Unipart, one of Europe’s leading manufacturing, logistics and consultancy groups, is to launch a new programme aimed at equipping young job seekers with skills for work.
The programme is called Unipart Inspires, and it brings together work experience with training in job hunting skills such as interview practice, CV writing and using social media to search for jobs.
It is widely recognised that levels of unemployment amongst 18-24 year olds are a national problem. Unipart currently supports a number of initiatives aimed at tackling the issue of youth unemployment including Generation Talent, the joint initiative between Business in the Community and The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Unipart teams have been working with Job Centre Plus staff to devise a programme that will be rolled out nationwide involving employees at all Unipart sites.
Over nine weeks, Unipart people will work with groups of young job seekers initially delivering training such as interview practice and CV writing to improve job seeking skills and levels of self-awareness.
Attendees will then move on to a two-week work experience placement. For those individuals with clear career aspirations, Unipart will tailor the work experience accordingly. Those who are less certain will be offered the opportunity to spend time across a wide range of departments.
While on site, attendees will be paired with a suitable mentor who will continue to work with them for a further six weeks to offer practical help and support as well as guidance and encouragement
The programme is designed to enable young, unemployed people to build confidence and develop the right skills and attitudes for the world of work. It also provides development opportunities for Unipart employees by engaging them in coaching and mentoring activities.
Where suitable vacancies arise in Unipart, programme participants will be encouraged to apply for roles that best match their skills and career ambitions. A pilot programme will be run in Spring in conjunction with Oxford Job Centre. This will be followed by a national roll out across other Unipart sites across 2014.
“Often, one of the greatest challenges for young people seeking a job is the ability to get valuable, relevant work experience,” said Unipart Chairman and Group Chief Executive John Neill.
“Unipart has a long track record of working with our community partners to help people find their way into work. A few years ago, we worked with homeless people in Oxford to provide them with a ‘buddy system’ to help them acclimate to the business environment. During the financial crisis, we ran a programme with Job Centre Plus providing training for managers in Oxfordshire who had been made redundant and were struggling with job search.
“Many of the people who participated in these programme went on to find good jobs, some even joined our company. We believe that the Inspire Programme will provide a similar opportunity for young people so that we can raise their skills, aspirations and confidence and, ultimately, help them to succeed in good careers.”