One of the largest social housing companies in the North East, Coast & Country, has helped five of its unemployed tenants and residents polish up their job skills and gain paid work after completing its first ever Cleaning Academy.
The Cleaning Academy is a new scheme funded by the NEP and European Social Fund and run in-house by Coast & Country to help unemployed residents gain qualifications and experience that will help them secure employment. The three-week accredited course aims to teach everything the modern cleaning professional needs to know and includes both practical and classroom-based learning that is intended to build the confidence of participants while providing them with the experience, skills and qualifications that will make it much easier to gain employment.
Those who attend the Cleaning Academy are taught skills such as self-marketing, interview technique and how to tailor their CV to a particular job, whilst also receiving job specific training such as how to safely handle cleaning chemicals.
Everyone who completes the programme gains a NCFE qualification in Level 2 Principles in Cleaning and is given the opportunity to access hands on experience in the work place with Coast & Country or one of its partner organisations.
The unemployed Coast & Country tenants completed the first ever Cleaning Academy and now all of the participants have successfully made the next step into employment, with five of the group about to begin paid work placements with Coast & Country as cleaning operatives.
One of the inaugural course’s success stories is Lynne Henderson from Teesville. The 61-year-old heard about the course from the Job Centre and went on to finish with flying colours and went on to be offered a paid placement at Coast & Country. Now six weeks into the placement, Lynne has secured herself a part time job with a local pharmacy.
She said: “The Cleaning Academy from start to finish was great. It gave me so much more than I thought it could and then to gain a placement with Coast & Country at the end of it has topped off what was already such a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
“Everyone that was on the course gained so much, it was more than just cleaning – we gained skills, confidence, new friends, interview experience and even jobs at the end of it.
“I’m so grateful for the chance to take part in this fantastic training opportunity and can’t thank Coast & Country enough for all of the support and guidance throughout the whole process. I would recommend the course to anyone.”
Emma Tooth, community investment officer at Coast & Country, said: “We’re really pleased with the success of the Cleaning Academy. It’s the first time we have run the course, so the fact that those who took part have found employment is excellent news.
“One of the aims of Coast & Country is to improve the lives of our tenants and helping them find meaningful paid employment is a big part of that. We run several schemes that help people find work and gain experience, so we are able to help most people find work no matter what their previous experience is.”
Coast & Country tenants who are looking to gain employment or experience should contact Coast & Country’s Community Investment Team who can discuss with them their available options and help them find the most appropriate pathway.