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News archive | SARH work placements lead to full-time employment for John and Christine
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SARH work placements lead to full-time employment for John and Christine

A Stafford housing association’s commitment to helping people into work has enabled two budding young professionals to gain full time employment.

John Wilkes, 22, from Eccleshall, joins Stafford and Rural Homes as a driver and labourer, having initially worked with the organisation as a trainee tradesman through the Shaw Trust under the national Youth Contract scheme.

“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.

John’s role will involve delivering bathrooms and other materials to be fitted by SARH in customers’ homes, but a career as a tradesman wasn’t always John’s plan as he studied performing arts at Stafford College.

“On face value it looks like quite a big change in career direction but a lot of the skills I learned at college have given me confidence when I go out to meet customers,” said John.

Christine Cartwright, 22, from Little Haywood, who joined SARH’s Community Involvement Team in August 2011 as part of a graduate placement programme is now on a full time contract as a Community Involvement Officer.

Christine has already worked on several projects including SARH’s annual Community Learning Programme, a monthly Penkside Newsletter, a Community Allotment Project in Penkside and a Community Garden Project with Milwich pre-school.

“The job is great because we get to work on a real variety of projects that benefit the local community.  I started at SARH with little experience but working within the Community Involvement Team I’ve learned a lot already,” said Christine.

SARH aims to offer a range of work experience, apprenticeships, voluntary work, industrial placements and free learning for the people of Stafford through its Learning Academy.

“I’m delighted that as a result of the of the initial work experience we provided to Christine and John we have been able to offer them both a full time role within SARH,” said Karen Armitage, Chief Executive of SARH.

“We are firmly committed to providing employment opportunities for young people to gain real life work experience and helping them to plan for their future careers.”

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