Firm leads the way to help young jobseekers

A NORTHUMBERLAND-BASED family business was one of the first employers in the region to offer help to the county’s younger jobseekers by signing up to the work experience scheme, operated through Jobcentre Plus.

Dickinsons Furnishers, with outlets in Alnwick and Hexham, has taken on six people who were finding their lack of experience was holding them back from finding work over recent weeks.

The Jobcentre initiative allows 18 to 24-year-olds to work for up to eight weeks while continuing to receive Jobseekers’ Allowance and enables them to put real, practical examples of recent experience onto a CV or application form.

Of the six who completed the opportunity with Dickinsons, five have since found work with local employers.

One of these lucky jobseekers, though, found they made such an impression they landed a full-time job with the furniture company themselves.

Eighteen-year-old Rebecca Thompson had sent countless applications to employers over recent months and jumped at the chance of an eight-week placement to improve her chances.

Steve Traviss, chief executive of Dickinsons, said: “It’s vital that we help the young people of today to increase their chances of finding work.

“By offering them work experience in our businesses, we can give them that valuable experience they need to improve their CV and their confidence.

“Rebecca volunteered to come to our company on work experience having had no previous experience in this type of work.

“After eight weeks I knew she was too good to lose and offered her a permanent position with my firm.”

Rebecca is delighted with the outcome.

She said: “I would urge all employers to consider giving someone a chance through the work experience scheme.

“Without that chance I would still be sending off CVs. This has changed my life.”

Anyone interested in finding out how they can apply for a work experience placement should contact their local Jobcentre Plus adviser.

Any employers wanting to know how they can join the scheme, can pledge their support at www.businesslink.gov.uk/pledge or contact Steve McCall on 01670 395288.