Port of Leith Housing Association launches new employability service for Leith & North Edinburgh

Port of Leith Housing Association Office-signPort of Leith Housing Association (PoLHA) has set up a new employability service to support people over the age of 16 living in Leith and North Edinburgh who are looking for work or seeking to develop their careers.

From 1 August 2017, the Community Works service will provide a range of training opportunities, including confidence building, CV creation, and health and safety, administration and computer skills. It will also offer mock interviews, on site visits and work experience placements through its established network of employers.

Unlike other employability services in Edinburgh, Community Works is open to anyone, regardless of their current employment status, length of unemployment or support needs.

Community Works will build on the success of its predecessor TOiL (Training Opportunities in Lothian) which supported almost 450 young unemployed people aged 16-24 into work, training or further education between 2005 and 2017 before winding up in June 2017.

Final logo with straplineCommunity Works manager, John Murray, said: “I’m extremely excited to be part of this new service which will fill the gap in local support for people with employment needs who don’t meet the eligibility criteria set by other services.

“We enjoyed tremendous success with our Training Opportunities in Lothian programme working with young people and now we can build on that good work with Community Works which gives our tenants and the wider community the chance to receive help and guidance from our team.

“With the imminent introduction of Universal Credit there has never been more pressure on people receiving benefits to gain employment, so we’re thrilled to be able to help our tenants and other people in Leith and North Edinburgh with this service.”

Ricky Weir, contract manager at T.B. Mackay Energy Services, said: “We are really excited about the potential for Community Works to help people whatever their age to get into work. The personalised one to one support that the service will provide and the training and qualifications that people will be able to access combined with relevant experience of the workplace will make a real difference to how they come across in a job interview.

“We have been working with PoLHA for more than 10 years, providing placement opportunities working in our head office or on site. You can see a real difference in people as the placement continues.”

Jamie Connolly, Scotland regional manager, painting, at Mitie Property Services (UK), said: “Mitie Property Services (UK) has been working with PoLHA for more than 11 years and many of our existing staff have come from PoLHA’s previous employability service. We find working with PoLHA a great way to recruit staff and believe that the new service, Community Works, will be too.

“Providing people of all ages with one to one support and vocational training along with opportunities to engage with employers is a great way to enable people to move into the world of work. People will be able to access what they think they need whether it’s help with their self confidence, help with computers or access to qualifications or getting to know more about the sector that they want to work in.”

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