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Jobs initiatives impress Korean civil servants

Jobs initiatives impress Korean civil servants 
 
South Korean civil servants saw first-hand how long-term unemployed people are helped to get back into work by Government-funded initiatives when they visited a leading employment services provider in Birmingham.
 
The group toured the impressive facilities at Pertemps People Development Groups (PPDG) Advancement Centre in Newtown and discussed the provision of welfare services, meeting clients and employment coaches.
 
The civil servants are studying at Birmingham University under their governments programme in which they are sent abroad for two years as part of a strategy of internationalisation.
 
PPDGs team of employment experts provide advice on benefits, confidence building, one-to-one support, CV and interview preparation as well as finding the right job or training course for clients. In partnership with DWP, the Ministry of Justice and Jobcentre Plus, PPDG delivers a diverse range of employment and training initiatives including Flexible New Deal, Working Neighbourhoods Fund, Learndirect and many ESF funded programmes.
 
Jung-Suk Kim, who lives in Kidderminster, said: It was interesting to visit Pertemps People Development Group and see how they try to break down the barriers for unemployed individuals to get off out of work benefits and back into work. It is impressive for Pertemps to work with a Credit Union, Youth Action Network, and the voluntary sector for single mothers and people with convictions and drug or alcohol problems. They seem to have a holistic approach to deal with high unemployment.
 
My concern is that more than two million people are unemployed and job vacancies are only half a million. Hopefully, Pertemps can find and match a job to unemployed individuals who would like to get over poverty and welfare dependency in the tough economic climate.
 
Professor John Doling, of Birmingham University, said: The South Korean government has a programme of sending civil servants abroad for two-year stints as part of a strategy of internationalisation, ensuring that they are not too inward looking and get to learn how things are done in other countries.
 
The scheme is operated in many different universities in different countries. Those that come to the School of Social Policy at Birmingham University are introduced to the ways in which in the UK we run welfare services such as health, social housing, social security and welfare to work. The visit to Pertemps People Development Group was part of that, exposing them to what these things actually mean in practise and getting experience in doing so of how different sectors public, private and voluntary work.
 
My initial impression was that they were very favourably impressed. In the Korean context, all welfare provision comes through the state and, recently, also through the voluntary sector working in tandem with the state. So the involvement of the private sector is fairly alien to them.
 
PPDGs team of employment experts provide advice on benefits, confidence building, one-to-one support, CV and interview preparation as well as finding the right job or training course. In partnership with DWP, the Ministry of Justice and Jobcentre Plus, PPDG delivers a diverse range of employment and training initiatives including Flexible New Deal, Working Neighbourhoods Fund, Learndirect and many ESF funded programmes. More than 100,000 job seekers have been helped into sustained employment by the company since the projects began.  It has trained 130,000 people in vocational skills, and over 175,000 people have benefitted from professional information, advice and guidance services.

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