September 2013

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Dear friend,

 
Hello again, and welcome to my monthly newsletter, which this month is a special one-off about giving people a better chance on the jobs market.
 
When I knock on doors wherever I am in Mitcham, Morden and Colliers Wood, one of people’s biggest concerns is how difficult it is to find a job – especially for young people who are looking for that first opportunity to get on the jobs ladder.
 
I’ll be using this newsletter to let you know about a number of programmes to help people into work – including a work experience scheme that I’m organising once again to help young people in Mitcham and Morden get experience of real jobs.
 
Even if you’re not looking for work yourself, please have a think about whether there is anyone you can pass all this information onto.
 
There are just over 2,500 people who are officially classified as unemployed in the constituency of Mitcham and Morden, with nearly 800 people have been unemployed for more than a year – and perhaps the biggest concern is that more than 500 young people aged 24 and under are out of work.
 
Getting experience of work in Mitcham and Morden
 
Anyone who’s been unemployed soon after leaving school or university will remember how dispiriting it is not to know where that first opportunity is going to come from.
 
So later this year, I’ll be relaunching a Work Experience placement scheme.
 
The scheme itself will start in January, but if you are an employer – or if you know anyone who runs a business or voluntary organisation who might like to help a young person get experience in the workplace – I’ve just opened applications for potential job providers.
 
If you want to find out more about employing a young person through the scheme, I’ll be hosting a Business Breakfast on Tuesday 15 October. The event will start at 10am, and will take place at the Civic Centre in Morden, and you can book a place by contacting my assistant Sarah Troke on 020 8542 4835 or by emailing siobhain@mmlp.org.uk. There’ll also be coffee and croissants!
 
Full details about the scheme will be available on the 15th, but if you sign up I will include your details in a brochure. You will then receive applications from young people between 16 and 24, who are unemployed and live locally.
 
You will be free to choose who to take on, and the programme will last 12 weeks, beginning on Monday 13 January. The young people will be able to claim fares from the Job Centre. The placements are unpaid (unless employers can afford to pay).
 
At the end of the 12 weeks, the young person should be better equipped for the world of work – we’ve found in the past that many go straight into a new job, and sometimes the placement goes so well that they get a job with the company where they got work experience.
 
I’ll be organising a special thank you Graduation Party at the end of the scheme, to which both employers and young people will be invited. Every young person will receive a ‘work experience certificate’.
 
If you are interested, it’s a really worthwhile scheme – I hope to see you on the 15th!
 
Training opportunity 1
 
Our local Housing Association, Merton Priory Homes, has just launched a range of free courses to help Merton residents find work. Anyone aged 16 -25 who is out of work, or not in education or training or employment can take part. 
 
The programme is designed to make you more employable by providing mentor support, accredited training and work experience. There are courses in fields like construction, or Health and Social Care, as well as how to set up your own business or improve your employability.
 
For more details, click on the link here.
 
Training opportunity 2
 
The excellent Grenfell Housing is another organisation offering help with training and getting into work. They’re just about to start free courses in a range of subjects, from Maths or IT to Book-keeping, Security or Retail.
 
You’ll also get the chance to learn about other skills that will help you get ahead at work, including Health and Safety, First Aid and Food Hygiene. And they’ll also help you out with CV writing and interview skills.
 
If you want to find out more, contact Grenfell on 020 8545 2596 or email training.info@grenfell-housing.co.uk.
 
Internships with an Olympics legacy charity
 
I’ve also been contacted by the ‘Sported Foundation’. This is an Olympics legacy charity that supports the development of young people from deprived communities through sport, and they are currently looking to offer 2 young people internship opportunities.
 
They’re after people looking for a career in the charity sector, articulate, passionate, bright and ambitious, with good analytical, communication and interpersonal skills, who are able to do Internet research, and to present ideas on paper and in person.  
 
If you think this applies to you and you’re passionate about sport and education, there is a Fundraising Internship and a Marketing Internship, 3 months each, starting immediately.
 
They are based not far from Green Park tube station in London, and would be able to offer £100 per week for a 12-week period. If you’re interested, please get in contact with Alexis Lautenschlager at alexis@sported.org.uk.
 
A prestigious new employment programme for high fliers
 
Earlier this week, a new programme was launched to try and encourage the country’s top graduates to go into social work. In the past, being a social worker for vulnerable children has seemed a bit of a thankless task – but in fact it’s one of the country’s most important jobs.
 
We all know how important it is for our children to grow up in a safe and secure environment. And to achieve that we need high quality social workers.
 
That’s why a new programme has been launched to encourage high-flying university students to go into social work. The programme is called FrontlineSW. It lasts two years, while you undergo on the job training and your salary will be around £19k in the first year, £24k in the second.
 
It’s a terrific scheme, and will really fast track you into an interesting, varied and extremely worthwhile career. If you’re interested in finding out more, you could do a lot worse than have a look at the scheme’s website here.
 
Anyhow, that’s all for this month. If you’ve got any ideas for themes or stories to go in future newsletters please do email me at siobhain@mmlp.org.uk.
 
And if you know anybody who can help with my work experience programme, or anybody who would benefit from any of the job schemes I’ve mentioned please do pass this email onto them. Getting a good job is a life-changing experience, and I do appreciate it if you could help!
 
My best wishes,

Siobhain