UK Government

Tower Hamlets, London Borough of (London): Skillsmatch and Learn Assist Ltd honoured at National Training Awards 2010

Press Release   •   Oct 27, 2010 13:07 BST

Photograph attached: (from left to right) Andre Burwood and Verity Panter from Learn Assist

Tower Hamlets Council’s employment project Skillsmatch has once again won national recognition for its services – this time for the support provided to unemployed residents seeking work in the security industry.

Skillsmatch and local trainer Learn Assistant Ltd received a National Training Award for their combined contribution to training and development at the Greater London National Training Awards ceremony on October 12.

Skillsmatch was launched in 1997 in response to the evolving skills needs of local businesses, and the demand for an intervention to raise the achievements of job seekers.

The service has helped over 6,700 residents into work, and provides access to pre-employment training, work placements and vacancies in a range of sectors.

Andre Burwood, Access to Employment Coordinator at Tower Hamlets Council said: "Our partnership is an excellent example of how public and private sector organisations can work together to deliver significant community benefits within deprived areas.

“The involvement of Learn Assist has ensured that the training has been industry-linked from the start, and that Skillsmatch has been able to deliver against its primary objective of helping to reduce worklessness.”

In 2008, only 55.7% of residents held a level 2 qualification. Coupled with increasing demand for trained security guards, an opportunity existed to engage with unemployed residents, and prepare them for work with industry-recognised SIA training.

Skillsmatch worked with Learn Assist, a training firm affiliated to the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and based in Tower Hamlets.

The two organisations developed a training programme aimed at giving trainees the relevant licences, and a health and safety card so that they could access construction sites as well as retail and corporate-based vacancies.

In 2009, the scheme had 128 trainees, 109 of whom were benefit claimants. The training led to 105 securing employment, mostly with industry leading companies like G4S, Mitie, and Charter Security.

Notes to editors

Each new entrant into the security industry can expect to earn around £18,000 a year. Skillsmatch conducts post-placement support for up to 52 weeks, to ensure new employees are supported tosustain employment.

Run on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) by UK Skills, the National Training Awards inspires and encourages UK industry to invest in training and development as a route to achieving outstanding organisational and individual success. Winning an Award is recognition of best practice and provides a benchmark for standards of excellence in training in the UK. City & Guilds is the premier sponsor of the 2010 National Training Awards.

· Skillsmatch and Learn Assist Ltd will now be invited to the National Training Awards 2010 UK Ceremony, being held in London on Wednesday 1 December. At the ceremony, UK Winners will find out whether or not they have won the overall Winner of the Year Award for their category. They will be up against all the other UK Winners from across the UK in competition for these top awards.

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