‘Jobs at Home’
2013 is proving to be a happy new year for jobseekers who have become the first recruits of a residents’ enterprise.
A new organisation, ‘Jobs at home’, has employed 14 tenants of Thrive Homes or Watford Community Housing Trust, who were either unemployed or in insecure employment, with plans to increase the workforce to more than 20 within months.
The aims of the enterprise were to provide job opportunities for local people; support their training and development leading to a nationally recognised qualification and develop a sustainable and profitable business that would benefit the community.
The team is tasked with undertaking internal room decorations for customers of both Thrive and the Trust, who between them own around 9,000 properties. From April, Jobs at Home will also offer a handyperson service and fit aids and adaptations, such as grab rails and wet rooms, to support independent living.
A recruitment campaign for team leaders, operatives and apprentices took place at the end of last year and attracted more than 100 applicants. Among those to be successful are Luke, David and Jamie.
Luke, aged 23, formerly of Oxhey but now living in Watford, is a qualified plumber who hopes to hone his trade and learn new skills. “I qualified four years ago but couldn’t get plumbing work so took various jobs in sales to get by. I’m really happy to be back in the trade, which is what I always wanted to do. Already, I’ve learnt a lot on the painting and decorating side and I’m looking forward to learning other skills too.”
David spent 12 years as a printer at the Daily Mirror before being made redundant. He said Jobs at home was an “unbelievable opportunity”. “It’s virtually unheard of to be given tools, a van, training, the chance to progress – and all in our own communities.” David, aged 32, attends night school twice a week and hopes to qualify as a plumber in June.
36-year-old Jamie has struggled to make ends meet in recent years while looking for work as an experienced, but unqualified painter and decorator. “It’s been really hard getting regular work as I don’t have the qualifications to match my experience. Now I have a routine, job security, I’m working towards qualifications and I couldn’t be happier or feel luckier.
To find out more, call Philip Day at Thrive Homes on 0800 917 6077 or Gareth Lewis at Watford Community Housig Trust on 01923 209000. If you have developed an interesting work initiative let us know and we’ll share it more widely.