2 August 2013

Building foundations for career success

Brighton & Hove city council is helping young people break down the barriers to finding a job by offering practical work experience through a partnership with Job Centre plus. The move is part of a city wide strategy on apprenticeships.

A major difficulty faced by people seeking employment is a lack of relevant work experience. Research by Brighton & Hove City Council’s Youth Employability Service (YES) has found many young people leave school without qualifications, skills and confidence which limits their future employment prospects. Even young people who have qualifications find it difficult to obtain good quality work experience. In a highly competitive work market, some young people need help to access the job-based experience that employers look for when recruiting.

The aim of this scheme is to provide training and job opportunities to help people take the first steps to future career success.

The council operates many different services across the city and a wide range of job placements are available covering many skill sets. Work placements offer an opportunity to improve or refresh skills as well as providing a supportive environment to nurture confidence. Participants can also benefit from access to a recent reference, improved self-esteem, strengthening a structured lifestyle and gaining an introduction into a new work area.

Councillor Jason Kitcat has been involved in setting up the apprenticeship and work experience scheme. He said “The work placements offer a valuable opportunity for people to up their skills and gain experience attractive to employers. There are benefits for all involved in helping young people gain access to vital knowledge of the workplace. Our partnership with the Job Centre highlights the importance of supporting the next generation into employment.”


Case study

Adam Osborne (24) gained a gardening work placement at The Rookery, a popular rock garden near Preston Park. Adam has always had a strong interest in nature and wanted a job where he could work outdoors.

Finding work was proving a struggle and Adam was hampered by a lack of experience in gardening. Being accepted on the gardening placement proved a turning point. Adam worked with the council’s parks team and Friends of Preston Park to restore the rock garden. Andy Jeavons, garden manager, mentored Adam and made sure he gained knowledge about different plants, pond restoration and gardening techniques.

Adam is now preparing for a paid gardening apprenticeship with Glyndebourne, which starts in August. Andy Jeavons helped find the apprenticeship and hopes the opportunity will help Adam begin a long and successful gardening career.