Seven jobseekers from Stoke on Trent are set to be the first to complete a pioneering programme run by the Army in the West Midlands this week.
Midland SPEAR (Supporting People into Employment with the Army Reserve), which was launched last month, will see the first recruits graduate from the course on Friday, December 13th in a presentation at Trinity Street Training Centre, Hanley, from 1.30pm.
The individuals have undergone an exciting and intensive four-week course designed to give them skills, confidence and ultimately increase their employability.
Run in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, Job Enterprise Training and Stoke on Trent College, it is hoped the success of the course will now lead to the scheme being rolled out nationally.
Major Toby Kendall Brigade Commander, Brigadier Gerhard Wheeler CBE and Warrant Officer Ray Miller will be attending the ceremony. Brigadier Gerhard Wheeler CBE will present the students with their certificates of achievement.
The SPEAR course saw the group learn workplace skills in a military environment conducted by the Army Reserve Training Centre Donnington, which included team building exercises, health and safety tasks as well as first aid.
The candidates also got a work placement provided by Riverside Housing and a week at the Trinity Street Training Centre, run by Stoke on Trent College, learning IT skills, CV building and interview techniques.
It is now hoped the recruits will join the Army Reserves on a more permanent basis to help them find full-time employment.
Jacky Silk, Programme Team Leader at Stoke on Trent College, said: “SPEAR is an innovative partnership which is now set to provide an exciting, and potentially life-changing, opportunity to individuals in the local area.
“As part of Stoke on Trent College, we are very passionate about addressing employability among young adults and tackling unemployment across Stoke on Trent, so the SPEAR scheme ticks all the right boxes for us.
“Following the success of its initial take up, the SPEAR project holds enormous potential for jobseekers in the area and we are delighted to be a part of it.”
The Army Reserve aims to recruit up to its full manning of 30,000 trained soldiers, with up to an additional 8,000 soldiers in training, to provide an integrated and trained Army by 2018.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the SPEAR project should contact Ray Miller, Community Engagement Warrant Officer at HQ 143 (West Midlands) Brigade, Copthorne Barracks, Shrewsbury, SY3 8LZ, or call 07970578524.