As you know from our post last week, On the first rung of the ladder, we have recently taken on two trainees via the Help to Work scheme.
Gateway is committed to getting long term unemployed people into work and to do this we look at a number of approaches including apprenticeships and traineeships (including the recent Training To Care scheme). We regularly respond to requests to take on people on work experience, as we have the ability to provide a positive and useful introduction to work. We provide a variety of services, so we feel there’s a lot of scope for the people who come to gain a range of experience.
Help To Work is just one of the things we have looked at as part of our EAST (Employment Access, Skills and Training) department’s wider work.
We are aware that Help to Work has a negative image and that not all employers view trainees in the same way that we do. We decided to explore it anyway, because our experience means that we can give people on work placements the best possible opportunity under the circumstances.
We would like to stress that the people supplied to us on placement are additional to our workforce; they do not fill an existing role. What we do is to create roles and tasks for them, hoping that it will give them the broadest possible opportunity to learn new skills and find out what sort of things suit them. Furthermore, we do not do this for any sort of financial gain. In fact, there is a small financial cost to us, as people need supervision and training.
As the previous post mentioned, we’re very pleased that our original placements, Nikki and Keiran are now in a paid apprenticeship with Gateway.
As an organisation we pride ourselves on having strong ethics. We can understand people’s distrust of the Help To Work scheme. We shared it, to an extent, but feel that our track record of helping people into work over many years means that we can provide people with a positive and supportive environment. However, we will be reviewing our involvement and, as always, considering the views of our staff and clients, including our current trainees, very carefully.