The Solent Jobs Programme is celebrating some outstanding success, registering their 1,000th participant in their help to find work scheme.
The two year programme was set up in early 2017 and offers help to anyone living in the Solent area with a recognised health condition who has been out of work for a while.
The scheme is funded by the Southampton and Portsmouth City Deal and the European Social Fund, and offers intensive support to individuals to help them find work, including confidence building, employability skills and a paid work placement.
The placements are cost free to the businesses involved and the candidate is paid the living wage for up to 25 hours per week by the placement agency.
The Solent Jobs Programme provides ongoing support to both the business and the candidate, giving them a chance to develop their skills and building competence and confidence in the workplace.
Leader of Portsmouth City Council Cllr Donna Jones said: “This programme genuinely changes lives for the better and empowers the people who are involved. It also helps people who have lost their confidence in their value as an employee and it's a free way for local businesses to have access to resources that they wouldn't otherwise have access to. We want other local companies to get involved if they'd like to."
One example of the many success stories that the programme has produced is helping Nathan Curry to return to work after a long-term struggle with his mental health and depression.
Working with his SJP employment advisor, Nathan was given the opportunity to interview for a placement at Spinnaker Waste. He impressed them in his interview and during the two-week trial. He was subsequently accepted onto the placement.
Since starting his placement Nathan's confidence has soared and he’s very pleased with the independence that the placement has given him. He feels that he now has his purpose back.
Dai Edwards, the warehouse manager at Spinnaker Waste, is also very happy with Nathan's progress: "Nathan has settled in brilliantly," Dai said. "He gets on with all his co-workers and has rapidly become an integral part of the team. With the ongoing support of SJP, and Spinnaker Waste, there is no doubt that Nathan will go from strength to strength.”