Despite the recent controversy surrounding the merit of work experience, Gainsborough Jobcentre has had great success securing placements for its clients.
“These are genuine work placements, not just job shadowing or making the tea. It gives people that experience of being in the workplace, it builds their skills and their confidence, and we’ve had people move straight into employment after work experience,” said Tracy Ward, from Gainsborough Jobcentre Plus.
One successful partnership has been with Hill Holt Wood. The social enterprise near Norton Disney provides work placements in forestry, horticulture, administration and eco-construction, for people who have encountered barriers to employment.
Two shining examples of young people who have found work through this partnership are Aaron Beeden and Daniel Bernard.
Aaron, 19, was unemployed before embarking on a foundation course at Hill Holt Wood.
He wanted to work in construction so they organised a two week work placement at Lindum Construction. He also did some volunteer work at Linden Terrace in Gainsborough, retrofitting a previously empty house.
All this led to him being accepted on a construction apprenticeship with Hill Holt Wood.
Daniel, 25, began volunteering at Hill Holt Wood doing forestry and horticulture work. He has gained his chipper operator and chainsaw operator qualifications, and been rewarded with a horticulture apprenticeship at Hill Holt Wood.
Project director Steven Donagain praised the pair’s positive attitude and good work ethic, and the support from Gainsborough Jobcentre.