The futures of three Bradford people who, between them, have experienced almost 20 years’ unemployment, are now a little brighter thanks to a partnership between a Bingley care provider and employment specialists Ingeus.
Trudy Ball, Richard Hill and Chelsea Curtis have each been rewarded with jobs at Bronte Care Services, which provides a range of domiciliary support to elderly people and residents with learning disabilities around Bingley.
For the trio, it brings to an end the frustration and financial challenges of unemployment, and means each can start building careers in the care sector.
“Having been without a job for more than 10 years, I was beginning to think I was unemployable,” said 44-year-old Richard, who lives in Thackley. “As a single parent, setting a good example is really important to me, but the longer I was unemployed the harder it became to persuade employers to give me a chance.”
Young mum Trudy, who’s 23 and from Odsal, spent several years working voluntarily for local charities so that she could learn new skills but, with a son to look after, could not apply for paid work until now.
“I have never had a job since leaving school, but now my boy is growing up a little I can start to think towards the future. I want to work and be able to buy the essentials and occasional treat for him, and so having a job is really important. But I also wanted the opportunity to prove things to myself – that I can earn an income whilst holding down a job with real responsibilities.”
Meanwhile, 22-year-old Chelsea from Holmewood last worked in a busy commercial kitchen, but was made redundant a year ago when the restaurant where her employer ceased trading. “That left me high and dry in so many ways, but it didn’t dint my determination to find another job.
“However, I soon found out it wasn’t going to be that easy. One after another, my applications were rejected, and my confidence and belief in myself soon began to suffer.”
All three visited Jobcentre Plus regularly, and were referred for the specialist support offered by Ingeus, which delivers the government’s Work Programme in the city. “Our role is to assess the abilities of each person, and help them progress until they’re confident and ready to work,” said Pavel Konoplits, who is an employer partnership co-ordinator with Ingeus.
“A key part of our service is to understand what each of our jobseekers wants out of life, and then to assess how we can help provide it through work. We also partner with progressive employers like Bronte Care Services who look for fully-motivated, job-ready people they can have full confidence in right from the start. Richard, Trudy and Chelsea certainly fit that bill.”
“It’s not always easy to find the right people for our jobs, which is why we turned to Ingeus and the Work Programme for help,” said Bronte Care Services’ operations manager Jan Senior.
“We’ve quickly built up a great relationship with them and their support means we can avoid much of the time-consuming preliminary work of finding potential employees – Ingeus does that for us.
“We can spend our time doing what we do best, knowing that we’re helping people who for a whole range of reasons have either not had the best of starts in life, or are wanting to get back into work after a period of unemployment.
“Either way, we’re proud to employ local people who then care for our service users. It’s greatly satisfying to see new recruits develop into really skilled carers, and we’re proud to play our part.”