College training helps hundreds back to work

A team of 35 trainers from the college’s Business, Innovation and Development (BID) department travelled to the West Midlands and Merseyside to deliver job specific training to unemployed people at special skills training academies.

The move has equipped hundreds with new found skills and confidence to secure jobs as fork lift drivers and warehouse operatives among other roles with major employers in Liverpool and Birmingham like Jaguar Land Rover and logistics firm DHL.

All those who underwent training were guaranteed a job interview with a local employer if they completed the four week course at one of the academies.

More than 900 people have completed the college’s training so far, with over half (532) of these now in employment.

This represents a 57% success rate, which is three times higher than the national average for similar types of job training and creation schemes – in a recent Ofsted report on Skills for Employment, the average job outcome rate from 31 providers was only 19%.

In Liverpool, the initiative has been so successful that four-fifths (80%) of people who completed the course have gone on to find employment.

The BTEC Level 2 in Lean Organisation Manufacturing Techniques and Level 1 in Warehousing training were designed to meet the needs of employers byGatesheadCollege, who also helped people improve their job prospects with presentation, interview technique and CV writing skills teaching.

Some of the participants were also offered the chance to take a course to improve their basic literacy levels to ensure they would be able to complete the training.

This latest news comes on the back of other success for the college – during the academic year 2011/12, training delivered by the BID team helped a further 1,500 people back into employment.

Mick Brophy, managing director for business, innovation and development at the college, said the initiative’s success was down to the quality of the training, which had been tailor-made with specific jobs in mind, and employers helping to design courses to meet their workforce needs.

“The training has not only met employers’ needs but equipped people with the skills and confidence to work again.

“Large volumes of learners have now completed the programme and it’s a credit to the training staff, together with the commitment of the learners, that so many are able to leave unemployment behind and return to work.

“The number of people converted to full time employees is excellent and well above the national average for this sort of programme.

“Moreover, the skills gained should stand them in good stead as their careers progress within over the coming years.”

The training was delivered in conjunction with the college’s strategic partner NAC who were also involved in sourcing the jobs. The training is due to continue into next year with the aim of maintaining the high employment success rate.