Birmingham MP backs work experience route into jobs

Erdington’s MP Jack Dromey saw for himself how Willmott Dixon Partnerships Opening Doors programme has been giving practical help to jobseekers in Birmingham.

The MP attended an Employment & Training day at St Barnabas Church in Erdington, where the company gave people looking for work an insight into how learning new skills could provide lifelong careers.

Willmott Dixon has a significant presence in Birmingham and the West Midlands, where it repairs and maintains 60,000 properties for the city council, and supporting skills and creating new jobs is an important part of that role. One of its initiatives is the Opening Doors programme,  hich provides work experience that allows people to develop skills and know-how to enhance their chances of getting full time jobs. One such person to benefit from Opening Doors was at St Barnabas Church – plasterer Nathan Stait, a final year apprentice, who joined Willmott Dixon after his own period of work experience. Also present was apprentice carpenter Daniel Horton.

MP Jack Dromey said: “It was a real pleasure to attend the fantastic Jobs Fair in St Barnabas Church. It was extremely well organised and well attended by over 500 people seeking work or training. Events such as these provide a ladder of opportunity for local people and it was great to meet with two fine young Willmott Dixon apprentices from Erdington.”

The event, which attracted more than 500 people, was run by Job Centre Plus and attended by local employers and training providers. Throughout the day Job Centre plus arranged a series of workshops which involved CV writing, how to fill out an application form, and provided other employment advice. As part of the programme, the company is working with Job Centre Plus and offering work experience to people receiving Job Seeker’s Allowance.

More than 60 applications for work experience in the building and maintenance trades were requested at the event. Mr Dromey was chatting to jobseekers and gave his support to the initiative. Victoria Young, Willmott Dixon Partnerships customer and community manager in the Midlands, said, “This was an extremely successful day and it’s great to be out talking to the public about how our Opening Doors programme could help them get back into work or to learn much needed skills. Mr Dromey had previously visited our 4Life Training Academy in Birmingham and spoke positively about what we do.”

The Willmott Dixon 4Life Academy is part of the company’s commitment to provide lifelong skills to employees and the wider community. It has a capacity to train 4,500 people a year and will also act as a National Centre of Excellence for Willmott Dixon.

Mick Williamson, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon Partnerships said; “This is very much part of our Transforming Communities ethos , which is about making a real and positive difference to the lives of people living locally. We want to play an active part in delivering initiatives that leave a real legacy and we recently wrote an article, called Transforming Communities, to share ideas and help organisations deliver sustainable growth to help communities through these current austere times.”