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Over the past five years employment coaches at a Teesside Welfare-to-Work initiative have helped more than 1000 lone parents find sustainable work.
In these challenging times, Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG) is helping to reduce unemployment levels by helping local job seekers find their dream jobs and two key coaches in this area are Donna Woods and Kaye Ryan, who on average help at least 4 people into work each month.
Donna and Kaye deal directly with clients on a personal basis, supporting them by breaking down any barriers preventing them entering work, establishing a career direction and then supporting into employment.  Coaches also work closely with clients who have moved into work by providing continued assistance to ensure the employment is sustained.
Donna, herself a 36-year-old lone parent of three, was referred to PPDG in October 2005 from Job Centre Plus as a client looking for work.  Within one month her experience as a receptionist in the Middlesbrough office enabled her to realise her true calling as an employment coach, after she temporally stood in for one of her colleagues.
Since her promotion in April 2007, Donna has helped more than 80 clients - primarily lone parents access the workplace. 
She believes her secret to success is the ability to empathise with many of her clients: I have been in the same position as my clients, walked through the doors and sat in the same seats feeling the same apprehension about looking for work.
I used to work in a call centre for 16 hours-a-week but was unable to make the leap to full time as I couldnt work the shifts around my children.  I know the difficulties involved when you raise a family on your own and how important it is to be able to provide for them.
Since starting work at PPDG nearly four years ago Kaye Ryan, 42, from Middlesbrough, has moved more than 145 clients off benefits and into work. 
A single parent of two, Kaye moved back to Teesside from Nottingham six years ago after separating from her husband.  She found it difficult to find a job that gave her the flexibility to look after two daughters Amy aged 9 and 11 year-old Anna. 
Her skills lay in extensive experience gained in the catering industry however, she wanted to transfer them in to a job that would allow her to spend more time with her family. 
Like Donna, Kaye uses her own experiences to help those who want to work but find childcare a problem. As a single parent I struggled to find a job when I decided to return back to work because of the hours involved so I understand how difficult and frustrating it can be.
A lot of my success has been through helping single parents start their own companies securing your dream job whilst enjoying the benefits of being your own boss and flexible working hours is the ideal situation. 
PPDG has been running Employment Zone in Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland for more than five years - during which time more than 5700 formerly unemployed people have secured work.
Mark Harrison, PPDG Redcar centre manager, said: Kaye and Donna have shown a real passion with our lone parent client group and have been successful in placing many clients into work through our Employment Zone provision.  More than 40% of staff across our offices on Teesside are our former clients which undoubtedly helps them relate to our clients in specific areas of employment.


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