Free skills training with guaranteed interview offered to Rossendale job seekers

Cliff Adamson (Active Lancashire), Gary McEwan (Interfloor), Dylan (employed participant), Paul Becouarn (Active Lancashire) and Alyson Barnes (Rossendale Council leader) during the first programme.

Rossendale Works, Lancashire Adult Learning and partners will be providing 20 people looking for work in the area with free skills training leading to a guaranteed job interview with Rossendale-based employers We Buy Books and Interfloor.

The organisations have teamed up to offer a work-based training programme on the week commencing 27 June, to help and encourage candidates into employment.

This follows the success of the first such programme run by Rossendale Works - a partnership between Active Lancashire, Rossendale Council and the Department for Work and Pensions - which was run at Haslingden based Interfloor in January of this year.

The "Stand Out" week offers an opportunity for participants to stand out to employers by gaining additional experience and a qualification, before the prospect of potential job opportunities at the end.

Candidates are able to visit the business to experience first-hand the type of work that is undertaken and achieve Level 1 in Health and Safety, First Aid, and ICT skills. Learners will also receive coaching and take part in mock interviews ahead of actual interviews with the company on the final day.

The previous pre-employment course saw four individuals interviewed with all four being offered work. 

Gary McEwan, HR Director at Interfloor who are one of the hosts for this programme, said, “The course earlier this year was a big success, with all the interviewed candidates being employed by Interfloor as a result.

“They included a real shining star, someone who has not been given chances in life and we are considering putting through a technical apprenticeship. We are looking forward to meeting the next round of candidates.”

Council Leader Alyson Barnes said: “The first programme proved to be a real success and a testament to what can be achieved when private and public sectors work together – none of this would be possible without great partnership work, with proactive leadership. That’s why the Rossendale Works team and their partner organisations are confident that this second programme at We Buy Books will be equally successful.

“Having more of these types of initiatives can only be a good thing for all involved and help secure employment for the people of Rossendale.”

Brad Hacking Business Development Manager and Head of Projects from We Buy Books said: “This is a really useful exercise for all involved, kind of like a try before you buy for both the candidates and businesses.

"Rossendale Works have been really helpful in pulling all the parties together and if at the end of the day we get some great candidates trained and ready to go we’ll be more than happy. I would encourage other businesses to explore programmes such as this.”

Places are limited for the programme, and anyone interested should enquire at

Active Partnerships
Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership
Funded by UK Government Levelling Up