Some of East Yorkshire’s largest manufacturing firms are preparing for the renewables industry’s demand for skilled workers by taking advantage of the Green Port Hull Pathway to Employment programme.
The scheme has been created to supply workers to businesses in Hull and the East Riding who may be faced with recruitment needs in the wake of emerging renewables projects, and give training and job opportunities to the longterm unemployed.
The programme, which provides ten weeks of training and work experience, was introduced last year, with the first group of 20 candidates starting in January.
To date, 22 trainees have been offered jobs with companies including Swift Caravans, Atlas Leisure Homes, Willerby Holiday Homes, Continental Leisure Vehicles and glass supplier and processor KwikTuf.
Michelle Saville, HR manager at KwikTuf, in Wincolmlee, Hull, said: “What initially attracted us to the programme was the fact that, as a Hull business, we could assist the local, long-term unemployed in getting back into work.
“At no cost to us, we were able to help people gain experience, skills and confidence in a manufacturing environment. However, we discovered it’s also an excellent way for us to recruit staff and we have taken on six people through the scheme, as it offers a 20 per cent wage subsidy for the first 12 months of employment.”
The innovative Pathway to Employment 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.
During the first five weeks, participants receive valuable, relevant and funded training such as health and safety, first-aid, use of tools and equipment, as well as softer skills training such as team building and communication.
Bob Ferraby, Green Port Growth Programme’s skills and development lead, who is heading up the Pathway to Employment programme, said: “In addition to providing excellent opportunities for the long-term unemployed, the Pathway to Employment programme is helping businesses prepare for the employment churn we will face as renewable energy projects in the region pick up pace.
“As a city, we have a thriving manufacturing industry, but demand for workers will increase and we need to make sure there is the supply to meet this. The feedback from companies involved in the programme has been excellent so far.”
James Hartwell, training manager at Unity Training, said: “The Pathway to Employment programme is proving a successful method of recruitment for businesses. It allows them to get to know the skills and capabilities of potential new employees before taking them on.
“Not only is it having a positive impact on businesses, but it will also bring benefits to our local economy and employment market when the renewables projects in our region really start to take off and more skilled workers will be needed.”
Gill Dillon, senior operations employer and partnership manager at Hull Jobcentre Plus, said: “We are delighted with the high number of candidates who have gained full-time positions within the manufacturing sector. The programme provides a low-risk recruitment route for local businesses.”
Information about the Pathway to Employment programme is available from the Green Port Hub, in Hull’s Central Library. Call 01482 613875, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit greenporthull.co.uk/thehub for more information.
Businesses interested in supplying work placements for future cohorts should email email@example.com or call Unity Training on 01482 852292.