Seven young people have been appointed by Thirteen, and five more have secured a job elsewhere, following a week-long academy training programme that is designed to give young people the skills and confidence to re-enter the world of work.

The New Directions team developed the structured programme to help fill six full-time positions in the organisation’s busy contact centre.

The team quickly set about identifying young people who were already signed up to with them and who were looking for contact centre opportunities.

There were 12 potential candidates identified, and they were invited to attend the week-long, bespoke training that included sharpening their interview techniques, role play, as well as completing applications forms, which culminated with interviews for the available jobs.

Adele McLaren, the contact manager at Thirteen, said:

“We interviewed 11 people that had been clients of the New Directions initiative as they had all put in impressive application forms for roles with the contact team.

“The interview wasn’t easy; it included questions as well as a role-play scenario and they all did so well that we found it difficult to choose our top six for the posts.

“The whole process was fabulous; we were really impressed with the candidates, and they are a testament to the work of the New Directions Team.”

The New Directions team work with young people aged 15 to 29 who are classed as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), to access specialist support thanks to the European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative funding.

The scheme helps local people develop the skills required to get into employment or training. It can help people who may think they have a lack of confidence or education, poor health or anything else that might be holding someone back.

Nicole Reidy who was one of the successful candidates, and a tenant with Thirteen, signed up with the New Directions team in June 2016.

She previously volunteered at Thirteen as an administration support officer in the neighbourhood team, before successfully securing one of the 12-month contracts.

Nicole said: “Signing up to the New Directions scheme was the best thing I could have done and the team’s support and training have helped me realise what I am capable of achieving.

“The professionalism and knowledge of the trainers were excellent, and I really feel it has helped develop my confidence and prepare me for the world of work.

“I would like to thank everyone on the New Directions team for helping me through the week, particularly the training co-ordinator, Gary, and I appreciate everything that the team has done to help and support me.”

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