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Jobs project helps firm survive and thrive

Jobs project helps firm survive and thrive
A Birmingham business that was recently on the brink of collapse due to spiraling staff costs is now thriving after getting support from an employment initiative.
The survival of Sanctuary Care Midlands Ltd means that many homeless teenagers still benefit from its service, while 10 jobs have been created at the company for local unemployed people.
Director Leslie Kotey Nikoi said his companys success would not have been possible without the support of employment experts Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG) and the Intermediary Labour Market (ILM) programme it delivers.
Sanctuary Care Midlands, based at Winson Green/Edgbaston is a supported housing provision for vulnerable homeless young people in Birmingham. It serves as a transitional housing provider for 16-18-year-olds and equips them with skills and opportunities to help them become independent.
Leslie said: The harsh realities of the economic downturn in 2010 presented the company with the direst of liquidity problems. The company was close to winding up due to increasing levels of staffing costs. Being a start-up business, obtaining credit from banking and non-banking sources was near impossible.
Consequently, we popped into the PPDG offices at Newtown to gather information on staff issues. It was there that we were introduced to the ILM programme. On meeting the criteria, we were assigned an employment liaison co-ordinator whose remit was to attend to all our recruitment requirements.
PPDG and the ILM threw a lifeline to my business and I can confidently say that a hitherto struggling company which was near to collapse has become a growing and viable business.
He added: The positive turnaround to my business is demonstrated by the fact that our employees have now completed their six months probation and have a guaranteed job and contract with Sanctuary Care. It is amazing what wealth of opportunity the ILM placements has afforded hitherto benefit-dependent, literacy and numeracy-challenged as well as perennially unemployed people in society.
Training made available to Sanctuary Cares employees through PPDG has also been of major benefit and they collected their NVQ qualifications in March.
Employee Cleopatra Farrell, who was a long-term unemployed client at PPDG, said: I was on probation for six months and I am now a permanent employee at Sanctuary Care. Gradually I am accomplishing my goals and while working at Sanctuary I would like to gain training and qualifications relating to my job. Im very grateful for all the support and all that I have achieved while under the care of Pertemps People Development Group.  
PPDG delivers the Governments Welfare to Work strategy across the Midlands through Flexible New Deal, Work Focused Training and other employment initiatives. PPDG is using its vast experience of helping long-term unemployed people get back into work to help local jobseekers secure employment opportunities.
PPDGs team of employment experts provides 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 PPDG 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. PPDG came fourth in The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For 2011.


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