Two unemployed people in South Staffordshire have been given a foot on to the employment ladder thanks to a housing association’s bid to tackle worklessness in the district.
South Staffordshire Housing Association has employed two tenants in its customer services team after receiving an influx of applications for tenant job opportunities.
Kelly Moore, from Huntington, and Jamie Christian, from Wheaton Aston, fought off competition from more than 122 tenants, who were interested in the jobs at the housing association.
Former nursery nurse and child minder Kelly, aged 26, had been unemployed for four months.
She said: “I was ready for a career change. This job really appealed to me and I thought it was a really good idea that the housing association was keen to help its customers.
“Hopefully this is going to be a good foot in the door to experience other areas of the business and develop other skills that will help further my career.”
Thirty-eight-year-old Jamie had been made redundant from his job in finance. He explained: “I always found the service when I contacted the association really friendly. When I saw the job advert I found it an attractive opportunity to come and become part of that team.
“Hopefully the background of being a tenant will help me relate to other tenants I am dealing with. It’s a great starting point to find out more about the business and it is exciting thinking about what the future might bring.”
South Staffordshire Housing Association, which manages more than 5,000 homes in the district, is committed to helping unemployed tenants back into work.
Community engagement team leader Dawn Northwood said: “We decided as part of our team’s remit we would look to be more active at helping our customers back into employment and a great starting point was offering jobs working here. We thought the customer services area of the business would benefit from tenant insight.
“There was a high level of interest from tenants, with more than 122 responses, so Kelly and Jamie really excelled to get the positions. We wanted to encourage people to go through the application process so we held an information session where we gave people interview tips, talked them through real life scenarios and helped them fill out the application form.”
All customers who took part in the information session received certificates to say they were successful at reaching that stage.
The housing association is also signposting tenants to gain help at work clubs called South Staffordshire Work Clubs, which help people with CV writing, interview techniques and mock interviews, as well as career advice and team building. There are currently five work clubs in Featherstone, Perton, Codsalland Bilbrook, Huntington and Wombourne.
For more information on the South Staffordshire Work Clubs visit www.southstaffsworkcafes.co.uk