Gateshead College help hundreds back to work

Friday 18 January 2013

As the Government’s Work Programme faces criticism for failing to hit targets, it’s encouraging to see that the College’s employability training programme is seeing success; more than 900 people have completed the training so far, with over half of these now in employment. This represents a 57% success rate, 3 times higher than the national average for similar types of job training and creation schemes. In Liverpool, the initiative has been so successful that 80% of people who completed the course have gone on to find employment.

A team of 35 trainers from Gateshead 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 training included delivery of a range of free-standing individual NCFE Employability units. The delivery of these units to unemployed learners is now fully funded through the Single Adult Skills Budget or as part of ESF Response to Redundancy.

The move has equipped hundreds with new-found skills and confidence to secure jobs as forklift truck drivers and warehouse operatives among other roles with major employers 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 4 week course at one of the academies. 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.

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