Posted on Tuesday 17th August 2021
Hundreds of jobseekers are getting their foot on the career ladder with help from a work experience programme delivered by Staffordshire County Council.
49-year-old Christian Lockley is the latest person to benefit from the Open-Door programme having secured a job as a trainee adviser with the National Careers Advice Service.
The former secondary school teacher of 16 years moved back to the area to be closer to his elderly parents during the pandemic.
It was then that he made the move to change career and approached the Open-Door team at the council for support.
Christian started his twelve-week placement with the council’s Learning and Development department in May 2021 before going on to secure his full time job where he’s now advising others.
Talking about his experience, Christian said,
“I was unemployed for about seven months and whilst job searching, I came across the open-door programme at the council.
“I contacted the main employability officer for the scheme and was made welcome and we discussed a number of ideas and options about how the programme might be able to help and support me moving forward.
“I was placed within the Learning and Development department and was given a mentor.
"The entire team was really welcoming and supportive and I was treated as part of the team from day one.
"I got to work on a whole range of different tasks which was great, including supporting the team.
"During the placement, I also got the chance to learn new skills including digital communications, as well as creating e-learning content.
“I would absolutely recommend the programme to others.
"As a mature worker, it can be worrying to be unemployed as well as trying to make a career change, however help is out there if you have courage to look and persevere.”
Philip White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills at Staffordshire County Council said:
“Helping people to improve their skills remains a priority for the county council and means that they’ll be in a better position to take advantage of the better skilled jobs in the future.
“Our Open Door programme is an important part of this work, which helps give people the experience they need to gain employment or return to work.
“Through the programme, we can offer candidates a voluntary, tailored work experience placement within a wide variety of job roles to suit the career they are looking for.
"We’re very proud of the scheme and everyone who has been through it; many of whom have gone into full time employment like Christian.”
The programme is available to anyone over 18 and focuses on helping people who face difficulties and barriers in finding work.
This could include people with disabilities, mental health issues, ex-offenders, children leaving care, school leavers, and graduates.
For further information on the Open Door Staffordshire scheme please contact 01785 854486 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org