A PAIR of hard-working young people have taken up jobs at a Stafford housing association after initially joining on work placements.
John Wilkes from Eccleshall and Christine Cartwright from Little Haywood have joined the team at Stafford and Rural Homes after working respectively as a trainee tradesman through the Shaw trust under the national Youth Contract scheme and joining the community involvement team through a graduate placement programme.
John, who joins the association as a driver and labourer, said his first six months had provided him with invaluable experience with trade staff working on customer’s homes.
“That confirmed to me that I wanted to build a career for myself as a joiner,” he said.
John’s role fitting bathrooms and other materials into SARH homes is a far cry from where he started out studying performing arts at Stafford College.
“On face value it looks like quite a big change in career direction but a lot of the skills I learned at college have given me confidence when I go out to meet customers,” he said.
Christine will take on a full-time role as a community involvement officer after working on projects including a monthly Penkside newsletter, SARH’s annual community learning programme, an allotment project in Penkside and a garden project with Milwich pre-school.
“The job is great because we get to work on a real variety of projects that benefit the local community,” she said. “I started at SARH with little experience but working within the community involvement team I’ve learned a lot already.”
Chief executive of SARH Karen Armitage said she was ‘delighted’ to have been able to offer John and Christine full-time roles as a result of their work experience with the organisation.
“We are firmly committed to providing employment opportunities for young people to gain real life work experience and helping them to plan for their future careers.”
SARH aims to offer a range of work experience, apprenticeships, voluntary work, industrial placements and free learning for the people of Stafford through its Learning Academy.