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Out of work young people gain employment opportunities with SARH

A STAFFORD housing association is offering unemployed young people a chance to gain much needed work experience and training to help them onto the employment ladder.

Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) is taking on seven unemployed people aged between 19 and 22 in partnership with the Shaw Trust through the government’s Youth Contract programme.

Karen Armitage, Chief Executive of SARH, said: “Our partnership with the Shaw Trust is all about giving young people the chance to gain valuable work experience which will see them in a much stronger position to get a secure job and build a career for themselves.”

Five of recruits, Daniel Revie, Matthew McDowall, Hayden Coomer, Luke barber and Christopher Harnett are from Stafford.

Jacob Nicholls, from Wolverhampton and John Roberts, from Brewood, also join SARH through the scheme.

All of the new starters will be employed on six month fixed term contracts and work alongside SARH’s ‘Repairs First’ trade staff.

Kevin Rust, employer accounts manager for the Shaw Trust, said: “Building on the successful partnership with SARH last year I am again delighted to be working alongside them to offer seven new young people a great work experience opportunity.  SARH’s vision to open up opportunities for our younger jobseekers to compete and develop is overwhelming and inspiring.”

In 2012 John Wilkes, from Eccleshall, was taken on by SARH through the Youth Contract and went on to secure a full time contract with the organisation as a driver and labourer.

“My initial six months with SARH was invaluable because the experience of getting out there with the trade staff and working on customers’ homes confirmed to me that I wanted to build a career for myself as a joiner,” said John Wilkes.

In addition to this initiative, SARH works in partnership with Stafford College to provide an 8 week pre-apprenticeship programme aimed at 16-18 years olds who are looking to gain work experience, which so far five young people have completed.

SARH also currently has five apprentices already in place across its trades and office staff through a partnership with the College.

“Providing opportunities to help local people into sustained employment is something that SARH is extremely passionate about and we are delighted to be working with our partners on this range of exciting projects,” said Karen Armitage.

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