An initiative designed to help the region’s long-term unemployed into careers in the renewables sector is celebrating a successful first year.
Last year, Green Port Hull’s Pathway to Employment scheme saw 70 people complete the course, and helped 48 of them gain jobs as a result.
Such has been the success of the project that it has been extended to create another 40 places for trainees this year and next.
The innovative programme is being delivered by Hull City Council, Unity Training and Jobcentre Plus, and is funded by the Regional Growth Fund, via the Green Port Growth Programme.
James Hartwell is training manager at Unity Training, which provides an intensive five-week training course, followed by a five-week work placement, for each of the trainees taken on by Pathway.
He said: “This is a success story, not only for local businesses but also the state, because it is getting the long-term unemployed into work.
“To have 70 people complete the course was about our target, but to have 69 per cent of them now in work is above our expectations.”
A number of companies that have been hosts for placements – the tailored work programmes are specific to the manufacturing, renewables and engineering sectors – have ended up offering full-time work to the trainees.
“Kwiktuf glass company in Hull has taken on nine people and Atlas Leisure Homes took on five people in December,” said Mr Hartwell.
Other firms that have employed Pathway trainees have included Willerby Caravans, Fox Corrugated Machinery and NR Burnett.
“One of the guys who went to Paul Hood Flooring has decided to go self-employed.”
Candidates who have completed the Pathway programme have spoken about being given relevant qualifications and the drive to do something with their lives.
“I really love this programme,” said Mr Hartwell, “and the whole team do. We are doing so much to help people and it’s raising the profile of the city and ridding it of the stigma that is has been associated with for so long.
“We are all so passionate about what we have done, what we have achieved and what potential we can achieve.
“We are actually getting some of the employers we are working with saying, ‘We have this vacancy. Have you got someone who can fill it?’.
“We want even more companies to come on board with us now, with our trainee numbers being increased.”
Gill Dillon, employer and partnership manager at Hull Jobcentre Plus, said: “Pathway to Employment is a really good programme because it is supporting people who have been unemployed for more than six months, some of them for several years.
“When it is advertised across our centres, people are really keen to get involved.
“I think it really demonstrates the fact there are jobs out there and, with the right support and training, people can access these jobs, and real credit goes to Hull City Council for putting this in place.”
Councillor Martin Mancey, portfolio holder for Energy City, said: “The Green Port Hull Pathway to Employment programme has been really successful with around 69 per cent of people who have taken part finding employment so far.
“The project has been so successful that the Green Port Growth Programme Management Board have approved the provision of additional 80 project places over the next two years.
“We will continue to help people to get the work-based skills they need to find work in the renewable, manufacturing and engineering sectors.”
More information about the Pathway to Employment programme is available from the Green Port Hub at Hull’s Central Library. Call 01482 613875, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit greenport hull.co.uk/thehub for more information.