Supporting Young People into Employment

CHIC places great importance on its social value activities, which are featured within each  Annual Report.

For 2019/20 it is pleasing to report that CHIC recruited 22 apprentices from harder to reach groups, such as NEETS (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) and long-term unemployed. We achieved an impressive retention rate of 81.4%.

One of the Local Employment Groups (LEGS) receiving support from CHIC is the Jericho Foundation from Balsall Heath. They run a diverse range of social enterprises and social projects, helping people to become fulfilled, skilled and employed. They also operate contracts to rescue people from modern day slavery.

In this article we feature two testimonials from young people who were employed at the large, and very busy, JERICHO ReUse facility in Sutton Coldfield.

G is 19 and lives in a supportive household with her dad, sister and brother. She did well in school, achieving a number of GCSEs all above grade C, however, she started to struggle with anxiety whilst in college and subsequently dropped out of both her courses. The same pattern occurred when she tried to move into employment – her job in admin only lasted two days before her anxiety forced her to leave.

G received an anxiety diagnosis and for a period of two years, she struggled to leave home. A change in medication allowed her to start leaving the house and she met JERICHO at a jobs fair hosted by Sutton Job Centre.

During her apprenticeship, G went from strength to strength becoming a real asset to the ReUsers team. She still struggled with anxiety, but with support from JERICHO, she discovered ways to cope. G has completed her apprenticeship and we are continuing to support her to progress into her next job.

G said:

“Before coming to the ReUsers I was very shy and anxious. I struggled a lot with my anxiety, but the ReUsers helped me overcome a lot of barriers like phones, talking to people and even just showing up to work every day. The staff are very welcoming and understanding. It was a pleasure to work here.”

C is 19 and lives with his mum and sister. At the point of engagement, no one in his household was employed, which impacted their finances. C had left college and had very limited work experience.

C has Autism and takes medication to control his OCD. He was referred to JERICHO by his grandad who is a regular shopper at the ReUsers social enterprise. C has now completed his apprenticeship and we are continuing to support him to progress into his next job.

C said:

“The ReUsers have taught me so much about professionalism and has made me feel more confident, wiser and more productive. I can’t thank them enough for giving me an opportunity to experience the real world of employment. They taught me so many skills I thought I never had and now I am ready to use them again for the future. I am going to miss this place (the ReUsers) and hope I can work back here again. Thank you ReUsers for accepting me for who I am and supporting me throughout everything, including the current pandemic. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

The social value dividend from CHIC has helped to support G and C and other apprentices since 2018.

If you would like to find out more on CHIC’s social value model, click here.


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