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Knockout scheme to help Birmingham jobseekers find work backed by big-hitter

Knockout scheme to help Birmingham jobseekers find work backed by big-hitter

LORD Digby Jones has welcomed an innovative scheme designed to help West Midlands jobseekers grappling with limited employment opportunities kickstart their career.

The former CBI director general and trade minister was speaking after gearshift, the specialist automotive division of gap personnel, teamed up with a Birmingham martial arts academy.

The partnership means unemployed people living in and around Longbridge, once home to the world’s largest car plant, can find out about the latest local job vacancies while getting fit at Elements MMA (mixed martial arts) and 10th Planet JiuJitsu Birmingham.

The school, located in nearby Rubery, is only the second UK collective to be officially affiliated by 10th Planet – the innovative style of Brazilian jiujitsu that focuses on discipline and personal improvement as well as physical fitness.

Recruitment consultants from gearshift will work with the gym to ensure up-to-date job vacancies are posted on interior display walls.

In addition, gearshift has supplied a much-needed mat extension to accommodate the explosion in membership since the academy became official 10th Planet affiliates last July.

Steve Murphy, business development manager at gearshift, said: “Longbridge has a proud history as a centre of car manufacturing, and after a difficult few years the area can look forward to a bright future thanks to the &pound400m regeneration scheme that should create thousands of jobs.

“Despite this investment, there are lots of people in the area who are out of work, which is why we decided to partner with Elements MMA to give jobseekers a helping hand.

“10th Planet’s philosophy, which revolves around self-improvement and striving for excellence, very much matches our own company ethos, so this partnership seemed like the perfect fit.

“Hopefully we will help some people to find work at the same time as getting in shape.”

Lord Jones said: “Longbridge is near and dear to my heart, from days of childhood through to my chairmanship of NeutrinoBi based on the technology park.

“It's a case of & lsquo;all hands to the pump’ to pull the community through turbulent waters.

“That it will win through will be because of businesses such as gearshift, and their spirit of enterprise and innovation. Congratulations!"


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