Employment support for young black men
Published: Wednesday 28th July 10
A council funded scheme is helping tackle high levels of unemployment among young black men of Caribbean heritage.
The Wandsworth Future Works (WFW) initiative offers one-to-one skills coaching and access to a wide range of employment opportunities.
The aim is to provide local candidates with the core skills required to succeed with job applications and to prosper once in employment.
In Wandsworth, young black men of Caribbean heritage experience higher levels of unemployment than any other ethnic group. The scheme's goal is to help 105 candidates into work and off benefits over a two-year period.
Recruitment experts Talent are running the project on behalf of the council. The company, which specialises in regeneration initiatives that help people from diverse backgrounds find good jobs, has recently opened a new office at 194 Lavender Hill, Battersea.
When local resident Keith Howard joined the programme he had been out of work for some time and was seriously lacking confidence. With intensive support he was able to rebuild his self-belief, learn how to present himself in interview situations and was given help creating a professional standard CV.
Soon after, Keith landed a new job at Sainsbury's. He continued to receive support from the WFW team to help him 'bed-in' and learn to cope with full-time work. One year later he had been promoted to a supervisor position and now has his sights firmly set on a career in retail management.
Wandsworth's spokesman for regeneration and employment Cllr Ravi Govindia said:
"With the economic downturn still putting pressure on the jobs market it's vital that we offer targeted support to those residents who need it the most.
"This scheme has been specially developed to help young black men overcome the most common barriers they face when trying to access the jobs markets, and gives them the core skills they will need to go on and reach their potential in the workplace."
The WFW project is joint funded by Wandsworth Council and European Social Fund.
To register with WFW or to find out more about other employment support services delivered by Talent call (020) 7223 1783.
The picture shows (left to right) Cllr Ravi Govindia, Diane Hawkes from Talent with WFW client Clement Bondzie at the official launch of Talent' s new premises at 194 Lavender Hill, Battersea.