Young Corby people wise up to get work

The launch of the Wise Up For Work scheme in Corby. From left, Simon Stewart, head of enterprise at Northampton College, Corby MP Andy Sawford, project founder Paul Glass, Matthew Fletcher of the National Apprenticeship Service and trainees
The launch of the Wise Up For Work scheme in Corby. From left, Simon Stewart, head of enterprise at Northampton College, Corby MP Andy Sawford, project founder Paul Glass, Matthew Fletcher of the National Apprenticeship Service and trainees

A new project has been launched in Corby promising full-time jobs for up to 120 unemployed young people over the next 12 months.

Spearheaded by local recruitment specialists Echo Personnel in partnership with Northampton College and Corby Jobcentre Plus, Wise Up for Work offers free pre-employment training courses in warehousing or manufacturing for young people from 18 to 24.

The four-week courses, funded by Corby Jobcentre Plus and the Skills Funding Agency, will prepare young people for work by equipping them with the skills and attitude that employers are looking for. At the end of each course, Wise Up for Work guarantees every trainee who shows the right commitment and meets the required standards a paid, full time job.

The jobs will either be with one of the many local companies who have already pledged their support for the project, or with Echo Personnel, an established local recruitment agency which employs more apprentices than any other company in the county.

Training will take place at a unit on Corby’s Willowbrook Industrial Estate, which Echo Personnel has kitted out as part of a £30,000 investment in the pioneering programme.

Each course includes three weeks’ job-specific training in either warehousing or manufacturing, which are the key skills required by local employers, plus a week’s general employment skills training covering teamwork, problem-solving, interview skills and applying for a job.

Candidates must attend their training five days a week from 8am to 2pm.

Attendance, punctuality, attitude and work ethic will be strictly monitored, and those meeting the standards expected by employers will be endorsed by Wise Up for Work and offered a job where they can also continue their training.

Paul Glass, founder of Wise Up for Work and sales director at Echo Personnel, said: “As a Corby lad myself, I have both a personal and professional commitment to improving the employment prospects for young people in the town.

“With 10 per cent of Corby’s 18 to 24-year-olds out of work and employers crying out for reliable workers, it’s clear that something needs to be done to bridge the gap. And that’s where Wise Up for Work comes in.”

The courses are free for eligible candidates and the training is delivered by Northampton College, with funding from the Skills Funding Agency. Forklift training is being funded by Corby Jobcentre Plus, who are also backing the project by helping each trainee with expenses, including cost of public transport to and from the training centre and, where required, a forklift licence.

Several companies have already provided active support for the project by donating products and materials. They include Ampac, Argos Wincanton, Euramax, Oxford University Press, Pauleys, RPC Containers, Recticel, Sealed Air, Snap-on tools, TNT and Walls and Floors.

The project has also received the backing of the National Apprenticeship Service and Corby MP Andy Sawford.

Already, nine young people have successfully completed their warehouse training course and have either started or have full-time jobs lined up with RPC, Cambridge Manufacturing, Avon and Asda.

The second warehouse course has just started and will be followed by a manufacturing course in October.

If this pilot scheme is successful, Wise Up for Work plans to extend the training to Kettering young adults through the Corby training centre, and open a second centre in Northampton for young people from Northampton and Wellingborough.

For more information about the project, visit www.wiseupforwork.co.uk.

If you’d like to support the project, or if you’re a local employer with opportunities available, please contact Paul Glass on 0800 193 3246, or email paul@wiseupforwork.co.uk.