A TEENAGER out of work since leaving school has secured a job at his very first interview thanks to help from a team of employment experts.
One-to-one coaching, volunteering experience and a mock interview provided by Doncaster West Development Trust (DWDT) all proved invaluable to 19-year-old Louis Stacey.
And the achievement has given him self-confidence and a sense of purpose after months of claiming Job Seekers Allowance and struggling for a reason to get out of bed.
“All the support made a big difference and the mock interview really helped me out – it was scarier than the real thing and definitely prepared me on the day,” said Louis who has just started his full-time job as a McDonald’s crew member.
Keen to avoid the prospect of long-term unemployment, Louis, who has A-levels in IT, joined DWDT as a volunteer for its UK Online project which teaches people basic computer skills.
“Volunteering is the way forward because it gives you work experience, gets you out of the house to meet people and makes you start to realise that there is something you can do,” he said.
Now Louis, who lives in Bentley, is keen to learn all aspects of his new job and plans to rent a scooter via the Wheels to Work scheme to help him get around – something he could not afford while unemployed.
However, funding for the work, which helped Louis and hundreds of others, will end after just nine months.
The trust’s chief executive Marisa Graziano is disappointed that short-term solutions are expected to tackle deep-rooted problems.
“We deal with special clients who have many personal barriers to remove, so a sustained effort is vital to make progress,” she said.
“We have seen aspirations raised time and time again through projects like this and they shouldn’t be knocked down in a matter of months.”
Pointing out that commitment was crucial to making a difference, she added: “There is a real need for an understanding, locally and nationally, that short-term financial support is not the answer to finding sustainable employment for young people.
“So much more could be achieved if this fact was recognised.”
Marisa set up the Conisbrough-based trust almost 20 years ago to provide access to training and employment opportunities for residents.
Its achievements were recognised last year with an award from Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber for making the greatest social impact in the region.
DWDT, a not-for-profit company founded in 1993, offers various free services designed to give people a chance to improve their job prospects and change their lives for the better.
Currently available are computer basics courses, money management advice, a substance misuse programme and weekly Job Club.
To find out more, telephone 01709 866466 or visit the website at www.dwdt.org.uk
Alternatively people can also drop in to the Terrace Training Centre in Conisbrough’s Castle Avenue.