Grenfell Tackles Local Unemployment

Grenfell Housing & Training has teamed up with local businesses, including drapes and rigging expert Blackout, in a bid to offer work experience placements to support local youngsters and help tackle unemployment.

Established in 1985, Grenfell has been providing housing, training and support to those within the local community for the last 30 years. Specifically, the association houses single homeless people aged 16 to 30, provides training to the local community and offers housing advice to families with young children at risk of losing their home.

In the last 12 months, Grenfell has helped over 250 people gain in excess of 400 qualifications, with many of these individuals progressing into further learning, work placements and volunteering. Recently, the association teamed up with one of the boroughs largest employers, Blackout, which supplies drapes and rigging to some of the world’s biggest live events.

This particular scheme worked specifically with those furthest from the labour market, including those with housing issues, health problems and learning difficulties. These individuals were placed with local companies and Grenfell used the funding to cover the first few months of employment. The young people were supported by a mentor provided by Grenfell and each person was assigned to an individual within the company, who acted internally to support them. On this project Grenfell assisted 12 young people into placements, all of which were then offered employment by the employers who took part.

Steve Boucher, director of operations at Grenfell Housing and Training commented: “This programme is invaluable to local youngsters, and we’re proud to be partnering with local businesses to help boost youth employment within London. We can’t thank the local businesses we work with enough, for opening their doors to local youngsters to offer the support and guidance necessary to make a successful transition into full time work.

As one of the boroughs largest employers, Blackout provides great opportunities for our young people to gain work experience within the live events industry; the feedback and support the company provided allowed us to really target the support we offered to the two individuals they took on.”

Grenfell has also teamed up with a wide range of employers to offer a variety of work experience opportunities; this includes theatre lighting company White Light, retailers including Ocado and Londis, care companies and education providers.

Adelaide Johannsen, Blackout’s HR manager commented: “This partnership has enabled local youngsters to get hands-on experience working within live events in a bid to move them into employment or further training, and enable them to progress up the career ladder. We have taken on two individuals from Grenfell’s scheme and we were really impressed with their enthusiasm and commitment to their work.”

Grenfell relies on voluntary support and income to build individually tailored programmes for each of its services users, and over the last 12 months the association has helped 47 people into full-time employment.