Real Business Support

The current economic climate presents challenges for employers, but there is positive work taking place that directly benefits local businesses – and gives hope to Staffordshire jobseekers.

Stoke on Trent College offers a comprehensive and wide-ranging approach, with various programmes and initiatives in place to support the local economy.

Its service delivery centres on the development of a sustained and rewarding partnership with employers – and support and guidance to help people find their way in the workplace.

Included in the College’s offer is a service where employers can gain commercial advantage, through voluntary work placements.

The College manages work placements, working closely with employers across the county and on a national level, to satisfy the needs of companies and workers alike.

Work placements offer a range of benefits. For employers, the ability to tap into additional labour resources is invaluable, and the service offers a highly-effective method of addressing short and medium term recruitment.

The placements also enable existing staff to develop their supervisory skills and mentoring skills.

Stoke on Trent College has supported jobseekers into work placements across a range of industries and situations. It works hard to ensure employers have the right candidate from the start.

In the future the scheme is likely to be utilised by even more businesses and organisations, following the Government’s announcement that it is to fund 100,000 work experience placements in the recent Budget.

Doug Mills, Director of Burslem-based ALFA Concrete, is a supporter of the College’s work placement service. He said: “Placements are a worthwhile way to give unemployed people a chance to show their potential and provide them with new skills.

“It’s a great way for our business to recruit tried and tested individuals.”

Darren Green, Senior Regeneration Manager at Aspire Housing, Newcastle-under-Lyme, is also supportive. He said: “Having a graduate on placement has enabled us to engage free of charge with a capable and qualified individual.

“This has given the organisation additional capacity and eventually resulted in the graduate securing a position with us.”

Andy Greenhough, Director of Employer Engagement at Stoke on Trent  College, said: “Work placements act as a flexible platform for companies to sustain growth. They are of particular value in the current, more cautious jobs market.”

Another successful programme from Stoke on Trent College is the Skills For Employment initiative, which for more than 12 years has delivered vocational training to unemployed adults across Staffordshire.

Working in partnership to help tackle unemployment, Skills For Employment has aided thousands of adults into jobs, with tailored support and training.

Stoke on Trent College provides a ‘one stop shop’ for employers and clients – delivering integrated employment and skills solutions, including the provision of both pre-employment and in-work training, such as apprenticeships and NVQs.

In the last 12 months, the Skills For Employment team has worked closely with more than 100 medium and large employers across Staffordshire, providing recruitment solutions that have resulted in more than 700 unemployed adults successfully securing sustainable employment.

With three clients a day on average gaining employment, and more than 800 apprentices and 2,000 NVQ students on the 2010/11 programme, the figures show the scale of training offered to the community.

A winner of a Local Employer Partnership Award (LEP) and National Training Award (NTA) the Skills For Employment approach is innovative and includes a tailored Access to Apprenticeship programme, to support the transition from being unemployed to entering employment.

This year, the College will also be offering a comprehensive choice of sought-after accredited training programmes, to help people gain and sustain employment.

Lisa Davies, Recruitment Manager at Stoke on Trent College, said: “We understand and respond to the skills’ needs of the local community and workforce, deploying an employment and skills strategy that meets Staffordshire’s economic needs and the Government’s world class skills agenda.

“Our approach is to develop people and grow skills for business.

“It is crucial to address skills gaps in the UK economy and Stoke on Trent College prides itself on meeting these challenges and providing a best fit solution for individuals and employers alike.”

Interested candidates and employers can call 01782 603117 or email to find out more

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