Your Life Your Future: Working towards bright futures...
WORK experience is one of the best ways people can discover what employment is really like. The relaunched Your Life: Your Future campaign aims to secure 200 placements within local firms. Dan Russell reports...
BUSINESSES are signing up to an initiative to help future generations get a job – can you step up too?
As part of the relaunch of the successful Your Life: Your Future campaign, companies in North East Lincolnshire will be taking young people on to give them a taste of working life.
The Grimsby Telegraph, in partnership with North East Lincolnshire Council, chemical manufacturer Cristal and Associated British Ports (ABP), wants to give 200 people a week's worth of work experience.
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The sponsors of the campaign are already gearing up to the challenge.
North East Lincolnshire Council's Change Programme has been a long-term supporter of Your Life: Your Future.
The programme offers a broad range of help to individuals who need different levels of support to enable them to get back into work.
And Cristal not only sponsors the campaign, but will be taking on work experience students, too.
Director Philip Long said: "Your Life: Your Future is a similar scheme to what we do with apprentices.
"If something like this helps future employees we are more than happy to get involved.
"As well as giving young people a chance it also helps us promote ourselves to future generations and lets them know we are here.
"The people who come here on work experience will get a feel for the business, and we will also provide them with training so they have something to put on their CV when they leave us.
"I appreciate how hard it is to come to work and if this helps people realise what it is really like we are happy to help.
"Your Life: Your Future is a terrific campaign that not only helps people into work – it also gives employers the chance to be seen and heard."
Associated British Ports (ABP) has also backed the initiative, and believes that looking forward to future generations is key for the business.
Port director John Fitzgerald said: "ABP has been celebrating its 100-year centenary but we are now looking to the future and this ties in with that very well.
"We are a people-based business and we have a lot of opportunities to offer.
"We have just taken on five marine operation apprentices.
"We are growing very quickly and to support this in the future we will need to take on more people.
"The people who come to us for work experience will find themselves doing a range things.
"We will be able to show them the shipping process and give them an overview of the industry in most areas.
"Our infrastructure needs people to operate it, and if someone has had work experience with us, we would look favourably on them if they wanted a job here.
"We always like to source our employees locally wherever possible."
Michelle Lalor, the editor of the Grimsby Telegraph, said: "I can still remember – and it was a few years ago now – how I worked here at the Grimsby Telegraph for three months over one summer holiday, for no money, on work experience.
"It was only that opportunity that saw me recognised by the then editor, the late Peter Moore, who offered me a job at a free weekly he ran in Scunthorpe, following that stint.
"You can get all the qualifications in the world, and you do need them, but if you cannot display to an employer that you have the ability to do the job, your chances of employment success will be lessened.
"It is for that reason that we want employers to contact us through Your Life: Your Future. We will then link with our partners to ensure that we match students, both young and mature, to work experience placements they will be suited to.
"It is not just the big companies either. We need the smaller firms to give this a go – hairdressing salons, retail outlets... come on let's give it a go."
If you can offer a work placement as part of Your Life: Your Future, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 01472 372236.