18534Socially conscious housing company, Coast & Country, has helped forge the future of an unemployed tenant after helping her to secure her dream job at Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Stacey Tait successfully applied for her new position after completing Coast & Country’s Forging Futures programme and a six month work placement with the company’s health and safety department.

Before Stacey began the Forging Futures programme she was struggling to find meaningful employment. Keen to progress into a career in the health and safety sector, Stacey was paying her own way through a NEBOSH qualification whilst actively looking for work experience.

However, Stacey found it impossible to find the job she needed without previous experience and was stuck in the dead-end loop that many people find themselves in; Stacey couldn’t get a job because she had no experience and couldn’t get experience because she couldn’t get a job.

Seeking advice, Stacey attended a Work Hub at Grangetown Library, initially looking for more information about a computer course to help her complete her NEBOSH qualification. But, after a chat with the advisors she was enrolled on the Forging Futures programme.

After completing the three week course, Stacey was offered a six-month paid placement with Coast & Country’s own health and safety department, which supported her through the final stages of her NEBOSH qualification.

Forging Futures is one of a number of schemes that Coast & Country runs in conjunction with its partner organisations. It offers training, engagement and employment opportunities to unemployed Coast & Country tenants. The initial three week course provides participants with training and guidance, with those who successfully complete it helped to find paid work experience with Coast & Country or one of its partners.

The paid placements provide tenants with meaningful experience of the workplace, whilst they undertake sector-specific training aligned to the current jobs market, meaning that everyone who completes the course has a much greater chance of securing a job in the future.

Stacey said: “I gained a lot from my placement at Coast & Country, so much more than I ever thought I could in the short space of just six months. I worked with a fantastic and supportive team alongside my mentor, who helped me develop the practical skills I needed to be able to progress to the next step in my career.

“When I applied for the position at Cleveland Fire Brigade, the Coast & Country team helped me with the application process and gave me some crucial interview tips. I am over the moon to have secured full time employment in the career I wanted and I couldn’t have done it without the help and experience that Forging Futures gave me.

“It’s crucial that more people know about the amazing support on offer for people who are looking for jobs and training. I can’t thank the team at Coast & Country enough.”

Paul Smith, health and safety manager at Coast & Country added: “Stacey passed her exams and gained her qualifications during her six month placement with us. During which time she was a huge asset to the department and it was a pleasure to be able to mentor her.

“We are very proud of her achievements and we wish her all the best in her new career.”