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Enfield’s unemployed dip their toes into the world of work at Thames Water

Published Tuesday, 20 October 2015

A group of keen jobseekers from Enfield say their experience at Britain’s largest water company has left them feeling more confident and more likely to be offered employment after completing a three week work placement.

Thames Water’s successful ‘Give Someone a Start’ scheme saw eight people, who are currently out of work, shadow staff at the firm’s Deephams sewage works to gain experience of being in the workplace. The candidates spent time on a range of activities including equipment monitoring, carrying out risk assessments, helping erect security fencing and keeping the site safe and tidy.

They also received support writing their CV’s and were given advice on interview techniques in preparation for the opportunities it is hoped will come their way as a result of the scheme - four of the eight candidates have already been selected for interviews.

Candidate, Kevin Buckingham said: “I feel like my old self. This course has given me my life back.”

On Friday October 16, eight candidates were presented with certificates and a reference from Thames Water to help support their future job applications. They met Thames Water’s major projects director Amar Qureshi and a representative from EU Skills.

Thames Water’s Amar Qureshi said: “I’m really proud to be involved in this scheme, but let’s not forget the eight candidates are the real stars in this - they are an inspiration.  They embraced this opportunity and really made the most of it.”

‘Give Someone a Start’ was first developed by Thames Water in 2012 and aims to give long-term unemployed people a foot-up on the career ladder. In the last 12 months more than 50 people have taken part in London and the Thames Valley with around half of them going on to find employment within weeks, and in some cases days, of completing the programme.

Thames Water HR director Janet Burr said: “We’re immensely proud of the Give Someone a Start scheme which has a proven track record for getting people into jobs. The feedback from those who take part is that they go away with a huge boost in confidence after gaining experience of a bustling workplace which they can include on their CV and speak about in interviews. It’s this that makes them stand out from the crowd.”

Candidates for the scheme were recruited with the help of Enfield’s Job Centre operated by Enfield Council.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration & Business Development, Cllr Alan Sitkin, said: “Many unemployed people lack confidence, especially those who have been out of work for some time, and this scheme allows them to learn, get vital experience on their CV and also to become more confident when looking for work.

"We are proud to be supporting a project like this, and I hope the students will be able to access further training opportunities, and sustain employment from this experience.”

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