Jobseekers join the health team

FIVE jobseekers have been welcomed onto the team at Morpeth pharmaceutical company, Piramal Healthcare.

They have temporarily joined the workforce as part of Jobcentre Plus’s new work experience initiative.

The five, who had all volunteered to gain up to eight weeks of work experience while continuing to claim Jobseekers Allowance, were chosen by the company following an awareness and selection visit to the site.

Each candidate had put themselves forward so they could add to their CV and help compete for future vacancies alongside those with greater recent experience.

Lesley Whittle, HR director from Piramal, said: “We understand the difficulties younger jobseekers can face in our community and we were happy to see if we could help. The work experience concept allows us to give these young people practical work experience by involving them in some of the routine aspects of our operation.

“Furthermore, because we work in a very controlled industry, the group have also benefited through experience of our Induction process which we provide for any short-term assignments including good manufacturing practice (GMP) and health and safety awareness training. Once they are nearing the end of their assignment, the HR team will also provide assistance with interview techniques and CV preparation.”

Piramal made an unexpected discovery from those who turned up on the first day. They included one jobseeker who was a graduate micro-biologist.

“We certainly didn’t expect to find a graduate micro-biologist among the number but I suppose it shows the range of skills the Jobcentre have on their books,” said Lesley.

“We will look after each of the work experience candidates carefully over the next eight weeks and we hope to repeat this exercise a couple of more times this year.”

For details about work experience, visit www.direct.gov.uk Employers wanting to know how they can get involved can contact Steve.mccall@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk or ring 01670 395288.