construction Industry which will include classroom and on-site training. Students are guaranteed a job interview for a full-time or apprenticeship position on completion and, if they undertake an apprenticeship with CC Developments UK 2007 will be given 1% share in the business.
Kam Babrah, Account Manager, Jobcentre Plus, West London said "Sector-based work academies gives individuals the skills and experience they need to take up jobs in their local area. This scheme offers jobseekers in West London a real opportunity to gain the vital skills and work experience to start a career in the construction industry with guarantee of an interview for a job or apprenticeship at the end."
An enthusiastic audience had many questions for presenters including concerns around the issue of childcare. Mr Bolger responded by saying "if you commit your time to this programme, we will work with you no matter your circumstances." Encouraging words that left no further room for excuses and seemed to provide comfort and reassurance that the Partnership were fully committed to their success.
A new student who enrolled after the presentation commented "There are very few opportunities that will provide you with a guaranteed job without a CV or application form. I am excited that I will be starting 2012 on a course that will teach me a trade. Maybe I will start my own business in a couple of years."
Sandra Balthazaar, Lead for the JCP Relationship at the College said "in an environment where all news is not sounding good, we want to be part of the solution and help those who come forward in any way we can get into employment and the SBWA is a wonderful way to make that happen. From the turnout and engagement from attendees it is clear that this Partnership is offering much more than just another scheme."
The first group to go through the SBWA will start on 9thJanuary 2012, classes will be kept to a minimum of 20 to ensure each student gets the right level of guidance and mentoring.
Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College offers a range of higher education qualifications designed in close collaboration with employers and universities. To find our more call our College Information Centre on 0800 980 2175 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit wlc.ac.uk