Pioneering project helps long-term jobseekers

Posted on: April 25th, 2014 by Simon No Comments

The project aims to build confidence and motivation in long-term jobseekers.A unique pioneering project in which the Army helps long-term jobseekers find employment has produced excellent results.

The second Midlands SPEAR (Supporting People into Employment with the Army Reserve) course, a pilot scheme created by 143 (West Midlands) Brigade, saw 31 people from Stoke-on-Trent and Telford complete an intensive four-week scheme building self-esteem and skills.

Of the 18 participants in Telford, 10 applied to join the Army Reserve and of the 13 taking part in Stoke, three applied to join the regular Army, four to the Army Reserve and one to become an Army Reserve Officer. In addition there has so far been at least one five-year apprenticeship offer and two job offers in Stoke.

The project, run by 143 Brigade in Stoke and the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry (RMLY) in Telford, has caught the attention of Government Ministers and could be rolled out across the UK. It was also featured on The One Show (April 23) and the programme is available on BBC iPlayer.

Run in partnership with Jobcentre Plus (JCP), Job Enterprise Training (JET), Stoke College and Telford College of Arts and Technology, it gives participants an insight into Army life.

Brigade Community Engagement Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Ray Miller said: “Midlands SPEAR has again showed it has true potential to not only raise awareness of the Army Reserve and encourage recruitment but also to make people more employable. The students have all come away more motivated and better equipped for the work place.”

Team building and motivation

Weeks one and two involve participants attending Army Reserve units in local areas and learning workplace-recognised skills in a military environment. This involves team building and motivation, health and safety and plant/power tools safe operation and workplace first aid.

Week three is a work placement provided by JCP and JET, while week four is spent in college learning IT skills, CV building and interview techniques. The course, which is planned to run twice a year and will be extended to other areas within the region, has a minimal cost and all the resources are there to make a difference to the lives of those actively seeking work.

The candidates, sourced from JCP and JET, also have the option to apply to join the Army Reserve which aims to recruit up to its full manning of 30,000 trained soldiers, with up to an additional 8,000 soldiers in training, to provide an integrated and trained Army by 2018.


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