Local businesses, employees and apprentices came together to celebrate the successful first year of Croydon Works.
The jobs brokerage service was set up by the council and partners to ensure residents benefit from the employment opportunities created through the borough’s regeneration, in particular those with barriers to employment.
The free-to-use professional recruitment service is designed to provide Croydon employers with pre-screened, job ready, local, qualified employees, and residents with the support and training they need to find sustainable, quality jobs locally.
In its first year, the jobs brokerage service has successfully helped 147 people into work, assisted 70 residents on to training courses to develop new or existing skills, engaged with more than 1,000 local people and over 120 local employers.
The first birthday event saw the premiere of a short film made on Croydon Works, which featured Chris Adams who was helped to secure a job as a trainee at Ikea in just 10 days, after being out of work for two years.
He said: “I’d had various job interviews but I hadn’t got a job so I was starting to get frustrated. But then getting [the job at Ikea] so quickly, was brilliant.
Croydon Works guaranteed an interview if you lived in the borough so I took my CV in, got a phone call that afternoon, had a proper interview on the Monday and then had a two day induction and started the job straight away. It’s great, not just for giving me money, but I also feel useful again.”
The film also featured Nick Price, associate director at construction company Mulalley, who praised Croydon Works after using the service to recruit for their apprenticeship scheme and to find people to benefit from their work experience opportunities.
“The added value of working with Croydon Works is they have easy access to a large area of the community. They provide a one stop shop, they’re a very good use of resources for us and they have enabled and helped us to fulfil our social value commitment to Croydon,” he said.
Many of those who have used the employment service attended the event and gave their perspectives of how Croydon Works has worked for them. They also learnt more about how residents and businesses will be supported in the year ahead to create a strong and skilled local workforce.
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for economy and jobs said: “Croydon Works has had a fantastic first year, helping local people, some of whom were on benefits, into work.
“This is not only good for them and builds their confidence, but is also good for the taxpayer, our local economy and local employers.
“Thousands of new jobs are to be created in Croydon over the next few years as a result of the huge amount of investment. Croydon Works will continue to build on its success and help local people have the best chance of getting those jobs.”
To find out more about Croydon Works visit www.croydonworks.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org