‘Wolves at Work’ is celebrating hitting major targets well ahead of schedule.
The City of Wolverhampton Council and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) employment programme set out in January 2017 to get 3,000 local people into work, including 1,000 young people.
It has so far seen 3,293 local people gain employment – around 45 per cent of which are aged 18 to 29.
More than 400 businesses have also now pledged their support to Wolves at Work and, as well as providing employment opportunities, have welcomed 641 people into Sector Based Work Academies, and 212 into work experience.
City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Councillor Roger Lawrence, said: “It has been a great effort by everyone involved and we are doing really well in keeping people in the jobs that they’ve been found – it has certainly exceeded expectations.
“We knew there were lots of people out there who were motivated and wanted to work but finding places for them and ensuring they had the support once in work was absolutely critical to the success of the project.
“The expenditure by the council and DWP has been well worth it but the West Midlands Combined Authority has a dedicated budget and we believe they should take this on and roll out the Wolverhampton model across the rest of the region.
“It’s great to see the diversity of the people we are helping. There are lots of people from different backgrounds in different businesses – everything from retail to building, from public administration to health and social care.
“A huge range of jobs have come up for people and a wide range of people have gone into those jobs.”
James Churm, Smyths Toys Retail Assistant, added: “Wolves at Work has made my life a lot easier. The time that I was unemployed was actually enjoyable because they sent me on courses that have made me come out of my shell. I have learnt things that I can use in my personal life and at work – it’s just been amazing.”
Jessup Development Officer Karen Campbell said: “Jessup were delighted to pledge their support to the Wolves at Work programme. It has helped and supported Jessup to secure two fantastic candidates who are working very well on two of our projects.”
Dez Grant, DWP District Operations Leader for Wolverhampton, said: “The Wolves at Work programme has absolutely been more than I could hope for.
“We’ve transitioned and developed it and explored different areas that we hadn’t thought of before.
“It’s great to see how it has been adapted for every customer we have supported into work and kept in work.
“It’s been really great to see the stories and successes people have achieved in their lives. It’s not only about supporting that individual, we’re seeing the impact on children, families, wider family and friends.
“It’s having a huge impact for everyone involved, really transforming lives and that’s what we set out to achieve.
“I’m so proud the team have been able to get all those people into work.”
Employers have committed to Wolves at Work in different ways, with pledges of work experience and to recruit local people and train workforce mentors.
Work coaches are on hand to help local people get work ready and provide support to employers in recruitment and ensuring new recruits thrive in the workplace.
Anyone interested in local jobs or employers needing recruitment support in the City of Wolverhampton can register at www.wolvesworkbox.com.