New project in South Shields aims to help people into work

Front row L to R - Maria Heath (Clarion), Steven Welsh (Zenith), Lewis White (employment candidate) and Amy Porter (Keepmoat Regeneration).  Back row ' Some candidates from the programme.
Front row L to R - Maria Heath (Clarion), Steven Welsh (Zenith), Lewis White (employment candidate) and Amy Porter (Keepmoat Regeneration). Back row ' Some candidates from the programme.

A pioneering project between two housing groups is aiming to help people looking for work onto the first step to starting a new career.

Keepmoat Regeneration and Clarion Housing Group have teamed up with Zenith People - a recruitment and training business focused on helping people find employment - to create a programme to benefit local people.

It’s opening up opportunities to improve the lives of the local community.

Lee Francis

The housing groups are currently providing refurbishment works in Tyne Dock, South Shields and Newcastle.

A total of 12 people from Tyne Dock aged from 17 to 60 will now undertake five days of training applicable to the construction industry in areas of Equality and Diversity; Safeguarding and code of conduct; Communication and teamwork; Interview preparation and practice; and CSCS card training to acquire a Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in the Construction Environment.

They will also take part in a minimum of two days onsite work experience with mock interviews with the housing companies and will end with a CSCS test.

Lee Francis, area director for Keepmoat Regeneration in the North East, said: “This employment programme is an exemplar of partnership working at its best. The restoration work we are undertaking on behalf of Clarion, is not only altering the aesthetics of the local area – its opening up opportunities to improve the lives of the local community.

“Zenith People is a fantastic organisation and their vision is perfectly aligned with ours. By investing in places and people, you can help to create thriving new communities and we’re excited to put our candidates to work. During the induction process - one particular candidate stood out from the crowd.

“He’s a time-served apprentice and holds a HNC in maintaining shipbuildings; but due to the diminishing work available in this sector, he has recently fallen in the trap of securing short-term jobs with very little development opportunities.

“This is exactly why we are so invested in this programme. Construction is a thriving sector, with heaps of progression available – it’s just about opening those doors.”

Angela Anderson, managing director of Zenith People said “We’re really excited to be working with Keepmoat Regeneration and Clarion Housing Group again on this unique programme. We’re providing valuable training and work experience to a group of recruits who are looking for progression. It’s satisfying working with like-minded partners to provide excellent opportunities.”

Maria Heath, employment engagement officer at Clarion Housing Group, added: “Once again partnership has enabled local unemployed candidates on their career within construction! Zenith People, for the second time, facilitated the classroom training and Keepmoat Regeneration planned the work experience that best suited the needs of the individual. 

“To tick that final box, candidates are now being supported with the purchase of their CSCS test and badge. A complete package to open up many opportunities and will certainly change the lives of all who took part.  Great partnership work.”

This is the second training programme Keepmoat Regeneration has supported in the area. The firm hopes to replicate the results of a successful traineeship held two years ago.