Monday 22nd July 2019 12:00
Jobseekers in Slough have been offered the chance to experience working for Thames Water.
The Give Someone a Start programme, which offers work experience placements at sites around the region to those struggling to find work, ran a course in the town from July 1.
A group of six people spent three weeks with the wastewater team at the customer solution centre in Cambridge Avenue, a joint site for both Thames Water and partners Lanes Group.
They were given CV writing, interview practice and communication workshops as well as shadowing existing staff and taking part in site visits.
The scheme finished on Friday, July 19, and the candidates will now be given a list of vacancies at Thames Water and Lanes Group in case they want to apply for a full-time job.
One of the candidates, Janet Eggleton, said: “I feel very privileged to have been given this unique opportunity to have an insight into all the roles involved in the customer service centre at Slough.
“I have no previous experience with working for a utilities company but I enjoyed learning all about the different departments.”
Fellow candidate Peter Rana added: “The range of experiences in the different departments gives a great overview of how the company works.
“I would highly recommend the scheme to anyone interested in exploring a new career in an industry they may not have considered.”
The programme started as a pilot scheme in September 2012 before becoming a regular event in November 2014. It is aimed at groups including the long-term unemployed, those not in education, employment or training (NEETs) and people with physical and mental disabilities.
Thames Water also works with local charities and organisations to find candidates, including Shaw Trust, which helps disabled and disadvantaged people into employment and independent living, learning disability charity Mencap, young persons’ charity The Prince’s Trust and Jobcentre Plus.
Francis Tipton, Thames Water’s Give Someone a Start coordinator, said: “It’s for people who are not necessarily actively job-hunting but thinking about stepping in to employment and want to get their confidence up by going in to work for a few weeks.
“We’ve had great feedback from mentors and candidates, they have all said how much they loved it.”
Michael Hall, head of operations at Lanes Group, added: “Lanes Group is honoured to be working in partnership with Thames Water on the scheme.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for both organisations to give back to the community whilst showcasing some of the incredible work our people do day in, day out.”
Since the scheme began, more than 200 people have taken part, with around 10 per cent of the candidates going on to secure employment with the company.