Fiona gets a foot on the job ladder

A MORPETH woman has secured her first permanent full-time job after taking advantage of a Government initiative aimed at helping young jobseekers into work.

Fiona Martin left university with a degree in journalism but was finding it difficult to secure an interview for employment.

She soon realised that the lack of any work history on her CV was hampering her efforts.

The 22-year-old said: “I tried to get feedback from a couple of employers I had applied to and they told me there was a lot of competition, so I understood when they said they gave preference to those who had recent examples of working in a similar environment.”

Fiona found out about an initiative called Voluntary Work Experience from her local Jobcentre in Morpeth where jobseekers, mainly those under 25, are matched with employers who are willing to provide them with unpaid work for up to eight weeks.

Jobcentre Plus continues to pay their benefit and any travel expenses and in return the employer agrees to provide those practical examples to add to their CV plus a reference.

Fiona found out that the Department for Work and Pensions itself was taking part in the initiative and she was sent along to work in a marketing role aimed at local employers, based within Ashington Jobcentre.

“I loved the experience,” she said.

“It was not something I had done before but I found that I quickly picked up what was required of me and I loved working in a small team in that environment.

“It gave me a taste for that kind of work plus the confidence and experience to take along to my next interview.”

Her next interview turned out to be with the Morpeth office of National Oilwell Varco in Telford Court. The international company provides mechanical components for land and offshore drilling rigs and similar equipment.

After a short contract arranged through a recruitment agency, Fiona was offered a permanent position. She has joined as a project assistant.

Any employers interested in how they can take part in voluntary work experience should call Steve McCall on 01670 395288.