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Jobseekers hoping to hear theyre hired

Jobseekers hoping to hear they’re hired

While Lord Alan Sugar continues his TV search for another young apprentice, in the West Midlands a major employer is offering local job seekers the opportunity to participate in a programme of their own.

Strategic outsourcing and energy services specialists MITIE has introduced its successful Real Apprentice initiative in Birmingham and the Black Country, in partnership with employment and training experts Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG).

The scheme provides opportunity for local job seekers to participate in placements during which they gain valuable work experience and demonstrate how they could become a valuable asset to any workforce.

MITIE devised the Real Apprentice programme in October 2005 to meet strategic business needs for local, sustainable recruitment and the community’s need for more permanent jobs. Working with community partners, the Real Apprentice has become a & lsquo;best practice blueprint’ for employers wishing to contribute to community regeneration.

It was introduced by MITIE’s employment regeneration director Jane James who is now working together with PPDG site managers Stephen Weller, Stuart Baxter and Pertemps Recruitment Partnership to offer pre-employment training for unemployed people.

Stephen said: “MITIE approached us to help organise eight-week placements in order to develop and support people into sustained employment. With the jobs market being so tough, this is a beneficial way for job seekers to make a great impression on local employers.

“The Real Apprentice consists of a series of workshops highlighting potential barriers to work and how to address them before embarking on an eight week placement with an employer. At the end of the programme they are invited back for one-to-ones with a number of potential employers. Thirty-five individuals from across Birmingham and the Black Country were short-listed for interview with 11 selected for the scheme.”

The success of the initiative is leading to further expansion with more employers being invited to participate.

Jane James said: “The Real Apprentice is an ideal route to support unemployed people by overcoming barriers to employment whilst giving them the ability to show an employer what they can do.  For the employer it fulfills part of their corporate responsibility and provides a cost effective stream of potential employees to help their business grow for the future.”

MITIE provides facilities, property and asset management for some of the biggest public and private sector businesses. It’s a FTSE 250 business with revenues in excess of &pound1.8billion and employs more than 61,000 people.

PPDG’s 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 and many programmes financed by the European Social Fund. PPDG came fourth in The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For 2011.

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