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A group of long-term unemployed people in Hull have secured jobs through the Green Port Hull Pathway to Employment programme, which has been created to give people the opportunity to access jobs in the manufacturing and emerging renewables sector.

From left: David Ralph, HR Manager at Atlas Leisure Homes, and Jeremy Gale, Production Manager at Atlas Leisure Homes, with new recruits Jason Williamson and Michael King

The programme, which provides nine weeks of training and work experience, was introduced last year, with the first group of 20 candidates starting in January. Since their training and placements came to an end in March, 10 of the trainees have been offered jobs with some of East Yorkshire’s biggest manufacturers, including Atlas Leisure Homes, Willerby Holiday Homes, Continental Leisure Vehicles and glass supplier and processor Kwik Tuf.

The innovative Pathway to Employment programme is being delivered by Hull City Council, Unity Training and Jobcentre Plus, helping people to develop their skills and assist people back in to work. The next group of candidates began their training in early April, with work placements starting on Monday 9th May.

Leader of Hull City Council, Councillor Stephen Brady, said:

“The Pathway to Employment programme is a brilliant initiative which has proved that it can deliver genuine results for people to find long-term, viable employment following a bespoke 10-week training scheme.

“By working closely with Jobcentre Plus and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the Green Port Hub, in Hull Central Library, has been instrumental in helping to deliver these results, and it is encouraging to see that nine candidates are already in full-time employment. This demonstrates the solid commitment the Council has towards getting people back in to work. 

“With the combined Siemens and ABP investment in the city, aspirations within the local community have been raised, and it offers those interested in pursuing a career within the manufacturing sector the chance to improve their existing skills base, in turn creating well-rewarded jobs.”

Gill Dillon, Senior Operations Employer and Partnership Manager at Hull Jobcentre Plus, added:

“The Pathway to Employment programme aims to support local people in accessing the skills and training that they will need to apply for the jobs Green Port Hull will generate. We are delighted that it’s proving successful and that a high number of candidates are landing themselves full-time positions within the manufacturing sector. I hope the programme continues to flourish and that we can provide many more unemployed people in the city with skills, qualifications and, ultimately, jobs.”

Michael King, 56, from west Hull, was unemployed for over four years before enrolling on the Pathway to Employment programme. He was offered a job as an operative with Atlas Leisure Homes at the end of his placement there.

He said: "I'd spent most of my life as a semi-skilled joiner, working on contracts all over the country. It was when a project I was working on in London came to an end that I found myself unemployed and struggling to find work.

"It's so pleasing to be back into work. I feel as though I have got some self respect back and I'm enjoying my new role. I'm learning new things every day and building on my existing skills."

The Pathway to Employment programme has come at a crucial time for Atlas Leisure Homes, as they enter full capacity due to a flurry of orders.

David Ralph, HR Manager at Atlas Leisure Homes, said:

"When Unity Training contacted us, we were keen to get involved. Our ethos here at Atlas is to provide long-term, sustainable employment for people in East Yorkshire, with training and development high on the agenda.

"Michael has shown real dedication and is now in an operative role, which is what we need to cope with the manufacturing demands. The quality of his work has been of a high standard and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next cohort can bring us. The Pathway to Employment Programme is a great scheme and will keep our industry supplied with skilled individuals.”

greenportenquiries@hullcc.gov.ukUnity Training who deliver the curriculum will be working closely with those who did not manage to secure a role over the next six months to help them find suitable roles.

James Hartwell, Training Manager at Unity Training, said:

“The Pathway to Employment has been a great success so far. We have been able to engage with 40 participants who have been long-term unemployed. The firstgroup has enjoyed the programme and it’s a fantastic opportunity to help develop people so they can get back into the manufacturing industry.

“The participants gain qualifications that boost their CVs and the work placements are great for getting them back into the routine of a working day. It has given them real drive to get back into employment.”

Information about the Pathway to Employment programme is available from the Green Port Hub, situated in Hull’s Central Library. The Hub is open: Monday and Tuesday, 9.30am to 5pm; Wednesday, 1pm to 7.30pm; Thursday, 9.30am to 7.30pm; Friday, 9.30am to 1pm; and Saturday, 10am to 4pm. A Siemens recruitment representative will be based at The Hub each Friday. For more information, call 01482 613875 or email greenportenquiries@hullcc.gov.uk 

Visit http://greenporthull.co.uk/thehub for more information.

Businesses interested in supplying work placements for future cohorts should contact Liam at Unity Training on 01482 852292 or email liam@unitytraining.org.uk