Cabinet minister pays fact-finding visit to Wandsworth’s Work Match scheme

Published: Wednesday 13th December 17

Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke today (Wednesday) made a fact finding visit to a Wandsworth Council employment initiative that has helped more than 750 local people find jobs.

The minister visited the council’s Work Match scheme in Lavender Hill which helps people who are looking to get back into employment or seeking a career change, often gaining new skills or qualifications in the process.

The scheme matches their ambitions with local employment opportunities and since it was launched in 2013, a total of 750 residents have been helped into work.

Cllr Caddy and Mr Gauke meet some of those the scheme has helped

During today’s visit Mr Gauke met four people who have benefited from the scheme. Eva Sadlier is now a trainee quantity surveyor working on the Battersea Power Station redevelopment with Sir Robert McAlpine while Saad Chaudhry is working as a design & social media assistant with local company Namoh. Daria Haas is employed at the Coffeeworks Project at Battersea Power Station while Ben Kika is a security officer at the Tideway development in Nine Elms.

Earlier this year Perry Radford spoke of how he was helped by the scheme. While visiting his local job centre after being made redundant from a warehouse job, he found out about training with K+M Decorators through the Battersea Power Station Development Company. At the end of his four week training period he was offered a position as a trainee painter and decorator at Battersea Power Station with the company Cousins.

He said: “I didn’t expect I would be in a trade, but now that I am, I’m very happy about it and positive about my career prospects for the future. Cousins are putting me through my painting and decorating NVQ. It’s been challenging but also exciting and the staff at Cousins are very positive and helpful. Growing up very close to Battersea Power Station I feel privileged to be a part of the project and its future development.”

Job seekers can register with the scheme and be ‘matched up’ with suitable roles, as well as receiving pre-employment training, interview coaching, guidance with applications and ongoing support once they find work.

Work Match is part of a package of free support offered by the council to local residents and businesses to help them make the most of the opportunities opening up due to regeneration and inward investment in the borough.

This includes the opportunity to work in, and supply to, the Nine Elms Regeneration area and its burgeoning tech quarter, including Apple’s new UK headquarters at Battersea Power Station.

The council’s employment and business spokesman Cllr Kim Caddy said: “The minister was very impressed with the scheme. The key to its success is that it is very much tailored to local needs and is certainly a model that could be replicated elsewhere.

“We are determined that local people should absolutely be the first in line to benefit  from all the new employment opportunities in Wandsworth, especially those in major regeneration projects like Nine Elms.

“I would urge anyone looking for a job or apprenticeship to get in touch and find out how Work Match can help Wandsworth residents reach their full potential.”

For more information visit www.wandsworthworkmatch.org, call (020) 8871 5191 or email wandsworthworkmatch@wandsworth.gov.uk

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