Erdington Works – A Foot On The Jobs Ladder For Local Young People

Posted on 4 March 2014

Erdington Works - Outside Perry Common Community Hall - Large (1)Two enthusiastic young people from Erdington have secured themselves paid apprenticeships as a part of the Erdington Works project – a scheme which is designed to support young people aged 16-24 years old who are not currently in employment, education or training.

Jessica Blenkiron, 22 and Paramjot Kaur Pagpatten, 21, both took part in the Erdington Works project.  After completing workshops both students gained skills and experience that has led to them being employed by John Taylor Hospice and Witton Lodge Community Association (WLCA) respectively.

John Taylor Hospice is based in Erdington and provides practical help and rekindles possibilities for people living with a terminal illness, for the communities across Birmingham and in the West Midlands.  Witton Lodge Community Association is a housing and community association based in Perry Common – having 167 homes to rent and having an active ‘flourishing communities’ programme.

 “The workshops really increased my confidence when presenting, something that will come in very useful in my new role here at John Taylor Hospice as a community investment apprentice. The Hospice is a place I have personal experience of a family member being cared for, so to now be working here and supporting the services on offer feels great” Jess says.

The scheme aims to improve the CVs of young people by providing them with the skills that they will need to succeed in the workplace; something Paramjot feels she is already putting into practice. Erdington Works - Outside John Taylor Hospice - Large

I am really enjoying working as a housing assistant with Witton Lodge Community Association (WLCA).  I am using the skills I have learned through Erdington Works, getting experience of applying what I learned by taking part in the scheme. The best bit is that I’m getting paid as well” Paramjot says.

Erdington Works is funded by Birmingham City Council and 5 local partner organisations – Castle Vale Community Regeneration Services, Castle Vale Tenants and Residents Alliance, John Taylor Hospice, Merlin Venture and Witton Lodge Community Association (WLCA) – to provide 18 work placements and 6 ongoing apprenticeships in the local area.  The main aim of the project is to help young people in Erdington to have access to the training and skills needed to help them start their career.  This has been made possible through a series of training and marketing workshops covering key areas of employment.

Councillor Penny Holbrook states that “It is truly excellent to see these young people getting on to the first step in their career.  In Erdington, as with many areas up and down the country, there are young people who have such great potential, simply not being able to get into the jobs market. This project has made this possible; as Jessica and Paramjot show”.

Witton Lodge Community Association (WLCA) was established in 1994 to represent the local community following the announcement that 908 houses in Perry Common would be demolished due to structural defects.  Today the organisation has grown from strength to strength, having 167 properties to rent, a newly built Community Hall ‘Perry Common Community Hall’ and an active ‘Flourishing Community Programme’.

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