Hand Picked 100 has passed the half way point in its campaign to find life-changing employment for young people across Central Scotland.
Since the campaign launched earlier this year, fifty-eight 16-24 year olds have found employment thanks to local business leaders who have stepped up to support the programme. The target is to find 100 employers willing to join Hand Picked and give young people paid jobs.
See Charlotte Laing’s story below.
Established by CR Smith, Hand Picked is Scotland’s only employability programme of its kind run by private business. Boss of the Dunfermline–based home improvement company, Gerard Eadie CBE, has been at the forefront of the call for businesses of all sizes to join the Hand Picked network.
It is his firm belief that helping young people understand what it means to be in work is the best possible careers boost employers can give. The Hand Picked programme includes paid job placements and in-depth work academies which help nurture the skills and self-confidence that young people need to land a job.
Mr Eadie said:
“I would like to offer my gratitude to all the businesses which have come forward so far to assist young people who want a job. It is really heartening to see our local business leaders showing their support for young people and we hope more will join us to help shape the workforce for the future.
“So far, we have helped 58 young people secure employment. We know that the opportunity to learn what is needed in a job, while actually experiencing paid employment, is a life-changer for those we have been able to assist.
“The Hand Picked programme has received the endorsement of former Prime Minister and Fife MP, Gordon Brown and has the backing of local schools, the third sector, employment agencies and the Scottish Government. With more businesses on board, we can continue to build on the success achieved so far through both the ninety-day paid work placements and the academies.”
Hand Picked identifies and places young people into paid jobs and the employers that take them on become part of a highly visible business network with a mission.
There are Hand Picked events, PR support is provided and each business will receive recognition and acknowledgement online, in local media, in government reports and through the use of the Hand Picked 100 campaign logo.
Since the campaign got underway in June, a wide range of businesses have signed-up, including Mactaggart & Mickel, Thomson Cooper, East Coast Drainage Solutions, Seahawk, Marine Harvest, Smith Anderson, Coorstek and Integrity Engineering. The wide range of roles offered extend from administration and customer service through to trades.
In recent months, Hand Picked has also delivered three academy courses at CR Smith Head Office in Fife. The in-depth, short course gives young jobseekers a behind the scenes look at how employers make hiring decisions and invaluable training on how to successfully compete for jobs in the open market. Candidates take part in interactive workshops and receive mentoring and support from the team upon completion of the course to find employment. A fourth academy takes place this month, with a fifth in January.
Pauline McGeevor who runs the Hand Picked 100 campaign for CR Smith commented:
“We have seen businesses rallying to support our campaign and more importantly Scotland’s young unemployed people.
“In addition to the 58 securing jobs, we have 17 young people who have gone on to further education so that is another success story for Hand Picked 100.
“Feedback from the young people who have attended the Hand Picked Academy has been extremely positive with all respondents saying they feel more confident about applying for jobs and have gained a better understanding of what employers are looking for.”
At present, there are a number of employer sponsored jobs available to young job seekers including a Trainee Land Surveyor role in Newport on Tay, a Smokehouse Trainee in Dunkeld and a Trainee Chef position in St Andrews – all available to unemployed 16-24yr olds who can apply through the Hand Picked website (www.handpickedscotland.co.uk ).
Businesses and young people interested in Hand Picked and the Hand Picked Academy should contact Pauline McGeevor at Pauline.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01383 747641.
Hand Picked Candidate Charlotte Laing secures job with Integrity
Having attended the Hand Picked Academy, Charlotte Laing (24) is now starting her ninety-day Hand Picked paid placement as an office administrative assistant with Glenrothes-based Integrity Engineering (Scotland) Ltd.
A determined and hard-working individual, Charlotte has been a dedicated volunteer at Falkland Palace for the past two years, but has been unable to find the right job that would enable her to develop her skills.
With the support of the Hand Picked team, Charlotte felt better able to promote herself, despite her lack of experience, and so when the opportunity at Integrity came up she was able to shine in her interview.
The role she now has involves all aspects of business administration covering a wide variety of functions, including purchasing and sales, customer service, quality assurance, HR and marketing. She will receive full training, allowing her the opportunity to learn about all areas of business administration within the organisation.
Charlotte is the second Hand Picked candidate that Integrity Engineering has taken on. The first, Ian Martin, has been offered a permanent job and is supporting Charlotte in her new role.
Pauline McGeevor, who heads up Hand Picked at CR Smith, said:
“Integrity Engineering has fully embraced the Hand Picked ethos, giving two young people a life-changing opportunity and a chance to kick start their working lives.
“In both cases, the candidates had no real work experience and not getting past the interview stage for the jobs they applied for. However, that has now changed. They were supported by the Hand Picked team to draw out their skills and build their confidence and Integrity recognised their desire to work. For Integrity, too, their willingness to learn was key.
“I am delighted with the outcome for both Charlotte and Ian, and for Integrity.”
Charlotte, who is also studying for an Open University degree, added:
“I always strive to give the best to whatever task I am asked to carry out and like to try new things and learn new skills. I am very grateful to Hand Picked and to Integrity for giving me this opportunity. To have positive work experience and to expand my knowledge further is invaluable.”