MPT Steps helps Blackburn jobseekers find employment with EE
A partnership between Blackburn College, EE, DWP Local Jobcentres, MPT Steps and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has created a pathway into work for more than 40 local people.
People who were interested in jobs available at EE were given training to develop skills and knowledge needed to work in a call centre. The EE Experience Days programme included topics such as customer service, handling calls and maintaining confidentiality.
In addition, mentoring, confidence building and interview preparation was provided by MPT Steps project mentors and the National Careers Service advisers. The candidates were able to meet staff from EE and visit the call centre, meet colleagues and listen to calls helping to calm nerves ahead of their interviews.
Following the programme, nine out of 18 job-seekers have gone into jobs, and EE has also partnered with Lancashire Adult Learning, working across Lancashire for over nine months. These partnerships have supported 125 people to develop their skills and 43 gaining employment with EE so far.
Rajebah Asif, who attended the programme and started work with EE in April 2023, said, "The EE Skills for Work programme has really allowed me to open up and become more confident than I ever thought I would be. It was a great opportunity and allowed me to build friendships with new people, which improved my social interactions.”
MPT Steps is an employment and skills programme delivered by 20 organisations across the county and managed by Active Lancashire. It is funded by the European Social Fund.
Blackburn Council's MPT Steps project lead, Rizwana Zaahid said, "The support provided by this programme has been really beneficial, helping to break down barriers and building confidence for people looking for employment. A huge thank you to the partners who positively worked together to make a real difference to the local community.”
Hilary Jenkins-Beard, Skills and Quality Manager at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said, "Having the opportunity to work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for local residents is a key part of the Adult Learning Service’s role across the Borough. We’d like to thank Blackburn College and EE for the chance to really make a difference and support local people into local employment.”
John Cain, Operations Manager at EE’s Accrington Contact Centre, said, "This scheme is designed to give people from our communities the hands-on knowledge and experience to prepare them for roles in our contact centres in the region.
Working alongside partners in the area the programme has been tailored to provide the most impact for those involved and we are proud to have welcomed more than 40 of the trainees into the organisation.”
Cathie Hartley from Blackburn College added, "We are proud of the success of this partnership. It has demonstrated the power of collaboration in achieving shared goals and making a positive impact on the communities we serve. We look forward to continuing our work together to build on this success and make an even greater impact for future courses.”
BwD National Careers Service lead, Susan Mulcrone, said, "We are proud to be involved in a successful partnership in supporting and developing employability skills for local people. The ultimate aim was to enhance and ultimately improve their chances of securing employment combined with career progression and build aspirations for the future."
BwD National Careers Service lead, Susan Mulcrone, added, "We are proud to be involved in a successful partnership in supporting and developing employability skills for local people. The ultimate aim was to enhance and ultimately improve their chances of securing employment combined with career progression and build aspirations for the future."
Ahmed Patel, who secured a job in 2022 has continued to progress in his role said, "The DWP listened to my needs and supported me in finding a job that was suitable for my situation. I have been working at EE for 7 months now and I couldn’t recommend working for EE enough. The job is going well, they’ve also decided to upskill me and give me a pay rise. I want to thank Ebrahim from DWP Blackburn, He really went above & beyond to help me out in making the complete interview process a success”.