Thanks to the Transitional Employment Programme (TEP), 43 per cent of Kensington residents are now in paid employment. The Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) rate has dropped from 14.8 per cent in 2000 to 8.7 per cent - despite the current economic climate.
The Kensington TEP, run by Liverpool City Council and funded by Kensington Regeneration, evolved following extensive consultations with the local community. The flexible programme involves an initial training period offering qualifications in customer care, health and safety and IT. Participants can then choose from further training and study modules, and continue to receive support after securing a job.
George Allen, Lifelong Learning, Employment and Enterprise Manager for Kensington Regeneration, said: “Improving the job prospects of local people has been one of our main objectives throughout the programme.
“As our track record shows, we have been able to make a positive contribution to the lives of hundreds of residents by helping them to find work in a range of sectors. Since 2005, more than 70 people a year have progressed into sustainable employment through the TEP.”
One man to benefit from the programme is 33-year-old Jude Uweri, who came to Liverpool from Nigeria in January this year. Despite having a degree, he struggled to find work. Jude was put in touch with South Liverpool Personnel (SLP), one of the agencies that runs the TEP, and he began a three-week intensive training programme, taking in a variety of skills.
As a result he secured a three-month placement as a web researcher with Urban UK, a local PR agency. In July, he began a new placement with SLP as an advisor.
“It makes me appreciate what I went through and how the TEP helped me. SLP are the best friends I have ever made - they really understood me and helped me to develop, both emotionally and psychologically. They allowed me to adapt to the challenges of a new environment and supported me through the tough times,” said Jude.
Carolyn Boyce, Chief Executive of South Liverpool Personnel, said: “Kensington Regeneration funded the TEP and other BME-focused programmes that we have delivered, and have been a great partner to work with.
“The TEP offers a comprehensive programme of customer care and participants can gain recognised qualifications, such as Academy of Excellence in Customer Care, which was set up for Capital of Culture year by key employers and public sector agencies.
“We also offer GCSE equivalent qualifications in English and maths and, for those who have them already, alternatives such as food hygiene and NVQ courses. The centre is equipped with a Learn Direct IT suite and we have a job club and an employment advisor for those preparing to enter the job market.”
Anyone who would like to find out more about employment and training opportunities through Kensington Regeneration and the TEP should call 0151 233 6175.
Anyone looking for more information about SLP and opportunities on offer should contact Carolyn Boyce on 0151 709 1650.